Nestled between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington, and seemingly ringed by mountains on the horizons, Seattle seemingly perfectly embodies the laid back energy of the Pacific Northwest. Compared to New York, the Emerald City feels calm and manageable.
But that's not to say that Seattle is lacking. Instead, the city abounds with its rich music history, plentiful breweries (Seattle and King County have over one hundred brewers!), amazingly nom-o-riffic delights, and, of course, coffee culture.
With such a density of sites, not to mention the richness of the outdoors in the areas outside of the city proper, one could easily spend a week in the city — or even happily live there, if the rain isn't an issue — without ever getting bored.
Unfortunately, having that much time to travel is a luxury few can afford. With that in mind, the following three day itinerary touches on some of Seattle's heights, and whets the appetite, while leaving plenty to see on a repeat trip.
Overlooking Elliot Bay, and adjacent to the Seattle Waterfront, is Pike Place Market. One of the oldest continuously operated farmer's markets in the country, the market is a hub of activity as locals and tourists mingle to buy groceries, locally made goods, and eat at fresh seafood stalls.
While in the market, definitely stop by Jack's Fish Spot for lunch. They serve everything fresh, from shrimp cocktails to clam chowder to fish & chips. The food is incredible, and it can only be best described in a Homer Simpson-like drool. Don't forget to make use of their malted vinegar!
After Jack's, and a leisurely stroll through Pike Place, amble down to the Seattle Waterfront. Comprised of a few piers and a park, the waterfront is also home of the Seattle Great Wheel ferris wheel. The Great Wheel offers beautiful waterside views of Seattle and across the Puget Sound.
Heading back to the Pike Place, be sure to stop by The Market Theater Gum Wall, an alleyway covered in chewed gum. Arranged in beautiful patterns, in a full rainbow of colors, the gum wall was truly a site to behold in its original incarnation. Unfortunately, the sugars in the gum began to eat away at the alleyway's walls, and the entire street was steam cleaned in 2015; however, it has steadily been growing again since.
Right by the Gum Wall is The Pike Brewing Company brewhouse and bar. Serving a delectable variety of stouts, IPAs, Scottish Ales, ciders, and everything in between, Pike Brewing is a perfect mid-day pit stop to allow the sampling of some local beer. For a delicious kicker to keep you powered throughout the day, definitely check out their Scottish Kilt Lifter.
For dinner, Bastille Cafe & Bar serves up seasonally prepared French food. With a rotating menu, a rooftop garden, and a romantic atmosphere, Bastille is a perfect peaceful end to the first night. From Pike Place Market, it is about a thirty minute ride to Bastille on the number 30 bus.
What would a visit to Seattle be without seeing the Space Needle? Nothing, it would be an anti-visit; so, you best make sure you go. Located a little more than a mile north of Pike Place, a walk there will take you through Belltown, Seattle's densest neighborhood and a hotbed of cafes, restaurants, and bars.
The Space Needle itself is an amazing piece of architecture that seemingly floats in front of you. For a fee, you can access the observation deck of the Space Needle for panoramic views of the city and the surrounding area. Day tickets can be purchased online. (Note from Jen: I was a bit underwhelmed by the Space Needle; you feel the grandeur more so from afar. We opted to get a beautiful - and cheaper - view of Seattle from the Great Wheel).
Just north of the Space Needle is Pho Viet Anh, a family run Vietnamese Restaurant. Definitely stop by here! Serving up huge bowls of the best pho I've ever had, the restaurant will immediately take the potential damp Seattle cold out of your bones.
Once your energy levels are back to being fully charged, head over to the Olympic Sculpture Park. Perched on the side of Elliot Bay, the park offers nine acres of grounds full of modern art installations. The park is free and open to the public.
After tiring yourself out, check out Mama's Cantina in nearby Belltown. Serving up delicious Mexican, the cantina has amazing house made guacamole and salsa, as well as a serious selection of tequilas.
After the last two days, spend the final day in Seattle relaxing. Go ahead and treat yourself, you deserve it! One of the best ways to soak in the neighborhood feel of Seattle is to relax in a cafe, enjoy a good book, or simply people watch. Seattle Coffee Works, by Pike Market, offers the ideal location to start your final day off slow and steady.
For an early dinner happy hour, List Restaurant is hard to compete with. During the happy hour lasting from 4 to 6:30, all items on the food list are half off. This is perfect for the restaurant's tapas serving sizes.
After dinner, go ahead and enjoy Seattle's nightlife. For whiskey lovers, The Whisky Bar (double points for the name) offers over a hundred varieties of the liquor — in addition to other libations. The space is relaxed and beautifully decorated, and offers an ideal way to enjoy your spirits.
For a more eclectic experience, head on up to the second floor bar The Upstairs. Decorated like a living room, The Upstairs is a perfect mix of cozy and divey, which offers the chance of feeling like you're drinking in a house party all over again.
Want to save this post for later? Hover over an image below to pin it!