Set on the scenic Puget Sound, Seattle is home to iconic sights like The Space Needle and Pike Place Market. The distinctive international vibe is evident in the cities art, music, restaurants and museums.
Start your visit downtown. Stroll Pike Place Market, home to the freshest fish, the most beautiful flowers and vibrant colorful local produce. The Seattle Center, built for the 1962 World’s Fair is home to the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center and the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition. Historic Pioneer Square, Seattle’s original neighborhood, is full of charming eateries and coffee shops.
To enjoy the local’s Seattle, visit its neighborhoods. Areas like Capitol Hill, Fremont, South Lake Union and Ballard, are the heartbeat of the city. Below is a quick description of a few of the most popular neighborhoods for visitors.
Walking Distance to Downtown
South Lake Union: This thriving neighborhood on the tip of the lake is home to Amazon, food trucks, hip bars and restaurants. Visit MOHI, the Museum of History and Industry. Learn about the history of industry and innovation in Seattle.
Capitol Hill: This diverse area is uphill from the Seattle’s retail core on Pike or Pine. This neighborhood has a distinctly urban vibe with great coffee shops and eateries. The charming 11th Avenue Inn is ideally located for exploring Capitol Hill. Look down. Art and history line the sidewalks. Stroll Millionaires Row past historic turn of the century mansion. End your walk at Volunteer Park and the Asian Art Museum. Shafer Baillie Mansion is a boutique inn, located in the heart of your stroll down Millionaires Row. Here elegance and history meet. Historic Bacon Mansion is located on a quiet tree lined street just a few blocks from bustling Broadway.
You can walk from these neighborhoods to all the local sites, but they are also accessible by public transportation. Both are serviced by Seattles Metro bus system. Capitol Hill is served by the Light Rail System and South Lake Union has the South Lake Union Streetcar.
To The North
Ballard: This neighborhood has a distinctive Nordic flair. Originally a popular fishing area, Ballard is now known for it’s vibrant music scene and numerous craft breweries. This is a great spot for dining and great entertainment. Visit the popularHiram Chittenden Locks. Here boats move from the Puget Sound onto Lake Union. There is also a fish ladder and beautiful botanical garden.
Fremont: This is the center of the universe. There is a sign on the Fremont Bridge proclaiming that. This quirky neighborhood is home to a Statue of Lenin, the Fremont Rocket, the Troll Under the Bridge and a great Sunday Market. There are plenty of spots for dining. People watch from one of the many coffee shops. Walk or cycle the Burke Gilman Trail along the ship canal.
Greenlake: This is where locals go to enjoy nature. Greenlake Park has a 3 mile paved trail around the lake, perfect for strolling. In summer enjoy canoeing, kayaking or swimming in the lake. Put together a picnic and relax under the trees. There are several great restaurants and coffee shops in the neighborhood. Explore the area from Greenlake Guest House. This upscale BnB has a breathtaking view of the lake and is within walking distance to everything in the area.
West of the City
West Seattle: This relaxed, laid back neighborhood. Everything revolves around West Seattle Junction. The area is lined with shops, eateries and coffee shops. Escape the city and head to Alki Beach. This popular beach offers a view of the Puget Sound and the Seattle Skyline.
Weather and Getting There (and around!)
Summer in Seattle is glorious with blue skies and temperatures in the low to mid 70s. Winter is misty and rainy with temperatures in the low 50’s.
Seattle is served by Seattle Tacoma International Airport. Once you arrive, head to the Light Rail center. Purchase an Orca Card. They are valid on the Light Rail System and the Metro Bus Lines. You can purchase Orca Card at Light Rail Stations. Even if you arrive by car, consider using the local transit system. Save both time and money!
Things to Do in Seattle
- Visit Pike Place Market
- Stroll Pioneer Square
- Check out the Starbucks Reserve Roastery
- Don’t Miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass
- Walk Broadway on Capitol Hill
- Stroll the outdoor Olympic Sculpture Park
- Walk around Greenlake
- Crawl the Craft Breweries in Fremont and Ballard
- Visit Woodland Park Zoo
- Watch the Boats at the Hiriam Chittenden Locks
- Play Volleyball on Alki Beach
- Visit the Gum Wall
- Check out the Troll Under the Bridge
- Stroll the Seattle Waterfront
- Take the Ferry to Bainbridge Island for lunch
- Ask your innkeeper for suggestions….
Let our Washington INNSiders help you plan the perfect Seattle vacation.
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