Seattle, WA

Travel Guide
Seattle Waterfront featuring boating, sailing and city views

Seattle Travel Guide Video

From the limitless outdoor experiences in the nearby Cascade and Olympic mountains to the artistic and musical opportunities downtown, adventure awaits in Seattle.

Take advantage of Seattle’s blend of eclectic neighborhoods, lakes, hills and sparkling waterfront. Within one day, you can experience the bustle of daily life or slip away for quiet time in a pocket park or on a peaceful stretch of rocky shoreline.

Built around two lakes, various canals and the Puget Sound, Seattle provides plenty of opportunities to play on the water. Kayak or paddleboard past idyllic houseboats on Lake Union. Watch fishing boats pass through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard or visit the salmon ladder during spawning season. Or head to the revitalized downtown waterfront for popular tourist attractions, including the Great Wheel and the Seattle Aquarium. Don’t miss Pike Place Market, where fishmongers sling salmon and street performers liven up the atmosphere. Get there early in the day to avoid crowds and grab a coffee at the original Starbucks.

Wander over to the Seattle Art Museum, with its stunning collection of art and artifacts from around the world. Music enthusiasts can watch the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall or check out the lineup at The Crocodile.

A quick monorail ride zips you to Seattle Center, where you’ll find the 520-foot-tall (160-meter) Space Needle. Take the elevator up for 360-degree views encompassing Puget Sound, Mount Rainier to the south and the greater Seattle area. Stay for a drink at the rotating restaurant.

Beneath the Space Needle, check out the vibrant Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum and the Museum of Pop Culture. Let the kids loose at the Artists at Play playground with its ADA-accessible carousel, labyrinth, massive climbing tower and more.

Seattle makes the best of its unique geography with a robust public bus system (kids 18 and under ride free) and a light rail system. Hop on Sound Transit’s Link light rail at SeaTac Airport and you’ll be in downtown Seattle in about 40 minutes. Car shares, as well as scooter and bike rentals, are readily available.

Where to stay in Seattle

Downtown Seattle featuring street scenes and central business district

Downtown Seattle

4.5/5(9,584 area reviews)

Dive into the bustling nightlife and shopping scene, explore the iconic Pike Place Market, and admire architectural gems like the Seattle Central Library. Enjoy seamless connectivity with the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and Seattle Center Monorail.

Downtown Seattle
Capitol Hill showing heritage architecture as well as an individual male

Capitol Hill

4.5/5(128 area reviews)

Densely populated with mid-rise buildings, this Seattle district boasts nightlife, entertainment, and a counterculture vibe. Explore local bars, fringe theaters, and parks like Volunteer Park, while enjoying street-level retail and Espresso Vivace coffeehouses.

Capitol Hill