The Seattle Travel Guide

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Updated: October 21, 2020

Travel Guide to Seattle.
The 87 best hotels, restaurants, shops, bars, clubs, breweries, cafes, tours, places, and things to do in Seattle, Washington.

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Covid Update: Seattle is very slowly opening up after an intense but effective lockdown period. Social distancing and mask-wearing are widely followed and expected in the city so please follow local guidelines and customs. Policies and expectations are in flux so check appropriate websites (restaurants, bars, attractions, and museums) for specific guidance.

Seattle Hotels

1. The Four Seasons • Downtown • $$$$

The best luxury hotel in Seattle. Superb service, suites, and restaurant. Outdoor jacuzzi and heated swimming pool have views of Puget Sound. Steps from Pike Place Market and short walk to downtown shopping. Great for families. • map • (206) 749-7000

2. The Inn At The Market • Downtown • $$$$

The best boutique hotel in Seattle. Warm, charming place to stay right in Pike Place Market. Surrounded by top notch restaurants but retains an unhurried genuine vibe. • map • (206) 443-3600

3. Thompson Seattle • Downtown • $$$$

Brand new, trendy hotel across the street from Pike Place Market and short walk to the hip bars and restaurants in Belltown. • map • (206) 623-4600

4. Fairmont Olympic • Downtown • $$$$

Classic luxury hotel in the heart of the shopping district. Short walk to Pike Place Market and downtown theaters for plays and musicals. • map • (206) 621-1700

5. Kimpton Alexis Hotel • Downtown • $$$

Fun, hip hotel with artfully designed rooms. Walking distance to Pioneer Square, T-Mobile Park (Mariners), Century Link Stadium (Seahawks/Sounders), downtown, and Pike Place Market. • map • (206) 624-4844

6. Hotel Max • Belltown • $$

Trendy, modern hotel with alt rock and pop culture theme. Good rates considering its prime location and appealing atmosphere. • map • (206) 728-6299

7. Warwick Seattle • Belltown • $$

Comfortable mid-range hotel with indoor pool and great views from higher floors, walkable to Pike Place Market and the waterfront. • map • (206) 443-4300

8. Ace Hotel • Belltown • $

Hip budget option with creative room designs and a young, funky vibe. Lowest priced rooms have (clean and plentiful) shared bathrooms. Daily waffle breakfast. Close to the Market and Belltown nightlife. • map • (206) 448-4721

9. Best Western Plus Hotel • Pioneer Square • $$

Comfortable and affordable hotel in the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood, walking distance to the ferry terminal; sports stadiums, and Pike Place Market. Original woodwork, vintage decor, free continental breakfast. • map • (206) 340-1234

10. The Mediterranean Inn • Lower Queen Anne • $$

Mid-range rooms near the Space Needle and Seattle Center – all with microwave kitchenettes. There’s a laundry room available to guests, and great 360 degree views from the roof deck. • map • (206) 428-4700

11. Residence Inn by Marriott • Lake Union • $$

All-suite hotel that’s a great affordable choice for families: well-equipped kitchens, balconies, indoor pool, kids’ game room, lobby taproom/snack bar. Located in South Lake Union, with easy streetcar access into downtown. • map • (206) 624-6000

Seattle Restaurants

12. Steelhead Diner • Pike Place Market • $$-$$$

The best sit-down restaurant at Pike Place Market for families. Upscale comfort food, full bar, and terrific views. Try the razor clam chowder. (No seriously, do it.) • map • (206) 625-0129

13. Matt’s In The Market • Pike Place Market • $$$

Outstanding New American cuisine, with the freshest local ingredients sourced directly from the Market below. Its central Market location, amazing views, and inviting atmosphere make Matt’s THE iconic Seattle dining spot – open for lunch and dinner. • map • (206) 467-7909

14. Place Pigalle • Pike Place Market • $$$

White tablecloths, impeccable French cuisine, and cozy charm. A hidden Pike Place gem that’s a perfect pick for a romantic date night. Book a sunset reservation and ask for a window table. • map • (206) 624-1756

15. Café Campagne • Pike Place Market • $$-$$$

Parisian-style brasserie in the Market’s Post Alley. A good bet anytime, but especially beloved for their rainy-season cassoulet and year-round weekend brunch. • map • (206) 728-2233

16. Black Bottle • Belltown • $$-$$$

Casual gastropub, specializing in small plates. Excellent wine list, local beers, and creative cocktails. Outdoor seating in the summer months. 21+ • map • (206) 441-1500

17. Serious Pie • Belltown • $$

Thin and crispy-crusted pizzas, made with fresh, local ingredients, house-cured meats, and creative toppings like smoked duck and Penn Cove clams. All baked in an apple wood-fired oven. Cozy, boisterous atmosphere. There’s a South Lake Union location too, but this one is the first and best. • map • (206) 838-7388

18. Purple Cafe & Wine Bar • Downtown • $$-$$$

Cavernous and trendy, with an excellent menu range and a wine list for days. Good kids menu, too. Reservations recommended, but two floors means there’s also plenty of first-come first-served bar seating for walk-ins. • map • (206) 829-2280

19. The Pink Door • Pike Place Market • $$$

Enchanting Italian restaurant in Pike Place Market’s Post Alley. Inside, there’s entertainment – jazz musicians, tarot-card readers, and magicians perform nightly; full-on trapeze artists on Sundays and Mondays. Outside, there’s a breezy patio with views over Puget Sound. • map • (206) 443-3241

20. Sushi Kashiba • Pike Place Market • $$$

The best sushi in downtown Seattle. There’s a small dining room and a comfortable lounge, but for the full experience, belly up to the bar and order the omakase (chef-led dinner): it’ll cost you, but it’ll be worth it. Omakase is first-come, first-serve, so get there before the 5pm opening or you’re in for a wait. Reservations recommended otherwise. • map • (206) 441-8844

21. Elliott’s Oyster House • Waterfront • $$$

Oysters, seafood, and cocktails – best enjoyed while watching the ferry boats pass over Puget Sound. Good eats on the Seattle waterfront since 1975. • map • (206) 623-4340

22. Canlis • Queen Anne • $$$$

Special occasion, blow-your-paycheck fine dining, with a vibe straight out of a midcentury supper club. Sweeping views, award-winning cuisine and wine list, live piano music. This is Seattle’s only “must dress for dinner” joint – a suit (or sport coat) is required for men, and no denim allowed. Reservations are a must. Located on Queen Anne hill, north of downtown. • map • (206) 283-3313

23. Walrus and the Carpenter • Ballard • $$-$$$

Love oysters? The best of the best are served here, along with regional clams and mussels, house smoked fish, and specialty meats (including a killer steak tartare). Casual, friendly, and walk-in only; line up early or be prepared to wait. Northwest of downtown in Seattle’s hip Ballard neighborhood. • map • (206) 395-9227

24. Westward • Wallingford • $$-$$$

Wonderful seafood-focused restaurant with one of Seattle’s best patios. The vibe is Seattle. The flavors are American/Mediterranean. map • (206) 552-8215

Seattle Shopping

25. Metsker Maps • Pike Place Market

Maps! Big and small, current and historical, local and worldwide. Also globes, puzzles, books, postcards and all things geographical. Housed in a charming Pike Place Market storefront. • map • (206) 623-8747

26. Elliott Bay Book Company • Capitol Hill

Seattle’s most beloved bookstore, selling both new and used volumes. Vaulted timber rafters, huge selection, regular author events, handwritten staff recommendations, cozy cafe space – this is what you miss when you buy online. Plan for an hour, but prepare to spend the day. • map • (206) 623-8747

27. Eighth Generation • Pike Place Market

Authentic Native American artistry: beautiful wool blankets, jewelry, t-shirts, cellphone cases, and fine arts. Skip the tourist traps and support local Native artists, designers, and entrepreneurs. Located in Pike Place Market, just above the gum wall. • map • (206) 430-6233

28. Indi Chocolate • Pike Place Market

Small-batch, bean-to-bar chocolate shop and factory/cafe in Pike Place Market’s new lower addition. They have regular classes and events, and even sell chocolate-making equipment so you can craft your own. (For ultra-luxe treats and truffles, head to Fran’s Chocolates up the street in the Four Seasons Hotel.) • map • (425) 243-2089

29. Golden Age Collectibles • Pike Place Market

A pop-culture paradise, carrying an astounding selection of comics, games, and toys. If you can nerd out on it, Golden Age has it: Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Marvel, DC, Game of Thrones, Simpsons, etc, etc, etc. In the lower level of Pike Place Market. • map • (206) 622-9799

30. KOBO • International District

Beautiful Japanese and Northwest fine art, textiles, and gifts – both contemporary and vintage. Their Japantown location is housed in an historic Japanese family-owned variety store, and includes a museum display of the family’s treasures. They also have a Capitol Hill location, but the one in the ID is better. • map • (206) 381-3000

31. Archie McPhee • Wallingford

Gag gifts, fun kitsch, and oddities of all kinds. Kids go bonkers for their zany selection of goods, but adults might love it even more. Located north of downtown in the Wallingford neighborhood. • map • (206) 297-0240

32. Dockside Cannabis • SoDo

Recreational Marijuana is legal in Seattle, and this is the best place for beginners to buy. The store is lovely and bright, products are high end, and the friendly “budtenders” will help you figure out which strain and intake method is right for you. There’s even a small museum on site with artifacts related to the history of cannabis. • map • (844) 362-5420

33. Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop • Central District

This is where to go if all you’re looking for is good, cheap weed. They also have a Capitol Hill Location. • map • (800) 438-3784

34. University Village • University District

High-end open air shopping mall, north of downtown in the University District. Plenty of free parking. Popular shops include: AnthropologieWilliams-SonomaRestoration Hardware (whose four-story gallery showroom is a bit much, but fun to browse) • MadewellRoom & BoardNorth FaceApple Store. Popular restaurants: JOEY KitchenDin Tai FungBa BarEureka BurgerMolly Moon’s Ice CreamElemental PizzaShake Shack. • map • (206) 523-0622

35. Steepologie • Belltown

Over 300 loose leaf teas, all of which you can try before you buy. Friendly and knowledgable staff will steer you in the right direction if you seem overwhelmed. Limited seating, no cash. • map • (206) 624-7745

36. Fremont Vintage Mall • Fremont

An underground labyrinth of stalls selling vintage toys, furniture, clothing, collectibles, art, and records; as well as locally-designed crafts and jewelry. • map • (206) 329-4460

37. Glassybaby • Madrona

Is it a votive? Is it a vase? Glassybaby’s multi-layered glass-blowing process results in gorgeous one-of-a-kind glass vessels that come in all the colors of the rainbow, and then some. Oprah and Martha both like ’em. They have a University Village location, too, but Madrona’s where the hot shop is – watch the artisans in action. • map • (206) 518-9071

38. E. Smith Mercantile • Pioneer Square

The front is a carefully curated gift shop, selling high-quality home goods, clothing, and gifts. The back is a (really good) classic cocktail bar. • map • (206) 641-7250

39. Filson • SoDo

A supplier of rugged outdoor goods since the days of the Klondike Gold Rush. Their stunning SoDo flagship location is where the factory is, and it’s open to public tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays – RSVP in advance. • map • (206) 622-3147

40. Blue Highway Games • Queen Anne

Tabletop games and puzzles of all kinds, with a large games library where you can test them out for as long as you like. And they serve beer, cider, and snacks – because that’s board game fuel. • map • (206) 282-0540

Seattle Bars & Clubs

41. Alibi Room • Pike Place Market

Cozy, dark, and intimate with great late night pizza. Located in Post Alley, near the gum wall. • map • (206) 623-3180

42. Von’s 1000 Spirits • Downtown

Fun pub-casual atmosphere, solid menu (must try: their amazing sourdough pasta), and a giant wheel that’s spun every half hour to determine the drink special. Located on 1st near the Four Seasons Hotel. • map • (206) 621-8667

43. Radiator Whiskey • Pike Place Market

Cozy and rustic tavern, with an impressive whiskey collection and an adventurous meat-heavy menu. Call ahead to order their popular smoked half pig head (serves 2-3). Tucked upstairs in Pike Place Market. • map • (206) 467-4268

44. The Nest • Downtown

Excellent high-end cocktails at the best rooftop terrace in Seattle, perched atop the Thompson hotel with sweeping views of the waterfront and Puget Sound. Can get very busy on warm evenings, so go early or call ahead for reservations. • map • (206) 623-4600

45. The Crocodile • Belltown

Dive bar that’s legendary in the Seattle music scene as the “cradle of grunge.” Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, and Alice in Chains all played here in the 90’s, and the venue still hosts great live music seven nights a week. • map • (206) 441-4618

46. Toulouse Petit • Queen Anne

Creole cuisine, twice daily award-winning happy hours, and decadent decor: floor to ceiling windows, beautiful wood and ironwork, and gold velvet booths. Also great for brunch. Located near Seattle Center. • map • (206) 432-9069

47. Damn the Weather • Pioneer Square

Cozy spot for seasonal small plates and innovative craft cocktails – and happy hour runs all afternoon long. • map • (206) 946-1283

48. Temperance Bar • Pioneer Square

An art-deco themed room with a view, Temperance is located in the historic Smith Tower observation deck. Take the antique elevator up to the 35th floor, and enjoy your cocktail alongside incredible vistas of Mount Rainier, the Space Needle, and the ferries on Puget Sound. • map • (206) 624-0414

49. Unicorn • Capitol Hill

Funky and bizarre carnival-themed bar with arcade games, photo booth, and specialty corn dogs. Fun weekly events include drag queen bingo and brunch. • map • (206) 325-6492

50. Bathtub Gin & Co. • Belltown

Authentic-feeling speakeasy, straight out of prohibition and hidden down a Belltown alleyway. (Check the website for location clues.) Great house cocktails, intimate setting. • map • (206) 728-6069

51. Zig Zag Cafe • Downtown

Elegant and cozy watering hole with maybe the best craft cocktails in Seattle, a fantastic food menu, and an inviting patio under Pike Place Market. Late night menu until 1am. • map • (206) 625-1146

52. Flatstick Pub • Pioneer Square

Super fun games pub serving Washington beers and ciders. Indoor mini golf, cornhole, basketball beer pong, giant Jenga, and Duffleboard – a tabletop mix of mini golf and shuffleboard that you’ll only find here. Dogs allowed. • map • (206) 682-0608

Seattle Breweries

53. Old Stove Brewing Co. • Pike Place Market

Modern, breezy beer hall on Pike Place Market’s new lower level expansion. Small but solid menu of great appetizers and snacks. Design your own beer flight for just $2 per 4oz taster. • map • (206) 829-4800

54. Pike Brewing Co. • Pike Place Market

Great craft beer since 1989, offering seven brews year-round (try the Kilt Lifter Scotch-style ale), as well as limited and seasonal beers. There’s a pub downstairs, an upscale restaurant above, a microbrewery museum, and brewery tours offered Tuesdays-Saturdays. • map • (206) 622-6044

55. Fremont Brewing • Fremont

Great location in trendy Fremont and across the road from the Burke Gilman bike and pedestrian path. Huge outdoor seating area is awesome on sunny days. No restaurant but outside food is welcome. Kid and dog friendly (inside and outside). • map • (206) 420-2407

56. Reuben’s Brews • Ballard

The best of a handful of great breweries in the residential/industrial Ballard neighborhood. Extensive selection of traditionally-brewed and barrel-aged favorites beers, and a small (but potent) collection of sours. No food is served, but there’s generally a food truck or two outside, and discounts at the pizzeria next door. • map • (206) 784-2859

57. Ghostfish Brewing • SoDo

The first and only dedicated gluten-free craft brewery in the state – and it’s actually good! Their Peak Buster double IPA and Belgian-style ales are particularly good. The attached pub has a fully gluten-free menu, with many vegetarian and vegan options. Located south of downtown, near the sports stadiums. • map • (206) 397-3898

Seattle Cafes

58. Elm Coffee Roasters • Pioneer Square

Exceptional small-farm coffee roasted on site in Pioneer Square. The cafe is bright, with a minimalist design and a great selection of baked goods. Elm specializes in light roasts, so if you like your coffee inky, you’ll likely be disappointed. • map • (206) 445-7808

59. La Marzocco Cafe • Seattle Center

Excellent espresso, from the folks who make the machines. La Marzocco features a rotating selection of small-batch roasters, and is adjacent to local indie radio favorite KEXP’s studio space, so there’s often live music to enjoy. • map • (206) 388-3500

60. Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room • Capitol Hill

Even if you’re ambivalent about Starbucks, the Tasting Room’s specialty coffees (all roasted here), wide range of elevated brewing methods, and gorgeous design/ambience make this cathedral of coffee worth a visit. The amazing edibles from famed Milanese artisan bakery Princi don’t hurt either. • map • (206) 624-0173

61. Analog Coffee • Capitol Hill

Expertly crafted espresso drinks and pour-over coffee, friendly service, and old-school vinyl favorites playing in the background. A great small coffee shop for those who miss great small coffee shops. • map

Seattle Tours

62. The Underground Tour • Pioneer Square

A fun crash course into Seattle history, exploring the subterranean city that used to be. Tour groups are large, and the spiel can be kitschy, but the guides know their stuff. (If you prefer a smaller group size, try Beneath the Streets.) • map • (206) 682-4646

63. Savor Seattle Food Tours • Downtown/Capitol Hill

Seattle’s best food tour company has something for everyone. Sample local chocolates, cocktails, Pike Place Market favorites, or gourmet restaurant bites. Tours offered year round. • various locations • (206) 209-5485

64. Kush Tourism • SoDo

An in-depth look at local marijuana commerce and culture. You’ll visit a glass-blowing studio for a pipe-making demonstration, a marijuana grow facility, a production facility where extractions and edibles are produced, and a retail shop. • map • (206) 587-5874

65. Bon Vivant Wine Tours • Woodinville

Get picked up at your hotel and whisked away to wineries and tasting rooms in Seattle, nearby Woodinville or Bainbridge Island, or farther afield across the Cascade Mountains. Groups are small (no more than 10 people), and private tours are available by request. • various locations • (206) 524-8687

66. Argosy Cruises • Waterfront

Seattle’s best boat tours: Visit the working harbor, journey through the Ballard Locks to see the floating homes on Lake Union, float past Bill Gates’ house on Lake Washington, or cruise out to Blake Island State Park for smoked salmon and a Northwest Native American storytelling show (summer only). • map • (206) 623-1445

67. Kenmore Air Scenic Seaplane Tour • Lake Union

See it all from above. Float plane tours are offered of Seattle, Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens, and the San Juan Islands, and can be combined with whale watching and kayak tours. Planes are stable and comfortable, and experienced pilots make take-off and landing a breeze. • map • (866) 435-9524

68. Victoria Clipper • Waterfront

Seattle’s only whale watching excursion that departs from downtown (March-October), Clipper Vacations also offers day trips to San Juan Island and Victoria, British Columbia. • map • (800) 888-2535

69. Alki Kayak Tours • West Seattle

Guided kayak tours of Elliott Bay and Alki Point in West Seattle. They offer daily sunset tours that are especially popular in the summer months, and a nighttime paddle during full moons. • map • (206) 953-0237

70. T-Mobile Park Tour • Pioneer Square

An hour-long behind the scenes look at the home of the Seattle Mariners. Visit the press box, dugouts, owner’s suite, and more. For an insiders’ look at where the Seahawks and Sounders play, take a CenturyLink Field tour. • map • (206) 346-4000

Seattle Activities

71. Pike Place Market • Downtown

If you can only do one thing in Seattle, this should be it. Food, flowers, and fun shops – all in the heart of downtown, with a view over the Seattle waterfront. Favorite shops: Market Magic ShopGolden Age CollectiblesIndi ChocolateMetsker MapsDeLaurentiMarket Spice. Favorite eats: Steelhead Diner • Place PigalleMatt’s in the MarketEllenos YogurtBeecher’s Handmade CheeseDaily Dozen DonutsJack’s Fish SpotPike Place ChowderOld Stove Brewing. • map

72. Water Taxi to West Seattle • Waterfront

A cheap and easy way to get out on Elliott Bay, and enjoy amazing views of the downtown skyline. The taxi leaves Pier 50 every half hour or so, and crossing time is 10 minutes. On the West Seattle end, grab a drink and a snack on Marination Ma Kai’s patio before heading back, or take the free shuttle up to Alki Beach. • map

73. Ferry to Bainbridge Island • Waterfront

Take a beautiful 35-minute ferry crossing (that departs right from downtown Seattle) to a charming harbor town that’s walkable from the pier. Plan your return trip at sunset. While you’re there, don’t miss: Blackbird BakeryMora Iced CreameryBainbridge BrewingBainbridge Island Art MuseumBainbridge History MuseumHitchcock DeliBloedel Reserve. • map

74. The Space Needle • Queen Anne

Seattle’s most iconic landmark. It’s perfectly fine to just view it from the ground, but if you enjoy a good view, you’ll want to take the elevator all 520 feet up to the top. There’s a cafe at the top serving simple lunches, beer, wine, and treats. If you’re brave, head down a level to step out onto the revolving glass floor and (gulp) look down. • map

75. Seattle Aquarium • Waterfront

All things aquatic: touchable tide pools, giant octopus, jellyfish, puffins, seals, sea otters, and more. Their daily activity programs include educational talks, feedings, and interacting with divers in the entryway’s impressive dome tank. • map

76. Seattle Center • Queen Anne

Huge cultural campus that’s home to many of the city’s top museums and venues: Space NeedleMuseum of Pop CultureChihuly Garden and GlassPacific Science CenterSeattle Children’s MuseumSeattle Children’s TheatreMcCaw HallSeattle Repertory TheatreClimate Pledge Areana (formerly Key Arena). The Center also hosts Seattle’s biggest festivals: FolklifeBumbershootBite of SeattleWinterfest. There’s a fun interactive fountain, and better-than-average food court that features some terrific local offerings. • map

77. Museum of Flight • Tukwila

Fantastic air and space museum that’s packed with interactive and educational exhibits, including airplanes and shuttle trainers to tour, flight simulators, a 3D movie theater, and guided tours of Boeing Field. There’s a play space for the littles, a decent cafe, and a great gift shop, to boot. Located a 20-minute drive south of downtown, in Tukwila. • map

78. Woodland Park Zoo • Phinney Ridge

Feed a penguin or giraffe, get up close to a grizzly bear, or watch the penguins at play. This is an award-winning zoo with over 1,000 different types of animals. It’s 92 acres, but easy to navigate – and the #5 bus will get you there from downtown in under a half an hour. • map • (206) 548-2500

79. Great Wheel • Waterfront

It’s that big ferris wheel that’s right on the waterfront, and views from the top are amazing, especially on a sunny day. Rising 175 feet, and extending 40 feet out over Elliott Bay, this one’s not for the faint of heart. Those looking for a more thrilling experience can rent the one glass-bottomed gondola – or buy a combo ticket that includes admittance to Wings Over Washington, the virtual flying ride next door. • map • (206) 623-8607

Seattle Neighborhoods

80. Downtown

Seattle’s downtown core is home to most of the city’s best (and most expensive) hotels, and loads of great shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Home to Pike Place Market (which can feel like its own neighborhood) and bordering the neighborhoods of Belltown, Pioneer Square, and the waterfront.
Best Stuff: Pike Place MarketSeattle Art MuseumNordstrom Flagship StorePacific Place Mall (eat at Din Tai Fung) • 5th Avenue and Paramount Theatres (broadway shows) • Benaroya Hall (Seattle Symphony) • The Triple Door (intimate music venue) • No Anchor (upscale pub fare) • Old Stove BrewingThe Nest (rooftop bar) • Zig Zag Cafe (cocktail lounge) • Matt’s in the Market (best restaurant) • Alibi Room (late night eats/drinks) • Sushi Kashiba • Steelhead Diner (best family restaurant)

81. Belltown

Nightlife, high-rise condos, great restaurants, and boutique bars and shops. Belltown sits just north of Downtown, and has easy walking access to the Waterfront, Pike Place Market, and the museums and venues in Seattle Center.
Best Stuff: Bathtub Gin & Co. (speakeasy) • Serious Pie (serious pizza) • Lola (Mediterranean cuisine) • Dahlia BakeryThe Crocodile (dive bar & music venue) • Steepologie TeaBlack Bottle (gastropub) • El Gaucho (steakhouse) • Dimitriou’s (live jazz) • Wakefield Bar (small plates) • Rocco’s (pizza) • Jupiter Bar (beer, sandwiches, pinball) • Navy Strength (tiki bar)
Belltown is just north of downtown; 5-10 minutes walking distance.

82. Pioneer Square

Seattle’s original downtown. A historic district that’s now home to art galleries, bars, and restaurants. Walkable to downtown, Colman ferry dock, and the sports stadiums.
Best Stuff: The Underground TourThe Smith Tower Observatory (and its 20’s themed bar, Temperance) • The Klondike Gold Rush Museum (free, and actually a small National Park!) • First Thursday Art Gallery WalkSalumi (artisan cured meats and sandwiches, weekday lunch only) • The London Plane (bakery & flower shop) • Il Terrazzo Carmine (fantastic old-school Italian) • Nirmal’s (Indian) • Damn the Weather (bar/inventive small plates) • Taylor Shellfish (oyster bar) • The Sovereign (underground Art Deco bar) • Good Bar (hand crafted cocktails in a former bank building) • Flatstick Pub (beer, games, and indoor mini-golf)
Pioneer Square is just south of downtown. Walking distance (5-10 minutes), or Light Rail.

83. International District

(aka Chinatown, Japantown, the I.D.) Great eats and shopping in this culturally diverse neighborhood.
Best Stuff: Wing Luke Museum (also gives excellent neighborhood tours) • Uwajimaya Village (international supermarket, food court, bookstore) • Seattle Pinball Museum (play all day for the price of admission) • Panama Hotel (historic tea house) • Kobo (high end shopping) • Boiling Point (Taiwanese hot pot) • Maneki (Japanese) • Phnom Penh Noodle House (Cambodian) • Green Leaf (Vietnamese)
The I.D. is southeast of downtown, just beyond Pioneer Square. Walking distance (15 minutes from downtown), Light Rail, or Bus #36/17/14.

84. Capitol Hill

One of Seattle’s most hip and vibrant neighboroods, known for its nightlife, counterculture, LGBTQ scene, old stately homes, and great food and drink.
Best Stuff: Volunteer Park (leafy green space with a tropical conservatory) • Elliott Bay Book CompanyPuzzle Break (escape room) • Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting RoomMelrose Market (artisan food stalls, shops, restaurants) • Neumos (live music) • The Garage (pool hall & bowling) • Bateau (French steakhouse) • Ba Bar (Vietnamese street food) • Omega Ouzeri (Greek) • Stateside (French/Vietnamese) • Spinasse (Italian) • Taylor Shellfish (oysters) • Mamnoon (Middle Eastern) • Oddfellows CafePlum Bistro (vegan) • Nue (international street food)
East across the freeway from downtown. Walking distance (20 minutes uphill from downtown), Light Rail, First Hill streetcar from Pioneer Square, or Bus #49/11.

85. Fremont

Funky fun neighborhood with bars, diners, high end restaurants, shops, and oddball sightseeing.
Best Stuff: The Fremont TrollTheo’s Chocolate (they do cool tours) • Fremont Vintage MallFremont BrewingMilstead & Co. (coffee) • Nectar Lounge (live music) • George & Dragon PubUneeda BurgerJoule (Korean)
Located north of downtown and Lake Union. Bus: #5/28/40/62.

86. Ballard

Trendy and family-friendly neighborhood with lots of shops, restaurants, bars, charming streets, and maritime history.
Best Stuff: Ballard Locks (boat elevator and salmon ladder) • Golden Gardens Park (beautiful Puget Sound beach and marina) • Ballard Farmer’s Market (Sundays, year-round) • Nordic MuseumThe Sunset and Tractor Taverns (live music) • Un Bien (Caribbean sandwiches) • Walrus and the Carpenter (oysters) • No Bones Beach Club (vegan tiki bar) • Ray’s (seafood & water views) • Ballard Pizza CompanyLa Carta de Oaxaca (Mexican) • King’s Hardware (pub grub) • Li’l Woody’s BurgersPercy’s & Co. (cocktail apothecary) • Jolly Roger Taproom
Located northwest of downtown and west of Fremont. Bus: #40/44/D-Line.

87. Upper Queen Anne

Upscale residential neighborhood with high end boutiques, leafy parks, great views, and stately homes.
Best Stuff: Kerry Park (iconic Space Needle viewpoint) • Blue Highway GamesMeadow (women’s clothing & home decor) • Queen Anne Dispatch (clothing, shoes, jewelry) • Stuhlbergs (stationery, toys, gifts) • How to Cook a Wolf (Upscale Mediterranean small plates) • Hilltop Ale HouseVia Tribunali (Neapolitan pizzeria).
Located up a very steep hill just north of Seattle Center. Bus: #2/3/4/13/29.

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  1. Museums in Seattle for Kids and Adults

    Hi! I’m visiting Seattle in a few weeks with my husband and kids, and my husband and I really love going to museums. We were hoping you could point us toward some museums that would be fun for adults, but still be interesting for a 9 year old and a 12 year old. Thanks so much!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Good Seattle museums for families: Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) has lots of interesting, interactive exhibits that cover Seattle’s history – industrial, maritime, indigenous, pop culture, you name it. It’s next door to the Center for Wooden Boats, where you can tour and rent cool wooden watercraft on Lake Union. The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) is tons of fun for any fan of music, movies, TV, and video games. It’s located at the base of the Space Needle, and next to Chihuly Garden and Glass, which showcases the work of renowned glass artist, Dale Chihuly – no interactive exhibits or anything, but the glassworks are quite wowing. The Wing Luke Museum in Seattle’s International District is an interesting look at Seattle’s Asian-American heritage, and gives great neighborhood tours (even some food tours). Half an hour south of Seattle, the Museum of Flight is a must for any fans of aviation or space-flight. If your visit is in February and you’re staying in a hotel, note that this is Seattle Museum Month, and participating hotels are granting half price admission passes to a ton of great museums. Maybe yours is on the list?

  2. Which Underground Tour is Best in Seattle

    Hi. I’m visiting Seattle soon and am interested in taking one of the underground tours you mention. Which one do you recommend? Thanks.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It depends on your taste for schtick. The Bill Spiedel tour is heavy with it, tour groups are larger, and there’s a heavy-handed exit through the gift shop at the end. That said, it’s a fun (and funny) tour that manages to pack a lot of historical information into a short period of time. Choose Beneath the Streets if you prefer a smaller group size and prefer in-depth history to a jokey narrative. Have a great time!

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