Dreaming of visiting the Emerald City? Are you ready for coffee, hills, great food, and a lot of fun? Then you should DEFINITELY plan a trip to Seattle with my ultimate travel guide!
The Pacific Northwest is a breath of fresh air, quite literally. When you descend into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport you see beautiful trees, mountains, and lakes, and it is breathtaking.
I will cover everything that I did in my eight days in Seattle in this travel guide along with where I stayed. One thing to note, I worked in the morning until 2 pm, so this trip could have been shorter. You can definitely combine days and pick and choose what you like best to make the most out of YOUR trip. Comment below if you have questions about what days would be easiest to combine!
Day 1: Pike Place Market, Piers, & Exploring
On the first day of my trip I flew into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and took the light rail to a stop close to my hotel and walked the rest of the way. You will save a lot of money by taking public transport when traveling. I dropped my bags off at the Palihotel (highly recommend), and walked over to Pike Place Market to explore. First off I found food at Lowell’s, it was VERY good. They have three floors of seating that look out onto Elliott Bay. After lunch, I explored Pike Place Market. My next stop was the Gum Wall in Post Alley. It is as disgusting as you think and it does have a little bit of a smell. I still took pictures with it and you should too. If you are a solo traveler, just ask someone else to take your picture. From the wall, I walked down Post Alley to the piers. The piers that have activities to do are Piers 54-57. One thing I definitely wanted to do was ride on the Seattle Great Wheel (you can buy tickets right beside it). It is one of the BEST views of Seattle and Elliott Bay. After the ride, I walked around to various shops and restaurants on the piers then wandered back to my hotel and explored. I always love to get to know the area I’m staying in. Tip: Take pictures of restaurants, shops, or bars you might want to go to later while you are exploring. Phones will have the location pictures are taken making it SUPER easy to find later. After exploring, I checked into the adorable Palihotel and unpacked my stuff. Then I TRIED to find dinner. A lot of restaurants in Seattle are closed on various nights of the week and it took me an HOUR to find food. Don’t be like me, plan ahead. That pretty much covers the first day.
Day 2: Seattle Center
I started my day off at Seattle Coffee Works, because coffee is part of my personality and I had to work in the moring. Side note: if you do need to get work done, every coffee shop I went to was laptop friendly and had outlets. I finished my work day off at 2 pm and headed to the Seattle Monorail Station, which is inside of a small shopping center. The Monorail costs $3.25 each way, which is way cheaper than taking an Uber. It is about a three-minute ride and I got to see parts of the city on the way. Once I got to Seattle Center, there was a ton to do. I went to the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the Museum of Pop Culture (MOPOP). There are places to grab food, souvenirs, and drinks in the area as well. I highly recommend the Space Needle, but I also love to see cities from up high and learn about their history. It cost between $35-$37.50 to go up to the top. If you love art, go to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, it is breathtaking and you get to learn all about the artist. The Museum of Pop Culture was super fun, and I do recommend it. I don’t think it is everyone’s cup of tea. I loved it because they had a horror section (there was a life-size coffin!!!), a fantasy section (it has the actual costume from Elf), and tons of other cool things. Definitely check out their website and see if you think it will interest you before you go! After that, I took the Monorail back to Downtown Seattle and went back to my hotel to refresh before dinner. I walked to a funky Sushi restaurant in Belltown called Ohana Belltown. Highly recommend it, the sushi was amazing.
Day 3: Pike Place Market & Fremont
I started day 3 off at Cafe Ladro. They have AMAZING coffee, definitely recommend going to one of there locations while in Seattle! Once I finished my work day I went to the first Starbuck’s Store at Pike Place Market. I am OBSESSED with Starbuck’s, which is why I wanted to go. If you don’t love Starbuck’s, skip this. After, I walked over to Piroshky Piroshky, DO NOT skip grabbing food here!! I got a vegan potato mushroom piroshky and it was one of my favorite foods I had while in Seattle. It’s so simple but so flavorful! Once I was done, I headed to Fremont. I took the bus, but you can also Uber there. The first stop is the Fremont Troll. I have wanted to see this troll ever since I saw it in an OUAT episode a super long time ago. Once you are done here, walk down the hill and hit the main area of Fremont. There are a ton of little boutiques, restaurants, and coffee shops. They even have the Theo Chocolate Factory and Shop! You can buy tickets ahead of time if you want to tour the factory (I didn’t). There are a ton of places to eat dinner in Fremont, I headed back downtown to grab something. I wanted to check out Taqueria Cantina, I found it the first day I was exploring. It did not disappoint. I got chicken street tacos and a coconut drink of some sort that was delicious. After dinner, I wandered around the area and took in the city! Cities at night are so freeing for me.
Day 4: Capitol Hill
I started day 4 off by working at The Hart and the Hunter, which is a delicious (highly recommended) restaurant inside the Palihotel! I got banana pancakes and an americano, highly recommend both. I took my laptop down and worked at the barstools. You can also reserve a “desk for a day” that comes with food, coffee, and free wifi. After I was done working, I walked to Capitol Hill to go to the Starbuck’s Reserve & Roastery. Highly recommend going to one of their reserves if you are ever by one. After I was done there, I continued walking up the street and found lots of little shops, bars, breweries, and restaurants. This was definitely one of my favorite neighborhoods. Definitely check out Frankie & Jo’s (vegan ice cream that is to die for and very unique), Standard Goods, Elliott Bay Book Company, Stateside (delicious food, but definitely on the expensive side), Redhook Brewlab, and the Unicorn. If you go to the Unicorn, please tag me because I didn’t get to go.
Day 5: Underground Tour & Pioneer Square
I worked at Seattle Coffee Works again in the morning. I made sure to grab breakfast at the The Crumpet Shop in Pike Place Market. It was DELICIOUS and I highly recommend stopping here. They do sell out, so make sure to go early. After work, I went to Ghost Alley Espresso (my least favorite of all of the coffee shops I went to) to grab a coffee and walk to Pioneer Square. There are little shops along the way to stop in and look around. Once in Pioneer Square, I went Queen Anne Station. There are a lot of different shops, bars, and more coffee shops to visit! This is also where there are underground tours of Seattle that you can go on. I went on Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour and it was amazing. The tour is about 75 minutes long and you get a fun retelling of Seattle’s history along with the walking tour. After the tour, I went Bookstore Bar & Cafe to grab a drink. Another bar in the area I thought about going to was Damn the Weather. For dinner, I went to the Alibi Room and got a vegan pizza. It is a super fun bar and pizza place in Post Alley (it comes highly recommended).
Day 6: Amazon Spheres, Kerry Park, Pike Place Market, Improv Comedy Show
I started off day 6 with coffee and work at Seattle Coffee Works (again). After, I headed to Artly Coffee to have a machine make my coffee drink (it’s VERY cool). Then I walked to the Amazon Spheres, I think you can tour them. They are super fun greenhouse-style office spaces. After, I walked back and took the monorail to Seattle Center and started my trek to Kerry Park. This is the one time I would recommend taking an Uber. The hills in Queen Anne (neighborhood of Kerry Park) are STEEP. If you don’t Uber, you can easily go to Seattle Center and then walk steeply uphill for about 15 minutes to get there (I thought about getting an Uber 10+ times on the way). It is definitely worth the hike!! It is one of the best views of the city and it’s FREE. After I contemplated rolling down the hill, I walked back to Seattle Center and explored some more. There are fountains, greenery, and tons of pretty areas to find. Then I grabbed dinner at The Hart and the Hunter (easy, convenient, and REALLY good). After, I headed to an improv comedy show at Unexpected Productions in Post Alley. I bought my ticket ahead of time, which I would recommend. They have different types of shows, so be sure to check ahead to see what they are offering. This show was actually suggested to me by some people I met while exploring Capitol Hill. If you run into locals, be sure to take their recommendations.
Day 7: Bainbridge Island
I started day 7 off by grabbing coffee at Storyville Coffee and a delicious vegan cinnamon roll at Cinnamon Works (Both at Pike Place Market). Then I walked down to Pier 52 and purchased an $8 ticket to take the Washington State Ferry to Bainbridge Island (Ticket information & schedule here). You pay when you get on and the ride back is free. It is a 30-40 minute ferry ride to the island that is beautiful. Once I got there, it was about a 5 minute walk into town. Everyone walks into town, so just follow along! There is one main street that pretty much has all of the shops, restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, and free museums. Definitely go into all of the little shops that are open. Grab lunch or dinner, depending on when you go, at Ba Sa Restaurant (SOOO GOOD). They also have the cutest coffee shop called Pegasus which is down by the marina. There is a little walking path to go on that I highly recommend. After I was done exploring, I got back on the ferry to Seattle.
Winslow, the town that I went to, is not the only one on the island. You can rent a bike or take your car over if you want to explore the other towns!
Day 8: Coffee & Travel Day
I started day 8 off by grabbing coffee at Armistice Coffee Roaster and taking a short walk around downtown. Then I checked out of my hotel and took an Uber to the airport. I would have taken the Light Rail back, but it was under construction.
That pretty much sums up my trip to Seattle. There are a few little things not listed here that will be in future Seattle posts (like everywhere I ate and drank in Seattle and specifically Pike Place Market). Overall, it was an amazing trip and I highly recommend visiting Seattle if you get a chance, just don’t forget to pack a rain jacket! This itinerary is very spread out, but you could probably do most of these things in 3-4 days. One place that is highly recommended that I didn’t get to is Discovery Park. Definitely think about checking it out on your trip!
One last thing, come hungry! The food scene here is AMAZING.
Make sure to checkout my other blog posts on Seattle for more ideas on what to eat, where to stay, and my favorite coffee shops!