3 Days in Seattle, Washington - Top Things to Do and See
Recommended stay: 2-3 days. If you have more time consider tacking on a trip to Portland (3 hr drive) and/or Vancouver, BC (2.5 hr drive).
Note: Business with a * are located in Pike Place Market
Where to Eat in Seattle
* Piroshky Piroshky - Pike Place Market - Russian-style bakery with both sweet and savoury pastries. Lines are not uncommon, especially on weekends, but moves relatively quickly
* Pike Place Chowder - Pike Place Market - a must-try while you're in town for award-winning seafood chowders. Despite being on the Pacific Northwest, they are famous for their New England style clam chowder.
Biscuit Bitch - Three locations - Popular breakfast spot for biscuit breakfast sandwiches and biscuits & gravy. If you can, go earlier on a weekday to avoid the long lines. As their name suggests, they take a fun approach to their business; don’t be insulted if you get called a name when you walk in! The portions are sizeable so we went on two different occasions and shared something different each time (then proceeded to try more things at Pike Place Market)!
* The Pink Door - Pike Place Market - Seafood & fresh pasta restaurant with live entertainment and patio seating with views of the water. Reserving in advance is recommended or be prepared to wait at least 30 min. They take your number so you can walk around the market and surrounding area while you wait. They also have live cabaret & burlesque shows on Saturday nights ($25pp + dinner) that require booking in advance. Note there are a few stairs at the entrance and they unfortunately do not have an accessible entryway.
Brouwer's Cafe - Fremont neighborhood - Arguably better known for their selection of Belgian and local beers, but the Belgian-style food here is also top notch. Highly recommend the soft pretzel and mussels & frites (get the garlic aoili)!
Where to Drink
Breweries / Bars
(as chosen by my hubby the craft beer fanatic)
Brouwer's Cafe - see above
Fremont Brewery - One of the largest, most established Seattle- based breweries with a large patio space. Bonus: Pupper-friendly!
Chuck's Hop Shop (Central District) - large selection of beers, primarily from Seattle and continental US. Large selection on tap and even larger selection of takeaways (bottles and cans). Bonus: Also pupper-friendly!
Holy Mountain Brewery - well-known brewery in craft beer circles located in a more industrial area of the city. Train tracks run parallel to the brewery so every so often freight trains will pass by in close proximity!
As the birthplace of Starbucks, Seattle is known for its big coffee culture. We visited only two coffee shops during our visit but would recommend these over Starbucks!
*Storyville - locations in Pike Place Market and on 1st Ave
Stumptown Coffee Roasters - Pike / Pine neighbourhood
What to see and do in Seattle
Pike Place Market - Possibly Seattle's most popular attraction, featuring fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood, restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and artisan crafts. In addition to the businesses noted above, be sure to visit:
First Starbucks location on Pike - you will recognize it by the original Starbucks logo hanging from the awning if not by the line that often forms outside.
Beecher's Handmade Cheese - Award-winning cheeses founded in Seattle
Ellenos Greek Yogurt - Freshly made and available in many different flavours
Gum Wall - Just down the stairs at the south end of the market, an alleyway covered in multicolored chewing gum (might be a bit of turnoff if you're a germophobe like me)
Seattle Great Wheel - Ferris wheel by the water. Touristy? Definitely. But it does offer lovely views of the water on one side and city on the other.
Space Needle - located in the Seattle Centre, offers 360° views over the city and glass floor viewing deck. Similar experience to the CN Tower in Toronto. Also located in the Seattle Centre are attractions such as the Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum, Museum of Pop Culture, and Pacific Science Centre. If you're planning to visit several of these attractions, consider purchasing the Seattle CityPass ($99) for savings on your admission ticket! Even if not visiting these attractions the Seattle Centre "campus" is pleasant to walk around.
Pike/Pine neighbourhood - located south of Capitol Hill, with plenty of cute boutiques to peruse. Also located in this area are the first Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Salt & Straw ice cream (a personal favourite!)
Other Recommended Experiences
Amazon Spheres - Spherical domes part of the Amazon headquarters. Typically not open to the public but two Saturdays each month they offer open house hours where you can tour the inside. Reservations are required and slots open 30 days in advance online: https://www.seattlespheres.com/the-spheres-weekend-public-visits
Bill Speidel's Underground Tour - a 75-min guided tour of the underground tunnels in the city's Pioneer Square. One of the best things we did on our trip! Tours typically depart on the hour every day and don't need advance reservations (we purchased our tickets 10 min before our tour started). This is a great way to learn a bit about Seattle's origins and history with a humourous twist, including why these underground tunnels exist in the first place!
Modernist Cuisine Gallery - located on 1st between Union and Pike - for the foodie / culinary enthusiast, a free gallery showcasing the photography and achievements of Nathan Myhrvold