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Seattle Weekend Adventures: What to See, Do and Eat in Seattle

Seattle is one of my favorite cities to visit, and I've been blessed with many trips there during all four seasons and with different focuses. It doesn't matter what time of the year you go, you will love it. And yes, I even mean during the rain. I had to get that elephant in the room out of the way! Most of my trips have been for a weekend, so I am well-versed in maximizing your Seattle adventures in two to three days.

Being an extremely popular city, there are many wonderful Seattle travel guides with great information covering things to do and see and places to eat and drink. It's also a port town where many cruises depart for Alaska. My first Alaska Cruise from Seattle was on Celebrity and it was one of my favorites.

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It was on this cruise that I discovered just how beautiful mother nature can be and it led to a newfound desire to visit national parks and see wildlife, in particular, the extraordinary bear. Since my Alaska cruise, I have planned an RV road trip to Alaska (which we ended up not doing) and been on an amazing fishing trip but I believe the best way to see Alaska is by boat. Water surrounds Alaska and it is gorgeous! Around every corner, there is a different shade of blue or green and it's breathtaking!


Alaska survives on tourism and the small towns along the cruise route are full of small businesses and quirky personalities. Those that live there all year round have fascinating stories to tell and I enjoyed hearing them on many of the excursions we went on during our cruise.

I have to say that in all the spots I've cruised around the world and all the lines I've been on, my Alaskan cruise on Celebrity is by far one of the best in terms of food and service. I highly recommend you try one out. It is a great way to experience Alaska for the first time!

For most of the Alaskan cruises coming in and out of Seattle, you leave on a Friday and return on a Friday. This gives you the perfect opportunity to spend a weekend in Seattle! I'm sharing a weekend itinerary that includes some of my favorites in the hopes that you too will be able to create your own Seattle weekend adventure. Trust me, it's not hard!

Friday in Seattle

Arrive at the port and set out! For the vast majority of this itinerary, you won't need a car. The city is very walkable, although there are a few spots that will require transportation. Depending on the time of year and when the sun sets, I have two suggestions for activities on your first evening before you get dinner.

First up, you'll need a ride, so pick your favorite form of transportation and head to the Dr. Jose Rizal Park (1007 12th Ave. S. in, Seattle, open 4 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.) and walk on the bridge on 12th Avenue South over South Dearborn Street and Interstate 90 in Seattle. Oddly, it's a great spot for the sunset and fun for nighttime photography.

SEATTLE-12th Ave. S Bridge

Afterward, head over to the Space Needle for a fantastic view of Seattle by night. It's hotly debated whether to visit the Space Needle by day or by night. On a clear day, you can see the majestic Mount Rainier, along with the other mountain ranges and the water, but I think it's pretty magical at night.

That gorgeous sunset will definitely spark an appetite for dinner! In my mind, you cannot go wrong by selecting a restaurant from Seattle chef icons Tom Douglas or Renee Erickson. I've eaten in several of their restaurants and have never been disappointed.

Saturday in Seattle

Early morning at Seattle's Pike Place Market, image via Flickr by mckeishkah91992.

You've got the whole day ahead of you! My favorite way to start is at the famous Pike Place Market. If you visit in the morning, you miss a lot of the crowds and can enjoy walking through as the vendors are setting up for the day. You can pick up a coffee at the original Starbucks before the lines get nutty, and you can grab a delicious scone at the Three Girls Bakery, another market institution.

Seattle Top Pot Doughnuts
Top Pot Doughnut, image via Flickr by vectorbug.

Now it's time to burn off the scone and grab a Top Pot doughnut for your short walk to the Seattle Center. I realize that's a lot of carbs, but it's totally worth it. You cannot visit the Emerald City without one of these donuts! Seattle has a lot to offer from a food perspective. Being a port city, there are cuisines from Scandinavian cultures, Asian cultures, and Russian cultures, as well as an inordinate amount of fresh seafood. Your biggest problem during your Seattle weekend adventures is how to fit it all in!

When you get to the Seattle Center, you can go up to the top of the Space Needle again, or you can head straight to the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a museum dedicated to the works of  Washington artist Dale Chihuly. This magical place also has one of my favorite views of the Space Needle! You can find Chihuly works all over the United States and around the world, but I think this permanent exhibition in Seattle is the best!

Seattle Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum view of the Space Needle
A view of the Space Needle from the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum.

Next up is the MoPOP, or the Museum of Pop Culture,  which is almost as fun to photograph on the outside as your visit inside will be! Formerly the EMP Museum, this spot is dedicated to contemporary popular culture, including music to which Seattle artist's contributed volumes of material. Other focuses are science fiction and pop culture. There's always a fascinating exhibition going on. Last time I was there it was all about “Star Trek.” I was in space geek heaven!

Seattle EMP, the Museum of Pop Culture, MoPOP
Outside of the Museum of Pop Culture in the Seattle Center.

Now you've worked up an appetite for lunch! If you still want to stay in the Seattle Center area, you can find a wide variety of eats inside the Center itself. I really like the kebab at the Armory. Alternatively, I recommend heading over to South Lake Union for lunch at either El Chupacabra, a Mexican restaurant with outdoor seating, great drinks, punk rock roots, and a view of the Space Needle, or another iconic restaurant with outdoor seating in the same area, Duke's Seafood & Chowder. You can never go wrong with chowder in Seattle.

Seattle Museum of History & Industry
Seattle Museum of History & Industry, image via Flickr by Can Pac Swire.

After lunch, head to my other favorite museum, the MOHAI, whose full name is the Museum of History and Industry. I'm a history nut, and this museum weaves you through Seattle's history via a lens of innovation and technology. In addition to being on the marina where you can enjoy water views, the building is stunning inside and you'll just want to sit down and enjoy the space. I think this museum is a little off the radar compared to similar institutions, and you may not have heard of it, but I guarantee you, you will love it!

Sunsets in Seattle are nothing short of spectacular with the mountains, water, and city skyline. There are many places to see a sunset, but one of my favorite spots is Gas Works Park (2101 N. Northlake Way). It's a public park built on the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant. There are plenty of leftover plant pieces that have been converted into art and things to climb on, play with, and take photos of. The park is on the water, so you'll have beautiful views, picnic areas, bird-watching opportunities, and sports activities. It's a unique place to visit, particularly for sunsets.

SEATTLE Public Gas Works

After sunset, you've got a tough decision to make: dinner! From Gas Works Park, you're close to another Seattle food icon, Dick's Drive-In, for a classic burger, fries, and shake joint! If you're a burger lover, you'll need to check this one off your list.

Seattle Dicks-Drive-in
Top right image via Flickr by Bjørn Giesenbauer other two photos are mine.

However, for something a little less casual, I've got a few recommendations. If you love Asian food, Vietnamese in particular, then make your way to the International District and make a beeline for Tamarind Tree Restaurant. It has one of the most comprehensive menus by region that I have ever seen, and I really enjoyed trying new dishes from the Hue region of Vietnam. More great options for Asian cuisine in the International District include Tai Tung Chinese Restaurant (655 S. King St.) and Pho Bac (1314 S. Jackson).

Seattle Sushi
Seattle sushi, image via Flickr by City Foodsters.

Given the access to fresh seafood, you'll find amazing sushi in Seattle. I suggest Sushi Kashiba (86 Pine St. #1), Kisaku Sushi (2101 N. 55th St. #100), Maneki (304 Sixth Avenue S.), and Sushi Kappo Tamura (2968 Eastlake Ave. E.) for top spots for sushi and other Japanese food delights. And for great seafood restaurants, try Westward Seattle (2501 N. Northlake Way) for amazing oysters, and visit Lark Restaurant (952 E. Seneca St.) and Tilth (1411 N. 45th St.).

It's your last night in Seattle, so go out with a bang with some tasty cocktails from one of the many really great bars, clubs, or restaurants in the city. My picks are Rumba (1112 Pike St.), Rob Roy (2332 Second Ave.), Sun Liquor Distillery and Lounge (512 E. Pike St.) and Zig Zag Cafe (1501 Western Ave.). But go easy, as you are flying home tomorrow!

Sunday Morning in Seattle

Ahhh, it's Sunday morning already. How time flies when you are having so much fun and such good food. Did you partake of one too many cocktails last night? Do you dread the impending airplane food? I know the cure for that: Dimsum. Seattle has some mighty tasty dim sum that's perfect for your last morning in the Emerald City. My go-to for great dim sum is Harbor City Restaurant (707 S. King St.), but I also really like Foo Lam Chinese Restaurant (7101 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S.) and Jade Garden Restaurant (424 Seventh Ave. S.).

Take a last stroll around Pike Place Market. Pick up that last bunch of flowers, a chunk of cheese, a jar of pepper jelly, or a filet of salmon before you head back to the airport and on your way back to chez toi (home). Food souvenirs are the best souvenirs!

Image via Flickr by me*jo.

That's it! You've completed your Seattle weekend adventures a la Misadventures with Andi! Seattle is a very easy city to fall in love with. Whether you follow my itinerary or create your own, you really can't go wrong. Now get out there and enjoy yourself!

How about you? Have you visited Seattle before? What are some of your favorite things to see, do, and eat in Seattle?

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  1. Neely Moldovan says:

    So many awesome tips. We plan to go sometime next year. WE’ve both been but never together!

  2. Seattle has been on our bucket list for so long. I have a cousin who lives there who’s been bugging me to come and visit too! Now I really cannot wait to go.

  3. Erica Schwarz says:

    I have only been to Seattle for a day before, but it is a lovely city. One of the best meals of my life was that night, at the Black Bottle restaurant if I remember correctly. Great city!

  4. I would love to visit Seattle at some point and judging from this post there is no shortage of things to see and do. It sounds great!

  5. Gingermommy says:

    I have only ever been to the airport but have been planning to visit. This is great!

  6. Aside from wanting to experience the Space Needle, I would love a trip to Seattle for the food! Oh wow. That sure looks like a foodie paradise!

  7. I haven’t been to Seattle yet but I hope I can visit it soon and I also have to add the Chihuly Garden and Glass to my places to visit list! I’d love to try Top Pot doughnuts!

  8. CourtneyLynne says:

    Seattle is such a lovely city!!! I’ve always had a blast exploring the few times I’ve had the pleasure of visiting

  9. CourtneyLynne says:

    Seattle is such a lovely city!!! I’ve always had a blast exploring the few times I’ve had the pleasure of visiting

  10. These all sound like so much fun, I have always wanted to visit the Pacific Northwest. It’s on my someday list!

  11. Seattle is on the bucket list, it has sounded so interesting and now after reading your post even more