Seattle is an exciting city for many different reasons. Although it’s not as big as cities like New York or San Francisco, there are still a lot of things to do. Amazing natural sceneries and parklands surround Seattle (that’s how it got its nickname, the Emerald City). The city itself also contains many distinct neighbourboods that you can explore and discover unexpected spots.
The Visit Seattle website is incredibly helpful. They did such a great job with design and content. From a user experience perspective, the website is so easy to navigate and it’s so clean and modern (unlike other tourism websites that try to cram too much information and features, ahem, See Toronto Now). I used this website as my main source when I was researching for my trip. I highly recommend it!
So how do you spend one fine day in Seattle?
- Start your day early and head to Kerry Park to witness an incredible sunrise over the Seattle skyline and Elliott Bay. On a clear day, you can even see Mount Rainier!
- Kerry Park is in the quaint Queen Anne Hill neighbourhood, which has an array of restaurants to choose from. For breakfast, head to 5 Spot and check out what’s on the menu as they usually rotate. Whatever it is they’re currently offering, rest assured it will be good.
- After breakfast, proceed to Seattle Center in Lower Queen Anne. Some of the attractions include the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum and the EMP Museum.
- From there, hop aboard the Seattle Center Monorail to Westlake Center. The monorail was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and remains today as one of the icons of the city. The short ride takes roughly 2 minutes.
- If you want to shop, Westlake Center is surrounded by downtown’s main shopping district: think Nodstrom, Macy’s, Barney’s, and many other popular retailers. I say skip the mainstream shopping and head straight to Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market.
- Have lunch at Pike Place Market but don’t just eat one big meal in one place, instead try different fares from different vendors: mac and cheese from Beecher’s, oysters or crabs from Jack’s Fish Spot, market chowder from Pike Place Chowder, French macarons from Le Panier and a drink from the original Starbucks. After lunch, stroll around the market and check out both the famous sights such as the fish vendors at Pike Place Fish Market and the hidden spots like the Pike Place Urban Garden.
- After the market, take the Link Light Rail via Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT) from Westlake Station to Pioneer Square. The neighbourhood is deemed as the city’s original downtown. Check out the neoclassical buildings in the area, galleries and don’t miss the Waterfall Garden Park.
- End your day by relaxing and watching the sunset from the city’s waterfront. For dinner, either go to Elliot’s Oyster House for a pricier option or go cheap at Ivar’s Fish Bar (I went with the latter).
- Bonus: After taking a quick rest, go for late night drinks and snacks at W Hotel’s stylish Trace Restaurant and Bar.