Seattle is my favorite city in the Pacific United States! I lived here for four years, and I come back often, so I know this city from top to bottom.
I’ve got the best activity, food, accommodation, and day trip recommendations for you, and I highly recommend visiting Seattle as part of a Pacific Norwest Road Trip.
So here’s what you need to know to plan the perfect trip to Seattle!
Pacific Science Center
Pike Place Market
Pop Culture Museum
Ride The Monorail
Seattle Great Wheel
The Crocodile – considered to be one of the best places to watch live music in the country
When To Go
The best months to visit Seattle are September-October and April-May. These are Seattle’s shoulder months, meaning prices and tourist numbers will be less than the peak summer months.
Spring brings warmer weather (though winds, mornings, and evenings will still be chilly) and less chance of rain. Nearby mountain trails and scenic drives will re-open, and the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom.
Fall weather is mostly sunny with warm temperatures during the day. But you’ll still want some layers and a rain jacket. Autumn has some of Seattle’s best festivals, such as Bumbershoot (art and music festival) in September and the Earshot Jazz Festival and Seattle Restaurant Week in October.
June-August is the hottest, most crowded, and most expensive months to visit Seattle. And November-March has the most unpleasant weather of the year – almost non-stop cold, windy, rainy, and cloudy.
Where To Eat
For Burgers: Eden Hill Provisions, Lecosho, Loulay Kitchen and Bar, Palace Kitchen
Brunch Places: Revel, No Anchor, Olmstead, Champagne Diner
Asian Food: Mae Phim Thai Restaurant, Monsoon (Vietnamese), Taste Of India, Seven Stars Pepper (Chinese)
Rooftop Dining: Bastille Cafe & Bar, The Mountaineering Club, MBar, Fog Room
Seafood: Chinook’s, Shuckers Oyster Bar, Salty’s on Alki, AQUA by El Gaucho
Adults Only: Add-a-Ball, CAN CAN, The Pink Door
Best Viewpoints In The City
Kerry Park (pictured above) is at the top of Queen Anne Hill. It overlooks downtown Seattle and is located along West Highland Drive between 2nd Avenue West and 3rd Avenue West.
The Sky View Observatory in the Columbia Center is the tallest building in Washington State. Located on the 73rd-floor, the observatory has sweeping city and mountain views, plus a cafe for light food, beer, and wine.
Smith Tower Observatory. The Smith Tower, located in Pioneer Square, is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. Its 35th-floor lounge offers cocktails and small plates and is decorated with speakeasy-chic decor.
Best Day Trips
Mount Rainier National Park (pictured above right). This active volcano is glacier-capped, has snow year-round, and boasts some of the most beautiful views and wildflower meadows you’ll ever find. I recommend driving to Sunrise (the highest point reachable by car) and visiting the Paradise area of the park.
Woodinville Wine Country. Most people don’t think of Washington State as a wine destination, but it is! This picture-perfect valley is known for its wide variety of local wineries, microbreweries, and eateries. My top winery pick would be Chateau Ste, but I recommend visiting a couple of wineries and breweries.
Bainbridge Island. This quaint island is home to the Bloedel Reserve for great hiking and Fay Bainbridge Park for a beach day. But even if you don’t stay long on the island, the ferry ride to and from Seattle is work taking for the water views of the city and the Cascade Mountains.
Olympic National Park (pictured above left). This park has four regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest, and the forests of the drier east side, so it’s worth staying here a couple of days. But if you can only visit Olympic National Park as a day trip from Seattle, then I recommend driving a section of the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway and doing the Hall of Mosses Trail.
See the Lake Union Houseboats (the setting for the movie Sleepless In Seattle)
Olympic Sculpture Park
Seattle Central Library
Underground Tour of Seattle
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
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Have you been to Seattle? If so, please share anything you’d like to add to this guide!
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