We are always a little bitter when we excitedly sit down to watch a new show or movie set in Seattle and we see Vancouver, BC buildings and public transport show up in the scenes. It is decidedly cheaper to film in Canada, so most production companies take the discount thinking Seattle and Vancouver are basically interchangeable. Throw in a shot of the Space Needle and you're good, right?
Nope. Because we know. And we are loyal to our city.
So, let's pay homage to the films and TV shows that spent the cash and used real Seattle locations to film. Let's take a little tour around Seattle to find all the spots in various movies and shows.
We are letting them on this list, but just barely. 99.9% of Fraser was filmed on a set in L.A but for one special episode they came and shot in Seattle. They make it on the list because they hit up all the big hitters in 20 minutes, which is pretty amazing. In Season 5, Episode 5, you can see The Space Needle, the Monorail, and Pike Place Market including Pike Place Fish and Don and Joe's Meats.
Again, most of this show was shot on a set in L.A., but they do use a couple of genuine Seattle locations in the show! Fisher Plaza, home of KOMO News, is used to represent some of the hospital shots, and Meredith's Queen Anne home is a real house located at 303 W. Comstock St. in the Queen Anne neighborhood.
This cult classic brings together everything Seattleites want in a film: music, love, and a good coffee shop. Plus that HAIR and alllll the flannel and a young Eddie Vedder! It also takes in a lot of Seattle over the 99 minute long picture. Occidental Park in Pioneer Square is the site where Kyra Sedgwick and Campbell Scott take a stroll. Scott eats a meal at Chandler's Crabhouse. They visit Seattle famous dive bars Re-Bar and El Corazon for concerts and they live in an apartment complex in Capitol Hill (totally where they would live if this was a true story). You also get to see Gasworks Park again (filmmakers love Gasworks, huh?)!
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Seattle's favorite film. Don't argue, this is Seattle's favorite film. We love this movie and no one can take it away from us. Tom Hanks is a movie god, and he walked around our city to film this movie, so it is the best Seattle movie. Period. You can see a lot of the places from this film. The Baldwin's house boat still sits on Lake Union and looks exactly the same. You can take a boat tour to see it or our preferred method is to rent a kayak and paddle over. (Agua Verde is a good option).
You can also plant your butt in the same seat as Tom Hanks at The Athenian. This is the restaurant Sam Baldwin (Hanks) gets lunch with his friend Ray. You also spot other Pike Place Market landmarks like the fish market and Inn at the Market as they walk to The Athenian.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Now Sleepless in Seattle might reign #1 for Seattle films, but let's be honest, it was a littttttttle creepy. 10 Things I Hate About You is a much more accurate and realistic love story. And it is when we all first fell in love with Heath Ledger, so brooding, so misunderstood, he just wanted someone to play paintball with!
This movie has our favorite Seattle spotting, the Fremont Troll. Young and still dorky Joseph Gordon Levitt has a hormone filled conversation with his love interest Bianca (such a 90s name).
Gasworks Park also makes an appearance when Heath and Julia have a crazy game of paintball, although we don't think that giant paintball course has ever been open to the public. And their prom is filmed at The Paramount Theatre, Balllllerrrrr!
We still can't decide if we liked this movie or not..but if you hate it you still get some decent Seattle shots. Chihuly Garden and Glass makes an appearance as a wedding venue. You really can rent this for a wedding, it costs $-- or your first born child, one or the other.
You also get a very pretty shot of the I-90 floating bridge since the main character (Knightley) lives on the Eastside.
Say Anything (1989)
Corey's house is real!! Gosh we love when this happens! It is in Ballard, located at 6507 Parker Court Northwest, Seattle, WA 98117.
Bob's Java Jive in Tacoma makes a drive-by appearance in Say Anything. Today this is a super strange coffee shop turned bar. We don't recommend it as a place to go unless we really hate the person.
You can also catch a glimpse of the statue 'Waiting for the Interurban', a local favorite located in Fremont, Seattle, when Diane is on her way to graduation. On graduation day in Seattle this statue could very probably be decorated in the exact same manner.