Living in Vancouver means you’ve been to Seattle lots. It’s a 2.5-hour drive away and it’s the perfect destination for a quick trip out the country. I myself have been so many times that I’ve lost count so without further ado, here are the top activities I recommend for a fun and exciting one day in Seattle.
Pike Place Market
Whether you are driving or flying in, I suggest starting the day at Pike Place Market. On weekends especially, you get to witness the exuberance of the farmers market. From fresh seafood of the Pacific Northwest and Alaskan waters to unique, handcrafted art, Pike Place Market is full of local flavors and delightful surprises.
The Original Starbucks
Aside from the farmers market, a big attraction here is the Original Starbucks. Established in 1971, this is the first ever Starbucks branch to have opened (although technically the café was originally located elsewhere and only moved here in ~1976). I’m not a coffee addict by any means and the only thing I ever order at Starbucks really is a grande green tea latte so I didn’t want to waste my time waiting in line. I do hear the coffee here tastes a lot better, however, so if you’re up for the wait, by all means go for it.
Beecher’s World’s Best Mac and Cheese
Now one thing I hate about Pike Place Market is linesssss. There are just queues and queues of people everywhere that even to this day, I haven’t tried much of the famous “must-eats” here because heck ain’t nobody got time for that!
One of the things I did try was Beecher’s World’s Best Mac and Cheese. The cheese here are handmade and you can also watch the creation process through their display windows. For me though, whenever something gets hyped up, it loses its charms. We came on one of the rare occurrences that there were no lines and yes, it was creamy and delicious and had that special kick from the Monterey Jack, but cheese on top of anything tastes bomb – that’s a given. No matter how fancy you make the dish to be, mac and cheese is mac and cheese. Is it worth the wait? Meh. However, if there are no lines, definitely do give it a try as it’s a very cool experience watching their behind the scenes.
The Infamous Gum Wall
Another popular point of interest is Gum Wall by the Market Theater.
Absolutely disgusting and you can even smell that pungent bubble gum scent standing a meter away from it but it’s a Seattle must. It’s like going to New York and not seeing Times Square or the Statue of Liberty.
So you’ve been walking around the whole morning and your stomach is starting to growl. Post Alley is your place to go for lunch. There are a ton of restaurants to pick from but my favorite is definitely Pink Door.
Linguine Alle Vongole – baby clams, pancetta, garlic chilis, and white wine linguine.
It’s a little Italian restaurant that’s somewhat tucked away and hard to find but the food here is phenomenal. Great ambiance as well and overall just a hidden gem.
If Italian’s not your jam or you’re simply looking to try something different, Din Tai Fung is where it’s at.
You got your traditional pork xiao long bao, shrimp and pork shao mai, and vegetable and pork wontons with spicy sauce.
Originating from Taiwan (shoutout to my mother land), this place is famous for its xiao long baos (soup dumplings). Unlike regular dumplings, the moment you bite into these bad boys, the soup oozes out and you’re hit with these explosive flavors. They really can’t be described but if you’ve never had one of these hot, steaming buns, you haven’t been living I’m telling ya.
Aside from dining at Din Tai Fung within the Pacific Place mall, Downtown core is perfect for afternoon shopping. There are so many shops that you will literally shop ’til you drop.
Afternoon Coffee + Doughnuts @ General Porpoise
Let’s be real here, are you really on a trip if you’re not constantly eating???
General Porpoise is hands down one of the best spots for doughnuts. These sugary desserts are divine of course, or I wouldn’t be listing them, but let’s talk interior. White marble counter tops? Tots IG-worthy! Cute café to chill at or better yet take these delicious treats to-go and enjoy them at a park under the gorgeous sun.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
This museum showcases the remarkable work of glass sculptor Dale Chihuly from Tacoma, Washington. His art is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide and they are considered unconventional in the world of blown glass.
Not gonna lie though, some his pieces do look a lot like tentacles. I personally cannot stand anything without legs that crawl and tentacles are somewhat similar. I just… I just can’t. That is not to say I didn’t enjoy the exhibition though. His use of vivid colors really bring the pieces to life and it blew my mind (hah notice the pun?) how he was able to shape and form something as hard as glass into these soft lines and curves.
Located right beside Chihuly Garden and Glass is Seattle’s iconic Space Needle. It’s not like Toronto’s CN Tower or the Calgary Tower where there are glass-floor observatories. That said, it’s never been enticing enough for me to visit hence I’ve never actually been up myself. It is still a well-liked tourist attraction and if you are in the area for Chihuly’s exhibit and have some time to kill, why not?
When it comes to observatory towers, I’m the kind of person who prefers to enjoy them from the outside. If you’re like me, Kerry Park has spectacular views of Space Needle and the Seattle horizon. Best thing is it’s free! Bring those General Porpoise doughnuts here and you got yourself a beautiful afternoon of views and good eats.
University of Washington (Seasonal)
Last but not least, University of Washington. My dad is a UW alumni so I’ve been a couple times. It’s not exactly a tourist destination but during spring time, they have the most gorgeous cherry blossoms.
Now I know this itinerary is getting lengthy but a visit to UW would be dependent on what month you choose to visit Seattle. It is also a bit out of the way to get to if you’re not renting a car/driving so it’s not for everyone.
One Day in Seattle – The Perfect Itinerary
And there you have it!
Phew! Sounds like quite a busy one day in Seattle! I’ve planned this based on spring/summer seasons when the sun sets later (i.e. more time to explore). Lunch was included yes, but not dinner. Depending on your trip, you may or may not have time for dinner. Plus, I believe I’ve provided enough food options for more than 3 meals here already hahahaa. Y’all be fine.
Map created with Sygic Travel.
Now doesn’t matter you’re driving down or arriving at the airport, I’ve tried to plan this as geographically efficient as possible so you’re not looping around the city. This is what I love about using Sygic Travel. You can add attraction sights to your trip itinerary and plan out your day based on geographic locations. Give them a try the next time you plan a trip. They used to be known as Tripomatic and I’ve been using their website services for as long as I can remember. Highly recommended!
If you’re still looking for other things to do or places to dine at, feel free to check out my previous photo blog ≪Seattle Through A Thousand Frames≫. Otherwise, I’ll see you in next week’s post!