Seattle is known for being the backdrop to many well known films and tv shows. Whilst ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ has put Seattle on the map in recent times, this city will always remain famous for the rom-com classic, ‘Sleepless In Seattle, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.
If you plan on visiting this lovely city, there are so many locations fans of the film (and non-fans as well), can enjoy seeing whilst taking in the sights.
Here are the must-see filming locations on the West coast of the USA that everyone can enjoy. And if you would like to read about the East coast locations you can see in Baltimore and New York City, click here.
The Houseboat Samuel & Jonah Live
Address: 2460 Westlake Avenue North, Seattle
If there was ever a famous movie house, this would be it. This houseboat was as much of a character in this film, as the two stars themselves.
Everyone wanted to live in this house because it looked truly magical. Situated on Lake Union, with the water all around it, and a beautiful city view as well; this filming location is truly to die for. Fans of the film actually own this property which is pretty cool too!
The houseboat exterior was the only part of the house which actually featured in the film, as the interior was a set; but many scenes took place on the outside balcony and front doorway area, making it a must visit location for all fans. This house is part of a gated community, so unless you live there, or know someone who does, you can’t just walk up and take photos.
But in good news, you can actually see the house from the road, Westlake Avenue; although a closer lens will allow for a much closer shot if you want to take photos. This is a private residential area however, so always bear that in mind.
For a clear shot of the front of the house, you can sail past it by boat, or if you have a good lens, you can get a clear shot of the house from Gasworks Park; which is where I took mine. I had a 55-100mm lens on, so you imagine what an even closer lens would capture.
To ensure you find the house easily, there are a row of mailboxes near the entrance gate. There is also an old train track-turned walkway park right after where you can see the houseboat from the road. So if you get to this walkway, turn back a little-you’re in the right place.
Address: Fremont Avenue North
Fremont is a lovely place to visit, and is worth the slight trek out of Seattle’s city center to see it.
Heading into Fremont, from Westlake Avenue, there is a small bridge that raises approximately 35 times a day to allow boats through. This bridge is the most opened bridge in the US, and connects the neighbourhoods of Queen Anne and Fremont.
When Annie visits Seattle to track down Samuel in her initial investigation of him, she drives her car along Lake Union on Westlake Avenue as she watches him and Jonah in a boat out on the water. Annie turns right and drives over this very bridge in that scene.
Inn At The Market: Where Samuel & Jay Walk Along
Address: 86 Pine St, Seattle
This street in Seattle is one of the most memorable from the film, because it features the Pike Place Market and Elliott Bay in the distance. It is just a really pretty view from this height.
In the film, Samuel and his friend Jay walk along here as they head to a restaurant for lunch, talking about dating. Samuel is not feeling good about getting back out there, since it has been a long time and he isn’t sure what dating is now.
Athenian Restaurant: Where Samuel & Jay Eat
Address: Pike Place Market, Seattle
It’s always awesome when a film set exists in real life. For ‘Sleepless In Seattle’ it is the Athenian Restaurant at Pike Place Market.
In the film, Samuel and Jay sit on the 2 corner stools eating their meals; and there are even plaques on the edge of the counter that say ‘Tom Hanks sat here’ and ‘Rob Reiner sat here’. This restaurant has continued to embrace this film decades later, which is shown with a poster of the film near the entrance, and of course the plaques. The staff talk about the film with customers and will even snap a photo of you on the stools if you ask.
If you stop by here, be sure to stop for a meal…they are gigantic and the views of Elliott Bay are amazing!
Pike Place Market: Where Jonah & Samuel Meet Up With Victoria
Address: Pike Place Market, Seattle
Another scene that was featured from the Pike Place Market, is at the fish market right outside the restaurant.
Here, Jonah and Samuel wait for Victoria, the woman Samuel has been casually dating. She is buying food at the market to make them dinner that evening. Jonah’s love for Victoria is evident even here, as he still prefers Annie; and culminates in his thanking Victoria for dinner with an “I’ve never seen potatoes cooked like that before” comment in appreciation.
Seattle is an amazing city. It is a traveler’s paradise with so much to see and do. Whether you are a fan of ‘Sleepless In Seattle’, or care to just explore Seattle whilst you are here; there is a reason so many of these locations were used in the making of this film. They are Seattle: the places people continue to visit, even today, when exploring this city.
These are all must stop locations, and a huge reason for why I am in love with Seattle and this film.
I can’t wait to return and see them all again!
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