To find the most popular Seattle attractions, all you have to do is look at the skyline. The Space Needle points the way to the Seattle Center, a complex that has more than just the iconic column. The centre also has a park, performance venues and an otherworldly glass sculpture display. Try to find your Seattle hotel from the 160m observation deck of the famous spire, then spend a day (or three) exploring.
If you need a breather from the crowds, head over to Volunteer Park. This urban sanctuary has mountain and city skyline views and a botanical garden with more than 600 types of orchids. Factor in the Seattle Asian Art Museum in a cool 1930s Art Deco building, and it’s easy to see why we say you’ll be relaxed and recharged in no time.
Accommodation in Capitol Hill will put you steps away from this secluded oasis, yet front and centre to one of Seattle’s most popular neighbourhoods. When you’re feeling ready to re-enter society, search for souvenirs in the artisan boutiques or raise a toast to the local wine scene at a swanky bistro.
Flights to Seattle land at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), 20km south of the city centre. The easiest way to get into the city is to catch the Light Link Rail, which runs from 6am to midnight. The Link makes several stops in downtown Seattle, including near Pike Place Market.
Once you’re all checked into your accommodation in Seattle, there’s an excellent bus system, a streetcar system connecting Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill, and a monorail that runs from downtown to the Space Needle. Sure, there’s always one of Wotif’s car hire options. But you can also travel completely motor-free thanks to Seattle’s bike culture.
September and October are the true sweet spots for Seattle holidays: The crowds have gone, and the weather is still in the balmy teens. It’s also a great time to experience the city’s eclectic vibe, with music and arts festivals breathing creativity into the lungs of the city. In September, Bumbershoot remains one of the most impressive music and arts festivals in Seattle. Come October, Earshot Jazzfest brings a smooth ease to the city.
If you want to support Seattle’s next Picasso, consider scheduling your journey to the Emerald City in mid-November, when the annual Best of the Northwest Art & Fine Craft Show takes over Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park. More than 100 of the area’s most talented artists come together to showcase their pottery, copper art, paintings and other one-of-a-kind pieces. Bring home something special and your mates can never call you uncultured again! So there.
Pro Tip: The best places to stay in Seattle book up quicker when a major event or festival is in town. Get your hotel room now, is what we’re saying.
Any time is a great time to visit the Emerald City, but there’s no two ways about it: Seattle’s summers are gorgeous. June through August see temperatures in the low to mid-20s, and rainfall is at its lowest. During this time of year, the city really lives up to its nickname—contrary to Kermit’s belief, it really is easy being green—and spending time outdoors is a no-brainer.
Rent a bike and hit the Burke-Gilman Trail. A stop at Lake Union reveals quaint houseboats and a visit to Chittenden Locks gives you primo views of botanical gardens and Puget Sound. When you’re ready to give your legs a rest, Discovery Park has your name on it. Stretching across more than 500 acres, this huge public park in the Magnolia neighbourhood gives you space to contemplate life…or blow your Instagram feed with photos of the Olympic Mountains. The choice is yours!
Back on the urban side of things, you can track down some of the best food in Seattle downtown. Take a walk through legendary Pike Place Market or Melrose Market to see where restaurants are nabbing the fresh catch of the day, then sit yourself down at a restaurant in West Seattle or Capitol Hill to get a plateful.
If you only spend one day in Seattle, we can’t say we envy you. It takes at least a long weekend to find Oz in the Emerald City. Still, even with a short visit, you can manage to hit lots of the top spots. Begin your holiday with a Space Needle Observatory Deck & Chihuly Garden and Glass tour, and you’ve already covered two of the most popular sites in the city. How easy is that?
Visit the birthplace of Seattle—Pioneer Square—to buy up fun items at quirky stores and munch on lunch from a local small business. Save room for dim sum, because Seattle’s Chinatown district is too inviting and colourful to pass up.
Down by the waterfront, Washington State Ferries are a quintessential part of any Seattle trip. Breathe in fresh air like it’s going out of style and enjoy panoramic views of the skyline. You might not spot Flipper while you’re out on open water, but back at the Seattle Aquarium, fur seals and tufted puffins are waiting to greet you.
Ready to add your own dash of spice to the Seattle recipe? The best deals on Seattle accommodation are just a click away with Wotif. Book today and get in the mix!
Need insider tips on must-see attractions in Seattle? Check out our Seattle travel guide!
Hotels in Seattle start at AU$144 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.