I recently took a weekend getaway to Seattle and it’s safe to say my weekend in Seattle was cram packed because there’s so much to see, do, and of course, eat! I first went to Seattle when I was in college and living on the west coast again, I need to take advantage of all the perfect weekend destinations, like Seattle. I went in early November and I lucked out with great weather! It wasn’t too cold and it didn’t rain until the last afternoon on the day we were leaving. Here’s everything you need to know about traveling to Seattle, WA!
Ultimate Seattle Bucket List
What to do in Seattle
Seattle Great Wheel
Last time I was in Seattle, I didn’t make it on the great wheel..but this time it was a top priority! The Seattle Great Wheel is located on Pier 57 The Seattle Great Wheel gives you unbeatable views of the city, the mountains in the distance, and the water. You go right over the water so if you’re a little scared of heights, I wouldn’t sit and stare down. You will get to go around the wheel three times so I recommend switching the side you’re sitting half way through to make sure you get the best of all the views!
You can sit up to 6 people in a gondola and unless you have kids in your party, there’s even a bar you can grab a drink while you’re waiting in line.
The Space Needle is an iconic Seattle landmark that was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair and to this day is known to be one of the most photographed structures in the world. The tower stands 520 feet tall and gives viewers 360 degree panoramic views.
Once you step out of the elevator, there’s two floors, the bottom floor is a glass bottom that revolves. It’s a little sketchy because you can see more than 500 feet down! The upper level has benches and a glass wallIf you can, try to visit the Space Needle on a day when “the mountain is out”. Which means it’s a clear day and you can see Mt. Rainier.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
This garden (not sure exactly what to call it) is beautiful! Dale Chihuly is the famous glass sculptor who created everything. There are three main parts, the garden, the glasshouse, and the exhibits where you see beautiful sculptures and colorful glass. It’s a quick spot, about an hour to see the whole thing but it’s so worth it!
TIP: You can get admission to the Space Needle, Chihuly, the Aquarium, and two other attractions for one price with the Seattle CityPASS. It can offer great money savings if you’re visiting all the popular spots. OR if you aren’t going to the Aquarium you can buy tickets to both the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden together and save a few bucks.
Ahoy! The Waterway cruises take off from both Seattle, WA & Kirkland, WA which is only about 15 minutes from Seattle. We took off for our dinner cruise out of Kirkland and it was a cute little town, to me it felt like it would be a cute set for a movie. The cruise itself was a little over 2.5 hours and we were out on both Lake Union & Lake Washington, not to mention we got beautiful views of the Seattle city skyline on the water. Seattle does have a beautiful skyline!
We had a great meal as well! The captain and crew welcome you on board with a glass of champagne. We started off with caramelized onion & tomato bisque soup, then for the main course I got salmon and my Mom got steak, both were outstanding. We ended our cruise with a crème brulee.
Waterways also has weekend brunch cruises, supper cruises (which is a buffet), and they even do weddings and events on board. For more information or to book your own, visit Waterways website!
If you’ve ever watched Grey’s Anatomy, this spot is a must. It’s where Meredith Gray spent a lot of her talks with her friends – Christina Yang & Alex Kerev. Even better? You can see Meredith’s “intern house” just a block away. You get amazing views of the city, even on not the clearest day. It’s about 10 minutes away from downtown and totally worth it, grab a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate and head up.
This is an absolute must! It’s basically a cluster of bio-domes/life size terrariums, where Amazon workers get to work during the week. I was very jealous of their offices, really puts mine to shame! They open them to the public on Saturdays for viewing, so make note during your trip, and be sure to buy tickets ahead of time because they do sell out!
Plant Shop in Capitol Hill
I have no green thumb whatsoever but I love admiring a cute plant shop, and the one in Capitol Hill was beautiful! They have two levels of plants and if I lived near, I’m sure I’d be in all the time.
Did you know that under Seattle in Pioneer Square, there was once an underground city? Neither did I! We did a tour with Beneath the Streets which was a one hour walking tour and it’s kinda crazy to think about. The underground was built in the 1890’s and it’s still standing today, although it’s not in use. I personally think it would be great for speakeasies. Seattle’s underground was built because of a huge fire that took out most of their downtown (31 blocks) which at the time was mostly businesses. They needed to rebuild fast so people could make money, but they also were smart and saw this as a time to make their city better.
Pioneer Square was built on filled-in tidelands so they rebuilt the city with bricks to help with the flooding/fires and made their city two stories tall and hence the Underground was born! I won’t go too much into detail because it’s a great tour that I’d recommend. Our tour guide was Patty and if you can get a tour with her, I’d try to! She was very knowledgeable and also very entertaining!
Just around the corner from Pike’s Place, this place may be the most touristy, but I had so much fun! You blow a bubble and put it on a wall, it may sound even disgusting, but it’s a great photo – op!
This may be one of the biggest tourist attractions in Seattle, and I fall into the trap! I love a good farmer’s market so this is no different. There’s delicious foods at every corner, I still don’t know how you’re supposed to pick what to try. There are hundreds of vendors to buy countless items and eat anything you’d want. My favorite? The famous flying fish I had seen their “show” before and we were patiently waiting, and saw a group of school children. We asked if they were going to do some throwing and he pulled us right over and started throwing fish right over our heads! It was literally amazing.
Where to Eat in Seattle
Pike Place Chowder
Pike Place Chowder seems to be a staple of everyone who goes to Seattle, I have a high standard for clam chowder after living in New England but I thought why not try it! And not too much to my surprise, it was yummy. Soup on a chilly/rainy day in Seattle..is there anything better?! If you’re really feeling adventurous and hungry, you can get a bowl of clam chowder in a bread bowl.
If you know me, you know I love cheese so it should be obvious that I had to try the world’s best mac and cheese. I must say, I was impressed, it was very delicious. You can watch them make a HUGE (no exaggeration) tub full of cheese through the window. I’ve heard this is what people bring home on plane’s to their friends and family!
Although I didn’t eat here, I’ve heard nothing but great things! It’s a Russian pastry stuffed with some sort of fillings, both sweet and savory. The line is almost just as long as the original Starbucks, but it does move very quickly. Rumor on the street is that, the smoked salmon is a go to if you’re in a savory mood, and the cinnamon is the best if you’re in a sweet mood.
This is a popular location for locals and tourists alike, and while it’s yummy, biscuits and gravy just don’t get me going. And that’s pretty much what it is! You can get a whole bunch of different flavors on fluffy biscuits just like down south.
Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar
If you’re looking for some delicious seafood and great views right on the water, you have to Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar! You will get your authentic Pacific Northwest seafood that will amaze you. It was really hard to pick what to get because everything sounded amazing. From deviled eggs, crab cakes, sriracha shrimp, crab & shrimp louie, seared ahi, tacos, fish and chips…how do you decide? The answer? You don’t, your waiter picks for you! We ended up getting clam chowder (in a bread bowl this time) and whole dungeness crab which were both so fresh! I’d highly recommend this place.
This is what you’d think, some serious pizza. Serious Pie is one of Seattle’s famous Chef, Tom Douglas’ restaurants. I heard they’re all really yummy/worth going to but this is the one we chose! The pizzas have anything you’d like on them, charcuterie, mushrooms, and all the cheeses. Who doesn’t love a good pizza? I know I do! Was it the best pizza I’ve ever had? I wouldn’t go that far.
Shaker and Spear
This restaurant is very chic inside, and very Instagramable (if you’re into that kind of thing). You have to order the crusted rockfish, it’s unreal and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever had before. And for a starter you have to get the ricotta kale pomegranate dish. I also loved their cocktails and the names of them, to give you a taste, my favorite was deliver me from L.L. Bean which is Camus vs cognac, benedictine D.O.M., chai, lemon, soda, and bubbles.
I couldn’t decide to go here for dinner or brunch because they both looked/sounded so delicious and we chose dinner but it was great, so if you’re looking for a brunch place..I’m sure you can’t go wrong with this choice!
Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
I’m a sucker for ice cream, and this was some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. I tried a lot of them (no shame!!) and ended up going with the flavor vegan chocolate donut and I’m not a vegan, but I’m not sure I could taste the difference between the ones that were vegan/not.
This was one of my favorite meals I had in Seattle. It’s a small Vietnamese restaurant so I would recommend making a reservation in advance. You have to order dungeness crab roll, caramelized idaho catfish claypot, green beans, and wild chanterelle mushrooms. Everything was so delish! I didn’t think I would be a fan of the catfish, but the waiter assured us that they were really good and one of their most popular dishes and we were glad we ended up getting them. The desserts looked amazing too, we just had no room.
The Pink Door
I heard about this bar from a few people and it was highly recommended! It’s in Post Alley and there’s no sign for the restaurant, just..you guessed it..a pink door. We didn’t eat here, just grabbed a drink, but the food did look good.
Where to get Coffee in Seattle
The Original Starbucks
I get the hype because I’m a big fan of Starbucks but if the line is insanely long, I’m not sure I’d wait. This time I didn’t. I’ve been into the original Starbucks before, and I feel like once you do it once you won’t do it again. It’s definitely a bucket list check off in Seattle!
This spot is perfect for coffee lovers, as soon as you walk in you’re immediately overcome in the fresh coffee smells and I was in heaven. You can buy goodies, snacks, and even try a premium cup of coffee in a unique setting.
There’s the Oddfellows Cafe and Bar as well as Little Oddfellows at Elliott Bay Book Co. which is the location I went to. While their coffee looks amazing, and I’m sure it is, I got hot chocolate with their homemade marshmallows which were 10/10. It was very photogenic too which is always a plus in my book. They also have your typical brunch/lunch menu and even cocktails! If I lived in Seattle I’m sure I’d be a regular here.
Where to Stay in Seattle
The Edgewater Hotel in Seattle
We stayed at The Edgewater hotel very close to downtown, you can also read my full review of The Edgewater hotel. We absolutely loved it, the hotel was right on the water and we were able to walk over to Pike’s/Pier 57. We lucked out with the hotel! It was a quick Uber/Lyft ride to everywhere we wanted to go. It’s also about a 5 minute walk to the monorail! If you’re looking for a great waterfront hotel in Seattle, WA I would highly recommend Edgewater.
Hopefully now you’re convinced to go to Seattle, whether you’re near or far!
~ XOXO, the Pacific Northwest Loving, Amanda