Travel Guide: The Best Things to do in Seattle

Being situated on the northwestern coast of Washington gives Seattle an incredible mix of natural spaces with metropolitan flair. This dichotomy makes Seattle an ideal travel destination for people who want to have it all. You can enjoy the natural beauty of Bainbridge Island and walk the streets of Downtown all in one afternoon.

We couldn’t write about Seattle without enlisting the help of Seattle resident, Lexi Doerfler of The Destination Designer. Not only does Lexi know the ins and outs of this city, but she also happens to be a professional travel planner. So, who could be better to help us write a Seattle guide?

Why should you visit Seattle?

Seattle’s beauty is incredible. There is really no other city with such a stunning natural backdrop. Beyond the city skyline are views of mountains, lakes, and so much greenery.

Boating on Lake Washington with Baggallini’s Clear Event Backpack

From the seafood to the mountains to the waterfront, Seattle has a lot to offer. Here are a few other reasons Lexi loves this city:

  • Seattle’s foodie scene is unreal. Take advantage of the incredible restaurants, especially those serving fresh seafood.
  • A great way to get a taste of Seattle’s best is to spend the day at the iconic Pike Place Market.
  • Lexi’s absolute favorite thing to do is to spend summers boating on Lake Washington or Union.

What are the best things to do in Seattle?

Landmarks in Seattle

If you only have a couple days in Seattle make sure you check these iconic landmarks off your list.

  • If you have a love for food shopping, spend the day eating your way through Seattle’s famed food market, Pike Place Market.
  • The Space Needle is probably Seattle’s most iconic site. Admissions to the unique tower not only gives you a glimpse at some of the best panoramic views. But also grants you access to the Chihuly Garden, a spectacular hand blown glass museum that is one of the most underrated things to do in Seattle.
  • For the most epic city skyline view and photo opt, Kerry Park is a must see.
  • And of course, you can visit the original Starbucks.
The first Starbucks at Pike Place Market

Waterfront activities in Seattle

The waterfront in Seattle offers endless views and is a fun place to walk around and explore. Here are just a few things you can do along the waterfront.

Seattle Great Wheel
  • Ride the iconic Great Wheel.
  • Head to the Seattle Aquarium. Located at Pier 59, the Seattle Aquarium gives you the opportunity to see all kinds of creatures from all points of view.
  • Take a boat tour. There are a number of tour companies that offer a variety of scenery tours around the harbor.
  • And, of course, eat fresh seafood at any of the numerous seaside restaurants.

Downtown activities in Seattle

Just a short walk from the waterfront Seattle’s downtown has a number of unique, fun things to do. Here are a just few things we recommend trying in Downtown Seattle.

  • Take an underground tour. This is one of Seattle’s truly unique attractions. The tour takes you through the subterranean storefronts and sidewalks entombed when the city rebuilt itself after the Great Fire of 1889.
  • Seattle has great shopping. Head to Pacific Place to find all of your favorite stores in one place.
  • Catch a show at the historic 5th Avenue Theatre. This theater was built in 1926 and got its start showing movies. It’s now home to The 5th Avenue Musical Theater Company.
  • Visit MoPOP, the museum of pop culture, and explore some of the most significant moments in music and more.
  • Or, if you’re more interested in art, head to the Seattle Art Museum, the largest art museum in Seattle.
  • Love airplanes? You need to go to The Museum of Flight. This museum is the largest, non-profit air and space museum in the world.