December 2015 | Weekend Escape: Seattle

Weekend Escape: Seattle

This jewel of the Pacific Northwest has all of the arts, culture and attractions one could want in a city, and it’s surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty in its many nearby waterways and mountainous national parks and forests. See the city by foot or by bicycle and explore the restaurants, museums, architectural icons and more. Get outside and hike to peaks with stunning views of the city, the sea and the surrounding mountains or take an aerial tour and see it all.


Getting There

Just three hours from Vancouver, Canada, to the north and three hours from Portland, Oregon, to the south, Seattle could be explored on its own or paired with nearby destinations for a longer vacation. The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is easily accessible from airports throughout the U.S. The Link Light Rail is the main point of connection between the airport and downtown, and in town there’s abundant public transportation available including buses, a streetcar and a monorail. Pronto Cycle Share has 500 bikes and 50 stations located throughout the city. Visitors arriving by car will come via Interstate 5 from the north and south, and Interstate 90 from the east.

stock-photo-60049668-seattle-waterfrontDay 1

Start the day off early at Seattle’s most iconic attraction, the Pike Place Market. More than 500 shops, restaurants and vendor stalls can be found in 11 buildings that cover nine acres. Guided tours focus on the market’s history, lesser-known passages or food and drink samples. After the market, take in the stunning glass and steel structure that is the Seattle Central Public Library or visit the nearby Seattle Art Museum. Just a few blocks west, stroll along the Seattle Waterfront where you’ll find the Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle Great Wheel along with shops at Miner’s Landing and plenty of piers and public spaces for people watching.

Day 2

Stroll among the gorgeous architecture of Seattle’s original downtown in Pioneer Square, where an exciting neighborhood revival is underway that includes some of the city’s hottest restaurants. Smith Tower has some of the best views of the city and beyond (closed for renovations in 2015, to reopen in 2016). If you want to get out on the water for stunning panoramic views of the skyline, hop on a Washington State Ferry to Bremerton or Bainbridge. Head just east of Pioneer Square to the International District, heavily influenced by Asian cultures that have settled in the area. Here, authentic eats, unique shopping and enriching cultural experiences are always within reach.

Space Needle vs ChihulyDay 3

The Space Needle in the Seattle Center makes the city’s skyline unmistakable and is yet another fantastic way to see astounding views. Plan an after-dark visit to see 360-degree views of the city lights. At the base of the tower, the Chihuly Garden & Glass attraction features impressive sculptures of glass artist Dale Chihuly in both indoor and outdoor exhibit spaces that Chihuly himself designed. Also check out the unique EMP Museum, with its roots in rock ‘n’ roll and dedicated to the many ideas that fuel pop culture. The Pacific Science Center, Olympic Sculpture Park and Memorial Stadium are all in the vicinity as well.

Day 4

Spend a day in the great outdoors outside of the city. Take a sea plane tour departing from Lake Union or relax in Gas Works Park. Kayak in Portage Bay to scope out the houseboats and yacht clubs. Further outside of town, take a day trip to Mt. Rainier or explore the national parks and forests of the Olympic Peninsula. Enjoy a naturalist-guided tour of the San Juan Islands or visit Snoqualmie Falls for stunning views from the top or bottom of the 270-foot falls. Explore West Seattle, the city’s largest neighborhood, and meander through Alki Beach Park, Don Armeni Park or Lincoln Park.

Emerald City Eats

Here are some of our top picks for Seattle restaurants:

stock-photo-38864282-crispy-fish-and-chipsDowntown & Pike Place Market Area
  • Sweet Iron for sweet and savory waffles for breakfast and brunch
  • Pike Place Chowder for a seafood lunch
  • The Pink Door for a romantic Italian dinner
Pioneer Square & International District
  • Planet Java Diner for classic American diner fare and breakfast served all day
  • Café Paloma for Mediterranean lunch on a patio
  • Tsukushinbo for authentic Japanese cuisine
Seattle Center
  • Toulouse Petit for Cajun/Creole breakfast and brunch
  • Tilikum Place Café for lunch with seasonal, local ingredients
  • Some Random Bar for farm-to-table dishes, craft beer and creative cocktails
NoodleBeyond the City
  • Revel in Fremont for Asian Fusion
  • Via Rosa 11 in Bainbridge for Italian lunch and takeout
  • Buddha Ruska in West Seattle for the best Thai in town

Plan your trip to Seattle with RTX. Book discounted hotel stays as well as attractions and activities at Need a flight to get there, or a rental car to get around? Book all of your travel through RTX for a seamless vacation planning experience.

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