A Day in Seattle

This page may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

We didn’t have long in Seattle but even in a day you can visit some interesting attractions, all within walking distance in the compact downtown area.  We recommend starting early and checking out some of these highlights.

Pike Place Market

Mee Sum Pastry, Pike Place MarketOne of Seattle’s most popular tourist attractions and deservedly so. This huge market isn’t just for visitors – locals buy quality produce here too. We spent hours browsing the stalls and sampling the treats on offer: cabernet chocolate cherries, aged balsamic vinegar, wildflower honey, and marionberry jam. The vegetable stalls were overflowing with fresh and unusual produce – it made me long for a kitchen to try them all.

Pike Place Market vegetable stall

Pike Place Market vegetable stall

As well as market stalls selling fruit, vegetables, fish and locally grown treats you have a huge range of cooked food – we loved The Crumpet Shop and the Mac and Cheese at Beecher’s Cheese Shop. The humbow at Mee Sum Pastry looked tasty too but they always ran out of the vegetarian ones before we got there. You could easily spend the day eating your way around the food stalls.

Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture Park

After stocking up with picnic food head down the steep steps of the Pike Hill Climb to the waterfront. It’s about a 20 minute walk along the water to reach the Olympic Sculpture Park. It’s not huge but on a sunny day it’s a great place to enjoy the outdoor sculptures overlooking the water. Conveniently placed chairs make this a good spot for your picnic.

Experience Music Project/ Science Fiction Museum

We couldn’t visit Seattle without somehow paying respects to the musical heritage of the city. With exhibitions on Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix the Experience Music Project seemed like the perfect choice – the Battlestar Gallactica exhibition was an added bonus (the music and science fiction combo is strange but ideal for Simon). It’s a fantastic museum with detailed exhibitions, and best of all an interactive area. You can play real drums, guitar and keyboard in one of the rehearsal rooms and even record your efforts. After 16 months without playing his drums Simon was in heaven.

Tamarind Tree

Seattle has a large Asian population and there are many Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese restaurants in the International District which combines Chinatown and Japantown. We heard the Vietnamese food is great in the city and decided on Tamarind Tree as it had excellent reviews and a decent vegetarian selection. It’s a little tricky to find hidden in a car park but the interior is classy and the food delicious. We aren’t huge tofu fans but this place converted us. The portions are big and at around $10 a main it’s good value.

We’d have loved to have more time in Seattle and explore some of the interesting neighbourhoods like Freemont and Capitol Hill, but even with a day in Seattle you can get a taste of the city.

If you enjoyed this post, pin it!

Here's how to spend the perfect day in Seattle, Washington.

Are you looking for Christmas gift ideas? See our guide to the 50 Best Gifts for Travelers. They are ideal for travel lovers who want to pack light and include something for every budget.

  • Share:

Enter your email to sign up for our monthly newsletter with exclusive travel tips and updates.

15 Comments (1 pingbacks)

  1. It’s sad that you only get to spend one day as there are lots of nice places to visit in Seattle. Anyway, if you ever plan to go back, I suggest browsing Feelday.com first for weekend activities.


  2. So something I didn’t get to tell you & Simon at TBEX is that Jam may or may not be my cocaine, cystal methamphetemine, and heroine, all rolled up into one really strong Jeffery. So I have to ask…How was the marionberry jam? Scale of 1 – 10? What’d they let you spread it on…crackers? Bread? Pancakes?!?! GO!

    ps: Seattle looks awesome!


    • The marionberry jam was very tasty – I´d give it a 9. I’m actually not much of a jam fan but this was quality stuff. I also really liked the fruity habanero jams they had – the spiciness gave it a nice kick. We got to try it on crackers. You would have been in heaven as there are loads of jams to try on a few different stalls. Unfortunately we couldn’t buy any because of the stupid 100ml liquid rule on planes and we travel hand luggage only.


  3. That’s incredible that you chose to shoot Mee Sum Pastry, the very same stall I stopped for bbq humbow on my way home from work 3 or 4 times a week. I wonder if it’s still $2.

    Seattle’s a great town, I’m glad you had the chance to visit. I spent a decade there and can firmly attest to its elevated artistic culture. I’d also recommend checking out the Central Library (for incredible modern architecture) and the Alibi Room for a great dining experience (underneath the Market).

    @Adam, the city is vibrant but living there can be tough: long gray winters where it’s hard to leave the house and the sun might as well be a forgotten relic.


    • That’s funny! It seems like a really popular spot. Shame they didn’t have any veggie ones left for us to try.

      Seattle does seem like a great city, but the climate is too similar to Manchester (where we lived in England) and we left there for a reason!


  4. aw, yay! This reminds me of my very first days in Seattle :) Although I’m quite partial to Green Leaf in the I.D. myself. If you ever make it back though, Volunteer Park in Capitol hill has some killer views of the space needle + cascades. C’mon, Space Needle climbers, wouldn’t you want that in your view too?


  5. I love Seattle! One of my favorite cities. The art, the culture, the atmosphere, and the list could go on and on. If I were to ever pick a new place to live in the States, it’d be there.


    • When we were in Seattle we bemoaned the fact that all the coolest cities seem to have the worst climates. I need to find somewhere in the tropics that has such a great arts and cultural scene.


    • Although we had a sunny day it was still too hazy to see the mountains unfortunately. Also the Space Needle was a bit too pricey for us (in addition to the museum entrance). The views must be wonderful on a clear day though.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.