In addition to the city’s famous love for coffee and microbreweries, music – particularly grunge – has played a big role in shaping how the world sees Seattle. Bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden put Seattle firmly on the map, and grunge-era label Sup Pop continues to carry the torch today with Pacific Northwest bands such as Fleet Foxes, Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service and Modest Mouse.
1. Experience Music Project
This incredible museum was designed by Frank Gehry – ride up the adjacent Space Needle for a great view of the building, which looks like a smashed guitar from above. It’s worth a visit for the architecture alone, but step inside to discover one of the most innovative music museums ever created. In addition to a stellar collection of rock memorabilia and one of the best museum gift shops around, the EMP features interactive experiences such as a virtual room where you can discover exactly what it’s like to perform in front of a huge stadium audience.
2. Jimi Hendrix statue
Jimi Hendrix is one of Seattle’s most famous native sons, and a statue of the legendary psychedelic guitarist stands at the crossroads of Pine and Broadway. Pay your respects with a pilgrimage – if you’re a big Hendrix fan, consider a trip to the Jimi Hendrix Park on S. Massachusetts Street, which was recently renamed in his honour.
3. See Live Music
Seattle still has a thriving music scene, with gigs from major acts and local bands nearly every night. To get a taste of the grunge era, catch a show at the The Crocodile Café; this is where Nirvana and countless others played in the early days of the genre. After shutting unexpectedly in 2007, local musicians including members of Alice in Chains banded together to buy the café and keep it open.
If you’re up for a festival, check out Bumbershoot in September or make the 2-3 hour trek to the Sasquatch festival in an unforgettable location above the Columbia River Gorge.