Let’s face it, the Emerald City offers a ton of potentially perfect days. Hiking, eating, gallery hopping -- it’s all possible. Here’s our take on just one ideal day in Seattle, geared toward newbies to the city who are looking for a greatest hits list of the major attractions:
The bounty of fresh produce and local goods at the friendly Pike Place Market
has caused countless people to fall head over heels in love with Seattle. It’s located right downtown and is a great place to start the day, watching vendors lay out farm-fresh goods and artisan products. Bakeries and coffee shops (including the original Starbucks) abound in the market area and make perfect spots for breakfast and a delicious jolt of java. Be sure to see Rachel, the bronze piggy bank, located near the entrance; the famous fish-throwers at Pike Place Fish Company
; the colorful flower, produce and seafood stands on the main level; the kitschy and out-of-the ordinary shops on the lower level; and the row of heavenly scented food stands along Pike Place. A variety of market tours are also available for getting an insider’s view of the market. Go on a tasting tour, a local chef’s tour or even a ghost tour.
Nearby on the Seattle waterfront, just minutes from the market, is a relaxing way to take in views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains. The Olympic Sculpture Park features 20-plus groundbreaking, large-scale sculptures in an awe-inspiring outdoor setting. It’s free, by the way.
Also nearby is the Seattle Center
, where visitors can take an elevator ride to the 520-foot-high observation deck in the Space Needle
, explore EMP Museum
, play in interactive exhibits at the Pacific Science Center
or visit Chihuly Garden and Glass, which showcases the most comprehensive collection of Chihuly’s artwork ever assembled.
Aboard a sunset dinner cruise, diners enjoy skimming along Puget Sound with views of downtown Seattle’s twinkling lights. Argosy Cruises
, Waterways Cruises
and Events and other operators offer delicious gourmet dinners on board, often accompanied by live music or narration. Or cruise to Tillicum Village for a Native American cultural experience to enjoy a traditional salmon dinner.
For those who prefer to stay on solid ground, the tastes of Seattle’s famous Northwest cuisine, which focus on farm-to-table ingredients and a fusion of international flavors, are a great bet. Paired with one of dozens of award-winning Washington State wines, it makes for an unforgettable experience.
Pre- or post-dinner musical entertainment in the heart of downtown can include a jazz show at The Triple Door
or a symphony performance at Benaroya Hall