The spectacular seaport city of Seattle is the largest in Washington as well as the Pacific Northwest, attracting visitors from around the world to experience its vibrant culture and incredible attractions. It's impossible to do and see all that Seattle has to offer in a short space of time, for there's simply far too much going on - which is also why it's an amazing place to venture back to time and time again. But what about those visiting Seattle and only have a couple of days to spare? No worries, for this exciting city of culture, art, technology, and history has plenty to do to fill a quick weekend.
10 Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is one of the USA's oldest farmers' markets and is a favorite food and cultural attraction for both locals and tourists alike. No matter what one needs, this market has it - fruit and veggies, flowers, trinkets, fish, local and international dishes, souvenirs, and more are all for sale in this bustling hub.
There's no place quite like Pike Place Market for those who want to taste some of Seattle's best produce, as well as watch locals and vendors go about their business. In between watching fishmongers toss fish, and browsing through the plethora of fascinating market stalls, visitors can also take the highly-rated and expert-led Pike Place Market Chef-Guided Food Tour to sample the city's best delicacies and to learn all about the history of the market.
9 Pier 57 And The Seattle Great Wheel
The beautiful waterside area of Pier 57 boasts gorgeous views of Elliot Bay and is home to the famous Seattle Great Wheel - a 53 meter-tall giant Ferris wheel that was the tallest on the USA's West Coast. The wheel provides the perfect opportunity to take in some of Seattle's most breathtaking views, and it even hosts impressive light displays after the sun dims. The pier itself, aside from boasting the wheel and stunning views, is home to a number of great restaurants and food joints, as well as a myriad of amusement park rides.
8 Seattle Space Needle
Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the 605 foot-tall spire features an observation deck and a rotating restaurant and is one of the most discernible attractions in all of Seattle. The Space Needle was deemed a technological and architectural wonder of its time and is an iconic landmark recognizable around the world today. Those seeking some of Seattle's most jaw-dropping panoramas will be more than impressed when they arrive at the top, which delivers unbeatable Instagram-worthy views of the city's skyline as well as incredible vistas of Mount Rainier on a clear day.
7 Food And Drink
Eating and drinking one's way around Seattle is certainly one of the top activities to do. There are a number of excellent food and drink joints around the city, however, for those with only a weekend to spare, there are a few top choices to consider.
Visitors can head back to Pike Place Market for lunch seeing as there are so many mouth-watering restaurants to go to. There's also Post Alley near the market with even more foodie havens to tempt the stomach - from American, Irish and Italian, to Mexican, Thai, and more, this place has almost any cuisine imaginable. Wherever one ventures to fill the tummy, some local and tourist favorites worthy of note include:
- Beecher’s Handmade Cheese (Pike Place Market) - The Flagship Sandwich served here is a well-known treat!
- Pike Place Chowder (Pike Place Market) - A sumptuous bowl of chowder here should not go amiss.
- Mr. D’s Greek Delicacies (Pike Place Market) - The American-style 'yeeros' served here are highly rated.
- The Pink Door (Pike Place Market) - Tuck into delicious Italian Farm-to-table cuisine at this classic Seattle restaurant.
- Pizza and Pasta Local (Pike Place Market) - Not only tasty food, but this spot is also perfect for sitting outdoors and people-watching too.
- Jack’s Fish Spot Seafood Bar (Pike Place Market) - Enjoy excellent and affordable fresh Seattle seafood at this classic Seattle seafood spot.
- Three Girls Bakery (Pike Place Market) - A superb choice for sampling sweet treats!
There are also a few notable restaurants to try elsewhere, including Ivar's Fish Bar located on Pier 54. This is among Seattle's best food joints to get amazing seafood and many other sumptuous dishes and is also a historic icon of the city in itself since it has been around since 1938. Plus, the views from the restaurant are just as incredible as the food. Lovers of fish will also adore Duke's Seafood (they serve plenty of other delightful dishes as well). There are several Duke's locations throughout Seattle, so hungry visitors will likely be close to at least one of them throughout the day.
Finally, Seattle is also home to the original and longest operating Starbucks, which is a must for those who fancy a dose of more modern history. It's also a convenient place from where to start the day, grabbing a coffee and some breakfast in the morning since it's close to most other Seattle attractions. Whether a fan of this global chain coffee shop or not, it's a Seattle icon, and serves all the tasty treats and drinks that Starbucks sells worldwide. From 1971 to 1976, the original Starbucks store was located at 2000 Western Avenue from 1971, however it moved to Downtown Seattle where it still remains today.
6 EMP Museum Of Pop Culture
Fans of rock music, pop culture, and science fiction will be well entertained at Seattle's EMP Museum of Pop Culture. Featuring tons of fun and intriguing exhibits and hands-on experiences to spark the interests of even the biggest fanatics, this is one of the city's intensely entertaining establishments to lose oneself in for a few hours. Conveniently located at the base of the Space Needle, this exciting museum is a must for anyone in Seattle - even those who aren't necessarily fans of pop culture and entertainment.
5 Chihuly Garden And Glass
At around a minute's walk from the Space Needle, there's no excuse not to check out the Chihuly Garden and Glass on the same day. This unique glass museum features the works of famous glass artist Dale Chihuly, whose signature styles with kaleidoscopic colors are extremely eye-catching, forming forests and gardens all made from expertly and beautifully crafted glass. The exhibit has six rooms along with an outdoor garden, and even a theatre that gives fascinated visitors an insight into how the magnificent glass designs are created. Museum guests can also listen to a free audio tour on their phones as they stroll through the exhibit.
4 A Tour Of Seattle Underground
Seattle wasn't always as it is today. Under the streets of the Pioneer Square neighborhood, there is an entire network of underground corridors, basements, and streets. This subterranean Seattle was once a bustling metropolis, however, a huge fire in 1889 saw it destroyed, leaving the ruins of hotels, houses, and shops which can all be seen on an underground Seattle tour. Seattle as the world knows it was re-built above the ground after the fire, but the old underground space now serves as a history museum where people can experience the city's past first-hand in an incredibly unique way by literally strolling through history.
3 Seattle Aquarium
Open every day from 9 am to 6 pm, Seattle Aquarium is one of the city's favorite attractions amongst both locals and visitors. It offers a fun and educational day out, showcasing the marine life of Puget Sound (and the rest of the world too). With the aquarium's mission: “Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment," it's no surprise that observing fascinating and unique sea creatures isn't the only thing on offer - there are also brilliant first-hand experiences and opportunities for kids and adults to learn about conservation and the marine world here.
2 Seattle Art Museum
Situated downtown in a modern, sleek, and contemporary building, the Seattle Art Museum boasts a permanent art collection with frequent rotating exhibits on show. Visitors can enjoy a huge variety of different art in this multi-level establishment, including stunning cultural and ethnic pieces showcasing Native American, Mediterranean, Asian, and Australian Aboriginal collections. It's entirely possible to make a full day of this place since there's also a library and a restaurant to relax in when not checking out the beautiful and culturally important art displays.
1 The Museum Of Flight
Anyone who loves planes, war history, space, and technology, in general, shouldn't miss out on a visit to Seattle's Museum of Flight. This incredible establishment takes visitors on a fascinating journey through flight history starting out from the earliest planes to earth-defying space-age flight vehicles. Visitors here can even walk through a real Airforce One plane, and enter an actual NASA training capsule for an otherworldly experience.