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Planning a visit to the Emerald City of Washington State? 3 days in Seattle is a good amount of time to explore this lovely city. Here is a Seattle itinerary to help you see the best attractions of the city.
Seattle is one of the most loved cities in Washington State. It is known for its diverse culture, coffee scenes, lovely waterfronts, blooming downtown, lush greenness and abundance of outdoor activities. Interestingly, Seattle is home to the first Starbucks, also known as the Original Starbucks which was established in 1971 at the Pike Place Market. At one end you would find suited people running for the corporate world. And on the other end, you would witness athletes and sports enthusiasts going for a swim or kayaking. Seattle has it all. The city has a good share of rainy days, but most of them are very pleasant.
So, if you have been wondering how you will explore the city in 3 days, here is a Seattle itinerary that will take you through the best places to visit, where to stay, best eateries to check out and much more.
Seattle Itinerary : 3 Days In Seattle
Day 1 : Space Needle, Seattle Center, Pike Place Market
Seattle Centre and Space Needle
The Space Needle located in the Seattle center is an iconic structure of the city. It is a tower that stands 605 feet tall on the land of the city and offers a thrilling experience to visitors. It was built in the Seattle Centre for the 1962 World fair and on its opening day, 2.3 million people came to visit it. You will be astonished at the design of the tower to withstand multiple earthquakes and hurricanes from the time it was built. Once you will witness it, you can understand the construction of it was crucial but what you see now is a marvel in itself.
The Space Needle also has an observation deck that is located at 520 feet. So, if you don’t like the moving of the giant wheel, this could be your chance to stay still and soak in some incredible views of the city. Sunset and twilight time gazing are the fondest activities done here. You can also dine at the SkyCity restaurant situated atop the Space Needle to enjoy the unmatched views of the city from its revolving glass floor.
Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum
Another amazing and must visit attraction in your Seattle itinerary is the Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum. It is located right next to the Space Needle in the Seattle Center. You will be amazed by the fascinating art exhibitions and the Glasshouse. It will simply transport you to a different world of wonderful art that is made out of glass.
There are more attractions in the Seattle Center which include the Museum of Pop Culture (MPoP), Artists at Playground, International Fountain, Children’s Theater and the Pacific Science Center. You can easily spend your day just exploring these attractions and indulging yourselves in various activities at the Seattle Center.
When you are in Seattle, you need to go to the centre for the best food. And for your first day, there is no place better than Dick’s Drive-in. It is the oldest place in Seattle. The food quality and the menu of the place have been famous among the community of the city for years now. The drive-in claims that they make and offer the tastiest and juiciest burgers in the city. The creamy drinks they serve, also known as hand-dipped drinks, make you crave more after every sip. One thing is assured that they never compromise with the taste of their menu.
Dick’s Drive-in has many locations around the city. You can order and taste their exclusives no matter the side of the town you are at. There is also one close to the Seattle Center.
Pike Place Market
How else would you explore a city’s culture if you haven’t yet visited its local market? And when you are in Seattle, there is only one place where the traditional-economic soul of the region resides, and that place is Pike Place Market. It is only a mile away from the Seattle Center. With all the captivating smell of small eateries and local restaurants that will lure you, this market is a perfect place for trying some local food. If you want to savor the best delicacies, we recommend you to join this fantastic food tour of the Pike Place Market which will take you to the best food stalls in the market.
You are going to discover some of the shops with handmade goods and accessories that you would immediately fall in love with. From interior décor to small jewelry pieces that can add some charm to your wardrobe, we bet you cannot buy just one thing from here. Since these are local shops and have been here for generations, you would meet some nice and kind people from the community who treat the tourists with tender love and care.
Day 2 : Fremont Troll, Seattle Waterfront Park Attractions, Seattle Harbor Cruise
Fremont Troll (Fremont Public Sculptures)
You might have seen the sculptures from this area in many movies. So, while you are in Seattle, it’s time for you to visit them and recognize them yourselves. The best part is that it is a public park and is mostly in an open location. You don’t need to pay any fees to visit any of the creations here. Depending upon the time of the year when you would visit the sculptures, you would see them dressed up in different kinds of clothes. For example, the giant head and the hand that emerges from under the rock in a cave-like structure were wearing a mask to spread awareness around covid.
There are a total of 10 pieces and every one of them would be eccentrically dressed when you see them. As per the history and the collectors, all of these sculptures represent Fremont’s Golden era of Counterculture bliss.
Seattle Waterfront Park
Seattle has some calm and quaint places in its vicinity. One of them is the Seattle Waterfront Park which starts from Pier 62. It is located 5 miles south of the Fremont Troll. The view, the location and the calming population that you would find here are the things that make it perfect for anyone who would like to spend some quiet time somewhere in the city.
The aura of the pier leaves a lasting impression as you have left all the crowd and honking behind and been transported into a separate world. If you are worried about it, what will you do at the pier and the park? You can have a mini-picnic with packed food on one of the picnic tables or go on a kayaking tour. There are a plethora of activities that people engage themselves in at the Waterfront Park.
It is the ninth-largest Aquarium in the country as per footfalls, and the size is huge. So, you can understand that the Aquarium is a world in itself. You can get lost in it at your convenience. But be assured, you would not want to get out of there. If you are visiting the city with your family, this could be the most fascinating place for you to go around. As you enter inside, the entire ceiling gets filled with blue and you would be introduced to a whole new world that lives under the sea level.
The Aquarium runs different kinds of programs in the centre. You would be introduced to seals, dolphins and also sharks if you want to take your adventures on the edge. You would also witness some divers through the glass. You can purchase your tickets at the centre, but it is always suggested to have a pre-booking.
Seattle Great Wheel
To make sure that you get an idea of the city and a glimpse of how beautiful it is, you need to take a ride on the wheel. You can choose the time to visit the wheel depending on whether you prefer the night look of the city, the day or the evening. Every time, every moment here contains its charm and it is simply gorgeous.
The wheel welcomes visitors from Sunday to Thursday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, the timing remains from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm.
If you are looking for a great place to have your brunch or lunch at, then you are in for a treat at the popular Terra Plata. It is just a 10 minute drive from the Seattle Waterfront. They have an intense menu including Spanish, Mediterranean and American dishes. Some of the dishes we will recommend you to try are the tapas, hanger steak, grilled branzino, shishito peppers and paella.
Seattle Harbor Cruise
Now, since you are already on the waterfront, you can either go for a small ride on a boat or a yacht as there are several available at the dock. To see what the city looks like from out there you can simply book yourself a lovely cruise ride. From the cruise, you can enjoy the Seattle city’s skyline from a different perspective. You would also be able to spot many iconic spots as well as the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. The breathtaking views and the entire experience is liberating and wholesome. Click here to book your Seattle Harbor cruise experience now.
Day 3 : Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Green Lake Park, Alki Beach
Woodland Park Zoo
Though Seattle is mostly famous for its concrete building, urban lifestyle and metropolitan culture, there is also a piece of wildlife here that you would love to explore. You will know it by the name Woodland Park Zoo. You can imagine that it is for kids, but that’s not completely true. The variety of exotic animals, birds and reptiles found here is truly unique to the place. One of the rarest is Assam Rhino Reserve which is a whole section dedicated to a breed of Indian Rhinoceros.
Bayan Wilds, Malayan Tigers, Sloth bears, Asian small-clawed authors with Small Aviary, pythons, Orangutans and Malayan Tapir are some other creatures in the zoo who would love to be your friend when you visit them. The Zoo remains open from 09:30 am to 6 pm daily. Click here to book your tickets for Woodland Park Zoo now.
Seattle Green Lake Park
Seattle Green Lake Park is one of the most beautiful places that you would be visiting as per your Seattle itinerary. So, if you are looking for some relaxing, laid-back time for a while, you know where to go, on the second day of your visit here. Though the waterfront is mostly known for its cruise ships, you can spend some time at the dock. It is worth visiting as you can enjoy the water view and would love appreciating the sunset or the tulip twilight skies.
With the background of the mountains and the gorgeous city on your back, this could be your chance to take a deep sigh and spend some time in the city. It would be away from the crowd and this could be your moment to just relax.
When you think about Seattle as an urban city, it is hard to imagine the blue backdrop of the city. Alki Beach is simply one of a kind place which remains open for visitors throughout the year. You would find a lot of open-water swimmers as well as the people who are simply looking for an escape from a busy life. Alki Beach is also a great place for sunset viewing.
Useful Information On Seattle
Getting A Seattle City Pass
To make the most out of your sightseeing plans at wonderful discounted ticket prices, make sure you get your Seattle CityPass in advance. It allows you to visit upto five of the biggest and best attractions in Seattle while making significant savings on the entrance tickets. These attractions include the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium and the other 3 of your choices from Chihuly Garden and Glass, Woodland Park Zoo, Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour and Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP).
It is always a great idea to take a Seattle city highlights tour like this one if you are on a time crunch. This way you will be able to see more of the city and its iconic sights in less time.
Where To Stay For 3 Days In Seattle
Downtown Seattle is the perfect place to stay for a fun time in the heart of the city. Majority of the attractions including the Pike Place Market and the Seattle Waterfront are located at close proximity to this neighborhood. Below are some of our best finds to help you find your ideal accommodation in Downtown Seattle.
Budget (upto $130) : Located just across the famous Pike Place Market is the Green Tortoise hostel. It is a very affordable option for you if you are on a tight budget and still want to stay at the prime location close to the major attractions of the city. Make sure to book this hostel for your stay well in advance, it gets filled pretty quick. Click here to book the Green Tortoise hostel for your stay or to check its availability.
Mid-Range ($130 – $200): The Moxy Seattle Downtown is a great choice if you are looking for a good value stay in Seattle. Having a room booked here means you will be in close proximity to various restaurants, bars and cafes. Many city highlights like Space Needle, MPop and Pocket Beach are also close to the hotel. Click here to book the Moxy Hotel for your stay or to check its availability.
Luxury ($200+) : The Lotte Hotel is an extra elegant and stylish 5 star hotel less than 500 meters from the Seattle Waterfront. All the rooms are beautifully designed with floor to ceiling windows through which you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the sea and the city right from your bed. There are plenty of restaurants and greenspaces near the hotel. Also it is super close to the Seattle Center Monorail, which is an experience in itself. Click here to book the Lotte Hotel for your stay or to check its availability.
How To Get Around In Seattle
Seattle’s public transportation system is super efficient and the most convenient form of commutation around the city. You can easily reach Seattle Downtown from the Sea-Tac International Airport using the Link Light rail. Purchase the reusable ORCA card from the station so that you are able to use the city’s public transportation without any hassle of buying tickets each time. The card can be used for the Link Light Rail, the King County RapidRide buses and King County Water Taxi.
You won’t need to rent a car unless you want to commute to outskirt locations from Seattle. If you are coming to Seattle by car, you can always park it at the Pike Place Market Parking Garage at reasonable rates.
Rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft are also available for cab hires.
Seattle is a wonderful place to spend your vacation or any kind of trip. There are countless fun places to visit that will make you enjoy your time in the city. We hope our 3 days in Seattle itinerary helps you see the best of the city. Do let us know what are your favorite things to do in Seattle in the comments.