There are a myriad of facets to the arts and culture of a thriving city, and Seattle is no different.  From luscious parks to shimmering waters to the beautiful harmonics that resound throughout a concert hall, they all share one thing in common: they call Seattle their home.  Sometimes it is difficult to weed the gems from the rocks, but all-in-all there is a little slice of something for anyone looking to tour Seattle on a budget.


The Ballard Locks
3015 NW 54th St.
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 684-2489

Price: Free
Hours: Mon to Sun – 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.  The fish ladder viewing gallery closes at 8:45 p.m.

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, also known as Ballard Locks, provides passage for ships traveling from the Puget Sound to Ship Canal. Tourists and locals have a wonderful vantage point to observe ships of all sizes, shapes and colors voyaging through the famous Locks as the water rises and falls to allow for safe travel. Another spectacle of the Ballard Locks is the fish ladder. Onlookers can observe as salmon transverse the Locks by watching them below the surface of the waterline behind a glass panel.

(credit: Thinkstock)

Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
2033 6th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 441-9729

Price: Admission charge varies week to week depending on the artist. Reservations are recommended.
Hours: Mon – Closed, Tue, Wed, and Sun – Set time: 7:30 p.m., Thurs, Fri, and Sat – Set time: 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Click here for a calendar of events.

Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley rests in the heart of downtown Seattle and has featured some of the most prominent jazz and blues artists that the genre has to offer, including Oscar Peterson, Nancy Wilson, Taj Mahal, Eartha Kitt, Diane Schuur McCoy Tyner, Dr. John and Hubert Sumlin. The club has undergone two major renovations and continues to improve over the decades to offer a little bit of something to just about everyone. The music is euphonic gold and the drinks are delicious, so do not miss out on Dimitriou’s.


Beth’s Café
7311 Aurora Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 782-5588

Price: Less than $20 a plate
Hours: Mon to Sun – 24-hours
Click here for menu.

Beth’s Café was founded in 1954 and possesses that perfect all-American diner atmosphere.  Beth’s is famous for its 12-egg omelet, which has reached national acclaim by being featured in a myriad of periodicals as well as the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food” and the Food Network’s “Top 5 Big Breakfasts.”  For a big bite of Seattle and Washingtonian culture check out Beth’s big breakfast for under $20.


Bamboo Garden
364 Roy St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 282-6616

Price: Less than $15 a plate
Hours: Mon to Sun – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Click here for menu.

Seattle has a rich cultural background due to its size and history, making the city a cornucopia for fantastic cuisine.  Bamboo Garden offers traditional Chinese vegetarian meals that follow an extensive tradition that dates back to China’s ancient imperial dynasties. Bamboo Garden uses fresh ingredients and creates authentic dishes that are sure to please the pallet.

Related:  Best Seattle Area Jazz Clubs


Gas Works Park
2101 N. Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 233-1509

Price: Free
Hours: Mon to Sun – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

After the coal plant was closed on the point of Lake Union in 1962 the city of Seattle purchased the land and retrofitted it into a recreational area. Some of the unique features of the 20-acre park include the repurposed buildings, which have been painted bright colors and made family friendly. The old boiler house now shelters tables and grills for picnicking and the exhauster compressor building is now children’s play barn. Gas Works Park is a wonderful example of Seattleite ingenuity and creativity, and a great place to take the kids out on a budget.

Related:  Seattle’s Best Parks and Gardens

Head to CBS Seattle’s Best Of pages for more local tips on family fun, shopping, nightlife, food, culture and more!

Anthony Schultz resides within the historic Brownes Addition of Spokane, WA. In his off time, Anthony enjoys copious amounts of reading, pages upon pages of scribbles, which he dubs his writings, and absorbing as much pop culture as humanly possible. His best days end with discussion with his longtime girlfriend, a book in hand, and an obese black and tan Dachshund (by the name of Norman) at his feet. His work can be found at