Last Updated on December 9, 2022 by admin
Headed to Seattle for the weekend? Wondering what you should see on your trip? Looking for the best restaurants? In this post, I’m sharing with you the best weekend itinerary for Seattle! I grew up in the Seattle area and I’m sharing my favorite places with you. (These are the places I take my own family and friends when they visit for the first time!) I’ll share with you some of the most iconic Seattle experiences (like eating at Pike Place Market or ascending the Space Needle), as well as some of the more quirky experiences (like the Fremont Troll and Gas Works Park). Read on to find out the best things to do during a weekend trip in Seattle!
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Map of All Activities
We created this helpful map showing all the locations we mention in this post so that you can conveniently plan your trip.
Travel Tip: If you’re planning a trip to Seattle, consider buying a Seattle CityPASS. You’ll be able to save money if you plan on visiting multiple attractions. For instance, if you plan on visiting the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, Museum of Pop Culture, Woodland Park Zoo, Chihuly Garden and Glass, or Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour, we highly recommend that you look into purchasing the CityPASS. For more information about CityPASS, click here.
Seattle is known as the Emerald City because of its evergreen trees and abundance of plant life. If you love the outdoors, there’s plenty to do in the greater Seattle area. There are hundreds of incredible hikes within driving distance of Seattle. You can easily head to the Cascade Mountains or Olympic Mountains, or you can hop on a ferry and explore one of the many islands in the Puget Sound.
Seattle is also known for its coffee. Starbucks, the largest coffee chain in the world, got its start in Seattle. Besides the large chains, though, there are dozens of local coffee roasters that have perfected the coffee-making process. You can also find some award-winning latte artists!
Seattle also gets its fair share of rain. It rains on average 152 days per year. (That’s about 42% of the year!) So, if you’re traveling to Seattle, it’s always good to prepare for rain. The months of November through February are particularly rainy, and the summer months are much more dry.
Finally, Seattle is known for its music scene! Artists like Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam all got their start in Seattle.
Tip: If you’re looking for flights, I recommend checking the SkyScanner website to see the best prices for your dates of travel!
|Customize your trip by seeing our article: 101 Things to Do in Seattle|
What to Pack for a Trip to Seattle
If you’re traveling to Seattle, we recommend that you pack the following:
- Packable rain jacket (Even if rain isn’t in the forecast, the weather can change quickly. This rain jacket folds down small and can be easily packed in a bag for when you need it.)
- Comfortable daypack (When exploring the city, you’ll want a comfortable daypack to place all of your belongings, snacks, and souvenirs.)
- Portable charger (You’ll be using your phone for maps, navigation, and photos, so make sure you don’t run out of battery while you’re on the go. We like this one because it is slim and you don’t have to worry about packing extra cables.)
- Insulated water bottle (This water bottle will keep your water cooler for longer.)
- Comfortable walking shoes (When exploring a new city, you’ll be walking quite a bit. Make sure you have comfortable shoes! Brooks has been my favorite brand so far.)
- Flannel shirt (This is Seattle after all. Time to look the part in your photos!)
(Click on any of the above images for current pricing and shipping information.)
|Visiting Seattle on a rainy day? No problem! Check out our post on 24 Rainy Day Activities in Seattle.|
Getting to Seattle from the Airport
Because of Seattle’s Link Light Rail System, it’s very easy to get from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SeaTac) to downtown Seattle. You can purchase your train ticket with an Orca Card, cash, or credit card. Trains depart every 6 to 15 minutes (see the full time schedule here). There’s a light rail station at the airport, and then it takes about 40 minutes to get to West Lake Station in downtown Seattle.
For this itinerary, we don’t think you’ll need a rental car. Most of the attractions are within walking distance. For the few that aren’t, it would be cheaper to use a ride share service or a taxi than to pay for your own car. Plus, driving in downtown Seattle is stressful. There’s not a lot of parking, and there’s a lot of hills, one-way streets, and traffic. Do yourself a favor and plan to use the Light Rail.
If you’re planning on visiting multiple Seattle attractions (as we recommend in this itinerary), then purchase a CityPASS in advance. It will save you money!
Where to Stay
Because this is a short weekend trip, we recommend that you stay in a hotel that is centrally located (preferably within walking distance) of most attractions. Here’s our choices for this itinerary:
Four Seasons Hotel Seattle | 99 Union St, Seattle, WA 98101
The Four Seasons Hotel Seattle is a 5-minute walk from Pike Place Market. It’s a gorgeous 5-Star hotel located centrally in downtown Seattle. If you can afford it, this is our first recommendation. The hotel has an outdoor infinity pool with a view of the Seattle waterfront, lots of amenities, and is within walking distance to a lot of the places we mention in this itinerary.
Moderately Priced Hotel
The Charter Hotel Seattle | 1610 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
This hotel is located one block away from Pike Place Market, and within a mile of the Seattle Center (where the Space Needle is located) and Pioneer Square (Seattle’s oldest neighborhood). The hotel is sleek and many of the rooms have nice city views.
Green Tortoise Hostel Seattle | 105 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101
The Green Tortoise Hostel Seattle is also located right next to Pike Place Market. (Just a one minute walk away.) Because it’s a hostel, you’ll share a communal bunk room with other travelers. If you want to save money and make some new friends, this is a great choice. You can’t beat the location!
For a full list of lodging accommodations in Seattle, click here.
Day 1 (Friday Evening)
Depending on when you arrive in Seattle, you may have time to see a few things before you go to bed. After you check into your hotel, we recommend the following:
Dinner at Ma’Ono Fried Chicken
Inside Rachel’s Ginger Beer, 2112 7th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
Open Thursday through Saturday
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Within walking distance of the hotels we mentioned is Ma’Ono Fried Chicken. Ma’Ono is a quick, counter-service restaurant that has the best fried chicken sandwich we have ever tasted. The restaurant gives a Hawaiian spin on their sandwiches. For $12, you can get a super-crispy fried chicken breast on a butter-toasted King’s Hawaiian bun topped with daikon pickles, kewpie mayo, and iceberg lettuce. It’s seriously the best fried chicken sandwich. The dinner counter is tucked away within Rachel’s Ginger Beer, so it’s easy to walk by it if you don’t know about the restaurant.
While you’re there, be sure to try Rachel’s Ginger Beer. Rachel’s Ginger Beer is a classic Seattle beverage, and they have one of their stores located near Pike Place Market as well. If you’ve never had ginger beer, it’s good to know that it’s not an alcoholic beverage. Similar to root beer, the word ‘beer’ is just in the name and there is no alcohol content. We recommend that you try the classic ginger beer, but see if you can also try some of their fun flavors like caramelized pineapple, blood orange, and pink guava. You can also make your ginger beer a cocktail if you’d like. Their moscow mule is the best!
2111 7th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
“Amazon Seattle Spheres” by GoToVan is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Right across from Ma’Ono Fried Chicken and Rachel’s Ginger Beer are the Seattle Spheres, so it’s an easy sight to see on your first evening. The Seattle Spheres were built to provide Amazon office employees a place to connect with nature. The spheres are filled with more than 40,000 plants from over 30 countries. Since they are closed to the public most days, we recommend walking by and taking some pictures from outside. (If you really want to walk inside them, you can make a reservation for either the first or third Saturday of each month.)
211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA 98119
Kerry Park is about two miles away from the Seattle Spheres, so you may want to take a ride share or public transportation to the park. (We promise you it’s worth it!)
If you’ve seen a postcard of Seattle, chances are the photo was taken from Kerry Park. This park has one of the best views of the city! My favorite part about this park is that you can clearly see the Space Needle front and center. Whether you arrive in time for sunset or if you arrive later in the evening, the park has a beautiful view of Seattle. We think it’s the perfect introduction of Seattle for your trip.
Cocktails at Oliver’s Lounge
Mayflower Park Hotel, 405 Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98101
If you have the energy at the end of your travel day, head over to Oliver’s Lounge for a craft cocktail. It’s within walking distance of the hotels we mentioned previously. Oliver’s Lounge is famous for their martinis. They have won Seattle’s Best Classic Martini for eight years in a row!
Day 2 (Saturday)
Coffee at Storyville
94 Pike Street Top, floor Suite 34, Seattle, WA 98101
A major part of Seattle is the coffee scene, and on your first morning in the city, we recommend that you head to Storyville Coffee for the perfect cup of coffee. Storyville sources the top 2% of coffee beans in the world for their Premium Blend, so you can rest assured that you will receive an outstanding cup of coffee. Seattle has a lot of amazing local roasters. We chose Storyville because it’s within walking distance of Pike Place Market, but read our full post here to read more about all of our favorite coffee shops in Seattle.
Explore Pike Place Market
93 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101
After grabbing your cup of coffee, we recommend that you visit Pike Place Market. The market is absolutely huge and contains over 500 different vendors. For breakfast, we recommend one of the following: Honest Biscuits (amazing homemade biscuit breakfast sandwiches), Pike Place Bar & Grill (endless Belgian waffles), and the Athenian Seafood Restaurant and Bar (try the dungeness crab benedict).
After breakfast, explore the market! You can watch the fish mongers toss fish (one of the most iconic scenes in the market), see Rachel the Piggy Bank (the market’s bronze mascot), add a piece of gum to the gum wall (located in Post Alley), visit the market’s secret garden (an urban garden located on the roof), and see the oldest continuously-running Starbucks (sometimes mistakenly called the “First Starbucks”).
When you’re hungry again for lunch, you can try all of the different foods at the market. You can find French pastries, Russian piroshkis, Persian kebobs, Thai curries, Taiwanese hombows, Turkish baklava, Japanese bento, English crumpets, and much, much more. We especially like going to Beecher’s for their macaroni and cheese. If you want to sit down some place for lunch, check out Cafe Champagne. Looking for a brew? Head to Pike Place Brewing Company.
|See our complete guide to Pike Place Market here to find out where to eat and drink!|
Head to the Seattle Waterfront
After exploring the market, head to the Seattle waterfront. (Less than a 10 minute walk down to the piers.) There are a number of attractions at the waterfront. You might enjoy seeing the Seattle Aquarium, the Seattle Great Wheel, Wings Over Washington, or Miner’s Landing. We especially like the view of Seattle from the Bell Street Pier Rooftop Deck.
|If you head to the Seattle Aquarium, see our complete guide on what to see!|
Seattle Central Library
1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
“Betty Jane Narver Reading Room, Seattle Central Library” by Hillbraith is licensed under CC PDM 1.0
Before heading to your hotel to rest for a bit, stop by the Seattle Central Library. The building is one of the most unique in Seattle due to its glass and steel honeycomb design. The library also features a “Red Floor”, which is colored in 13 shades of red. It’s one of the most photographed areas of the library.
For dinner, see our post on the best restaurants in Seattle. There are tons of great places to eat, so choose something from our list that sounds good to you!
“Fremont Troll” by Roshan Vyas is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
After dinner, we recommend that you go to the Fremont neighborhood. You can see the Fremont Troll (a giant troll statue under the bridge) and have after-dinner drinks. We recommend Add-a-Ball (an old-school barcade), and Brouwer’s Cafe (hundreds of different beers and over 50 types of scotch).
Day 3 (Sunday)
Coffee and Breakfast
Starbucks Reserve Roastery: 1124 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101
Portage Bay Cafe: 391 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Head over to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery to have a special coffee experience. You’ll get to learn about Starbucks’ coffee-making process, and you can experience some unique drinks like an espresso flight.
One of our favorite places to eat breakfast is the Portage Bay Cafe. Their South Lake Union location is less than a mile from the roastery.
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After breakfast, head to the Seattle Center. From downtown, a fun way to get to the Seattle Center is by using the Monorail. You can hop on the Monorail at West Lake Center and it will take you straight to the Seattle Center.
Seattle Center is one of the cultural hubs of the city. You’ll find the Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, the International Fountain, and the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. If you have time to explore all of them, we highly recommend it. (There’s also the Pacific Science Center and Discovery Center if you have more time to explore!)
400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109
The Space Needle is the most iconic symbol of Seattle. To get to the Space Needle viewing decks, you’ll take the elevator up over 500 feet. The Space Needle underwent a major renovation in 2018. The outdoor viewing deck now has glass walls with glass benches (“skyrisers”) that make for some incredible photos. The Loupe on the lower viewing deck contains the world’s first and only revolving glass floor. You’ll be able to see Seattle underneath your feet! The Space Needle also has a trendy lounge for cocktails, a cafe for drinks and snacks, and a gift shop.
|Before heading to the Space Needle, see our full post on what to see at the attraction.|
Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
The MoPOP is another one of Seattle’s most unique buildings. The building’s exterior is curved and made from thousands of iridescent and metal panels. Inside the museum, you’ll find exhibits dedicated to Seattle musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam, as well as tons of exhibits related to movies. During our last visit, we saw the light saber Luke Skywalker used in Star Wars, the hat and jacket Indiana Jones wore, the dress Dorothy wore in the Wizard of Oz, and Harry Potter’s glasses.
|One of our favorite Seattle attractions is the MoPOP. Read all about our favorite exhibits here.|
305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109
“International Fountain, Seattle Center” by david_s_carter is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
The International Fountain was built in 1962 as part of the World’s Fair. The fountain contains 274 water jets and LED lighting. The fountain contains four ‘super shooters’ that blast water 120 feet high into the air. On a sunny day, you’re likely to see dozens of children and adults try to touch the dome and run away before the jets resume!
Chihuly Garden and Glass
305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109
Adjacent to the Space Needle, you will find Chihuly Garden and Glass. Dale Chihuly is one of the most famous glass artists in the world, and his studio is based in Washington. At the Chihuly Garden and Glass, you’ll find a museum filled with his artwork. Our personal favorite exhibit is the Glasshouse, which is a 40-foot-tall building that resembles a conservatory. (Pictured above.) Suspended from the ceiling is a large 100-foot-long suspended glass sculpture. Outside the museum, you can explore a glass garden. Chihuly’s glass pieces are blended seamlessly into the plant collection. It’s truly a unique experience to walk through this garden of glass!
For lunch, you can eat at the Seattle Center. The Armory has a bunch of different food vendors, the MoPOP has a restaurant (Culture Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck), Chihuly Garden and Glass has a restaurant (Collections Cafe), and the Space Needle has a cafe with snacks. If you don’t mind a short walk, you can also eat at Toulouse Petit, located on Lower Queen Anne Hill.
Gas Works Park
2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103
“064 of 365 – Gas Works Park” by IncrediblyNuming is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Depending on when you need to leave on Sunday, you may have time for one last activity. If you can fit it into your itinerary, we recommend stopping by Gas Works Park to say goodbye to Seattle. Gas Works was the former site of the Seattle Gas Light Company’s gasification plant. Many of the original structures were never cleared from the park, so there are a bunch of rusty structures in the center of the park. The park is located on the other side of Lake Union, and it has a beautiful view of Seattle from across the lake. Go to the top of the hill and find the giant sun dial (which has the best view of the city).
We hope that you enjoyed this post on the best weekend itinerary for Seattle!
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If you enjoyed this post, you may also be interested in the following posts:
- 101 Things to Do in Seattle
- 50 Free Things to Do in Seattle
- Complete Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Seattle
- The Best Donut Shops Near Seattle
- What to See at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
- The 20 Best Restaurants in Seattle
- Guide to the Space Needle
- 24 Rainy Day Activities in Seattle
- Complete Guide to Pike Place Market
- What to See at the Woodland Park Zoo
- Seattle’s 15 Best Beaches
- 6 Things to See at the Seattle Aquarium
- The 10 Best Viewpoints of the Seattle Skyline
Disclaimer: We always strive for content accuracy. Since the time of publishing, travel-related information regarding pricing, schedules, and hours may have changed. Please see individual websites embedded in this post for the most current trip-planning information.
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