Ride the Monorail and the Ducks, watch flying fish at Pike Place Market and say hello to the Fremont Troll.
Locals often sniff at the very attractions tourists love. But there’s a reason those attractions are perennially popular: They are actually fun. And here’s a secret: Locals can enjoy them, too. Ssshh!
RIDE THE DUCKS: Someone you know might see you on the Ducks, those weird, roving land-and-water vehicles constantly driving around Seattle. As a local you have to accept this reality as you board and everyone starts blowing “wacky quackers.” But the 90-minute tour from downtown to the Space Needle and into — yes, into — Lake Union is actually a good way to see the city. And it’s hard to beat cruising in an open-air vehicle listening to James Brown’s “I Feel Good.” $18-$29; ridetheducksofseattle.com.
FLYING FISH AT PIKE PLACE MARKET: Admit it. It’s strangely fun watching people throw fish for basically no other reason than to show off. It’s part showmanship, part salesmanship, part entertainment and 100 percent dorky. And free! pikeplacefish.com.
THE FREMONT TROLL: The funniest, weirdest, most nonsensical thing in Seattle, the Fremont Troll sculpture, born out of a community art project in 1990, is a callback to Scandinavian fairy tales, and exists merely to bring joy to your life. 3405 Troll Ave. N., Seattle.
SEATTLE CENTER MONORAIL: Funny how 1960s travel technology still seems like a smart idea, especially as you whiz past the gridlock trapped below you. The Monorail has only two destinations (the Space Needle on one end, Westlake Center on the other) and you get there in only two minutes. $1-$2.25 each way, seattlemonorail.com.
THE SPACE NEEDLE: Certain things must be done. Though locals get a discount off the regular elevator fare ($16, instead of $21), spring instead for the VIP pass ($34). You can skip the long lines and spend more time gazing at the views while you sip wine. Make sure to get a hokey picture that superimposes you and your friends over an impossible, totally fake-looking background with the Needle looming over you. Guilty? As charged. spaceneedle.com