The Best Things To Do In Seattle

A guide to the city of Seattle. The best things to do in Seattle from where to eat, what attractions to visit, where to stay and what tours to join.I finally had the chance to visit Seattle and begin to see the sites. I quickly fell in love with the food, architecture, sites and, of course, the people. Eat your way through the city, and make it up with walking from site to site, hop on a tour or two, and sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or beer in a local spot.

This list focuses on Downtown Seattle and hits the major tourist spots, as well as some local favorites. Let me know what I missed since I’ll be planning another trip up soon. You’ll find more details on each of my things to do in Seattle below the map and click on the top left to see different categories.

WHERE TO REST YOUR HEAD

The Palladian

2000 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

I have yet to walk into a Kimpton Hotel I haven’t enjoyed, but the Palladian may take the top spot. The lobby is beautiful with familiar faces on the wall. The staff was top-notch and friendly. Both the restaurant and bar were worth not leaving the hotel for. The rooms are cozy and filled with amenities, including you own Jambox. I even got a room with a view of the Space Needle. Located a couple blocks from Pike Place Market is the perfect spot to explore Seattle from. You can find rooms under $200 a night. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for them on Priceline Express Deals, and check out my post on how to find out where you’re bookingA guide to the city of Seattle. The best things to do in Seattle from where to eat, what attractions to visit, where to stay and what tours to join.

MY FAVORITE EATS

The Pink Door

919 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101

A hidden must do spot just above Pike Place Market. You’ll have to walk down the alley and keep an eye open for the pink door or you’ll miss it. A quaint spot with creative decorations is tucked down the stairs. Make a reservation to eat in the main dining room or ask to be seated in the lounge. Their delicious homemade pasta shouldn’t be skipped, but if you can’t get a table head to the bar for a drink and listen to the live band playing in the lounge.A guide to the city of Seattle. The best things to do in Seattle from where to eat, what attractions to visit, where to stay and what tours to join.

Etta’s

2020 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

North of Pike Place you’ll find a string of restaurants by chef Tom Douglas. While any of them are worth dining in, head over to Etta’s and enjoy the classic crab cake. It was perfectly seasoned and not overly fried. You really get to enjoy the fresh crab.

Rocco’s

2020 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Pizza is a big thing in Seattle and Rocco’s definitely holds their own. Order by the slice or by the pie, and you can even take it to go. Their Hawaiian had a perfect balance and is a great late night snack after exploring the town.

Lowell’s

1519 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

Head over early to Pike Place Market for breakfast with a view. See the market before it gets packed and sit down at a table overlooking the bay. Whether you’re looking for a tasty breakfast burrito or Eggs Benedict they’ve got you covered. Their clam chowder is also supposed to be delicious if you pop in later in the day.A guide to the city of Seattle. The best things to do in Seattle from where to eat, what attractions to visit, where to stay and what tours to join.

Daily Dozen’s Donuts

93 Pike St #7, Seattle, WA 98101

For a tasty snack stop by Daily Dozen’s Donuts in Pike Place Market. Keep it simple with a warm cinnamon donut or go all out with the maple and bacon. Plus they are a great company to support since they’re deeply involved in the community and philanthropy.

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

86 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

Yum, yum and yum. You can watch them create the curds right from the street. Then step in line and you can get a little of everything. From the curds to the cheese and don’t forget to finish with their mac & cheese. It is rich and creamy, you can easily eat a couple bowls.

BB Ranch Butcher

94 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101

While it is new to Pike Place Market it is in the stall that housed the original butcher in the market. They work with local producers and cure the meat right in the back. If you’re looking for high-quality meat to cook or some charcuterie to enjoy with that Beecher’s Cheese, this is the spot.A guide to the city of Seattle. The best things to do in Seattle from where to eat, what attractions to visit, where to stay and what tours to join.

Pike Place Chowder

1530 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101

Whether you want a creamy chowder or a silky bisque, the best way to cut the chilly Seattle weather is a cup of soup from Pike Place Chowder. You can even order a couple and give them all a try. Just don’t forget to grab a side of their sourdough bread to dip in it.

Shaker + Spear

2000 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

For dinner or brunch, this is the perfect spot. Enjoy high-quality fish entrees in a beautiful atmosphere in the evening. The next morning savor a delicious breakfast with their donuts in a ricotta dip or their fluffy ricotta pancakes. Or if you’ve overindulged in Seattle grab their refreshing granola.

The Confectional 

1530 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

This spot is known for it’s personalized cheesecakes, which I hear are delicious. But what I was after was their drinking chocolate. For as little as a dollar, you can enjoy a mouthwatering cup of rich chocolate. Don’t forget to sprinkle a little cayenne on the top to take it up a notch. If you haven’t done that combo before it really is a must.A guide to the city of Seattle. The best things to do in Seattle from where to eat, what attractions to visit, where to stay and what tours to join.

Steelhead Diner

95 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

After running across Seattle, I needed a cozy spot to sit down and relax. Steelhead Diner was the perfect place. They have a seafood filled menu and a wide range of options. During lunch, they have a three course special for only $18. But if that’s not what you’re looking for try their clam chowder that they drizzle with truffle oil.

TOP COZY COFFEE SPOTS

Storyville

94 Pike St #34, Seattle, WA 98101

Tucked up above Pike Place Market you’ll find Storyville. With a tasty roast and high-quality tea, it’s a great place to grab a drink even to wander away with. But once you walk in it’s hard to walk out. Curl up on a couch by the fireplace and enjoy. It’s hidden up on the second floor of the building but follow the signs and you’ll find your way.A guide to the city of Seattle. The best things to do in Seattle from where to eat, what attractions to visit, where to stay and what tours to join.

Elm Coffee Roasters

240 2nd Ave S #103, Seattle, WA 98104

Over by Pioneer Square, you’ll find the refreshing Elm Coffee Roasters. The modern feel of their shop is perfect for waking up to. If you’re lucky you’ll even get to watch folks roast right there in the shop.

The Original Starbucks (Kind of)

102 Pike St., Seattle, Washington 98101

This will be the only Starbucks you’ll ever see me put on a things to do list, but it is worth at least taking a look into. This is the original Starbucks Cafe, the first that served cups of coffee. The original Starbucks was actually a block down from the market and only sold beans. If you do want to go inside I recommend getting there early, at 8 am the line is pretty short.

THE BEST PLACES TO GRAB A DRINK

Pennyroyal Bar

2000 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Tucked into the Palladian, you’ll find a speakeasy type bar. Stop in for their good happy hour and craft cocktails.

Rachel’s Ginger Beer

1530 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101

I didn’t know you could find ginger beer in so many flavors. You can get a whole variety of Moscow Mules that are as good as any I’ve had. Plus, now that the seasons have changed their hot toddy is exactly what you’ll need after exploring Pike Place Market.A guide to the city of Seattle. The best things to do in Seattle from where to eat, what attractions to visit, where to stay and what tours to join.

Von’s GustroBistro

1225 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

A craft distillery that you can’t miss. Keep it simple when you order your cocktails so you can really enjoy their craft. Their gin and tonic blew me away, you could sip on it slowly and enjoy the juniper flavor from the gin.

Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Company

B, 4358 Leary Way NW, Seattle, WA 98107

A chill spot with tasty beers. A great place to sit and watch a game. They also have some creative beers from jalapeño to a scotch ale. They also have a wide range of beers with low IBUs so if a bitter IPA isn’t your style this is a good place that’s a little different in Seattle.A guide to the city of Seattle. The best things to do in Seattle from where to eat, what attractions to visit, where to stay and what tours to join.

Outlander Brewery & Pub

225 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103

I love places made out of old houses and this is a perfect example of why. Sit downstairs at the bar or go hang out on the couches upstairs. They are a small batch brewery, meaning what they have won’t last long. My favorite had to have been their basil beer.

Hillard’s Beer

1550 NW 49th St, Seattle, WA 98107

A more standard brewery than the two above, but not to be missed. In a large hanger, you can watch a game all while getting a feel for the brewing process. They have more of the classic hoppy style you’ll find across Seattle. My favorite was their Amber Ale.

ACTIVITIES AND ADVENTURES TO TRY

CityPASS

Before we get into specific activities, if you are thinking of going the tourist route and hitting the big sites you should not skip on the CityPASS. At a great discount, and you can hit all the top spots over your visit. They last for nine days and include the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden & Glass, a harbor cruise, the aquarium and the EMP Museum. For only $69 you get to do all the above and more, a 48% discount. If you’re visiting more than one of these activities, it is often worth it.

Space Needle

400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109

If you haven’t made it up the needle before it is well worth a visit. A unique perspective on the city and the ride up is just fun. The $22 ticket to the observation deck isn’t cheap for what isn’t necessarily a long activity. If you’re hitting the sites consider if the CityPASS is worth it for you. Or instead, plan one of your meals at SkyCity, lunch has a minimum of only $25 per person so you barely spend more than the cost of a ticket up the needle or splurge for the three-course brunch.

Chihuly Garden & Glass 

305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109

An absolutely beautiful exhibition in Seattle Center. Highlighting the glass work of Doug Chihuly in breathtaking installations both inside and out. This really is a must visit on your trip to Seattle. Learn more about the artist’s and Seattle’s history, and well as taking in the beautiful artwork itself. Another great stop on the CityPASS.A guide to the city of Seattle. The best things to do in Seattle from where to eat, what attractions to visit, where to stay and what tours to join.

EMP Museum 

325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

If you’re a music or a science fiction nerd this might be the best museum you’ll ever visit. Focusing on the history of the Seattle music scene, you’ll find exhibits on Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix. For the sci-fi nerds, you’ll find artifacts from all your favorite T.V. shows and films. My personal favorite part was a real life Dalek from the original Doctor Who. Also included in the CityPASS.

Savor Seattle Food Tours

1916 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

If there is one thing you do on your Seattle visit this should be it. While you can walk Pike Place Market on your own, and you should, taking a tour with Savor Seattle provides you access to a whole new level of the market. You will meet and talk with the producers, taste the best it has to offer and learn the history of the place. I walked away from the tour just wanting to try another one. On top of the Pike Place Market tour, they offer tours for chocolate, cocktails, and gourmet food. Tours start at just $40 and are well worth the splurge.A guide to the city of Seattle. The best things to do in Seattle from where to eat, what attractions to visit, where to stay and what tours to join.

Road Dog Tours

After you’ve toured for food you’ll have to tour for beer. Seattle is known for its brews and a great way to explore them is with another person at the wheel. Road Dog Tours brings together a bunch of fun people, a knowledgeable guide and some of Seattle’s best brews. Tours are $79 which you’d easily spend on the amount of beer you get to try. They also run distillery and coffee tours.

Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour

614 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

You might not know, but the original neighborhood of Seattle has a whole level under the ground. In the late 1800s, they raised the city a floor. A great way to learn about the city’s history is taking Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour. Learn about the stories behind the creation of the underground and stories from within them. Tickets are $19. If you want to learn the seedy side of the underground, take a look at the Underworld adult only for only $25 and includes a drink.A guide to the city of Seattle. The best things to do in Seattle from where to eat, what attractions to visit, where to stay and what tours to join.

Argosy Cruises

1101 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101

While I hear the affordable ferry is a great way to get out on the water and view the city, to be honest, the Argosy Harbor Cruise was probably the item on the CityPASS I was the most excited for. Spend an hour out on the water with a guided tour. Whether it was pointing out places I didn’t know to look, or explaining what that building I’d been curious about all day was I think having the guided tour over the ferry was worth it, especially if you’re already planning on hitting other stops on the CityPASS.

Seattle Aquarium 

1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101

As a member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I have very high standards. I will say that it might not beat Monterey but is a close runner up and well worth the visit. If you haven’t been to a good aquarium in a while this is a must, you can see the otters even better than you can in Monterey, plus they have a Giant Pacific Octopus and Harbor Seals to watch. Even if you enjoy Monterey it is a unique enough spot to pop you head into. Plus it’s another attraction included in the CityPASS.

Sub Pop Records 

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport – Concourse C

Whether it is on your way in or out of Seattle, you have to make a stop at the Sub Pop Records store in the airport. Sub Pop is the record label that launched Nirvana and many other Seattle-based punk rock bands. This small label has played a huge role in Seattle’s and the music industry’s history and is fun to pop your head into.

Read Also: Seattle’s Top 5 Outdoor & Wildlife Experiences