Having moved to Seattle 6 years ago, to recently purchasing my first home in Washington – I love showing my friends and family around the city I’ve grown to love! Here’s my perfect weekend itinerary of how to spend 3 days in Seattle as a first-time visitor.
Seattle is truly an amazing place to visit, and if you only have a weekend to spare, it is totally doable to explore the city and everything it has to offer. I hope you enjoy this guide and have the best trip to Seattle.
Day 1 in Seattle – Pike Place Market, The Starbucks Reserve, Kerry Park
Grab breakfast at Biscuit Bitch
I love taking visitors to Biscuit Bitch because (1) the name always grabs their attention, and (2), their biscuits are so delicious and comforting!
What I recommend:
- BITCHWITCH – buttered biscuit sandwich with pork sausage, egg, and Bitchy sauce
- HOT MESS BITCH ! – biscuits and gravy topped with two eggs and Louisiana hot links.
Address: 1909 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 | http://biscuitbitch.com/
Explore Pike Place Market
Once you grab your biscuit for breakfast, you can venture down the hill to Pike Place Market. Since 1907, Pike Place Market is known for being the oldest and largest continuously operating farmer’s markets in the United States.
I guarantee you can spend hours here exploring the various fresh produce stands, snacking on samples, and shopping from local artisans!
Make sure to stop by the famous fishmongers stand to see fish being thrown. This will usually happen when someone purchases a fish, but sometimes they will give tourists a show. 🙂 And don’t forget to pick up a fresh flower bouquet!
To see a full list of MUST-TRY food spots in Pike Place Market, check out my separate post Where to Eat at Pike Place Market.
Visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Address: 1124 Pike St, Seattle, WA 981011924
If there’s one tip I could give you as a local, it would be “DO NOT WAIT IN LINE at the first Starbucks in Pike Place Market”!
The line is always insanely long, and once you do get inside, they only offer drinks that you can find at any regular Starbucks.
Instead, visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Capitol Hill for coffee flights, espresso cocktails and more that you cannot get at any other Starbucks location!
See the Seattle skyline at Kerry Park
You can’t spend 3 days in Seattle without getting the perfect photo of the city! After grabbing some delicious coffee at Starbucks, make your way to upper Queen Anne to take some epic pictures of the Seattle skyline.
Kerry Park itself is small, but the views are absolutely fantastic. If the weather is good, you can see the Space Needle, downtown Seattle, and Mount Rainier!
TIP: I would recommend to drive or take an Uber up here. The hill is quite steep!
Try some soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung
Address: 600 Pine St #403, Seattle, WA 98101
If you have any room left after eating all day at Pike Place Market, I highly recommend stopping by Din Tai Fung for dinner! They have multiple locations in Seattle, but the Pacific Place location is right in downtown.
Din Tai Fung is world-renowned for their xiao long bao (小笼包), and have earned 5 Michelin stars at their Asia locations. You can see the chefs carefully wrapping the soup dumplings through a glass window, and the dumplings are well worth the wait!
What I recommend:
- Kurobota Pork Xiao Long Bao
- Shrimp & Kurobota Pork Spicy Wontons
- String beans with Garlic
End the night with a cocktail
There’s plenty of speakeasy-type bars in Seattle that offer unique and tasty cocktails. Grab a drink to end the night, and get some rest for the next day!
Bars I recommend:
- canon seattle for whiskey cocktails that are a work of art | 928 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
- mBar for views of Lake Union | 400 Fairview Ave N 14th Floor, Seattle, WA 98109
- Unicorn for a fun carnival-themed experience | 1118 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122
- Bathtub Gin & Co. for prohibition-era cocktails and an extensive gin menu | 2205 2nd Ave #310, Seattle, WA 98121
Day 2 in Seattle – Explore the Seattle Center and Amazon Spheres
For your second day in Seattle, I recommend exploring the Seattle Center and South Lake Union. There’s plenty of museums and interesting sights to check out in this area!
Breakfast at Portage Bay Cafe
If you’re looking for a brunch spot to start your morning, I recommend making a reservation at Portage Bay Cafe.
They have multiple locations, but for this itinerary you can start at South Lake Union.
The food focuses on local and organic ingredients, but don’t forget about the berry bar with fresh fruit and whipped cream!
Shop at an Amazon Go store
Address: 300 Boren Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
While you’re in the heart of the Amazon offices, I recommend checking out one of the Amazon Go stores.
This store in South Lake Union is a small convenience store with salads, sushi, and candy. But the best part is experiencing the ‘Just Walk Out’ technology.
To enter the store you scan your credit card or Amazon account. After you pick up your items, you just walk out!
Grab a FREE snack at the Amazon Community Banana Stand
Right outside the Amazon Spheres is the Amazon Community Banana Stand. They offer free bananas to everyone, not just Amazon employees. It’s a fun stop to show your visitors where they can get a free healthy snack!
Visit the Space Needle
Now that you’re all fueled up for the day, it’s time to head to the Seattle Center. First on the list to visit is the iconic Seattle landmark, the Space Needle!
Plan your visit by getting tickets in advance, as the pricing is different depending on the time of day.
When you get up there, make sure to take some photos on the rotating glass floor. You can also purchase drinks like beer or wine to enjoy the view!
Check out the Chihuly Glass Museum
Another must-visit exhibit when you only have 3 days in Seattle, is the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum.
The exhibit showcases the incredible glasswork by artist Dale Chihuly. With 8 galleries and a jaw-dropping glass house, you will be amazed by the colorful sculptures. Each piece is unique and grand in its own way!
Note: tickets are a little pricey as they can range from $30-37 for adults. However if it’s your first time visiting, it’s really worth it!
Explore the Museum of Pop Culture
If I could make one museum recommendation when you only have 3 days in Seattle, it would be to visit the Museum of Pop Culture. The museum has the coolest exhibits featuring Indie Games, musical icons, and movie artifacts!
From now until Summer 2024, the museum is also featuring Hidden Worlds: The Films of Laika. This exhibit shows you the incredible stop-motion work behind the films of Coraline, Paranorman, and more.
Grab dinner in Belltown
By now you should hungry after all of those museums! Since you’re nearby, I recommend getting dinner in the Belltown neighborhood. There are a huge variety of excellent restaurants to choose from, for every palate.
- Bangrak Market for Thai food in a vibrant night market setting
- List Restaurant for truffle gnocchi and happy hour
- Chiho Bistro for delicious soup dumplings and roasted duck
- Umi Sake House for fresh sushi and happy hour deals
- La Fontana Siciliana for Italian food in a beautiful courtyard with a fountain
Day 3 in Seattle – Bainbridge Island
You can’t spend 3 days in Seattle without dedicating one of them to visiting a nearby island! If you’re lucky enough to have a third day in Seattle, then I recommend taking a ferry to Bainbridge Island. It is just a 30 minute ferry ride away, so it is easy to do a day trip.
Taking the Seattle-Bainbridge ferry
Riding the ferry is probably the most fun part of the experience. You can check the ferry times online, and make sure to arrive 30 minutes before the departure time. You can even drive your car straight onto the boat!
Once you’re on the ferry, you can enjoy some incredible views of Elliot Bay.
Coffee at Blackbird Bakery
Once you arrive on the island, walk 10 minutes to the city center. There you’ll find one of my favorite bakeries on Bainbridge!
Blackbird Bakery is known for their pastries, scones, and coffee. However, one thing you must try is their toast and raspberry jam. It sounds simple, but it’s delicious!
Grab lunch on Bainbridge
After grabbing breakfast, you can stroll down the street to look inside the various boutiques and shops. And once you’re hungry again, these two lunch spots below are my personal favorites!
- Ba Sa Restaurant for modern Vietnamese cuisine
- Proper Fish for the best British-style fish and chips
Explore the Bloedel Reserve
To see some beautiful nature after your lunch, I’d recommend exploring the Bloedel Reserve. It boasts 150 acres of forests, trails, and a small Japanese garden.
You’ll need to purchase timed-entry tickets in advance, so plan ahead!
Dinner in Seattle and visit the Great Wheel
I recommend to return to Seattle late-afternoon, so you can be back in time for dinner. You’ll be nearby Pier 55, and there are a bunch of great seafood restaurants there!
- Elliot’s Oyster House for oysters and fresh seafood
- Ivar’s Acre of Clams for clam chowder and fried fish
- The Pink Door for amazing Italian food and burlesque shows
- Von’s 1000 Spirits for the best sourdough pasta, pizzas and burgers
After dinner, you can take a ride up on the Seattle Great Wheel. There you’ll get some fantastic coastal views.
And there you have it – the ultimate guide on how to spend 3 days in Seattle!
I hope you enjoyed this guide, and check out my Instagram for more updated recommendations.