seeing seattle in a weekend [a guide for entertaining visitors]

“Looking forward to your visit!  What would you like to do while you’re here?”
[silence]  “uh…..I’ll leave that up to you since you know more about the city than we do.”
“So, there’s nothing in particular you want to see?”
[long pause]  “You know what’s best!”

Been there?

We have lived in Seattle for less than a year, but have had a steady stream of visitors.  And for those that play the ‘I-don’t-know…what-do-YOU-want-to-do?” game, I’ve developed a solid list of activities for when I need to play “tour guide.”



  • Take a hike.  When you see it daily, you can forget how the mountains & enormous evergreens initially took your breath away. There is so much outdoors to explore in the Pacific Northwest.  For the moderately adventurous, I recommend hiking Rattlesnake Ridge.  For the less adventurous, walk the trails of Discovery Park or visit Snoqualmie Falls.  For visitors that don’t mind a little bit of a drive, check out Deception Pass.
  • In the evening, take the Seattle Underground Tour!


  • Start the day with breakfast at Pike Place Market.  So many delicious options, guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest visitor.  While you’re there, swing by the Gum Wall for a photo and grab coffee at the Original Starbucks.
  • Then, walk down to the waterfront for a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel.
  • Next, head over to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum.  This is beautiful day or night.
  • Right next door you’ll find the Space Needle.  Go ahead and take a ride to the top [because, well… it’s Seattle… you just have to.]


Some additional suggestions for visitors with young children:
  • Stop at the Seattle Aquarium after your ride on the Great Wheel.
  • The Duck Tour is another great, kid-friendly way to see the city.
Or for the more senior crowd:

Disclaimer:  I originally wrote this article for the Seattle Local Mom Blog.

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