If you’re looking for the perfect destination for your next weekend getaway, consider a quick trip to Seattle. Situated in the Pacific Northwest, not far from the Canadian border, you’ll find yourself with no shortage of things to see and do as you explore the Emerald City. From the freshest seafood you’ll find anywhere to world-class attractions and plenty of hidden gems, there’s something for virtually everyone here.
While you really can’t go wrong with any combination of activities and eateries on your Seattle itinerary, here are a handful of my recommendations for your time in town:
WHERE TO STAY
Seattle is known for having a pretty serious traffic problem, so you don’t want to stay on the outskirts of town and force yourself to rely on a rental car. Instead, book a place in the heart of the city. Staying in Downtown, near the Pike Place Market, can be an excellent idea for families who want to see and do as much as possible. You’ll be near prime shopping and dining, as well as fantastic views of the bay, and you won’t have to travel far to get to many of Seattle’s main attractions.
Another smart choice for vacationers looking to take advantage of Seattle’s most well-known sights and establishments is the Queen Anne neighborhood. Here, you’ll find easy access to many of the city’s most prominent cultural attractions, like the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Opera, and the Museum of Pop Culture, as well as their most famous landmark, the Space Needle.
WHAT TO EAT
If you love seafood, Seattle will be right up your alley – given its proximity to the ocean, you’ll find the freshest fish, shrimp, sushi, and oysters at restaurants across the city. For incredible views and amazing food, grab a table at Salty’s on Alki Beach and enjoy an upscale, seafood-inspired brunch, lunch or dinner.
Another food you can’t miss out on while you’re in Seattle? Pho! Thanks to the city’s impressive Vietnamese population, you’ll find fantastic pho restaurants virtually everywhere you look. If you’re feeling the chill from the dreary weather, a warm bowl of pho from Ba Bar Restaurant, one of the best-rated spots in the city for the soup.
Lastly, for dessert, stop by Holy Cannoli for – you guessed it – one of the best Italian pastries you’ll find anywhere. This fun spot serves up all of the standard stuff you’ll find at an Italian deli, but it specializes in cannoli with flavors you won’t find anywhere else, like a banana cream pie, salted caramel pecan, and limoncello.
WHAT TO DO
If you’re planning your very first visit to Seattle, you have to add the Space Needle to your itinerary. Travel to the top, snap a few photos, and admire the skyline. If the weather is nice, spend some time exploring the adjacent Chihuly garden exhibit, filled with impressive glass sculptures.
As long as you don’t visit during the off-season (January through April), booking a whale watching tour can be a great way to get out on the water and take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Many of the tours are quite comfortable, like those offered by the Puget Sound Express – you can hang out on the outdoor viewing deck or stay warm inside with plenty of seating and snacks.
Lastly, see what festivals or fairs are happening while you’re in town! From the Wintergrass Bluegrass Festival in February to the Bite of Seattle showcase in July, there are multiple events happening each month of the year. See if your trip coincides with something exciting, or find a local festival to inspire your travel dates if you have a bit of flexibility in your schedule!