A Weekend in Seattle: How to Spend 2 Days in Seattle
Seattle is Matt’s hometown, and since we quit our jobs to travel the world, we split time between the Bay Area in California and Seattle up in Washington State. Matt lived in the Seattle area for 15+ years, including 5+ years in the city itself, and knows the city like the back of his hand.
Seattle is an awesome city to explore, and a weekend in Seattle is not nearly enough to do, see, and eat everything the city has to offer. With this Seattle itinerary, you’ll get a good taste of what makes Seattle so special – the food and drink scene, the natural beauty surrounding the city, and the amazing neighborhoods you’ll find across Seattle that locals love.
Any questions about planning your trip to Seattle? Get in touch! We’d love to hear from you, and have all sorts of opinions and thoughts about Seattle!
Want to explore Seattle? We’ve got plenty of detailed Seattle travel guides to help you explore Seattle and beyond.
- How to Spend a Perfect Weekend in Seattle, Washington
- How to Spend One Day in Seattle (2 Different Ways)
- The Best Things to Do in Seattle: A Complete Seattle City Guide
- The Best Time to Visit Seattle: A Guide to Seattle by Season
- Where to Stay in Seattle: A Complete Neighborhood Guide
- The Best Day Trips from Seattle, WA
- 15 Great Weekend Getaways from Seattle to Plan Now
- 17 Amazing Hikes Near Seattle
- The Best Museums in Seattle: A Helpful Guide to Seattle’s Coolest Museums
- A Complete Guide to Washington’s Amazing National Parks
- The Best Hikes in Washington State: Complete Hiking Guide
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post, like hotel and vacation rental links, are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you we make a little bit of money if you click through and book. That being said, we would absolutely never recommend something to you that we don’t stand behind 100%.
Where to Stay in Seattle
Since you’ll only be in Seattle for a weekend, you’re going to want to stay in a central area. Our three picks would be Belltown, South Lake Union, and Capitol Hill.
Our other favorite neighborhoods – Fremont and Ballard – are a bit far out for spending a weekend in Seattle.
All three of the neighborhoods we recommend have different strengths and weaknesses.
PS: We have an entire guide dedicated to helping you find the perfect place to stay in Seattle. For more detail on each of these areas, you’ll want to head there.
If you want to be as central as it gets, stay in Belltown. Belltown is immediately adjacent to Downtown Seattle, which means it has a very urban feel. Tall buildings, lots of noise, people everywhere – you get the idea. It is about as central as you can be to places like Pike Place Market (literally a few minutes away at most), and is packed with some of the best food and drinks in Seattle. We’ve stayed at the Ace Hotel, which is a surprisingly good value, and liked it. The State Hotel is on our list for a future trip – we love the minimalist décor, and you can’t beat the location a block away from Pike Place Market!
If you want to be in a neighborhood packed with good food, drinks, stay in South Lake Union. Just north of Belltown is South Lake Union, which is, as you might guess, at the south end of Lake Union. On the plus side, it’s central, just a few blocks from Seattle Center and the Space Needle. On the… opportunities side, it’s Amazon central. South Lake Union was literally built by Amazon – all of those tall buildings? Amazon. We have personally stayed at the CitizenM in South Lake Union, and highly, highly recommend it! It was our first CitizenM experience, and we’ve now stayed in three of their hotels in the past six months. It’s an excellent value, and more traditional hotels should take notes on the modern, streamlined experience. Seriously, we LOVE CitizenM.
If you want the coolest neighborhood near the city center, stay in Capitol Hill. At this point, Seattle is basically known for a slant towards counter-culture, hipster coffee, and the “Urban Lumberjack” flannel/beard combo. And Capitol Hill (“Cap Hill” for short) you’ll find all of that and more. It’s also the most LGBTQ+ friendly area in Seattle, with rainbow crosswalks and (awesome) nightlife. However, it’s also the only of these three areas that has a residential feel. The area around Pike and Pine is full of amazing bars, restaurants, and cafes, and it quickly becomes single family homes. Still, it’s walkable to both the Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle, which we’ll get to) and Pike Place Market, so it’s plenty central for 2 days in Seattle. There really aren’t any hotels here to speak of, so you’ll want to look at Airbnb. Couples will love this cozy apartment (which is in a great location!) and families should look at this great two bedroom space that has a beautiful kitchen.
A Perfect Weekend in Seattle: Complete Seattle Itinerary
The Seattle itinerary below gives you the best things to do and see in Seattle in a weekend, plus an extra evening on the day you arrive.
A note at the top, because it’s so top-of-mind for us and the city as a whole. Seattle, like a lot of cities on the West Coast (read: all the major ones) has a housing crisis that has led to an exploding homeless population around the city. And they are very visible, particularly in areas like Pioneer Square. We’re not going to solve gentrification and the homeless crisis in Seattle in this guide, but you should know that they are largely harmless. And remember that they, like you, are human, and many suffer from mental illness and addiction. It’s something to be aware of, because you will see it.
When you land (or arrive), check into your accommodations and drop your bags, then take a second to catch your breath. Then head out to Belltown for your first night in Seattle.
Grab a Drink in Belltown
Two of the best cocktail bars in Seattle are in Belltown, and I’d start your evening at one of them.
The first is Bathtub Gin Co, which is a speakeasy-style bar in a back alley with an unmarked door…aka the best kind of bar. Inside, you’ll find a dim candle lit space with creative cocktails and a romantic ambiance. Make sure to check out the library, which is a communal space downstairs lined with benches where a couple of groups share the space.
The second place is Navy Strength, a simultaneously bright and funky bar with tropical cocktails crafted by some of the best bartenders in Seattle.
Dinner at Lola
Tom Douglas is a legend in Seattle, and for good reason. His restaurants – there are a ton of them now – are some of the best in Seattle. Lola is the restaurant on the ground floor of Hotel Andra, and is one of our favorite spots in Seattle. We do our best to find every reason to go there, from special occasions to happy hour and brunch.
It’s a Mediterranean restaurant, and the highlights are the kebabs (get the haloumi / fig – it’s life-changing) and the housemade dips (get the sampler – they can serve it with crudité if you’re gluten free, like Matt). They also have great cocktails and Greek wine and Ouzo!
Make a reservation in advance – it’s a popular spot.
Other good spots in Belltown for dinner and drinks are:
- The Pink Door: Italian food and a burlesque show? Very Seattle, if you ask us. We had dinner here the first time Alysha met my mom, so you know it’s good (also, that’s a little funny, looking back).
- Mr West: Solid spot for wine, beer, and cocktails – especially for happy hour.
- Serious Pie: We don’t usually go here because they don’t have gluten free pizza, but it’s Tom Douglas’ gluten free pizza spot. Alysha still dreams about her first trip to Seattle when her and a friend ate here. We’ve heard nothing but good things, but I have Celiac Disease and can’t eat gluten, so….
- Noi Thai: The best Thai food in Seattle, hands down!
- No Anchor: Great beer bar in Belltown. Another good happy hour spot.
Saturday: Downtown Seattle & Capitol Hill
On your first full day in Seattle, you’ll see the two top tourist attractions – the Space Needle and Pike Place Market – but you’ll do it with the insider knowledge that most people don’t have.
But First, Coffee
First, a mini-rant on the so-called “Original Starbucks.” It’s not the first Starbucks, first of all, and it’s really not much different than the seven other Starbucks within a three block radius. Well, except for the hour-long line some days. That’s definitely different.
If you actually want good coffee, you have several great options in the area. Start your morning with a cup from one of these three spots.
- Victrola Coffee Roasters: One of our favorites. We usually go to the flagship roastery and cafe in Capitol Hill, but they also have a location downtown near Pike Place.
- Anchorhead Coffee: They have several locations, with one on the east end of Downtown and one right at Pike Place.
- Fulcrum: A little further away towards South Lake Union, but excellent coffee nonetheless. If you’re coming from SLU, you could stop here on the way.
Once you’re all fueled up and ready to go, make your way to the world-famous Pike Place Market.
Pike Place Market
In our opinion, Pike Place Market is best in the morning. But, on the other hand, you might not feel like tasting cheese or beer at 8am, so mid-morning it is!
Pike Place Market is full of energy, and you’ll find everything from fresh-caught oysters to amazing candied nuts, and even a wall full of gum. The Gum Wall is straight up gross. It’s literally people’s used chewing gum. Is that really where you want to take an Instagram photo?
Here are our favorite stops while you’re at Pike Place Market:
- The upstairs market area, with the fresh seafood stands (including the famous flying fish, which is worth watching) and flower vendors is worth meandering through.
- Elleno’s Greek Yogurt: Exactly what it sounds like – amazing frozen Greek yogurt. Plus delicious toppings.
- Rachel’s Ginger Beer: Awesome ginger beer with all sorts of flavors. They also serve cocktails, which may or may not be good for your mid-morning visit, depending on what kind of weekend in Seattle you’re planning.
- Beecher’s Cheese: Their flagship cheese is fantastic – one of our favorites. Their cafe at Pike Place has all sorts of cheesy goodies. Get the mac & cheese if you can handle gluten.
- I’ve never actually been, because gluten, but Piroshky Piroshky is one of my brother’s favorite spots.
- The Alibi Room, which is just under Pike Place, is one of my favorite bars in Seattle, and was where I took Alysha on our first trip to Seattle so she could try the woodfired pizza (and I could drink my sorrow away at not being able to try it).
- Indi Chocolate: YUM. It’s really, really good chocolate. Do I really need to say anything else? They make it at Pike Place too!
Want to explore Pike Place Market with a guide who actually knows what they’re talking about? Do this guided tour of Pike Place with a local chef, which includes some of the stops above and more!
Once you’ve had your fill at Pike Place Market, it’s time to walk to Seattle Center, which is the location of the Space Needle.
Walk northwest down Western Avenue to Olympic Sculpture Park, which has fantastic views of the Olympic Mountains on a clear day, and then turn east on Eagle Street to get to the Seattle Center and the Space Needle. Here’s a map.
There’s a bunch of stuff to do and see at Seattle Center, but you’ll need to prioritize based on your interests.
First, let’s talk about the Space Needle, which is the most distinctive landmark in Seattle.
I (Matt) don’t think you should go to the top. I’ve been to the top exactly once, and it was when I was a small kid and we were visiting Seattle to see if we wanted to move there from the Bay Area. It’s really expensive, and there’s a better view (that includes the Space Needle) just up the street for free (we’ll get to that in a second, don’t worry). Whatever you do, definitely do not eat at the restaurant on top, where the food is decidedly mediocre, at best, and expensive.
With that part out of the way, let’s talk about the other cool stuff at the Seattle Center.
It’s worth stopping by the International Fountain. It’s a fun fountain that sprays water up in the air, often to a soundtrack. There’s plenty of seating along the rim, where you can watch the kids frolic in the water while they’re parents watch them closely. Good people watching here.
The other place to go that isn’t a museum is La Marzocco Cafe, which is one of my favorite coffee shops in Seattle. They bring in a rotating roaster every month or so from around the world, and always have great espresso drinks, specialty drinks that are more like cocktails, and pour over and cold brew coffee for the snobs like me. The space is really cool too – it’s a real life radio studio for KEXP, and it’s a high-ceilinged space that features imagery of Seattle’s music scene over the years. There’s even a record shop onsite!
Now onto the attractions you should check out.
- MoPop: This funny looking building of different shapes and colors is distinctive, not only for its exterior, but for what’s inside. It’s very much a different kind of museum than a lot of the other museums you’ve visited on your travels. It’s interactive, and focuses on all things pop culture (lots of music), and is a fun activity for all ages, including adults. Definitely my top pick out of the three attractions here, and my high school prom was here back when it was the EMP (Experience Music Project).
- Chihuly Garden and Glass: This is a cool permanent art installation celebrating the work of Dale Chihuly. The Glasshouse, a gorgeous 4,500 square foot space full of natural light and home to a colorful 100ft long sculpture of flowers hanging in the middle.
- Pacific Science Center: This is an experience for kids. In elementary school, we used to come here for all sorts of field trips. They have all kinds of hands-on exhibits, and it’s a perfect rainy day activity for families in Seattle. Adults, probably skip it.
Kerry Park: The Best View in Seattle
Once you’ve finished meandering your way around Seattle Center and the base of the Space Needle, head up Queen Anne Ave N, at the northwest corner of Seattle Center, and walk up the hill to Kerry Park. (Here’s a map)
This is where you’ll find that postcard-perfect great view of Seattle. You’ll have a view of the Space Needle in the foreground, backed by the Seattle skyline and, on a clear day, Mt. Rainier poking it’s giant face out in the distance. Plus, views over Puget Sound to the west. It’s pretty spectacular, and is probably worth coming back at the end of the day for sunset (or waking up early for sunrise).
Capitol Hill: Seattle’s Hipster Hub
Capitol Hill, which is east of Downtown Seattle on the other side of I-5, is our favorite neighborhood in Seattle. It’s quirky, hip, central, and full of great places to eat and drink. We love it, and think you will too.
Spend your time in Capitol Hill exploring on foot. Start at the southwest corner, where you’ll find the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, and make your way northeast from there to around Cal Anderson Park. Here are some of our favorite spots along that route.
Whatever you do, definitely stop by Elliott Bay Book Company, which is our favorite independent bookstore in the city.
- Bok a Bok Fried Chicken: Great fried chicken, available as a sandwich, or just the chicken. This is our favorite cheap eat in Cap Hill.
- La Cocina Oaxaqueña: We love Mexican food, having fallen deeply in love with Mexico City, and Oaxaca is high on our list. This place has awesome lunch specials, great drinks, and good dinner options – from memelas to tacos al pastor, and a bunch of new and interesting southern Mexican dishes, at least for us.
- Soi: Great Thai food, focusing on the northern part of the country, which is a little different than what you usually see around Seattle and the West Coast in general. No pad thai here!
For Dessert: Either head to Molly Moons to try their locally made ice cream featuring seasonal rotating flavors (and a whole lot of positive impact on the community), or Frankie and Jo’s for 100% gluten free and vegan ice cream AND cones. We love both, and you’ll find us with one or the other in our hand anytime we’re in Cap Hill.
- Knee High Stocking Co: This was the first speakeasy bar that I, Matt, ever made it to, I think. Good cocktails, and surprisingly affordable.
- Tavern Law: A speakeasy-ish cocktail bar. Drinks are expensive, but also incredible. We’d much rather have one amazing drink here over three gross drinks somewhere else. Plus, Happy Hour is a steal ($12 cocktails are a steal, these days).
- Canon: A whiskey-lovers paradise. Admittedly, I’m not a whiskey drinker (give me mezcal or tequila), but this is still a cool spot for cocktails and tons of whiskey options. Take a look at their spirit menu (called the “Captain’s List)! It’s insane!
- Unicorn (and their sister bar, Narwhal): Great for a night out, it’s a carnival-themed bar with a pinball arcade, dance floor, AND a photo booth. LGBTQ+ friendly.
- Capitol Cider: 100+ cider options on tap, and a cool downstairs space with board games. Plus, a fully gluten free kitchen.
- Rhein Haus: A Bavarian-style beer hall in the middle of Cap Hill, WITH bocce ball! Really fun spot.
Sunday: Discovery Park, Ballard, and Fremont
On the last day of your trip to Seattle, head to the best park in Seattle to catch a lighthouse on the Pacific Ocean, and then to the best farmers market in Seattle. Close out your Seattle itinerary with a chocolate tour and a cider bar before heading to the airport to catch your flight home.
Discovery Park is just northwest of the Seattle Center, where you explored yesterday, and we think it’s the best park in Seattle. It’s got a network of hiking trails that form a nice 4.4 mile loop that includes everything from a forest walk to a stroll on a sandy beach. And a lighthouse. It’s one of the best hikes in Seattle, and probably the best one that is actually inside the Seattle city limits.
Start your morning off with a stroll through Discovery Park, scouring the beaches for sea lions, marveling at the views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains on a clear day, and taking in the views of the West Point Lighthouse.
Ballard Farmers Market
The Ballard Farmers Market is our favorite farmers market in Seattle, a city of great farmers markets. It has all sorts of fresh produce, cheese and meat, and even cider from Finnriver, our favorite.
It happens year-round, 9am to 2pm in Ballard, which is an amazing neighborhood to explore in its own right.
We love Ballard, and would recommend basing yourself there for your Seattle itinerary if you have a little bit more time in the city. Because it is FAR. And not particularly well connected either. Still, it’s a great place to explore.
Where to Eat in Ballard
The Farmers Market has a nice collection of food trucks that are worth perusing before you decide on where to eat.
Bitterroot BBQ serves great barbecue.
La Carta de Oaxaca is another great Oaxacan restaurant. They have great brunch on weekends.
Salt and Straw: Straight outta Portland. They have a couple of locations in Seattle, and are known for artisanal ice cream made from fresh local Pacific Northwest ingredients. Their summer seasonal flavors, which usually feature berries, are a treat.
Where to Find Coffee & Tea in Ballard
- Woodland Coffee is the best coffee shop in Ballard, and is worth the short walk off the main drag.
- Anchored Ship is right on Ballard Ave, and is pretty good too. It’s also a natural wine shop.
- Tea lovers make a beeline for Miro Tea, which is Alysha’s fave. They have a huge tea selection, and we got a super interesting smoky chai last time we were there.
Where to Shop in Ballard
- Well, the farmers market first. There are some cool non-food related items to be found, like hand-poured candles.
- Then head to September and Standard Goods, the latter of which is our favorite for Pacific Northwest goods and gifts from local Pacific Northwest artists.
- The whole strip along Ballard Ave NW, which is the same street as the Farmers Market, is a great place to peruse stores with everything from pet goods to tiny clothing boutiques.
Fremont is an area along the water to the southeast of Ballard that is another one of our favorite neighborhoods in Seattle. It’s more low-key than Ballard and Cap Hill, but is equally full of hidden gems and
First, head straight for the Fremont Troll, which is a quirky art installation under the bridge that is on everyone’s Seattle itinerary. Personally, I (Matt) have only been once, and I’m not sure Alysha has ever been.
Next up would be Milstead and Co for coffee, which is a Seattle staple and is just down the hill from the troll. They bring in beans from the best roasters in the Pacific Northwest, and have a bright and airy space that is a perfect spot to spend a few minutes relaxing, or killing time before your flight.
Schilling Cider is our favorite bar in Seattle, and I don’t think we’ve made a trip up to Seattle without making it there at least once over the course of the weekend. They have 40+ ciders on tap, all color coded from dry to sweet to help you find one that’s perfect for your taste. Get a flight, obviously.
If you’re more into beer, head over to Fremont Brewing’s Beer Garden just down the street.
The real star of the show in Fremont is the Theo Chocolate Factory Tour, which is a must-do for chocolate lovers in Seattle. If you run out of time, you can still head over to their store and try all the different flavors of chocolate they have and pick up some bars to take home with you. But if you can swing it, the tour is a good overview of the chocolate-making process.
Head to the Airport
And just like that, your weekend trip to Seattle comes to an end! To get to the airport, either take a Lyft all the way, or just to a light rail station (Capitol Hill or Westlake Station would be easiest from Fremont).
Got More than 2 Days in Seattle?
If you’re spending a long weekend in Seattle, then you’re going to want to spend your extra day outside the city exploring the incredible Pacific NW landscapes nearby.
For each of these options, you’ll either need to have access to a car, or take a guided tour. You cannot get to them via public transit.
Day Trip to Mt. Rainier National Park
On a clear summer day, you’ll see Mt. Rainier to the south towering over the surrounding landscape. One of the best views in Seattle is from the University of Washington Quad, which lines up perfectly with a view of Rainier. It’s majestic from afar, and downright jaw-dropping from up close. Getting to Mt. Rainier is a long drive, but if you’re into the outdoors and Rainier is on your bucket list, it’s worth it.
If you’re doing your own trip and have a car, set out early (like, 5-6am early) for the two and a half hour drive Paradise (that’s a real part of the park) to hike the 6 mile Skyline Trail, which is the best hike in Mt. Rainier National Park for first-timers. You’ll get spectacular views of Rainier – right up close and personal – along with panoramic views of the surrounding area, including Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams on a clear day. After the hike, which will take you most of the morning, head to Myrtle Falls and Reflection Lakes, the latter of which is our favorite sunset spot in this area. If you’re up for a short and sweet flat loop with great views of the Mountain, do the Nisqually Vista Trail. Then make the journey back up to Seattle, which will take you another two and a half or three hours, depending on traffic.
It’s a long day, but Rainier is spectacular.
Don’t have a car?
There are a couple of good tours to check out. If you’re just in the mood for going to Rainier and seeing all the sights without anything too strenuous, choose this tour of Mt. Rainier from Seattle.
If you want to do one of the best hikes in Washington – Burroughs Mountain – choose this tour from Seattle (this latter option is only available during starting in July, since the area is closed from winter through spring).
Half Day Trip to Snow Lake and Snoqualmie Falls
If driving several hours to Rainier sounds a little bit aggressive for you, there are plenty of hikes just outside of Seattle that might be a better choice. This is more like a half day trip, rather than a full day.
Another of the best hikes near Seattle would be Snow Lake (and Gem Lake), which is about an hour east of Seattle in the Cascades at Snoqualmie Pass. The trailhead is at the The 6.5 mile trail to Snow Lake climbs pretty steadily until you reach the sapphire blue lake, which is one of many stunning lakes you’ll find in this neck of the woods. It’s the most visited lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, so definitely make sure you get to the trailhead, which is at the parking lot for the Alpental Ski Area, early.
We extended this hike to include Gem Lake on our latest adventure, which is between 10 and 11 miles round trip. While Snow Lake will be packed with people, we were two of four people up at Gem Lake on the day we were there. And it’s equally beautiful.
On the way home, stop at Snoqualmie Falls, a spectacular 270 foot tall waterfall that is accessible via a nice and easy boardwalk. A good place to grab a post-hike lunch in the area would be Caadxi Oaxaca.
More Ideas for What to Do with More Time in Seattle
Here are even more ideas for a longer stay in Seattle.
- The Seattle Art Museum and MOHAI are both actually cool museums, and that’s coming from two people who usually aren’t “museum people.”
- Three words: Indoor. Mini. Golf. Flatstick Pub is a family favorite. They serve booze too. We’ve been to the one in Pioneer Square multiple times.
- Head to Gasworks Park and enjoy a picnic with a fantastic view of Downtown Seattle.
- Explore the waterfront and go to the Seattle Aquarium, which is a good rainy day activity for the kiddos.
- Head out to do another one of the best hikes near Seattle – either Mt. Pilchuck or Lake 22 to the north would be our pick.
- Take the ferry over to Bainbridge Island for some shopping, ice cream, and wine tasting and spectacular views from the ferry.
Fun’s over, kids. Now it’s time for the details that will make your Seattle itinerary a smooth one.
When to Visit Seattle
When you decide to visit Seattle is going to have a pretty significant impact on your experience.
We have an entire, thorough guide to the best time to visit Seattle – for more detail, make sure to go read that!
In the summer, it’s going to be somewhat warm, clear, and blue. Summer days where you can see Mt. Rainier to the south, Baker to the north, and the Olympics to the west are the absolute best. There’s nothing better. Anywhere. However, summer comes with higher prices and more tourists. So be prepared to pay a bit more to see Seattle at its best.
In the shoulder seasons – spring and fall – it’s going to oscillate between nice weather and dreary gray days. You might get lucky, you might not. Either way, it’s not a bad time to visit, and you’ll find lower prices.
Ah, winter in Seattle. We’re writing this on a surprisingly clear December day that started out drizzly and foggy and turned into one of the best sunsets we’ve seen in a while. Winter is gray and drizzly. Every day. And sometimes it drops into the 30’s and 40’s. Still, it’s a super cheap time to visit, and the areas around Seattle like the Cascades and Mt. Rainier turn into a winter wonderland. Instead of hiking, go skiing at Stevens Pass.
Getting To Seattle
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) – “Seatac” for short – is the best option to fly into.
It has the most flight options, and it’s well connected to the city with the nifty Light Rail system, which will get you into Downtown Seattle from the airport in about 45 minutes for just $3. For reference, because there’s a ton of traffic on that route, it could take you 90 minutes in a Lyft to travel that distance.
Getting Around While You’re in Seattle
You have a couple of options for getting around over the course of your trip to Seattle.
First is renting a car and driving. If you rent a car, you’ll have to worry about parking it. Which is not a huge deal in most places, although places like Ballard and Capitol Hill can be a little bit of a nightmare. We don’t think you need a car for your Seattle itinerary, unless you’re going to be heading outside of the city to do a hike or something like that.
Second would be taking the bus and/or Light Rail around town. The Light Rail is fantastic for getting into the city from the airport, but it doesn’t have that many stations in Seattle itself. There’s one in Cap Hill, and a couple downtown, so it’s a good option for getting between those two areas. In every other area, you’ll need to take the bus.
If you’re planning on riding the bus a lot, definitely invest in an Orca Card, which is a prepaid card that you can scan when you board rather than digging out cash every time.
It costs $5 for the card, and you can get a day pass that will give you unlimited local rides for a $8 (so a total of $21 per person – $13 for kids – for Saturday and Sunday). You can buy them at the airport.
The last tool in your toolbox is Lyft, a ride-sharing app that will connect you with local drivers who will take you around the city. Like a taxi, but better. This is often what we use because it’s super convenient. If you only have a couple of days in Seattle, you’re going to want to be super efficient with your time. All you have to do is download the app, put in a credit card to pay, and tell them where you want to go.
There you have it – the best way to experience Seattle in a weekend according to a local Seattleite!
Questions? Comments? Ideas? Other favorites that we missed? We’d love to hear from you! Shoot us a note, or leave us a comment below!
MORE TO EXPLORE IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
If you’re planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest, we’ve got you covered with all sorts of super detailed travel guides to our favorite places in Washington and Oregon.
- Seattle: Find the perfect place to stay in Seattle, use our itinerary and complete Seattle city guide to plan your weekend in Seattle (we also have a guide to one day in Seattle for shorter trips), find a new hike near Seattle to tackle, and plan your next day trip or weekend getaway.
- Portland: Get a local’s take on what to do in Portland and where to stay in Portland, plan your weekend itinerary (we also have a guide to one day in Portland for shorter trips), find the best hikes in and around Portland, and discover the best day trip and weekend getaway destinations.
- Road Trips: Explore the best of the Pacific Northwest on a 14 day Pacific Northwest road trip. Plan an amazing Washington road trip or Oregon road trip with our detailed guides, including a couple of itineraries that you can copy/paste.
- The Oregon Coast: Explore the best of the Oregon Coast on a 7 day Oregon Coast road trip. Discover the best hikes on the Oregon Coast, and figure out what to do in Cannon Beach and Astoria.
- Hiking in Oregon: Get a local’s take on the best hikes in Oregon, the most spectacular Oregon waterfalls, and dive deeper into each region with our guides to the best hikes at Mt. Hood, in the Columbia River Gorge, and more.
- Hiking in Washington: Add to your Washington hiking bucket list with our guide to the best hikes in Washington. Then dive into our regional hiking guides to discover the best hikes near Seattle, hiking at Mount Rainier, in Olympic National Park, in the North Cascades, and at Mount Baker.
- Mount Rainier National Park: Plan the perfect trip to Mount Rainier with our guides to the best things to do, the best hikes, and how to plan a perfect day trip to Rainier.
- Olympic National Park: Explore the best that Olympic National Park has to offer – the best hikes, a complete itinerary, and exactly where to stay in Olympic National Park.
- North Cascades National Park: The least visited of the National Parks in Washington, learn how to plan a perfect itinerary, and figure out the best hikes to add to your list.
- Crater Lake National Park: Discover the best that Oregon’s only national park (isn’t that crazy?) has to offer with our guide to planning your Crater Lake itinerary, and our guide to the best hikes in Crater Lake. Plus, a guide to planning an amazing Seattle to Crater Lake road trip.