Seattle Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Seattle. How to get there and more…
Mark Ford, Founder of Plus1 Travel
It’s great to have you here searching for Seattle travel tips. Let me introduce you to this beautiful city and share with you some insights on how to get the most out of your experience, hang on!
Seattle is situated around 100 miles south of the Canadian border on the West Coast of the United States. It’s a lush, evergreen city lying between Puget Sound and Lake Washington with abundant parklands and surrounded by towering mountains and forests.
Seattle is widely known for its overcast weather and when the sun does come out the spectacular beauty of the waterways, forests and distant mountains combine to make Seattle one of the most stunning cities in the US. It’s hard to find a city with more impressive surroundings.
Seattle Travel Tips – How To Get From The Airport To Seattle
If you’re looking for Seattle travel tips, one of the first things to know about is the city’s airport. Is it hard or easy to get from the airport to the city and what’s the best way? Let’s find out!
Seattle is served by Seattle Tacoma International Airport, almost universally known as Seatac. Like many airports in the US, Seatac is stretched and scaled inelegantly over a number of decades. But it is still one of the better US airports. Located about 13 miles south of Downtown Seattle, you have a number of different ways to get from Seatac to the city.
Your best bet of getting from the airport to Seattle downtown is to jump on the LinkLight Rail, which will get you from the airport to West Lake Station in Downtown Seattle in 37 minutes. The ride costs just $3 and it has to be among the best value airport transport options in the country.
The LinkLight railway station at the airport is connected to the main terminal by a sky bridge, which is near carousel number 1 when you’re picking up your bags. And you can buy your ticket from one of the vending machines at the station itself.
Alternatively a taxi will get you to Downtown Seattle in about 25 minutes. But rush hour traffic can be heinous in the greater Seattle area, so the time can double on a bad traffic day. The taxi journey costs around $40-50 + tip. Uber is also available in Seattle, so that’s a cheaper option when choosing a taxi.
Seattle Travel Tips – How To Get Around Seattle
When looking for Seattle travel tips among the city’s public transport, for an American city it’s actually pretty good. Seattle is compact and logically laid out as well with biking and walking at its heart. So you really won’t struggle to get around.
Tram in Seattle
The main form of public transport is buses, run by Metro Transit. The buses are clean, modern, air conditioned and reasonably comfortable. The bus network serves most of the greater Seattle area and a single ride ticket will cost you $2.50 at off peak times and $2.75 during rush hour.
Besides Metro Transit buses there are also several others of bus services in the greater Seattle area as well as the LinkLine rail, commuter rail services and a number of ferry and water taxi companies.
The only way to move seamlessly between then transit providers is by getting an Orca Card, Seattle’s tap-in tap-out system. You can buy an Orca card from any of the vending machines in the stations themselves from QFC supermarkets or from a manned ticket booth. They cost $5 to buy and they top up with the value that you need. And remember to tap in before you board and you’re good to go!
Best Places To Stay In Seattle
Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest and the seat of King County, Washington. In this section I will share with you Seattle travel tips so that you can pick the right place to stay. Seattle is one of the most prominent cultural and business centers in the US. It’s called the
“Emerald City,” and The Space Needle is known to be one of the most iconic structures in the US, and it is a prime attraction in the downtown area.
Pioneer Square is a great neighborhood with a perfect combination of history and the new century. The area is known for its interesting
architecture and a vibrant nightlife. The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is the smallest park in the country, here you could educate yourself about the city’s role in the 1890s gold rush.
Seattle Downtown is the hub of the city’s transport system, it is extremely convenient to travel to and from the neighborhood and it’s a great place to live, hang out, and it’s close to explore the many iconic structures in Seattle. Encircled by Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Pioneer Square and Elliot Bay, this neighborhood is perhaps the busiest area in the city. There is something here for everyone – for culture lovers, there is the Seattle Arts Museum, for shopaholics, there is the Pacific Place, and for tourists, take a cruise or spend the day at the waterfront.
Capitol Hill is a largely urban space and one of the most populated neighborhoods in Seattle. It’s lively, fast-paced, and hip. Pike/Pine corridor, Broadway, and 12th Ave E are great places for shopping, visiting restaurants and partying. Capitol Hill was once frequented by grunge musicians such as Kurt Cobain and the neighborhood is at the heart of Seattle’s music scene.
When looking for Seattle travel tips you’ll quickly realize that the city is known for its beautiful natural surroundings and its international population. And this is also reflected in the city’s food. It embraces and respects its ecological and cultural diversity, and below you’ll find some of the most popular dishes in Seattle.
The port city of Seattle has the freshest seafood around. There’s a wealth of restaurants that will serve it to you fresh seafood around town. Pike Place Chowder is one of those places that serves such freshness that makes for the best oysters, crab, sushi and chowder that you’ll ever taste. And if you’re only going to try one type of seafood while you’re in Seattle, make sure it’s the salmon. It’s up there with the best of them!
Pho in Seattle
Seattle has many quality Vietnamese restaurants and the most adored dish throughout the city is pho. Served at great restaurants like Pho 99, Pho Bac, and Pho Ba popping up all over the place to meet exactly that demand. A delicious bowl of hot pho is all that the citizens of Rain City really need to cheer them up.
Cream cheese hot dog, AKA the Seattle Dog
Wander the streets of Seattle and keep your eyes peeled for a hot dog stand and bite into this hot dog served in a bun with cream cheese as a topping. While it might sound a bit odd at first, and perhaps it’s not for everyone, this is a local classic and if you wanna taste the city, there’s no option but to give it a try, right?
Fast food at Dick’s
While some Seattleites may be health conscious hippies who have embraced the farm-to-table movement… A lot of them still love their fast food. Especially when it comes to Dick’s. A local fast food restaurant chain that has been around since the 1950’s, is cheap and open until 2pm. Especially great after a night out and no, locals will turn it down. They’ll just do some extra pushups the next morning.
Pike Place Market
When thinking of chocolate, rainy american cities are probably not what comes to mind. But don’t let that stop you! At Fran’s Chocolates, which is actually famous for being one of Obama’s favorite dessert spots they’ve got you covered. It was founded in 1982 in Seattle and is credited for putting a spark to the chocolate culture in the US. If you love chocolate (…who doesn’t?), you’ll want to make a stop by one of Fran’s stores.
This bakery was the first US cupcake one to open outside of New York. If you cupcakes, drinking coffee or are impressed with local sustainable businesses, this is the one place to check out. And while you’re at it, treat yourself with a cupcake or two.
Seattle gave the world Starbucks… So how can we not mention coffee when talking about Seattle? While Starbucks is of course available, and probably in your hometown too. So instead try one of the independent roasters with many great options and local varieties. The baristas share with you where the beans come from and the differences between them. In Seattle, coffee is an art, so make sure to get a taste of it.
In a city where ‘cool’ means local, independent, small batch and artisan, you know that the craft beer is going to be exceptional, and it truly is. Along with produce, Washington State also grows excellent hops. With the huge demand comes the growing supply, so you have lots of options to choose from to cure that thirst.
Top 7 Experiences You MUST Have In Seattle
Museum of Flight
Seattle’s amazing Flight Museum displays aircrafts from the Wright Brothers to modern jets. There are not many places on earth where you can walk through the very first Boeing 747 ever made, in fact it’s only here at Seattle’s Museum of Flight that you can do that. And you can also walk into the very first 727, 737, the third Dreamliner, Air Force One, Concord and a Blackbird. Even if you’re not an airplane enthusiast, it feels significant to be here because without these planes none of us would be able to experience the cities that we want around the world. Strongly recommended because it’s a really unique and wonderful place.
Pike Place Market
This historic downtown public market has been in business since 1907. The market is a year-round farmers market, with vegetable, seafood,
cheese and flower stalls along with handicrafts and knickknacks. Vendors at Pike Place Fish Market gleefully toss salmon to each other and crack jokes, always drawing a crowd at the fish stall by the market’s main entrance.
Across the street from the main market also lies what is touted as “the original” Starbucks store. It still looks like it did back in 1971, check it out!
The Space Needle is the most iconic building of the city. Built in 1962, it’s 605 feet tall and looks like a spaceship on stilts, towering over Seattle Center, a cultural complex where you could easily spend hours at the Pacific Science Center. And if you take a trip to the top it gives a great
Olympic Sculpture Park
view of the city, perfect for a great sunset. It’s $19 (adult) for the elevator ride to the observation deck, 520 feet up.
Olympic Sculpture Park
This outdoor sculpture garden spreads over 9 acres of a seaside bluff. Located north of downtown, it was transformed from an industrial backwater into the home of artwork such as Alexander Calder’s “Eagle,” which is six tons of painted red steel that looks like an abstract
soaring bird. Enjoy a walk with wonderful views of the city, harbor and mountains.
Washington State Ferries
Ferries are a key part of Washington’s transportation system. You can enjoy a fun, quick and cheap sightseeing boat ride as a walk-on passenger ($7.70 round trip) on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island ferry. If the sky is clear you’ll see the massive Mount Rainier looming to the south on the 35-minute ride. Board the ferry at Pier 52 on the downtown Seattle waterfront.
Museum of History & Industry
Seattle Downtown Waterfront
This Seattle museum re-opened in late 2012, with new galleries and multimedia displays. You can find it Lake Union Park at the north edge of downtown. The many exhibits are on the life in Seattle and Puget Sound cover everything from the maritime past to cutting-edge culture. Outside in the waterfront park you can watch boats scud across the lake and float planes take off. Adult admission is $14 for the Museum.
This broad sidewalk along the harborfront is flooded with shops, restaurants and wooden piers jutting out into the bay. Have a stop at the Seattle Aquarium and explore what lives in the local waters and beyond. Ride the Seattle Great Wheel, a massive Ferris wheel with enclosed gondola-type cabins, for a magnificent view from on high of the city.