Let's travel to: Seattle, Washington
Seattle, the city of endless coffee shops and a beautiful waterfront. From delicious eats at the iconic Pike place to stunning views of at the top of the Space Needle, Seattle is a city that’ll leave you in awe.
- Duration: About four days and three nights should give more than enough time to span downtown Seattle.
- From Seattle-Tacoma Airport: Use the Link Light Rail to travel from the airport into the city, then take a bus or Uber/Lyft to your specific destination.
- Around the city
- Bus: Purchase an ORCA card and load money in it to use as fare to avoid the hassle of paying in change. Rides are $2.50 each, so it is recommended to pick a part of Seattle you want to visit for the day and walk after getting dropped off.
- Uber/Lyft: Helpful to get around the city.
- Trip Planner: Enter your destination and the app will tell you exactly which stop to board from, what bus to take, and how many minutes until the bus arrives.
- Google Maps: Use the transit feature on the app for a similar function.
- Accommodation: Hotels around the downtown area tend to be a bit pricey, so AirBnb is a great option for accommodation in apartments or homes around the city. Be sure to clearly read listing descriptions and reviews and check the location of nearest bus stops before booking.
- Weather: June and July are typically the hottest months in Seattle with the longest daylight hours. December tends to receive the most rainfall while January is usually the coldest.
- Attractions: Purchase the Seattle CityPass for $74 for admission to five popular tourist spots: The Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour, EMP Museum OR Woodland Park Zoo, and Chihuly Garden and Glass OR Pacific Science Center. Having the CityPass saves you from waiting in line to purchase admission tickets at each spot and gives you a package discount compared to purchasing separately.
THINGS TO SEE: CITY VIEWS
- Space Needle: It’s a no-brainer when in Seattle - and luckily the CityPass grants you admission twice! After you pass the admission line, you enter an elevator that takes you straight up to the top deck. At the top, inside you’ll find interactive touchscreens, a bar, and many seating areas. There’s many impressive facts to learn about the attraction. The best part of the deck is that you get to go outside to enjoy a 360 degree view of the city - be sure to take photos outside! I recommend getting here just before sunset to get amazing day and night views of the city. P.S. - If you’re looking to purchase souvenirs, the gift store at the very bottom has a great selection of gifts and memorabilia.
- Columbia Center Skydeck Observation Room: This is the 73rd floor of a business building that gives you a higher view than the Space Needle. Be sure to bring your student ID if you have one for a discount on admission. This attraction is indoor only, but with the large glass windows you still get a great 360 degree view of the city and waterfront. It is also less crowded than the Space Needle, so if you’re looking for a more relaxing view head over here!
THINGS TO SEE: ICONIC SPOTS
- Pike Place Market: An icon of Seattle, the Pike Place Market is full of a variety of food stands, groceries, flowers, and shops to browse. It’s comprised of two buildings and three floors total. Since it is a tourist spot, it gets incredibly crowded so it I recommend researching what restaurants you want to check out before heading there. You would probably need two visits to thoroughly span and taste the market!
- Seattle Gum Wall: The gum wall is located underneath the Pike Place Market and down a slight slope. It’s an iconic picture opportunity you can’t miss! Be sure to purchase a pack of gum from the nearby mart if you’d like to make your own mark.
- Seattle Waterfront: Located behind the Pike Place Market; take the stairs all the way down, cross the street, and you’ll find yourself along the Seattle harbour. The first sights you’ll see are the Seattle aquarium and the large ferris wheel, then the restaurants and merry-go-round inside. Take a stroll down the waterfront or relax on the benches nearby.
- Seattle Great Wheel: Located just beyond the aquarium, $12 gets you a ride three times around the ferris wheel. You’ll see amazing views of the water and cityscape at the top.
- Fremont Troll: Located on North Troll Avenue (not kidding), take the slight walk uphill and you’ll find this interesting troll-shaped rock at the top. It’s definitely an iconic spot to take photos.
THINGS TO SEE: MUSEUMS + EXHIBITS
- Chihuly Glass & Gardens: A beautiful museum full of colorful sculptures made of glass. Take a photo in the iconic greenhouse.
- EMP (Experience Music Project) Museum: If you’re not the historical art fiend, this museum is perfect for you. There’s many different exhibits to go through featuring famous movies, music, and cartoons. You’ll explore the different types of music that are used in the soundtrack of famous movies. My favorites were the Looney Tunes, Jimmy Hendrix, and horror movie exhibits.
- Seattle Aquarium: Although the aquarium looks small from the outside, there’s quite a few exhibits inside including tide pools and an octopus. There’s also otter pools outside! It’s a fun way to spend about 1.5 hours.
THINGS TO DO
- Argosy Cruise: Included in the CityPass, Argosy Cruise is a small-sized cruise ship that takes you around the bay with an informational tour guide. You meet at the waterfront at your designated tour time to line up for the cruise. There’s a bottom level (with a bar!), an outside deck and an additional top deck. Get in line early to grab a spot at on the deck! On a clear sunny day, it’s the perfect ride around the bay with stunning views. Take a photo of the city skyline while you’re out in the water and enjoy the Seattle breeze.
WHERE TO SHOP
- Westlake Mall: It’s your typical indoor shopping mall, but there are a variety of additional stores and restaurants surrounding the area. Across the street from the entrance there is a cute little area where you’ll find people playing ping pong, playing chess, and reading. It’s a great place to rest your legs, people watch, and listen to live music.
- Fremont Vintage Mall: An eclectic, underground mall with an assortment of vintage and wacky items.
- Fremont Sunday Market: A farmer’s and flea market with local food trucks to browse.
EAT & DRINK
- Pike Place Market
- Jack’s Fish Spot: A great spot for fish and chips.
- Beecher’s Handmade Cheese: Get the grilled cheese sandwiches or pasta! The cheese tastes extremely fresh and you can see how they make the cheese through the window which is awesome.
- Elleno’s Greek Yogurt: Freshly made greek yogurt with a variety of flavors. They are generous with samples!
- First Starbucks: A must-see when visiting Seattle. However, the line to get in is long, so hopefully you’ll be satisfied with a photo from the outside.
- Fruits: There won’t be a shortage of fruits at the Pike Place. Grab some samples!
- More cool spots: The Crumpet Shop, Piroshky Piroshky, Pike Place Chowder
- Serious Pie: A pizza shop with a very cozy and dim ambiance. It’s not your typical pizza however, the pizza is more like a warm flatbread and they serve many unique flavors. Try the soft egg and prosciutto pizza paired with a beer.
- HoneyHole: A local joint that serves juicy packed sandwiches. Try the Fast Eddie (tri-tip steak) or the Waverider (turkey). The portions are huge, so it’d be a good idea to share one or pack your leftovers to go.
- Kedai Makan: A unique food stall serving authentic Malaysian food. Try the Nasi Goreng (Malaysian Fried Rice)! Note that there is no seating, so it’s a great place to stop if you’re looking to grab some food and head home.
- Tilikum Place Cafe: A relaxing breakfast/brunch cafe with a modern European ambiance. They are known for their dutch babies, which are baked pancakes with filling and served in a small skillet. Also try their eggs benedict dishes!
- Pie Bar: Where else can you find a takeout window that solely serves pie? Head up to the window and order a slide of “desserted island” pie, or head inside to grab a seat at the bar.
- Molly Moon’s Ice Cream: Try the Earl Grey and Strawberry Balsamic ice cream in a cone.
- Starbucks Reserve & Roastery: Seattle may be famous for its first Starbucks, but the roastery is the laboratory of all Starbucks. Inside you’ll find a bar-style area where you can grab a seat and a barista will make you a coffee drink of your choice. You’ll see glass windows with large roasting machines demonstrating how they source their beans. In addition, there’s a shop to purchase Starbucks souvenirs like mugs or bags of coffee.
- Milfred & Co. Coffee: You can’t leave Seattle without visiting a few of their craft coffee shops. Grab some iced lattes to fuel up.
- Zeitgeist Kunst & Kaffee: A fast-paced coffee shop with a New York vibe. It’s a great place to stop by if you’re on your way to the train station.
- More cool spots: Skillet Diner, Top Pot Doughnuts, Seattle Coffee Works, Marination Ma Kai
List by: Cindy D.
Spoiled by the California sunshine her entire life, Cindy’s yearning to experience changing seasons and different food palates fueled her love for travel. She has spanned most major cities of America and has trekked her way through Seoul. When she’s not working in tech marketing, she’s probably daydreaming about her next trip. Follow her on Instagram: @cindydont.