The 9 Best Documentaries About Seattle

Oct 1, 2023 | Best Of, Geography, History

When it comes to documentaries about Seattle, there is an amazing array of stories to explore. From the dynamic growth of the tech industry, to the foodie culture, and even exploring some of Seattle’s many hidden gems – these documentaries offer a glimpse into what makes this city so unique. Whether you’re looking for historical insight or just want to kick back and watch something entertaining, these are some of the best documentaries about Seattle. So grab a snack and get ready to explore! From award-winning films to those overlooked hidden gems, here is our list of must-watch documentaries about Seattle:


1. History of Seattle

Seattle, Washington is a city that holds a special place in the hearts of many. From its beginnings as a small trading post to its modern day reputation as one of the most livable cities in the country, Seattle has always been a city with an interesting story to tell. A documentary about Seattle will reveal the fascinating history of this beautiful and unique Pacific Northwest gem. This documentary will bring viewers back to the early days of Seattle, when it was a small settlement known as “The Evergreen City.” It will look at how the city quickly became a hub for trade and commerce, thanks to its rich natural resources.



Seattle is a city unlike any other. It has a unique past and is constantly evolving. From the steamy jazz clubs of its Golden Age to the high-rises of modern times, this dynamic city has been through it all. While many things remain unchanged, others have come and gone with the tides of time. This documentary dives deep into “Things That Aren’t Here Anymore” to uncover what was once here in Seattle and how we can use this knowledge of our past to inform our present.


3. How Seattle Changed the World | A KOMO Documentary

Discover how the city of Seattle has influenced the world with KOMO’s documentary, “How Seattle Changed the World”. Through this film, explore the journey of this vibrant Pacific Northwest town from a small seaport trading post to its current status as an epicenter of innovation and creativity. See firsthand how Seattle has been at the forefront of some of the most important cultural, musical and technological movements of the 20th century. Understand how this city has challenged societal norms and pushed boundaries to help shape the world we live in today. Uncover the secrets of Seattle’s unique history and see how it continues to inspire and impact our society. Get a glimpse into the past, present, and future of one of the most influential cities in the world.


4. Seattle is Dying | A KOMO News Documentary

Seattle, the Emerald City, is a vibrant and ever-changing city. From its bustling downtown to its scenic neighborhoods, Seattle has it all. Unfortunately, it’s also home to an escalating homelessness and drug crisis that threatens to tear apart communities and endanger lives. KOMO News Anchor Eric Johnson takes us behind the scenes on this heartbreaking issue in his documentary “Seattle is Dying.” Eric dives deep into the tragedy of addiction, poverty and homelessness in our city, and comes back with vital stories that must be heard.


5. S W A T Seattle street kids documentary

The streets of Seattle have a long and interesting history. This documentary dives deep into that past, exploring how the homeless and other disadvantaged groups were supported by church groups in days gone by. It also looks at modern day street kids of Seattle and how their lives have changed since then. By delving into this unique history, this documentary provides fascinating insight into how community support networks can make a difference. In addition, it also serves as an important reminder that it is possible to improve the lives of those who are less fortunate. This documentary offers a unique perspective on Seattle’s street kids and gives us all hope for the future.


6. Seattle’s Waterway to the World

Seattle is a city that has long been known for its unique waterways and its ability to travel across them. From the incredible engineering feat of the Hiram Chittenden Locks & Lake Washington Ship Canal to the bustling commerce in Seattle’s Elliott Bay, this documentary tells the story of how these important pathways connected Seattle to the rest of the world.Beginning with extensive research and interviews with Seattle historians, this documentary takes a closer look at the incredible engineering that went into the canal’s construction. Expert commentary from Paul Dorpat, Jennifer Ott, David Williams and others provides insight into why these waterways were so important to Seattle and how they continue to shape the city today.


7. Seattle – The Emerald City – 4K Documentary Film with City Views & Relaxaing Music

Take a journey through Seattle’s vibrant cityscape from the sky and sea. Whether you’re looking up at the iconic Space Needle, or cruising along the waterfront on a sailboat, the Emerald City is nothing short of breathtaking. Relax and take in sweeping views of luscious parks like Victor Steinbrueck Park, Golden Gardens, Lincoln Park, Fremont Canal Park and Sunset Hill Park. Discover the hidden gems in Magnolia Park, or explore the works of art at Olympic Sculpture Park. Experience Seattle like never before with a 4K documentary film that will take you to all its most picturesque spots.


8. Pandemic In Seattle FULL SPECIAL

Welcome to PBS America, where you can dive into the history and culture of Seattle. From award-winning American history documentaries about the city’s origins to docs exploring modern day health issues such as the current pandemic in Seattle, you’ll get a full insight into this vibrant cosmopolitan city. Plus, discover Ken Burns’ classic works on Seattle and it’s iconic landmarks. All the content is carefully curated by our British team to provide you with an authentic view of Seattle. So, come and explore America’s Emerald City!


9. Homeless In Seattle: True Stories | Documentary

For many, Seattle is known for its majestic beauty, from the bustling city to the mountains and forests that surround it. But beneath this veneer of natural splendor lies a more complex story – one of homelessness, addiction, and pain. In 2019, I decided to take a closer look at this troubling issue by visiting downtown Seattle each week for 8 months. Here, I encountered people who were willing to share their stories with me and open up about the struggles they faced. Despite the difficult situation they found themselves in, I was moved by their resilience and commitment to each other in such an overwhelming environment.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B