Seattle may have roots in fishing, logging, and coal mining, but now, thanks to its lush evergreen forest and a newly found vibrance, it boasts the nickname “Emerald City.” It’s a destination known for an eclectic collection of neighbourhoods, and a perfect balance of urban comforts set in beautiful, natural surroundings.

Kerry Park at sunset. Seattle, WA. Photo by Jonathan Miske via Flickr CC

Kerry Park at sunset. Seattle, WA. Photo by Jonathan Miske via Flickr CC

Seattle is not one of the most popular and often visited cities in the United States, but its beautiful views, edgy arty culture, and lots of outdoor activities continue to attract over 18 million visitors a year.

Never thought of Seattle as a place you’d like to visit? These Top 10 Reasons to Visit Seattle from “Traveler’s Digest” might convince you otherwise. “Smarter Travel” even argues that it is the top US destination to visit in the summer: Five Awesome Reasons to Visit Seattle This Summer.

Top Things to Do in Seattle

Seattle’s Space Needle is a landmark that doesn’t need an introduction and one that’s probably already at the top of your Seattle landmarks list. The observation deck on this tower, located 520 feet up, offers 360 degree panoramic views of the Emerald City, along with the mountain ranges and the waterfronts that surround it.

Seattle Sunrise with Space Needle in the middle. Photo by CEBImagery via Flickr CC

Seattle Sunrise with Space Needle in the middle. Photo by CEBImagery via Flickr CC

But there is more to Seattle than its famous tower. According to “Four Seasons Magazine,”Seattle offers a unique blend of culture, art and nature and their Top Reasons to Visit Seattle, suggest the following:

  • Visiting Pike Place Market, the oldest farmers market in the US
  • Taking a tour of Seattle’s boutique wineries
  • Immersing yourself in outdoor activities on San Juan Islands

Pike Place Market at Dusk in Seattle, WA. Photo by Michael Righi via Flickr CC

USA Today“praises Seattle’s music and art scene and the “Seattle Times” suggests that you should also spend some time at the Downtown waterfront and join the locals at bubble-tea shops or for dim sum in Chinatown International District. Here is their full list of Seattle’s Top 10 attractions

If you are after something a bit different, check out this “Huffington Post” article on 6 Quirky Things To Do in Seattle to find out everything about the Post Alley Gum Wall, the city’s famous Burlesque shows, Zoo Tunes summer concert series, and President’s Obama’s favourite chocolatiers.

Where to Stay in Seattle

Turns out, accommodation options in Seattle aren’t great, especially if you are visiting in the summer. Hostels, hotels, and B&Bs sell out fast, and the prices are through the roof. Travel Codex suggests that you should consider yourself lucky if you manage to find a hotel for less than $200/night for a nice summer weekend. Their article The Insider’s Guide to Seattle: Where to Stay suggests that you stay in Downtown, Belltown, South Lake Union areas, or consider the University District.

Photo by Xingyee via

Photo by Xingyee via

For cheap accommodation options, look for Seattle Hotels on Hipmunk, or opt for an alternative accommodation option with Airbnb. Curbed Seattle outlined the 10 Best Airbnb Rentals in Seattle suitable for every type of traveler, whether they want to sleep in a yurt, an Airstream trailer, or on a lavender farm.

P.S. Get $32 AUD credit if you sign up for Airbnb using this link

Where to Eat in Seattle

When it comes to filling your belly, there is no shortage of options in Seattle. Every neighbourhood comes with its own list of the bests, ranging from high-end restaurants to cheap take-aways.

If you are eager to try the best of the best, then follow “Seattle Magazine” advice on the Best Restaurants in Seattle. For the best neighbourhood restaurant, head to Daniel’s Broiler in Leschi or Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar in Bellevue. If you are after cheap grub, it’s all about Dick’s Drive-In. Take the kiddies to Red Robin and your date to Canlis in Queen Anne.

Oysters at Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar. Seattle, WA. Photo via Seastar Restaurant Facebook

Oysters at Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar. Seattle, WA. Photo via Seastar Restaurant Facebook

If you need a snack in the middle of the day, Thrillist’s Guide to Snacks You Can Only Get in Seattle will have you snacking on the right local specialty in no time.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a visit to Seattle without a seafood experience. Serious Eats recap Seattle’s best local seafood restaurant choices, recommending Sea Garden, Taylor Shellfish, Marination Ma Kai, and a few other great spots in the city.

How Much Time Do You Need in Seattle?

If you focus primarily on Seattle itself, 2-3 days is enough to see the major sights, and get a taste for Seattle’s funky culture. The attractions in downtown and the surroundings, like the Seattle Art Museum, Columbia Center, Pike Market, and the Space Needle are easily explored in one day, leaving you with a day or two to wander, check out the parks, museums, and Seattle’s famous waterfront.

If you want a little adventure, add another 2-4 days to check out San Juan Islands or Olympic National Park, located roughly 3 hours outside the city.

Have you ever visited Seattle?
Do you have any tips to share for visiting this city?