Seattle locals enjoy all kinds of perks, from tasty restaurants at every turn to wonderful outdoor recreation. Now, you can live like a local too (even if you’re just visiting Seattle for the weekend) with this three-day itinerary.
Day 1: Sightseeing Like a Seattleite
After settling into your vacation rental, take a few minutes to freshen up, check the forecast, and slip into a comfortable outfit, complete with some quality walking shoes.
Skip the major ding to your wallet from the $13 per person elevator ride to the top of the Space Needle and check out this viewpoint instead. Featured in the third season finale of The Amazing Race and as the opening scene of 10 Things I Hate About You, Kerry Park on the south slope of Queen Anne has postcard-worthy views without leaving the city. With its panoramic views of downtown Seattle, the Space Needle, Elliott Bay, and even Mount Rainier on clear days, Kerry Park is without a doubt the best place to photograph Seattle.
For dinner, pick a restaurant in your price range on Lake Union for some of the prettiest water views in the city. If you’re going for something more upscale, we recommend local steakhouse chain Daniel’s Broiler, but there are a variety of budget-friendly options out there, too.
In the evening, right before sunset, stake out a spot in Volunteer Park. Known by locals for its summer concerts and outdoor theater events, this park is the highest point on Capitol Hill and features a scenic view of the Seattle skyline.
Optional: If you still have energy after your long day of adventure, it’s worth heading down to the Pike/Pine area to check out some of the fantastic nightlife on Capitol Hill. Try Tavern Law for trendy cocktails and a speakeasy vibe, or stop by Unicorn for a truly eclectic crowd of Seattle locals and a carnival-themed drink menu.
Day 2: Boats & Burlesque
Your second day in Seattle is the perfect time for a taste of the outdoors. If you liked what you saw during dinner last night on Lake Union, today is the perfect time to see the lake again—this time by daylight and via kayak!
Lake Union has many kayak and paddleboard rental companies, so choose your favorite and get out on the lake. Paddle to the west side of the lake, near Queen Anne, to see the houseboat from the Tom Hanks film Sleepless in Seattle, then make your way through Portage Bay. When you get hungry, Ivar’s Salmon House is a great place to dock your boat and grab a quick lunch to go (a more casual seafood bar connects to the main dining area).
After munching on fish and chips, paddle your way through the Montlake Cut, the site of the annual University of Washington Windermere Cup crew regatta. Then, explore the marshy wetlands of Lake Washington, the largest lake in King County and second largest in Washington state.
When you’ve had your fill of kayaking, head back to your vacation rental to freshen up. For a fun evening out on the town, round out your night at Seattle’s favorite date spot, The Pink Door, for a cabaret burlesque show and some of the best Italian food in the city.
Day 3: West Seattle & North Seattle
On your final day in Seattle, make your way over to the West Seattle peninsula for a day on Alki Beach. With stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and downtown Seattle, this slice of beachfront living is the perfect place for people watching.
Spend the morning walking the two-and-half-mile stretch of beach, noting attractions like the Statue of Liberty miniature, the Birthplace of Seattle monument, and the Alki Point Lighthouse as you walk along the seawall or take the stairs down to the sand. For lunch, stop in at Duke’s Chowder House on the beach for phenomenal views of Elliott Bay and some of the best clam chowder you’ve ever had.
After lunch, make the drive north to the Fremont neighborhood in North Seattle to check out the Fremont Sunday Market. This year-round market models itself after similar outdoor European markets with community activities and a vibrant atmosphere. Plus, you’re pretty much guaranteed to love the hip Fremont neighborhood—it may be touristy, but you can’t miss getting a picture with the troll under the bridge!
Once you’ve had time to meander through the market, it’s only a little ways north to Seattle’s Green Lake neighborhood, where you can walk, run, bike, or rollerblade around the three-mile Green Lake loop or even rent paddle boats to take out on the lake. If you get hungry again, Seattle’s famous Red Mill Burgers is just a few blocks from the west side of the lake.
Wind down the day with a trip to the Woodland Park Zoo. Visit in the summertime for ZooTunes, a series of outdoor concerts in the North Meadow, or have some wintertime fun at WildLights, where more than 600,000 energy-efficient LED bulbs light up the night. Just south of Green Lake in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood, this 92-acre zoo is a great ending to a perfect day.
Featured photo courtesy of MILKOVÍ
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