Sleepless in Seattle’s 25th anniversary is a great excuse to go

A foodie's paradise at Pike Place Market
A foodie's paradise at Pike Place Market

The birthplace of Starbucks, Nirvana and Jimmy Hendrix, incredibly diverse neighbourhoods and award-winning restaurants – Seattle is quickly becoming the cultural hub of north west United States.

This year, Sleepless in Seattle – the ultimate romcom that ignited the love affair with Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan and the Emerald City – will celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Embrace the ‘90s nostalgia and follow in the footsteps of this all-time classic as you experience the iconic set locations firsthand – we’ve compiled a list of the must-visits when strolling through Seattle streets.

Lake Union

Visit the iconic floating home in the film, along the water's edge. PIC: Rudy Willingham

Visit the iconic floating home in the film, along the water's edge. PIC: Rudy Willingham

Kick-off your time in Seattle with a snoop around the world-famous floating house, aka Sam and Jonah’s home. The place is docked off Westlake Avenue on Seattle’s picturesque waterside neighbourhood of Lake Union, but now privately owned, so a tour from the water is your best bet of checking it out. 

South Lake Union is famous for being home to the e-commerce giant Amazon, but actually also hosts the drool-worthy Seattle Street Food Festival – a must-do if you’re in the area in summer.

Alki Beach

Walk 20 minutes south to explore Alki Beach – where Annie secretly watched Sam and Jonah playing on the beach. This is one of the only places Meg Ryan filmed in the city and is perfect to follow in the star’s footsteps and people-watch the day away.

When you need to refuel, try a Seattle staple – Duke’s Chowder House (the building Annie hid behind in the flick), and warm up with their famous clam chowder.

To work off your lunch, why not hop on a bike, play some beach volleyball or roller-blade down the sidewalk – Alki beach is one of the areas in Seattle to see (or to be seen) getting sporty.

Space Needle

The Seattle skyline features the iconic space needle. PIC: Howard Frisk, courtesy of Visit Seattle

The Seattle skyline features the iconic space needle. PIC: Howard Frisk, courtesy of Visit Seattle

Head to the city centre to see the iconic Space Needle; arguably the defining landmark of Seattle and a feature in the background of a number of the movie scenes.

Recently renovated for the first time since its creation, the Space Needle offers 360-degree views of Puget Sound and shouldn’t be missed by any true fan of the flick.

Check out the new and improved Seattle Space Needle experience – The Space Needle’s new VR Bar. Visitors can take a walk on the wild side around the Space Needle’s outer halo or strap in for a pulse-pounding bungee jump from the edge of the viewing platform, all without having your feet leave the ground.

Pike Place Market

Dine at Athenian Seafood, where Tom Hanks and Rob Reiner talk dating and tiramasu.

Dine at Athenian Seafood, where Tom Hanks and Rob Reiner talk dating and tiramasu.

The real star of the show is Pike Place Market, Seattle’s epicenter of fresh produce, specialty foods, trendy diners and hole in the wall bites.

The market is still home to the Athenian Seafood Restaurant, where Sam dined with friend Jay, played by Rob Reiner, to discuss dating and tiramisu. Don’t leave before getting that Insta-worthy selfie in the exact seat Tom Hanks sat.

Pike Place Market is a known as a foodie’s paradise and there are a couple must-visits while you’re there: namely the first Starbucks (the birthplace of the coffee mega-chain) and the huge fish market (a trip to the seaside isn’t complete without tasting their fresh produce). When you’re ready for a pick me up – head to Market Spice where you can grab a steamy tea sample.

Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park lights up on the Fourth of July. PIC: Rudy Willingham

Gas Works Park lights up on the Fourth of July. PIC: Rudy Willingham

For a final epic celebration of all things Sleepless in Seattle, look no further than Gas Works Park and their incredible fireworks display. While Sam merely watches the fireworks from across the lake on New Year’s Eve, the park actually hosts the city’s spectacular Fourth of July celebrations.

If you can’t time your stay with this date, the Park is still a perfect place to have a picnic with unrivalled views or watch the sunset over Lake Union.

The park, designed by Seattle landscape architect Richard Haag, transformed the gasification plant to what has now become a Seattle landmark. Complete with the ‘cracking towers’ and boiler rooms turned picnic areas, Haag managed to preserve Seattle’s industrial past and change the communities feelings towards the gas plant. 

For more information visit www.visitseattle.org