Seattle, Washington | Seattle, Washington aka “The Emerald City” sits about 100 miles south of Canadian border and is known for its over cast weather, coffee shops, surrounding lush forests, diverse neighborhoods, and one of the most recognizable skylines in the world.
WHO WE FLEW
Southwest Airlines | With 2 kids in tow and all the gear that comes with them (diaper bags, strollers, car seats, etc.) we decided Southwest Airlines was our best option for both convenience and budget reasons.
Southwest flights have open seating (no assigned seats) so you choose your seat when you board the plane. The boarding group order (A, B, or C) and boarding position (1-60) is assigned when you check in for your flight (24 hours before). Family Boarding is offered between A Boarding and B Boarding for any families traveling with a child 6 years or younger so you will be guaranteed to sit together.
Customers traveling with children are allowed to check one stroller and one car seat per child for free, plus the regular 2 free checked baggage allowance, and free carry on and personal item. You can also take a stroller right up to the gate, check it in at the ticket counter and leave it in the wheelchair area right before you board the plane. When you land it will be brought back up so you can use it to head to baggage claim.
WHERE WE STAYED
Fortunately, my friend Raeann has family that lives in Seattle so we were able to crash with them!
During rush hours the main city streets and freeways can become tricky and congested. The downtown bus system is convenient and the Light Rail is a cheap ride from downtown to the Airport.
Link Light Rail | Makes trips from Angle Lake Station to the University of Washington through downtown Seattle, making 14 stops along the way including the Sea-Tac Airport.
Seattle Center Monorail | The monorail is open daily, departs every 10 minutes and travels 1 mile between Seattle Center to Pike Street Market and the Space Needle.
South Lake Union Streetcar | Runs every 10-15 minutes, Monday-Thursday 6:00am-9:00pm, Friday & Saturday 6:00am-11:00pm, and Sundays 10:00am-7:00pm, and makes 11 stops through the South Lake Union Area.
First Hill Streetcar | Departs every 10-25 minutes, Monday-Thursday 5:00am-1:00am, Friday & Saturday 6:00am-1:00pm, and Sunday 10:00am-7:00pm, and makes 10 stops from the Chinatown-International District through Capitol Hill.
Taxis, Uber, and Lyft are also popular in the downtown Seattle areas and can be accessed by using smartphone apps.
WHERE WE ATE
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese | Located in Pike Place Market, this artisan cheese factory, and retail shop is known for its Dungeness crab grilled cheese sandwiches, “bread-zel” garlic breadsticks and “World Famous” Mac n’ Cheese.
Biscuit Bitch | A funky coffee house specializing in classic Southern inspired biscuits & gravy.
This was one of my favorite spots in Seattle, the “Smokin’ Hot Seattle Bitch (left) was bomb!
The Crab Pot | Home of the Crab Pot Famous Seafeast: a variety of fresh seafood (King crab, Dungeness crab, snow crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, andouille sausage, corn on the cob and red potatoes) steamed with spices and dumped on a table where you smash it with a mallet.
Daily Dozen Doughnuts Co. | This tiny stand is famous for their warm and delicious doughnuts that come in 3 flavors: cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, and chocolate with sprinkles. *Cash only
Dog In The Park | Get a taste of the famous “Seattle Dog” here: beef hot dog, cream cheese, onions, and grilled veggies!
Full Tilt Ice Cream | Hang out at this funky ice cream bar (including vegan options) and enjoy local art, loud music, and vintage pinball machines. *Bring some quarters!
Hi-Way 101 Diner | Located in Sequim, WA this retro 50’s style diner offers delicious comfort food.
Those are tater tot nachos and that was the “half order!”
Butterfinger milkshake, enough said!
Ichiro Sushi & Teriyaki | Located in Magnolia, this “hole in the wall” serves up fresh sushi, teriyaki, spicy ramen, and tasty bento boxes.
Ivar’s Acres Of Clams | Located on Pier 54, this iconic waterfront spot serves award winning classics including fish n’ chips, smoked salmon, and clam chowder.
Save a couple french fries for the crazy seagulls behind Ivar’s Fish Bar!
Jai Thai | A family style, Thai restaurant located in the Freemont District, with a menu focused on select items from different regions of Thailand.
The Lockspot Cafe | Located near the Chittenden (Ballard) Locks, this rustic tavern is a great spot for fresh fish n’ chips.
Molly Moons Ice Cream | With 5 locations, Molly Moons uses milk and cream from hormone free dairy cows and offers creative flavors like balsamic strawberry, salted caramel, and honey & lavender.
Piroshky Piroshky | A small bakery specializing in Russian pastries (try the cinnamon cardamom braid) and hand held savory pies aka “piroshkis!” There will be a line out the door but its soo worth the wait.
The smoked salmon filed piroshki was absolutely amazing! A must try!
WHAT WE DID
Chittenden Locks | Aka “Ballard Locks” is a complex of locks where you can watch boats cross water between Washington’s Lake Washington Ship Canal. The locks also house the “fish ladder” where the salmon cross between fresh and salt water.
Freemont District | An artsy neighborhood with fun street art, antique shops, the Freemont Brewing Company, Freemont Troll, and the Freemont Sunday Market.
Fremont Sunday Market | A year round street/flea market with gourmet food trucks and over 200 vendors offering antiques, collectibles, vintage, and estate sale treasures. *Free admission, open Sundays rain or shine, pet-friendly, bike accessible
Freemont Troll | Located under the Aurora street bridge and a 20-minute walk from Gas Works Park, the Freemont Troll is an 18-foot tall concrete sculpture crushing a VW Beetle who was built in the 90’s.
Gum Wall | Located in Post Alley under Pike Place Market, the Market Theater brick wall is covered in chewing gum and was named one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions in 2009, second to the Blarney Stone. *Bring some gum and leave your mark!
Kerry Park | A 1.26-acre park on the South slope of Queen Anne Hill popular for its amazing panoramic views of Seattle’s skyline. *Bring your zoom lens if you’re wanting a “postcard” shot
Miners Landing | Located on the historic Pier 57, Miners Landing is a family friendly shopping, restaurant, and entertainment complex including a vintage carousel, water-front arcade, and the Seattle Great Wheel.
Mount Rainier | Located 2-3 hours from Seattle, Mount Rainer is a 14,400-foot high long-dormant volcano and National Park offering wildflower fields, ancient trees, and stunning views of nature.
We visited the Crystal Mountain Resort and took the Mt. Rainier Gondola to the top for this amazing view! The gondola climbs over 2,000 vertical feet to the summit of Crystal Mountain as well as the Summit House, the highest elevation restaurant in Washington. *Gondolas are wheelchair accessible and dog-friendly. Adults $23, Children 4-12 years $12, Children 3 & younger Free
Olympic Game Farm | Bring some wheat bread and enjoy feeding elk, bison, llamas, zebra, yak, and deer through your car window. Per person, per vehicle Adults $14, Children 6-14 years $12, Children 5 & younger Free
For more information about our experience click here!
Original Starbucks | Established in 1971, located at Pike Place Market, this store is commonly referred to as the original Starbucks. However, the 1st cafe was actually located at 2000 Western Ave. from 1971–1976, in 1912 the cafe moved to its present location in Pike Place.
Pike Place Market | Seattle’s most iconic attraction, a 9-acre market that overlooks Elliot Bay with aisles of fantastic eateries, delicious fruit, fresh flowers, tiny cafes, jewelry stands, unique boutiques, and the famous Fish Monger’s booth. For more information about our experience click here!
Ride The Ducks of Seattle | A wacky, 90-minute land and water tour with a Coast Guard Certified Captain in a WWII amphibious vehicle. Adults $35, Children 4-12 years $20, Children 3 & younger $5
Do this tour at the beginning of your trip as you may discover spots you’ll want to explore further.
Seattle Center | The 74 acre, Seattle Center is a collection of over 30 cultural, educational and entertainment entities including museums, playgrounds, gardens, sports venues, restaurants, shops, and the International Fountain.
The fountain was an awesome spot for lounging while the kids burn off some energy!
Seattle Great Wheel | Located on Pier 57, the Seattle Great Wheel stands 175 feet tall, extending 40 feet over Elliot Bay with 42 fully enclosed, climate controlled gondolas. Adults $14, Children 3-11 years $9, Children 3 & under Free
Seattle Waterfront | Stroll along the 1.5 mile stretch of Elliot Bay with dozens of paths, piers, seafood restaurants, and entertainment including the Seattle Aquarium, Miner’s Landing, Washington State Ferries, and the Seattle Great Wheel.
Visit the Seattle Waterfront the same day you visit Pike Place Market (it’s located directly across the street) to save time and expensive parking fees!
Space Needle | Seattle’s most iconic structure, the Space Needle stretches 605 feet tall and offers Sky View (a fine dining restaurant) and an observation deck that features amazing 360′ views of the city including Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. Adults $22, Children 5-12 years $14, Children 4 & younger Free
Washington State Ferries | An easy way to travel (with your car or on foot) to many surrounding islands and areas in the coastal Washington area offering panoramic views of Seattle’s skyline and harbor.
We took a 30-minute ride on the Edmonds/Kingston Ferry to Sequim, WA to visit the Olympic Game Farm!
Ye Olde Curiosity Shop | Located on Pier 54, this unique souvenir shop originated in 1899 and includes shrunken heads, mummies, natural oddities, weird taxidermy, and a fudge bar.
OTHER THINGS TO DO
Alki Beach Park | A 135.9-acre park offering 2.5 miles of sandy beach, campfires, water-front restaurants, and great views of Downtown.
Argosy Cruise Harbor Tour | A 1 hour narrated boat tour across the shorelines of Elliot Bay and the Seattle Waterfront.
Bainbridge Island | Hop on a 30-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle to a cute seaside town surrounded by trees known for its window shopping, wine tasting, and outdoor activities.
Boeing Airline Factory | Located in Mukilteo, 25 miles north of Seattle, public tours are offered 7 days a week, where guests can see thousands of technicians assembling Dreamliner airplanes.
Capitol Hill | Seattle’s LGBT hotspot, located east of Downtown, offers a multitude of dance clubs, karaoke bars, funky cafes, novelty shops, and unique restaurants.
The Center For Wooden Boats | A hands on maritime museum that offers sailboat classes, workshops, rentals, and free public rides on Sundays.
Chihuly Garden & Glass | A museum showcasing Doug Chihuly’s glass artwork in an array of bright colors and distinct shapes including a garden, exhibition hall, glasshouse, and sculptures that light up at night.
Chinatown-International District | Located next to the Seahawks Stadium, Seattle’s Asian American community offers a diverse collection of eateries, shops, attractions, and decor including large dragons, giant fish, Bubble Tea, and Uwajimaya, the largest Asian grocery store in the Pacific Northwest.
Discovery Park | The city’s largest park boasts 534 acres park on the shores of Puget Sound and offers over 11 miles of walking trails.
Downtown Seattle | The center of the city contains Seattle’s business district, Pike Place Market, the Central Library, and high-end department stores.
Emerald City Trolly | Take a ride around downtown Seattle on the green Emerald City Trolly with 2 unique tour options.
Gas Works Park | Sitting on the North Shore of Lake Union, this former Seattle Gas Light company plant was converted into a public park and still has the original industrial structures and electrical equipment.
Green Lake Park | A local’s favorite spot great for catching rays, exercising, dog walking, roller blading, and stand up paddle boarding.
Golden Gardens | A popular park that features 2 wetlands, wildlife, a trail loop, fishing pier, and great views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.
HOH Rainforest | One of the world’s lushest rain forests known for its unique moss, ferns, and amazing Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock trees which can reach over 300 feet high.
Japanese Gardens | Located in the Washington Park Arboretum, the Japanese Gardens is a 3.5 sanctuary with winding paths, ponds, plants, lanterns, and wildlife.
MoPOP Museum | A non-profit museum showcasing contemporary popular culture, movies, music, science fiction and history of the grunge movement.
Museum of Flight | The largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world, offering flight simulators, a pilot experience, drone demonstrations, and a children’s flight area.
Olympic Sculpture Park | This 9-acre public park is located near the Seattle waterfront and is decorated with contemporary sculptures and numerous walking paths.
Orcas Island | A horseshoe shaped island with over 57 square miles of rural forests and winding roads, known for its hiking trails, kayak trips, whale watching tours, and sailboat charters.
“Up” House | Edith Macefield’s house is said to be the inspiration for the Disney/Pixar movie “Up.” Her story received worldwide attention in 2006 when she turned down $1 million dollars to sell her house for commercial development.
Pacific Science Center | This museum offers over 300 interactive science exhibits, 2 IMAX theaters, laser light shows, a planetarium, and tropical butterfly house.
Pike Brewing Company | Take an education tour by expert Pike Brewing staff and learn about the ingredients used to make their unique craft beer flavors.
Pioneer Square | Seattle’s oldest and most historic neighborhood complete with brick buildings, art galleries, boutiques, and a lively nightlife.
Queen Anne | A lively urban neighborhood, minutes from downtown offering great views of Seattle’s skyline, historic homes, record stores, and boutiques.
Savor Seattle Food Tour | Savor Seattle specializes in guided walking food & drink tours through some of Seattle’s tastiest neighborhoods.
Seattle Aquarium | Located at Pier 59, the Seattle Aquarium features a stunning 120,000-gallon aquarium, touching tide pools, marine mammals, Pacific coral reef exhibit and an underwater dome.
Seattle Art Museum (SAM) | This museum houses classical and contemporary art as well as traveling exhibits featuring different prominent artists every couple of months.
Seattle Central Public Library | Known for its stunning architecture with over 10,000 panes of glass fused with over 4,500 tons of steel offering 11 floors to experience including a cafe, gift shop, and free internet.
Seattle Children’s Museum | This 22,000 square foot museum houses multiple exhibits and programs for families including theater, arts & crafts, public transportation, fort building and a mountain to climb and explore.
Seattle Pinball Museum | This museum features over 30 working vintage pinball machines located in the middle of International District. *Children must be 7 years or older to play.
Sky View Observatory | Located on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center, the observatory offers 360′ views of the city of Seattle including Mt. Rainier, Bellevue, the Cascade Mountains, Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains, and the Space Needle. Adults: $14.75, children 6-12: $9.75, children 5 & under are free.
Smith Tower | “Seattle’s original skyscraper” offers great views of the city on the 35th-floor, open air observation deck.
Snoqualmie Falls | Located 45 minutes east of Seattle, Snoqualmie Falls offers a 2-acre park, gift shop, observation deck, the Salish Lodge and the famous 270-foot waterfall.
Starbucks Reserve & Roastery Tasteroom | Watch your coffee being roasted and enjoy a tasting of blends you can’t find anywhere else including pour over, Siphon brewed, Clover-brewed, and espresso beverages.
Theo Chocolate Factory Tour | Located in Freemont, this popular chocolate manufacturer offers factory tours where you’ll see and learn how they make chocolate.
Underground Tour | A 75-minute guided walking tour through interconnecting tunnels of Seattle’s Underground where you’ll learn about the history of when the city was rebuilt on top of itself after the Great Fire of 1889.
Volunteer Park | Located in the heart of Seattle, Volunteer Park features a free conservatory featuring plants, ferns, flowers, trees, and cacti.
Woodinville Wine Country | Located 30 minutes outside the city, Woodinville is home to multiple local wineries, cellars, tasting rooms and guided tasting excursions.
Woodland Park & Zoo | A 92-acre park featuring over 300 animal species, naturalistic habitats, award winning exhibits, and conservation &educationall programs.
TIPS FOR VISITING SEATTLE, WASHINGTON
Weather averages 150 days of rain per year, cloudy 225 days per year and sunny 58 days per year with fog mostly September-November
The locals don’t use umbrellas
Seattle has over 40 museums, many are free the 1st Thursday of each month
The Seattle City Pass offers discounted admission to some of Seattle’s most iconic attractions
Some of the world’s biggest corporations were founded in Seattle like Microsoft and Starbucks
The city is featured in multiple movies and TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Sleepless in Seattle and Fifty Shades of Grey
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HAVE YOU VISITED SEATTLE, WASHINGTON? IF SO, WHAT DID YOU ENJOY?