Here is the ultimate travel guide on things to do, see, places to eat and drink when visiting Seattle Washington.
You will be ‘Sleepless in Seattle’. This vibrant city with it’s iconic Space Needle and cultural attractions, including art, music, sports, theatre, farmer’s markets, retail shopping, hiking, fine restaurants and it’s the home town of Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft and Starbucks. Family friendly with a climate similar to the UK, Seattle is just a short trip by ferry or car to Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia. One of America’s safest big cities, Seattle represents America at it’s best and is a popular destination for world travelers.
Here’s a preview of what to look forward to when you make travel plans to visit the Emerald City, the port city of Seattle, Washington USA.
Sea-Tac International Airport is your destination airport. Your best options for getting around town are Taxi, Uber or Light rail. With limited bus service except for downtown, I don’t advise taking a bus.
Weather: Sunny summers are spectacular and year round temperatures are mild, rarely too hot or cold. But bring a raincoat/jacket or plan to buy one here in Seattle because you will mostly likely use it during spring, fall and winter.
Things to do when visiting Downtown Seattle. Don’t miss Pike Place Market. Seattle’s original farmer’s market on the waterfront offers fresh baked goods, fruit, vegetables, cheeses, meats, spices, seafood (home of the flying fish), crafts, music and international restaurants, such as the Piroshky Piroshky. Walk along the nearby Waterfront Park and take a spin on the Seattle Great Wheel.
Visit the 1962 World Fair’s Pacific Science Center & Space Needle. Take in the native art and traveling exhibits at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM).
For a fabulous sea view when visiting Seattle check out the Olympic Sculpture Park, it’s free!
Take a ferry from downtown Seattle to one of the many nearby islands. Enjoy the day at Alki beach where the city’s first settlers landed.
In the heart of Seattle’s Norwegian community, tour the ship going Locks in Ballard. Enjoy breakfast or lunch at the Portage Bay Cafe. For airplane and flight enthusiasts, you can’t beat the Museum of Flight here. Visit Boeing’s home in Everett and see the Future of Flight Aviation Center. Don’t miss out on the newest attraction: Amazon Seattle Spheres when you are visiting. Top Tip: The public is allowed inside the Amazon Seattle Spheres on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, but you have to make reservations early. You can also make a quick stop at the new cashier-less Amazon Go store right next door.
Where to Eat when visiting Seattle
Famous for seafood and world cuisines, I recommend these spots to please your appetite.
Joey Kitchen at University Village
Cactus, they have several locations around the Seattle area
Pink Door at Pikes Place market
Palisades Restaurant, High end, with a great view of Seattle
La Carta De Oaxaca a Mexican restaurant up on Queen Anne hill
Jacks at Sandpoint area, This is the place if you want a delicious mouthwatering steak
Ivar’s Salmon House for the view and great atmosphere. It’s Mr. Right favorite places in Seattle for fish and chips.
Great Places for breakfast when visiting Seattle
Portage Bay Café
Geraldine’s up on Columbia city, the French toast is my favourite.
PCC Community Markets. Technically this isn’t a restaurant, it’s an organic and natural food store featuring a hot bar of delights.
Place to enjoy a drink, with a view!
The Nest at Thompson hotel
Ray’s Boathouse in Ballard
Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails at the Motif Hotel in Seattle
The Best ‘happy hours’ in Seattle-
Toulouse Petit in Queen Anne
Little Water Cantina
Pablo y Pablo in Fremont area with an awesome spicy margarita
Local’s tip: Palisade is also another great place to enjoy the atmosphere. They make killer Mai Tai.
My favorite shopping malls in Seattle
Outside downtown Seattle you have three great options for shopping malls. My favorite outdoor mall is University Village. Just walking distance from the University of Washington, this human-sized outdoor mall is ideal for shopping. You’ll find stores such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon Books (yes they have a physical bookstore) Sephora, H&M, Anthtopologie, Eddie Bauer, Crate and Barrel, Banana Republic, J Crew and several fine restaurants. Local’s tip: For unique gifts, try Something Silver, Madewell, or Fireworks.
Two more large, spacious malls are South Center Mall (south of Seattle) and the Northgate Mall (north of Seattle)
Interested in watching a movie while in Seattle?
My three favorite theaters located in the heart of downtown Seattle are:
Seattle Cinerama Theater
IMAX Boeing Dome in Pacific Science Center
Regal Cinemas Meridian 16 for a 4DX movie experience.
The best places for a nightclub experience when visiting Seattle
Aston Manor in Sodo area, 10-15 minutes from downtown
Trinity Club right at Belltown area, downtown Seattle
Nectar Lounge in Fremont area
Triple Door right in downtown
SUITE Restaurant/Lounge in Bellevue. A 30 minute drive from downtown Seattle (more for the mature crowd)
Things you need to know when visiting Seattle
Like most major cities in United States, homelessness and drug related addiction is a big challenge. So don’t be surprised if you see tents along the roads or on the street corners. Traffic can be a challenge at times, especially now with the Amazon boom so allow enough time.
I hope this visiting Seattle travel guide helps plan your visit to Washington. Let’s connect and be friends on social media. Be sure to check out my website, travel with irine.
Happy travels #travelwithirine
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