Seattle is one of those cities you could come back to over and over again and still find new and exciting corners to explore. This city offers a blend of culture, architecture, technology advancements, and an epicurean dreamland. Here is a great 4-day Seattle itinerary guide to what to do, see and eat in Seattle to get your trip planning started.
Pro Tip: If you purchase the Seattle CityPass you get to enjoy free admission to:
- Space Needle
- Seattle Aquarium
- Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
- A choice between: Museum of Pop Culture (MOPOP) OR Woodland Park Zoo
- A choice between: Chihuly Garden and Glass OR Pacific Science Center
A 4-Day Seattle Itinerary: What To D See And Eat
Below are tips on how to see Seattle in 4 days. Everything you need to know from how to get to Seattle, how to get around and places to visit in Seattle with a day by day itinerary plan.
DAY 1 In Seattle
Flying into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is pretty easy and direct for most major cities. The best part if you’re coming from the East Coast is that you leave early and you get into Seattle at a pretty good time, usually late morning or early afternoon, giving you plenty of time to have a pretty full first day. I had flown in from Chicago to Seattle.
Once you get in and get your bag you have two options: catch a rental car or Uber to the hotel, or rent a car. While you won’t need a rental car within the city, if you decide to take a day trip out to go hiking (which I highly recommend) then you might as well go ahead and snag a rental car. Check Seattle-Tacoma’s website for deals on rental cars.
Take the easy 20-minute drive to Marriot Courtyard or The Renaissance Downtown Seattle, a trendy and modern hotel right in the heart of downtown making it a great home base for your stay. It is conveniently located to all the main attractions you’re going to want to explore like Pike’s Place Market and the waterfront as well as offering walkable access to many restaurants and bars in the area. Extra perk, if you decide to bring your canine friend, the hotel is pet-friendly!
After checking in, unpacking and freshening up, it’s time to find some food! Yum! Luckily there are lots of great places to eat in and around downtown. Put your walking shoes on and stop and have lunch on your way to Pike Place. Some recommendations of places to eat along the way:
- Lecosho: a casual elegant atmosphere with beautiful high ceilings and an open kitchen, this European-influenced restaurant offers your iconic European food with a Northwest spin. Known for their use of fresh and local ingredients, they take classics and make them fresh and new. Very delicious and a beautiful atmosphere!
- Purple Café & Wine Bar: If you like wine, then this is your spot. Clearly they have an impressive wine list but have a wonderful lunch menu as well with things like a to-die-for baked brie appetizer with apricots, caramelized onions and candied walnuts. Or maybe get a cheese and cured meat board from an assortment of local cheese and meats. If you’re looking for something more substantial they have yummy sandwiches, soups and salads too.
- Keep on walking to the iconic Pike Place. Pike Place Market is a public market at the Elliott Bay waterfront and is one of the most popular attractions in Seattle. The market was originally opened in 1907 and now is teeming with vendors, artisans and merchants. You will definitely want to spend a good chunk of time exploring all the different stalls looking for souvenirs, handmade craft items, smelling all the fresh flowers, and experiencing (and tasting) all the food offerings. Oh and don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the ‘flying fish’, it’s quite impressive.
- After exploring Pike Place, head the short distance behind and check out the iconic Gum Wall at 1428 Post Alley Seattle, WA 98101. Don’t forget to bring your own chewing gum to add to the collection.
- Next head back to the Renaissance and hang out, decompress and chill (because it’s always great to build in a little downtime on your trips). Maybe you take a nap, or go downstairs to the bar for happy hour! When you’re ready to head out and explore a spot for dinner, here are a few good options:
- Shuckers Oyster Bar. One of Seattle’s oldest and best oysters bars with a selection of daily caught fresh fish and seafood. Quite delicious and a nice atmosphere!
- The Crab Pot Seattle. If you’re looking for good seafood but in a relaxed setting, this is your spot. The Crab Pot is a relaxed restaurant and bar known for serving fabulous seafood on paper-covered tables with bibs and mallets. Who said you can’t play with your food?!
Day 2 In Seattle
Get an early start in the morning and beat the crowds and get a pretty epic view of downtown Seattle by taking a short drive to Kerry Park. You can use the location of 211 W. Highland Drive Seattle, WA 98119 as your destination point. Parking is scarce so try to get there early to catch a beautiful view before the crowds.
After you get your beautiful shots of downtown Seattle, you’ll be hungry so head out to a few of these options for breakfast:
- Biscuit and Bean. A casual breakfast and brunch spot with great biscuit sandwiches.
- The Crumpet Shop. This is a small quaint little breakfast and pastry shop perfect for a coffee and a pastry or breakfast sandwich.
You can’t go to Seattle without going to the Space Needle, so head that direction to get your tickets. It can be a bit pricey to do just the deck, but if you bundle it with the other exhibits like Chihuly and the Pop Museum, you’ll save some many. Definitely recommend the Chihuly Gardens. Going up to the top deck is absolutely worth it though! If it’s a clear day, the views are breathtaking and you can even see the mountains in the distance and the expansiveness of the Puget Sound.
Right next door to the Space Needle is the Chihuly Gardens and Glass. Chihuly is a world-renown glassblowing artist who creates the most incredible works of blown glass. You can walk through the entire eight exhibits which are both indoors and outdoors and make sure you look upwards for some epic views of the space needle.
After your morning out and about, stop for lunch at one of these places:
- RN74. Upscale French food that is presently beautifully and absolutely exquisite flavors.
- Pasta Casalinga. Wonderful Italian flavors await you at this quaint little Italian restaurant.
One of the best ways to get around town if you don’t want to bring your rental car into town (which I don’t recommend) and are sick of walking, is biking! There are many app-based bike rentals throughout the city and make it affordable and easy to get around. Seattle is very pedestrian friendly so download an app, find a bike and head out around town. One of the fun things you can do is find “the troll” under the bridge! Located at N 36th Street Seattle, WA 98103, this gigantic troll has become a spectacle in the Fremont neighborhood.
After biking and using up some of your energy, why not stop by the Starbucks Coffee Reserve and take a tour of the roastery and learn about the history and science behind coffee making! Grab a flight and sip and enjoy your day.
For dinner, check out one of this great spot in town:
- The Pink Door. They have a fabulous wine selection and fresh seafood.
Day 3 In Seattle
One of the coolest parts of Seattle is how close it is to some of the most beautiful natural areas and how much there is to do outside. You get the perfect blend of city and nature! There are dozens of optional day trips and hikes you can take out of Seattle but there are a few favorites.
First, you could head to the iconic Mount Rainier National Park. Plan about 2-2 ½ hours’ drive round trip to make it out here, and will be an entirely full day away from Seattle. This 14,000 ft. active volcano is a bucket list item for many people! There are tons of hikes and activities available offering a little something for whatever you want. Make sure you pack accordingly as the weather can be different at the mountain, and pack enough provisions like water and snacks.
However just as enjoyable and not quite as far, you could also head to Snoqualmie Falls and Lake Washington which is only about 30-45 minute drive. If you ever saw the TV Show “Twin Peaks”, that is where the iconic 268-foot falls are located. You can park for free in the parking lot or the viewing area of the waterfalls.
There are a few walking/hiking paths available for you to explore too. On your way back from the falls, the 520 Bridge that crosses Lake Washington which is located right by the Boeing plant. There is a trail around Lake Washington that takes you around the lake which is beautiful and peaceful.
Day 4 In Seattle
As the fourth day brings your trip to an end, don’t fret – you can still get in a few things with your time remaining! When you check out of the Renaissance Hotel you can ask them to check your luggage in the storage room so you can explore the rest of the day. Or if you opted for the rental car, just throw the luggage in the car and leave it at valet until you get back.
Stop and grab a quick breakfast on your way out to explore a little in the morning at one of these places:
- Biscuit Bitch. I’ll just let the name speak for itself…but their biscuit’s are banging!
- Sweet Iron Waffles. Delicious daily waffles in all sorts of fun flavors.
For a final epic view of Seattle and Elliot Bay, go down to Pier 57 and hop on the Ferris Wheel. You can take a ride in this 175 foot tall structure and it will give you some beautiful views of the city, the bay and the mountains in the distance. You can purchase tickets online or at the gate when you arrive.
Next, walk the short distance to Pier 59 and go to the Seattle Aquarium and get your fill on all the cute creatures like the playful sea otters, the adorable waddling puffins, and the spunky seals! Tickets can be purchased online for a discount or at the door at any time.
After your morning of exploring, fuel up for your journey home.
- Pike Place Chowder. Get some hearty local chowder full of fresh seafood.
- FareStreet Restaurant. Their use of fresh and locally sourced food is great!
As your little journey comes to an end, head back to the Renaissance to pick up your bags and rental car and take the short 20 minute drive to the Seattle-Tacoma airport. Seattle has so much to do, and this just scratches the surface of all the wonderful things to experience, taste, see and do. So you may say goodbye to Seattle, but it definitely won’t be the last time you meet after your fun 4-Day Seattle Weekend.
The Best Tours In Seattle
Food Tours: Explore Seattle through food. Two of the best food tours include Seattle Bites Food Tours and Savour Seattle Food Tours. Work your way through Pike Place Market, downtown Seattle and many tasty neighbourhoods in the city.
Public Market Tours – Runs daily for 1 hour taking a historical and cultural tour of Pike Place Market.
Road Dogs Seattle Brewery Tour – Tours run daily exploring Seattle best breweries and of Course comes with beer samples.
The Cycle Saloon Seattle: – This is a tour providing pub crawls and brewery tours around Ballard and runs daily from 10am to 10pm.
For more tours and day trip tours from Seattle check out Viator.
Getting Around In Seattle
Having stayed downtown I didn’t have to work to hard getting around Seattle as many places are walking distance and coming from London. I am used to exploring on foot and I did just that in Seattle. I did also manage to use the bus a few times with no issues. In addition to the short monorail line and bike.
When it comes to exploring for a short stay in Seattle you definitely do not need a car. The state of Washington is known to have the largest ferry system in the US and second-largest in the world so if you need to explore further afield, Seattle’s downtown Pier 52 terminal has daily scheduled departures fro Bainbridge Island and Bremerton. For Vashon Island and Kitsap Penisula, you need to head to Fauntonlery terminal in West Seattle. Ferries also run from Edmonton to Kingston and many other places. Check out www.wdot.wa.gov/ferries for more info.
For getting around rail and bus in Seattle, you have plenty of options. If you are unsure just ask around and people were willing to help. Tickets ranged from $2.25 to $3.25. You also have options for taxies and Uber as well as rideshare options.
Best Time To Visit Seattle
Coming from London, I was told that the Seattle weather is very much like London and rains a lot! With that in mind, I prepare for a wet visit.
I found out that rain is not nearly as prevalent as Seattle’s famous reputation would imply. Luckily it rained once during my visit and only lightly too. In that sense, I was certainly lucky.
Winter and spring can be wet in Seattle but once summer kicks in, the weather is similar to that of a Mediterranean climate. The average rainfall is less than 7 inches between May and September. With Seattle temperatures around never going beyond 32 degrees, you can bet on nice summer weather. Ideally, I would say the best time to visit Seattle would be between May and September.
Where To Stay In Seattle
For a major city like Seattle, you can expect there to be a wide range of places to stay in Seattle. I stayed at Marriott Courtyard in Downtown Seattle. This place was perfect as I could walk to most places I had on my list of places to visit in Seattle. There are several Marriott Hotels in Seattle but this one is located in a buzzy shopping & dining hub with Pike Place Market, Seattle Art Museum & Central Waterfront sights all in walking distance which was perfect for me. Below are a few more options for hotels in Seattle while working through the Seattle itinerary.
- City Hostel Seattle – with just over 50 rooms, this little budget places to stay in Seattle also comes with views of Space Needle and is a short walk to Pike Place Market.
- Silver Cloud Hotel Broadway – Located across from Seattle University offering a unique place to stay and is walking distance to Downtown Seattle.
- Best Western Plus Executive Inn – Located just by Space Needle and comes with a business centre, free internet and on-site restaurant.
- Four Seasons Hotel Seattle – A luxury hotel with a signature restaurant and stunning views of Puget Sound. It comes with a spa, fitness centre and infinity pool.
- Grand Hyatt Seattle – Located on the Pacific Northwest with stylish rooms and great amenities.
For additional recommendations on what to do with 4 days in Seattle beyond this itinerary, check out the following guide books.
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