Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest and, in my humble opinion, it’s also one of the most culturally significant cities in the region as well. It is the birth place of Starbucks, after all. 😉
Seattle is a popular weekend getaway from Vancouver, BC because it’s only a 2.5 hour drive away. It’s located in a spectacular natural environment, with lush evergreen trees throughout, and with spectacular views of the Cascade and Olympic mountains, combined with stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean.
I recently visited this spectacular city and wanted to share all my tips for sightseeing with you. So if you’re planning a weekend visit to the Emerald City, keep on reading.
Day 1: Explore Downtown Seattle
I recommend that you book an AirBnB or a hotel in downtown Seattle as your base for the trip. There’s so much to see downtown, and you can explore much of it on foot.
Pike Place Market
Established in 1907, the world-famous Pike Place Market is Seattle’s first farmers market. There you will find excellent produce such as freshly caught seafood, owner-operated bakeries, fruit and veggie produce stands, butcher shops and specialty stores. Bring your appetite and enjoy exploring Pike Place Market.
The Original Starbucks
The original Starbucks is located super close to Pike Place Market, right on 1st and Pine Street. This is the birth place of the mega coffee chain that millions of people around the world enjoy today.
Be sure to check out the famous Space Needle, boasting 360-degree views of the city 520 feet up. This observation tower is an icon to Seattle and is a great place for taking in all the stunning views of the city, the mountains, the Pacific Ocean and the nearby islands.
Museum of Pop Culture
Located next to the Space Needle, the Museum of Pop Culture — founded by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen — is a must-visit for anyone interested in contemporary popular culture. The museum will take you behind-the-scenes with the biggest musicians, filmmakers and innovators of our time.
Chihuly Gardens & Glass Museum
If you appreciate art, I highly recommend visiting the Chihuly Gardens & Glass Museum where you can admire Dale Chihuly’s stunning works.
Check out the Seattle Premium Outlets in Tulalip on your way to Seattle. They have over 130 stores that offer discounted prices on clothing, accessories and jewellery. Once you’re in the city, I recommend visiting the Nordstrom Rack in downtown Seattle as you never know what treasure you might find there! Their shoe section is worth the visit. Several of my friends had great luck finding designer brands like Prada there.
Seattle has a great coffee scene and a coastal foodie culture with some of the freshest seafood available.
For coffee that’s not Starbucks, be sure to visit Elm Coffee Roasters or La Marzocco Cafe.
The Crab Pot does seafood exceptionally well, this place is a must if you want to indulge in a crab feast.
For sushi, I recommend Tsukushinbo, a low key spot with excellent sushi and affordable lunch sets.
If you’re in the mood for Italian, check out Assaggio Ristorante, a quaint spot downtown that serves authentic pasta using the best seasonal ingredients.
Day 2: Explore Nearby Nature
For day two of your Seattle adventure, get out of the city limits and explore the great outdoors that are located right at Seattle’s doorstep.
Mount Rainer National Park
If you’re a nature lover, no visit to Seattle would be complete without a jaunt to Mount Rainier. There you can hike through old-growth forests and see natural springs and waterfalls. Although the whole national park cannot be conquered in a single day trip, within the course of a few hours visitors can experience the beauty of this picturesque geographical wonder. Because there’s so much to see there, I recommend arriving at the park early in the morning so that you can explore as much as possible.
After exploring Mount Rainer National Park, I recommend making another stop at Snoqualmie Falls if time permits. This gorgeous waterfall is a whopping 268 feet drop and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Washington.
The Emerald City has so much to see and do, it’s a great place to spend a weekend, especially in the summer. I hope you enjoyed reading my recommendations. Enjoy your time in the Evergreen State!