View of the Seattle, Washington, skyline at sunset

Seattle Guide

(Credit: dibrova/Shutterstock)

Why you should visit Seattle

Where grunge meets the great outdoors, Seattle is an urban city with a free-spirited and rambunctious lifestyle – where culture meets an unrivaled natural beauty. It is no wonder Seattle is considered the Emerald City as it is surrounded by lush, evergreen forest.

Although the sun rarely shines in this city, Seattle comes to life with it’s pulsating nightlife. The birthplace of some of the most iconic bands in rock like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, this city is known for its prospering and exciting music scene. Home to some of the largest tech companies in the world, like Amazon and Microsoft, entrepreneurs swarm to this booming hub.  Foodies unite in Seattle with its eclectic and historic food stalls at the iconic, Pike Place Market.

With the Cascade and Olympic mountains only an hour away, skiing and other outdoor activities are not hard to come by.

Ski Resorts Near Seattle

What to do in Seattle

Seattle is filled to the brim with things to do and see. Start off by getting the lay of the land from the top of the Space Needle , the Pacific Northwest’s iconic observation tower boasting remarkable panoramic views of the city. Within the Seattle Center, where the Space Needle is located, you will find many other sights to explore. Visit Chihuly Garden and Glass , an art museum and sculpture garden showcasing exquisite and vibrant blown glass, and immerse yourself in the exhibits that showcase artistic legends of our present and past at the Museum of Pop Culture .

Spend a night out on the town embracing the city live music scene at The Showbox at the Market , a famous venue across the street from Pike Place Market. Explore the neighborhood of Pioneer Park and its various art galleries, trendy bars, food trucks and the Waterfall Garden Park . While you are at Pioneer Park, take a tour of the underground world of Seattle on the Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour .

When the weather is nice, grab your hiking shoes and venture on a hike up Mount Si. For a more challenging hiking adventure, drive about 3 hours outside of the city, to The Enchantments in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness , a 22 mile point to point trail with breathtaking views of glacial lakes, meadows and vistas.

Where to stay in Seattle

Hotels in Seattle cater to all tastes and budgets, and you can generally find good deals if you’re staying to take advantage of nearby skiing in the winter.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle , a stylish boutique chain hotel in Downtown Seattle is the perfect choice if you are looking to embrace all that Downtown Seattle has to offer. For a more traditionally lavish option, reserve a room at the Hotel Ballard located within the  neighborhood of Ballard.

For the budget-conscious traveler, Silver Cloud Hotel is a great and affordable option that over looks the Seattle Seahawks stadium. Seattle also features a bunch of hostels. The Green Tortoise Hostel , located next to Pike Place Market, is a great option with a full communal kitchen and free WiFi. A hostel with more of a modern vibe, located in the heart of Fremont, is Hotel Hotel Hostel Fremont .

For a one-of-a-kind lodging experience, try Seattle Glamping , a unique house trailer you can book through Airbnb.

Where to eat in Seattle

Rise and shine and take a whiff of some savory or sweet waffles at Sweet Iron Waffles in Capitol Hill. The Wandering Goose is the spot to go for a southern-style sit-down breakfast complete with biscuit sandwiches piled high with flavorful fried chicken. If you’re coming in on an early-morning flight and taking the Othello light rail station from the airport to downtown, make a stop at Taco Street , right near the terminal, for some quick and tasty breakfast tacos. For a morning buzz to get your day started, head to the original Starbucks coffee shop.

Seattle is home to the infamous Pike Place Market ; jam-packed with an eclectic mix of food, It can be hard to determine which places are worth trying here. It is pretty palpable why locals turn to Mee Sum Pastry for their twisted-yet-delicious take on the Chinese bao. Piroshky Piroshky is another out of the box favorite at Pike Place with lines out the door for their eastern European pastries.

Another Seattle classic is The Pink Door , pairing Italian fare and a burlesque atmosphere. In Bainbridge Island, a 30 minute ferry ride from the city, enjoy stunning views by the water while gobbling up fish and chips at Proper Fish .

For some late-night pie stumble into Pie Bar for a slice of pie and a cocktail. With seven locations, Molly Moon’s is not hard to find if you are looking for some quality home-made ice cream.

Family-friendly activities in Seattle

From museums and markets, hiking and biking, there are a great deal of kid-friendly activities to enjoy in Seattle.

Kids will love watching the fish vendors toss the catch of the day at Pike Place Market before exploring the city’s waterfront, where you can hop aboard the whale-watching tour with Clipper Vacations .

Get a birds-eye view of the city as you go up the Seattle Great Wheel , an enormous Ferris wheel on Pier 57. Head over to Fremont and take pictures with the Fremont Troll , a gigantic public sculpture under a bridge, also known as the Troll Under the Bridge. If you’re facing a rainy day, devote a day to the Museum of Flight where you can learn about the history of aircraft and space vehicles, or head to the Seattle Aquarium .

Another popular spot for animal lovers is the Woodland Park Zoo which also hosts kid-friendly concerts in the summer.

Hop on a ferry and spend the afternoon on Bainbridge Island . This quaint town has a lot to offer from their eclectic boutique shops to their outdoor adventures of kayaking and canoeing. If you want to explore the city in a more active form, rent bikes and cruise along the island.

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