We’ve compiled a guide to our favorite things to do, see and eat in and around Seattle. We hope you enjoy exploring our beloved city.
- Downtown/Belltown (& a bit of South Lake Union)
- Queen Anne
- Capitol Hill
- Music Venues
- Outside Seattle
View Adam & Amy’s Wedding Weekend in a larger map
Downtown/Belltown (& a bit of South Lake Union)
If you’re interested in going to EMP, the Space Needle and other museums, the CityPASS is a great deal. With the CityPASS ($69 for adults; $44 for kids), you get admission to:
- Space Needle
- Seattle Aquarium
- Argosy Cruises Seattle Harbor Tour
- Pacific Science Center
- EMP Museum
- Woodland Park Zoo OR The Museum of Flight
We really like the EMP (Experience Music Project), and it’s great for kids, too. You can try out every kind of instrument and check out the Science Fiction Museum. Current exhibitions include Nirvana and Battlestar Gallactica. Something for everyone!
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center
The Visitor Center highlights the foundation’s history and its amazing work in health, development and education and offers a ton of cool, interactive exhibits. Admission is free.
Obviously, this is the most popular tourist attraction. The Space Needle actually is pretty cool, but it is a bit pricey. If you dine at the rotating restaurant, it’s free to ride up and visit the observation deck. This is the best deal — rather than paying just to ride up there.
Pike Place Market
See the fish throwers, peruse crafts from local artisans and take in one of Seattle’s coolest attractions. Check out the park just to the north of Pike Place for an awe-inspiring view of the Olympic Mountains and Mount Rainier.
Columbia Center Observation Deck
A great alternative to the Space Needle is the observation deck of the Columbia Tower for $5 ($3 for students). It’s the tallest building in Seattle, and the view is amazing. There’s also a Starbucks with a great view on the 35th floor.
If you’re into history, the Underground Tour is pretty cool. It’s partially a lecture on Seattle history, partially a tour of basements (basically).
If you don’t do the Underground Tour, be sure to check out the neighborhood where it’s located – Pioneer Square. This is historic Seattle, and it’s very different from the rest.
Our welcome cruise on Thursday, July 19 will be touring Lake Union and Lake Washington, so you can probably skip the Argosy Lakes Cruise. However, the Harbor Tour and Locks Tour are very cool.
Seattle Art Museum
We head to the SAM several times a year. If you enjoy art, you’ll find things you like there. There is a cute gift shop and a nice restaurant if you want to grab a bite to eat. The museum sometimes offers discounted admission on Thursdays and Fridays.
Olympic Sculpture Park
The park is about 8 or 9 blocks from Pike Place Market and from Seattle Center, so if you’re looking to kill some time and enjoy a walk, you’ll want to check it out. The sculpture park is along the Puget Sound and free to the public.
Seattle Central Library
The library features award-winning architecture and is just, well, cool-looking. Take a trip to the 10th floor and check out the view.
This French bakery is in Pike Place Market. It. Is. Amazing. Adam’s partial to the chocolatine. Amy loves the apricot tart.
Pear Delicatessen & Shoppe
Also in Pike Place Market, Pear is a great place to stop for a sandwich or salad. The pear and gruyere grilled cheese is heavenly.
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
This cheese shop in Pike Place Market has a cafe with amazing grilled cheese (sensing a theme here) and mac & cheese.
If you end up checking out SAM or the Columbia Tower, nearby is Bakeman’s Restuarant. It’s cash-only and the guy running the cash register is sure to make fun of you in some way, and will probably be incredulous if you don’t oder pie, but the roasted turkey sandwiches are just like Thanksgiving leftovers.
If you head to Pioneer Square and need to get a bite, check out this sub shop that specializes in Philly cheesesteaks. The seating is limited but, you can always get it to go and eat it at the nearby Waterfall Gardens.
Another great spot for lunch in Pioneer Square is Salumi. If you like fancy cured meats, you’ll want to check this place out. The parents of celebrity chef Mario Batali opened this deli as a retirement project.
Portage Bay Cafe
AMAZING brunch. There are also locations in Ballard and the U-District.
This restaurant specializes in local, sustainable food (pretty much your stereotypical Seattle restaurant), trying to use only ingredients that come from within 360 miles. Five blocks from Pike Place, this is a good place to get lunch or dinner after fun at the market.
This brick oven pizza place is one of Seattle celebrity chef Tom Douglas’ many thriving restaurants. And only two blocks north of Pike Place Market and close to the Warwick Hotel. This is fancy flatbread pizza, so be warned, it’s no Chicago deep-dish.
Fremont (10-15 minutes north of downtown)
Known for quirky festivals, strange statues and Adam and Amy’s apartment.
Getting there: Take the 26 bus (toward Greenlake) or the 28 (toward Broadview) from Third Street. Get off at Fremont Avenue and 34th and you’ll be in the heart of Fremont.
Fremont Sunday Market
Every Sunday, tons of interesting vendors sell art, jewelry, clothes, produce, food, etc. on 34th Street in Fremont. Street performers and wacky Seattle characters abound!
If you like chocolate and seeing how it’s made, the Theo Chocolate tour is fun. This is also in Fremont, just a block from Adam and Amy’s abode. Make a reservation well in advance. They book up like crazy. You can also take a, ahem, “self-guided tour” of the chocolate samples in their store.
One of the great things about Seattle are the public art projects. One of those projects was to create a giant troll under the Aurora bridge at 36th Street and Troll Avenue in Fremont. It’s awesome.
Lenin Statue and Rocket
Fremont is also home to a giant Lenin statue (near 36th and Evanston) and a giant rocket (35th and Evanston). Lenin is one of the iconic sights of Seattle. P.S. We live in a weird neighborhood.
This is a nice bike/walking trail along the Ship Canal and past Lake Union in Fremont/Wallingford. You can rent bikes and ride all the way to the Ballard Locks and Golden Gardens, or head the other direction and check out the University of Washington.
To quote our former neighbor, “You can’t swing a dead cat in Fremont without hitting a Thai restaurant.” It’s true. Much to Amy’s delight, Fremont has tons of Thai restaurants. Tawon Thai on Fremont Avenue is our favorite. Amy’s mom Rochelle called it the “best Thai food she’s ever had.” That’s high praise.
This Flemish pub has a HUGE beer selection (around 60 on tap, 200 total) and amazing frites. A great place to grab dinner after checking out the sights in Fremont.
The Back Door at Roxy’s
In an unfortunate sea of fratty bars, Back Door at Roxy’s is a rare, beautiful gem. This speakeasy-style bar is classy and has great cocktails. Also, free never-ending fancy popcorn.
This Mexican restaurant is great and has been approved by several Isaguirres.
This is the best sandwich you will ever have in your life. Adam loves the roasted pork, Amy goes for the chicken, and the midnight sandwich is also very popular at this Caribbean-style joint. Another cash-only place, but so worth it. Call ahead to skip the insane line and get your food to go. There’s also a location in Ballard just down the street from the wedding venue, Ray’s, and Golden Gardens beach. You can grab your sandwich and head to the beach to look at the Puget Sound, Olympic mountains and pale Northwest people playing beach volleyball.
9 Million in Unmarked Bills
This spot has good happy hour food, but the cocktails are the star at this whiskey bar located in the heart of Fremont.
If you like pinball, classic arcade games and beer in cans, you’ll want to spend some time here. Don’t worry, they have change machines in case you are out of quarters.
Wallingford (10-15 minutes north of downtown)
Home to Dave Matthews and Adam and Amy’s first apartment in Seattle.
Getting there: Take the 16 bus (toward Northgate) from Third Street in downtown or Fifth Street near Seattle Center. Get off the bus at 45th and Wallingford and you’ll be in the heart of the neighborhood.
Bizarro Italian Cafe
You may have seen this quirky spot on the Food Network. They do a modern take on Italian dishes and mix in local flavor. It’s our favorite place to get a nice dinner.
Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
If you want pretentious, but delicious homemade ice cream, check out this Seattle staple. Adam and Amy used to live directly above this place, but as of yet there is no plaque marking this historical significance. The line is usually out the door but you can often get in and out quickly when it first opens at noon or at the start of dinner time around 6.
This is the place that got Adam hooked on Seattle coffee. Ask Mariposa and Corey – they make it a staple of their Seattle visits.
Head here if you like chocolate with your coffee. Or if you just like chocolate.
Awesome specialty beer shop. Choose any beer you like and drink at the bar there.
Gas Works Park
We love this park. It’s an old gas plant rehabbed into a city park. It has an awesome view of the skyline and Lake Union. (Note that this park is a bit of a hike from the main strip in Wallingford. You may want to take the 26 bus there instead.)
Ballard (20 minutes from downtown)
Ballard started as a Nordic fishing village and still retains some salty sea flavor. Market Street and Ballard Avenue offer great shops, restaurants and bars.
Getting there: Take the 17 (toward Sunset Hill Ballard) or 18 (toward North Beach Ballard) from Third Street. Get off at Market Street and Ballard Avenue. If you’re heading to Golden Gardens or Paseo, you’ll want to take the 17 farther north.
Ballard Sunday Market
The Ballard Market is more of a farmer’s market, but also really fun. Check out food vendors, artists as well as all the cafes and shops in the neighborhood.
For heaping portions of Puerto Rican food, fresh mojitos and tres leches cake, check out La Isla. You will leave happy.
Moshi Moshi Sushi
This place is known for creative cocktails, and you can also down some tasty sushi and Asian fusion dishes.
Located in a remodeled historic firehouse, this place has has a menu sure to please everyone, and a good cocktail list.
Portage Bay Cafe
AMAZING brunch. There are also locations in South Lake Union and the U-District.
There is a pretty botanical garden here, and it’s fun to watch boats go through the locks system. The salmon ladder is also cool to see fish up close. Note that it’s a bit of a hike from downtown Ballard.
Golden Gardens Beach
This Ballard beach is great. The view is stunning. The rest of the park offers hiking too. If you want to spend a day enjoying the outdoors, this is a good bet.
This is the best sandwich you will ever have in your life. Adam loves the roasted pork, Amy goes for the chicken, and the midnight sandwich is also very popular at this Caribbean-style joint. Another cash-only place, but so worth it. Call ahead to skip the insane line and get your food to go. In addition to a Fremont location, there’s a location in Ballard just down the street from the wedding venue, Ray’s, and Golden Gardens beach. You can grab your sandwich and head to the beach to look at the Puget Sound, Olympic mountains and pale Northwest people playing beach volleyball.
U-District (10-15 minutes northeast of downtown)
Home to the University of Washington and every kind of Asian cuisine that exists.
Getting there: From the Westlake Center transit tunnel, take any of the 70 buses (71, 72, 73 and 74). They’re all express buses to the U-District.
University of Washington
Explore Amy’s beautiful alma mater. Favorites include the Rainier Vista lookout spot and the Suzzallo Library.
Big Time Brewery & Alehouse
If you’re a fan of pub grub and microbrews, you’ll want to make a stop here when visiting the University District.
If you want to enjoy the outdoors, you can take long walks through botanical gardens or along wetlands near Lake Washington.
This taco place is right by UW and located on the water. It’s really good and has a great view. You can also rent kayaks there and paddle around Lake Union or Lake Washington.
Portage Bay Cafe
AMAZING brunch. There are also locations in South Lake Union and Ballard.
Queen Anne (5 minutes from downtown)
If you want to check out the neighborhood where doctor Frasier Crane lived, head to Queen Anne Hill.
Getting there: Take the 1, 2 or 13 up the hill.
This is a small park that offers one of the best views of the Seattle skyline. If you’re lucky, you can see the Space Needle, the Puget Sound and Mount Rainier at the same time.
OK, so maybe we don’t have many recommendations for Queen Anne, but if you head up Queen Anne Avenue to the top of the hill, there’s a ton of restaurants and shops there.
Capitol Hill (5 minutes from downtown)
Check out the hippest of all the hipster neighborhoods in a very hipster city. The jeans are as skinny as the eyeglass frames are thick.
Getting there: You can walk (uphill) to Capitol Hill or take the 49, 10 or 11 bus.
Head over to Broadway and East Pine to see a statue of Seattle’s most famous son, Jimi Hendrix.
If you’re staying at the Sheraton, it’s not too far from Six Arms. Great fish and chips and Northwestern bear options. Friendly staff and cool decor make for a great atmosphere.
Good beers and good food, and lots of skinny jeans and flannel. This is what Capitol Hill is all about.
If you’re a music fan who still finds analog formats romantic, you’ll want to check out Everyday Music. Lots of used records, CDs, and more.
If you want some pizza, burgers, bowling and billiards, check out Garage. And make sure you order the Lebowski.
If you want to cut loose and belt out some tunes, you can rent a private room at this Japanese-style karaoke bar.
This is one of those places that gets mentioned in magazines as one of the top bars in America. They specialize in classic cocktails. If you want to get in touch with your inner Mad Man, this is the place to go.
Seattle has great, historic musical venues, and if you find the time to see a show, check out these fantastic options.
This venue is known mostly for country and folk acts and located in the heart of Ballard.
The Showbox at the Market
A staple of the Seattle concert scene. All types of of rock and hip hop shows are held here just blocks from Pike Place Market. And you might run into Dave Matthews in the crowd.
The Paramount, The Moore and The Neptune
These three historic theaters host all types of entertainment. Concerts, comedy shows and plays. The Paramount and Moore are downtown. The Neptune has just reopened in the U-District after major renovations.
If you want to see where bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam started out, this is it. After closing for a couple of years, the venue has reopened and hosts all types of up-and-coming acts.
This is Seattle’s concert hall downtown for all things classical, though Amy and Adam have seen rock shows there before. Usually pricey, but sometimes you just feel like putting on your fanciest of pants.
Some fantastic bands have played Neumos, and usually before they hit the big time. The place to see live music in Capitol Hill.
Depending on your schedule, there are so many beautiful places to see within a couple hours of Seattle. These are some of our faves:
Known for its appearance in the “Twin Peaks” TV series, this beautiful waterfall is located about 45-60 minutes east of downtown Seattle.
At 14,000 feet above sea level, the Rainey family mountain is an icon of Washington landscape.
Red Hook Brewery
This brewery is in Woodinville, about an hour outside Seattle. It’s a pretty drive there. For $1, you get a tour and get to try 4 or 5 different beers.
Chateau St. Michele
This winery is right by the brewery. They also give a nice tour.