We just returned from a last minute family trip to Seattle. LOVED IT!
Seattle has all the ingredients of a fine city: lots to see and do, excellent food, great neighborhoods. Plus the weather was perfect. Also, it was very kid-friendly. I could absolutely see us living there during retirement. It’s on our list!
Since we booked the trip last minute, we really just played tourist for a couple days. We didn’t even rent a car which turned out to be just fine. I didn’t even tell anyone I was heading there, especially since we didn’t rent a car and I didn’t want to bother anyone with meeting up and trying to schedule things around Franco’s naps. But thanks to social media and Dean’s relentless status updates, my bestest/dearest friend Conrado (more like a brother than a friend since we grew up a few blocks away from each other) sought me out and met up with us. That was icing on the cake!
Here is my guide to Seattle in 3 days. We covered everything I mentioned below super easily. Totally took our time and didn’t rush at all. And I still felt like we got so much accomplished. Truly a great vacation. Pictures from the trip are below the recommendations.
Where to Stay in Seattle
- Hyatt House Downtown
201 Fifth Avenue North
If you want to cover as many attractions as possible, I would highly recommend a stay at the Hyatt House which is adjacent to the Space Needle, Seattle Center, and the monorail. Excellent location plus buffet breakfast included.
- Pike Place Market
85 Pike Street
You can’t go to Seattle without visiting Pike Place Market. Go hungry so that you can taste fresh fruit, seafood, and piroshkis. The original Starbucks is at the Market. And you cannot miss Rachel the Pig, the Market mascot and bronze piggy bank with donations supporting the low-income community.
- Space Needle
500 Broad Street
I wanted to go to SkyCity, the restaurant atop the Space Needle, but the timing didn’t work. We didn’t go up this time, but if you go to Seattle for the first time, the Space Needle is another mandatory stop.
- Chihuly Garden and Glass
305 Harrison Street
The Chihuly Museum is adjacent to the Space Needle. It’s awesome. The world-renowned artist and Seattleite Dave Chihuly makes these beautiful glass sculptures. This is another must see.
- EMP Museum (formerly known as Experience Music Project)
325 5th Avenue N.
Admittedly, I am not the most worldly person when it comes to music, but Dean also thought the museum was a bit boring. We saw exhibits on Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, guitars, and some famous cartoonist. I say pass, but there were so many people we met who said the EMP is a highlight of Seattle.
- Artists at Play
305 Harrison Street
The Seattle Center Playground was great for Franco. We could’ve kept this kid occupied all day long just by hanging out at the Seattle Center. In addition to the playground, there’s the Children’s Museum and Pacific Science Center. We didn’t get a chance to go to those places, but like I said, lots of things to do for kids just at the Seattle Center!
- Seattle Aquarium
1483 Alaskan Way
I really liked the aquarium: seals, otters, birds that swim and dive, jellyfish, touch pools. I would have enjoyed it more if Franco wasn’t having a meltdown.
- Sky View Observatory
701 5th Ave
For the best views of Seattle, you have to go to the Sky View Observatory. Sure it’s one of the top floors of an office building and you feel like you’re an extra in the movie Office Space, but the views are stellar. There are also interesting factoids of Seattle along the office walls.
- Olympic Sculpture Park
1483 Alaskan Way
I really enjoyed this. Very zen and peaceful. There aren’t too many sculptures, but it was so nice walking along the path, overlooking the water, and enjoying art. Don’t miss it.
- Seattle Public Library – Central Library
1000 4th Ave
Unfortunately, the library wasn’t open when we happened to walk by. It is an architectural gem! I read from one of the exhibits at the Sky View Observatory that it was designed to look like a few stacked books, but I couldn’t confirm that from my online research.
Where to Eat in Seattle
- Tilikum Place Cafe
407 Cedar St
We were trying to find a place to eat after checking in and happened upon Tilikum. What a find! Everything was plate-licking-clean scrumptious. Dean got the crab benedict. I got the baked eggs house special: creamed corn, cherry tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, and bread crumbs.
- Bambino’s Pizzeria
401 Cedar St
This is another restaurant by our hotel (next to Tilikum) that was surprisingly good. Cheese plate and pork belly which was the size of a steak! Delish! Their house red wine was good too. Crazy.
- Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar
Queen Anne neighborhood
124 Republican St
Great selection of well-priced oysters, bad selection of wine. Not a single glass of red wine on the menu. So strange! Who cares if red wine doesn’t technically pair with oysters. Sheesh.
- Bacco Cafe
Inn at the Market, 86 Pine St
Open from 7am to 3pm daily, this is a great place to eat right in Pike Place Market. Good fresh food, plus they are known for their stellar juices.
- Matt’s In the Market
Pike Place Market 94 Pike St #32
This is a top restaurant in Seattle with a view of Pike Place Market. I wasn’t going to leave without eating here! Dean got the caesar salad with Dungeness crab. I got the shrimp and Dungeness crab melt. Didn’t disappoint.
- How to Cook a Wolf
2208 Queen Anne Ave N
Special occasion group dinner! One of Dean’s groomsmen Don organized the dinner. My big request? It better be good, but not fancy. One of my bridesmen Conrado also joined. Great food, great wine, highly recommend. Our only issue is that Franco will not sit still in a high chair, so we all took turns throughout dinner walking the kid around the block. Does anyone else have this problem?!
We got around just fine without renting a car. Spend a day at the Seattle Center and you’ve got the majority of tourist attractions crossed off your list. We took the monorail to shoot us to and from Pike Place Market. Easy!
Pictures of Pike Place Market and Rachel the Pig
Pictures of the Chihuly Museum
Pictures of the Seattle Center playground, Artists at Play
Pictures of the Olympic Sculpture Park
Pictures from the Sky View Observatory
Pictures of the Seattle Central Library and Monorail
What about you? Have you ever been to Seattle?