Sometimes a weekend getaway is a great way to recharge and refresh. A change of scenery, and hopefully some warmer weather! Seattle, Washington is a destination city right on the Pacific Ocean. If you’ve never been, then let me convince you in this post on why you MUST check out the Emerald City. Here are 6 attractions that you can’t miss plus the cheapest way that you can experience them all!
Getting To Seattle
Calgary is only an hour’s plane ride from Seattle and makes for such a great weekend getaway. The Seattle airport or SEA-TAC is easy to maneuver although it is located a fair distance from the city center. The city’s Link Light Rail is my choice for getting into town on a budget. Once you arrive, follow the signs at the airport to the train terminal and get yourself a one-way ticket for only $3! Seattle is very Uber friendly but a ride into the city from the airport will cost you about $30 but save you about 15 minutes in travel time. My husband and I stayed in the Financial District at the Fairmont Olympic. It was a beautiful hotel, in a great location, within walking distance to many of the city’s attractions. Just bring a pair of good walking shoes and be prepared to climb a lot of inclines and steps!
The Best Seattle Attractions
CityPASS Admission Includes
- 1 Space Needle
- 2 Seattle Aquarium
- 3 Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
- 4 Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) OR Woodland Park Zoo
- 5 Chihuly Garden and Glass OR Pacific Science Center
If you’re going to visit a city, then I say that you try and experience everything that the city has to offer a tourist. I love visiting museums and attractions! Sometimes it can be hard to navigate what is worth the price of admissions and The Seattle CityPASS has helped do just that. Get 5 of Seattle’s best attractions with one ticket price! This pass will save you so much money rather than forking out admission prices for each ticket individually. The total price is $99 for adults and $79 for children. I used the Seattle CityPASS on our weekend trip to Washington a few weeks ago and I wanted to break down some of my favourite attractions so that you don’t miss out on the BEST SEATTLE ATTRACTIONS!
The Seattle skyline is known for the Space Needle. The observation tower was built in 1961 and stands 305 feet tall. You’ll get 360 degrees views of the entire city of Seattle and surrounding areas. While waiting in line, you can learn the history of the Space Needle construction through interactive displays. Once you ascend, there are two floors to explore. It may take you some courage to lean against the glass walls for a cool photo or stand atop the glass floor. There are light snacks and beverages for purchase at the top so you can spend as much time as you’d like to gazing across Seattle.
If you’re looking to experience something different but completely awe-inspiring, then do not miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. It’s one of those places that you may not have heard about before but after you visit, you’ll remember it as the highlight of your trip. In the shadow of the Space Needle, the museum is something that you’ve never experienced before. Artist, Dale Chihuly, is an American glass sculpture who’s work is absolutely remarkable. You won’t be able to put your camera away! The museum has an indoor and outdoor portion including the 100-foot-long installation inside of the Glasshouse. It gets my vote as one of the most Instagrammable places in the city!
Art museums are always a draw for tourists but the Museum of Pop Culture is so much better in my opinion! This wacky-looking building affectionately called MoPOP houses some amazing exhibitions that can’t be missed. Little did I know, the birth of the grunge music scene happened in Seattle in the 1990s. The highlight for our group was the Nirvana exhibition highlighting the band’s entire career from start to finish in authentic guitars, letters, photographs. Pearl Jam, Jimmy Hendrix and Prince are also beautifully displayed. Movies fans will also love “Scared to Death” (it’s not as scary as it sounds) as you’ll get to see real pieces from your favourite horror films and television shows such as Ghostbusters, Star Wars, The Walking Dead, Gremlins and so many more.
You can’t miss Pike Place Market when you visit Seattle. It may be even more iconic than the Space Needle as it radiates a vibrant culture and personality for tourists and locals to experience any day of the week. Bustling crowds, fresh floral stands, fish market vendors that sing and throw fish and the very first Starbucks store EVER. Make sure you come to the market hungry as you’ll want to indulge in one (or ten) of the delicious local food shops. Just don’t forget your patience as lines can be long but I promise that there’s a good reason for the wait. I highly recommend Beecher’s macaroni and cheese, a sweet or savory pastry from Piroshky Piroshky, and of course your favourite beverage from Starbucks. Take your food to go and stroll around the market to take in all the amazing local vendors. You’ll find great views of the ferris wheel and harbour if you venture west.
Just up from Pike Place Market, Post Alley hosts one of the grossest but coolest walls I’ve ever seen. The Market Theatre brick walls have been a place to put your wad of chewing gum since the tradition started in 1993. You can’t leave Seattle without getting a photo here and continuing on the tradition. Please note that this wall is cleaned once a year and when we visited in September, most of it has just been removed. The space isn’t huge and is usually jam-packed with tourists so visit early in the morning or on a weekday to avoid busloads of crowds. Check out more Instagram Walls in Seattle in my Wall Guide.
The Great Wheel is an iconic part of Seattle’s skyline. Even if you’re not keen to take a ride on the 175-foot Ferris wheel located at Pier 57, head down to the wharf area to stroll along the boardwalk beside the ocean. It’s a great place to catch some neat photos or try out some of Seattle’s fresh seafood.
Seattle with Kids
Because it was just my husband and me on this trip, we missed checking out the Seattle Aquarium and the Woodland Zoo. The Pacific Science Centre is also a destination that I know my boys would appreciate when we return. All of these attractions look fantastic and are offered in the CityPass. They are also offering some neat experiences during the holidays that you won’t want to miss!
The winter holidays are a beautiful time to explore a city! Especially one that ramps up festivities and offers special events and experiences for both locals and tourists! Seattle is just that city and it’s time for you to unwrap the town! There is something going on every single day: from holiday lights, photos with Santa, concerts, wine tasting or a marathon. There are so many fun opportunities! Seriously, there’s even a diving Santa at the Seattle Aquarium. Like how cool is that?!
Planning a trip to Washington during November or December? Then make sure to check out the Visit Seattle website to a full calendar of everything that’s offered.
If you’re an outdoor adventurist, then take advantage of the ultimate skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tubing, and snowshoeing in the nearby mountain range. If a Polar Bear Plunge is on your bucket list, then check it off this year! All locations and sports are listed on in Visit Seattle’s online calendar. Do you think that it’s too soon to be planning my return trip?
Looking for more Seattle fun? Check out Instagram Walls in Seattle, Washington!