How to Spend 1 Day in Seattle
Set on the Puget Sound, Seattle is a thriving metropolis, full of cultural and outdoor recreational opportunities. Mountains serve as a backdrop to the Emerald City’s high-rise buildings, and there’s rich culture around every corner. Read on for the best way to spend a day in Seattle.
Morning: Tour Pike Place Market
Start your day off with a tour of Pike Place Market, a sprawling collection of food stalls, restaurants, and independent shops. Tours often involve sampling food at several different stops throughout the market, and guides weave in discussions of the market’s history. Scenes from Sleepless in Seattle were filmed here, and coffee giant Starbucks still runs its original cafe within the Pike Place Market campus. Your morning might involve dining on fresh French pastries, shopping for souvenirs, taking in views of Elliott Bay, and sampling the season’s best produce.
Afternoon: Get to Know Downtown
Downtown Seattle is home to several other worthwhile attractions beyond Pike Place Market. A hop-on hop-off tour is a great way to access these. You can explore the waterfront and its numerous piers, visit the Space Needle, try dim sum in Chinatown, check out the quirky Seattle Central Library, and discover other parks and viewpoints via bus. Thrillseekers should save time for a ride on the Great Wheel. The waterfront Ferris wheel complete with gondola-style compartments shows off views of downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay. On clear days, mountains rise to the east and west.
Night: Set Sail
No trip to Seattle is complete without a waterborne experience. Several tour companies offer cruises, and some are scheduled around sunset. Your day might end with a cocktail sail on Elliott Bay, where you can take in views of islands and the downtown skyline as the sun sets behind the craggy Olympic Mountains. You might spot wildlife such as orcas, seals, and otters. Or, end things with a nightcap and cruise on Lake Washington to see Seattle’s rolling hills and nearby Cascade Mountains. Keep an eye out for bald eagles as the city lights up the night.