Cool Kids Guide of Things to Do in Seattle with Kids (adult’s love these too!)

Seattle is cool. Uniquely cool. And there is a great balance of things to do in Seattle with kids AND for us adults too!

Starbucks. Amazon. Microsoft. Costco. Boeing. Pearl Jam. Nirvana. Just a few things Seattle, Washington is famous for producing.

How can one city produce so many great things?

The Space Needle, Seattle Washington

It’s a city that has been high on my radar since Seattle grunge became a played out thing on my walkman. I just had to go to the place that birthed some of my favorite music ever. And then while we were there we also discovered a vibrantly rich cultural experience.

Seattle is now one of our favorite USA cities.

It is sandwiched between the Puget Sound and the Cascades Mountain so is surrounded by natural beauty and provides easy access to so many incredible regions near to Seattle.

All that water from the Puget Sound one one side to the Lake Washington on the other reminded my of my home Sydney. Sydney is all about the glamour and the water.

While, I couldn’t see myself actually experiencing Seattle from within the water, just having the opportunity to see it all the time was enough to make it feel like a familiar and much loved home.

Plus, we had outstanding weather during our Seattle trip so those blue skies and sunshine made it even more so.

Things to do in Seattle with kids
Exploring Seattle with kids

We spent four days visiting Seattle and experienced plenty of Seattle attractions from the big touristy events to the smaller, local experiences.

Here is our in-depth guide on the best things to do in Seattle with kids. You can also do these activities without kids just as a couple (or solo) as we travel in a pretty unique and fun way.

We’ll answer some of your most pressing questions about a trip to Seattle and share some recommendations on places to stay and eat.

And of course, where to find the best coffee in Seattle, because that is the biggest selling point of this US city.

Table Of Contents

How Can I Save Money On Seattle Attractions?

Out of all the cites in the USA we have visited, the Seattle CityPass is the one that provides the most value out of all their city attraction passes.

We suggest you don’t visit Seattle with kids without this discount pass to save you money.

Seattle Washington
Views from Kerry Park

We’re not usually going to see all the top attractions in a city to make a CityPass worth it, but all the top attractions in Seattle are unique and worth visiting.

We absolutely loved them and visited almost all of the Seattle attractions on the Seattle tourist card.

It costs $99 for adults and $79 for a child, which will save you 49% on admissions to the Top 5 Seattle Attractions. Learn more about what is included in the Seattle CityPass here.

Tours and Attractions in Seattle

Pike Place Market VIP Behind the Scenes Food Tour

My favorite of things to do in Seattle was the VIP early opening food tour of Pike Place Market, probably the most famous market in the country.

Pike Place Market, Seattle
Pike Place Market

What I loved about this tour, was not just the delicious sampling of food we had for the entire three hours, nor our funny, friendly and informative guide, Justin, but also all the stories that gave us insight into the history and how this market has shaped the culture of Seattle – and, it is kid friendly!

Pike Place Market was established in 1907 to connect citizens and farmers.

Its “Meet the Producer” tradition offers a year-round farmers market, owner-operated bakeries, fish markets, butcher shops, produce stands and specialty food store across a nine-acre historic district.

A highlight of any visit to Pike Place Market will be watching the fish throwers at Pike Place Fish. A tradition since 1986, fishmongers throw fish that customers have purchased, before they are wrapped.

It happens frequently so listen for their shouts signaling it. It was fun to watch. Even better is this seafood stall is 100% sustainable.

Pike Place Fish shop in Seattle
Fresh seafood

Pike Place Market is the birthplace of Starbucks Coffee.

While I am not a raving fan of their coffee, I do appreciate the grassroots story turned into global phenomenon. It seems the chairman, Howard Schultz does good for the way he treats his staff. Starbucks devotees may wish to line up at the original store (which really isn’t the original original as that one actually burned down.)

With six levels and more than 200 stores and 80 restaurants, you could get lost in Pike Place for hours. Throw in the crowds at one of the top tourist attractions in Seattle and a visit to Pike Place Market can be overwhelming.

This is another reason I loved the tour and highly recommend it, especially if you are short on time and patience.

I loved having Justin take us to all the best and interesting spots like Indi chocolate, maple bacon donuts, spiced tea, Turkish flatbread and locally made chocolate for samples (great for doing Seattle with kids) before all the crowds of the day came to jostle us out of the way.

Pike Place Market food tour.
so many delicious food to try

We heard all the stories of how these owners started with a dream that found themselves in Pike Place Market.

Our favorite, not just for taste but stories, was Honest Biscuits owned by Art Stone.

As soon as our guide said his name and began his story, we were like, “hang on a minute – we know Art!” We had a mutual friend when we lived in Raleigh so had had plenty of drinks with him back when he was an immigration lawyer.

Art popped in to the store while we were there so we were able to say hey, and congratulations. The biscuits were delicious and we were STOKED that he had gluten-free versions that were melt in your mouth – thank you very much Art!

Grab a coffee from Storyville while there, don’t forget to peek at the gum wall (we ran out of time) and Pike Place Chowder had huge lines for what is meant to be the best chowder.

Book your VIP food tour experience here

The Space Needle

I wasn’t sure if we’d find the Space Needle a tacky Seattle tourist attractions, especially after the long lines we encountered and the 40-minutes it took us to find a car park!

The Space Needle, Seattle
The Space Needle

But, I was impressed with the Space Needle, it’s one of the iconic things to do in Seattle Washington, so first time visitors will want to add it to their Seattle bucket list.

Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the 605 ft. high Space Needle is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world and its futuristic design symbolizes the innovative and forward-thinking spirit of Seattle.

There are two levels of thrills, the all-glass floor below and an open-air deck above.

The Space Needle, Seattle Washington
Amazing views of Seattle

The 360 views of the city are spectacular. I especially loved the featured like glass chairs leaning against the glass windows and glass rotating floors to add a little thrill to the experience.

Panels on the wall tell the interesting story of the Space Needle’s design and construction as you wait in line to get up to the top.

Wings over Washington

We’ve done several 3D flyover experiences before in several cities in the USA, including the popular Soaring at Disneyland.

We all agreed that Wings over Washington was our favorite and really helped us fall more in love with Washington State we only just started to explore.

Washington was one of our favorite states on our USA road trip for its natural beauty and charming small towns. A spirit eagle will sweep you up and takes you on a journey showcasing its beauty and diversity.

Put this on your family activities in Seattle list.

Tour the Seattle Underground in Pioneer Square

For a fascinating insight into the beginnings of Seattle as a settled city, don’t miss the Seattle Underground Tour.

Underneath the streets of the historic Pioneer Square lies a network of undergrounds passageways. They were once the alleys leading into shopfronts as the city was being raised out of the swamps.

Seattle underground tour
Such a fun tour of Seattle

If you are walking around Pioneer Square and notice small purple color glass squares on the pavement, they are actually skylights for the underground.

Some of those tunnels can be accessed now either through bars, comedy clubs, or retails stores. You can also tour them with a guide who will take you places you normally can’t go and share the stories of this Seattle world in the late 1700s early 1800s.

It’s a remarkable Seattle attraction that I recommend.

It will also share the history of the above ground as you walk along the cobblestoned streets of Seattle’s oldest neighborhood. And it’s also one of the fun things to do in Seattle with kids – our girls were fascinated and perhaps even a little spooked in a fun way!

Speaking of which, there are more haunted tours you can do of the Seattle undergrounds as well.

My only thought during the tour was why haven’t they turned more of these spaces into cool retail stores and bars? They could create an entirely unique and very cool area of Seattle to play in.

We booked our Seattle Underground tour through Get Your Guide

Amazon Spheres and The Understory

The Understory is in the heart of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. Its a free public space with interactive exhibits about flora and design, showcasing Amazon’s approach towards an urban office.

Amazon spheres in Seattle
The kids will love the Sphere

The Understory is a museum-style exhibit but to be honest we found it very lacking and unsure of what it even was.

The space outside had bean bags on a grassed area to sit down on and it was surrounded by loads of plants and trees. It was a nice space.

The Spheres are a place where employees can think and work differently surrounded by plants. For a tour of the indoor gardens of the Spheres, you have to sign up in advance at Amazon HQ Tour. They run them two Saturdays a  month.

You can download a free guided audio tour of the Amazon campus. Listen to it as you wander around the campus to learn more about its beginnings and the culture of the Amazon gargantuan empire.

It was interesting enough but I only got through one chapter as it had been a long day and the girls were over it and wanted to experience the AmazonGo store for the first time.

The AmazonGo store is a completely cashless/ cordless experience.

You scan a QR code connected to your Amazon account as you walk in. Then pick up what you want to buy (it is only food items) and then walk out.

Amazon knows what you picked up and bought and will charge you for it. They also know who is with you and what they have picked up and bought even though they were at the other end of the store to you and walked out at a different time.

That’s a creepy number of cameras and AR technology I wasn’t altogether comfortable with, but certainly impressed by.

Ballard Locks and Fish Ladder

You can explore the Ballard Locks in the northern part of the city either on your own or on a Ballard Locks tour.

The Ballard Locks are a series of locks that link the Puget Sound with Lake Union and Lake Washington.

Ballard Locks - one of the popular things to do in Seattle
Educational activity for kids

Boats as large as 760 feet in length and as small as a kayak can travel through the locks. You can watch the action through a series of swinging walkways or from a boat on an Argosy tour.

On the tour, you can experience the rising and falling of the water (up to 26 feet) as your boat moves from one level to the other.

Our girls loved watching it happen and it offered them the perfect engineering lesson on navigating bodies of water. We timed our visit perfectly. If we had of known about the tour, we would have done it. We’ve heard its fantastic.

Don’t miss checking the fish ladder to the side of the locks as well.

You can see the salmon swimming their way upstream with the assistance of a fish ladder that helps them get through eh man made locks and keep the populations strong. You can learn all about it via interpretive panels on the wall.

This is one of the most interesting things to do in Seattle with kids and one of the top Seattle attractions, especially during warmer weather.

(You can upgrade to the Argos Locks Cruise with your CityPass)

Best Selling Tours in Seattle

 

Where is the Best Art and Culture in Seattle?

Seattle Center

The Seattle Center is an active civic, arts and family gathering place and the place to experience some of the best art and culture in Seattle with kids.

Seattle Center
Seattle Center

It features more than 30 cultural, educational, sports and entertainment organizations in the uptown Arts & Cultural District.

I would definitely say don’t miss this area. It’s not only unique, and informative, but very enjoyable.

They are showing the rest of the world how to make your art and cultural museums and experiences stand out.

I love how all museums and attractions were in one vibrant fun place with art installations and public places to rest and unwind while you either waited for your next museum tour, or ate lunch, or just hung out.

We dedicated almost an entire day to the museums – not what we’d normally do! It’s best to plan your visit to the Seattle Art Center carefully and book in advance when you can to avoid queues.

Below you’ll find the Seattle Center attractions we visited, plus the Space Needle which is in the section on Seattle views.

Other Seattle attractions I would like to have visited in this area were the Bill and Melinda Gates Fountain Discovery Center, The Pacific Science Center, and Seattle Children’s Museum.

Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum

We have seen several of Dave Chihuly’s magnificent glass sculptures as we’ve traveled across the USA, most notably was the Springtime display at Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.

Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum
One of my favorite places in Seattle

So we were all pretty excited to visit his museum and learn more about his story and incredible artworks.

Chihuly is known around the world for his innovative glass designs and architectural installations and has received numerous awards, honorary doctorates and fellowships.

This museum is dedicated to his life story, influences and inspirations.

His artworks demonstrate how he pushed the boundaries of glass to create extraordinary work you can see through various exhibitions in his galleries, Glasshouse and lush Garden.

The glass house is a 40 foot tall glass and steel structure with a vibrantly warm and colorful 100 foot long sculpture. You’ll get great views of the Seattle Space Needle behind this sculpture when you look up.

You’ll be amazed at how well the art sculptures blend into the lush landscaped garden.  The Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum was pone of my favorite things to do in Seattle. Our girls were intrigued and inspired.

*included in the Seattle CityPass

Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop)

As a grunge music lover, the MoPop Museum was one of the best things to do in Seattle for me!

This is a museum dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary popular culture, with its roots in Rock’n’ Roll.

Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop)
Music lovers will enjoy this museum

But this is not just an adult’s museum – there is currently a Minecraft exhibition which is great for visiting Seattle with kids if they are into Mimecraft?

The first thing that will grab your attention is the colorful, sprawling exterior hinting that you’re about to be transformed once within, wandering through their collection of exhibits and pop culture content.

I loved the exhibitions on Prince, especially after visiting Paisley Park in Minneapolis and learning more about his life there.

The exhibition on Nirvana and Pearl Jam was also fantastic. I could have sat in the little sound room watching videos of Eddie Vedder and Peral Jam performing live for our entire Seattle stay.

Movie lovers will enjoy the exhibitions on the role of Fantasy in Pop Fiction and movies, Science Fiction and the Horror Film Section. I took one look at Freddie Krueger and ran out of there!

* included in the Seattle CityPass

Art and Play Playground

If you are looking for fun things to do in Seattle with kids, you most definitely want to add some time at the Art and Play Playground.

Art and Play Playground
Play time for the kids

It is located near near MoPop and features a 30ft climbing tower, and other artistic and unique pieces of equipment like sound swings and listening stations.

Adults may love walking the labyrinth while they do. I certainly did and my girls loved joining me.

The Seattle Fountain

At least pass by the Seattle Fountain, a mainstay from the World’s Fair. There is a big grassed lounging area with a white domed fountain.

Seattle Fountain
Seattle fountain

You’ll get a beautiful view of the Space Needle and Seattle skyline. If it’s hot, you may want to get up close to the fountain for a soaking. The kids will love it.

Olympic Sculpture Park

We squeezed in a quick visit to the sculpture park on the way out of Seattle. It’s located a couple of blocks from the Seattle Center and is owned by the Seattle Art Museum.

Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park

The Olympic Sculpture Park is an award-winning nine-acre sculpture park on the waterfront and is Seattle’s largest downtown green space.

Follow the zig zag path down to the waterfront and admire the many different sculptures of various sizes and colors.

You’ll have incredible views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains in the distance.

Attend a Seattle Mariners Game

If you visit during baseball season and have time, why not fit in a game of baseball with the local Seattle Mariners team?

Seattle Mariners baseball game
Fun family activity in Seattle

We attended a night game and it was one of the most fun things to do in Seattle even though they didn’t play too well.

Head to the legendary Pyramid Alehouse, a Seattle pre game favorite, which is just across the road from the entrance station.

You’ll find pretty decent pub food, local craft brews, and a huge outdoor area with cornhole games and live music.

See what ticket deals you can find on Stub Hub

KEXP Radio Station

KEXP Seattle Center has audio and video broadcast studios, the KEXP Live Room and Viewing Gallery, as well as the Gathering Space, which is a community hub and hangout place for music lovers.

It’s definitely worth a peek inside to sit for awhile with a delicious cup of coffee.

You can listen to what is on the radio and see them recording it through the window. Check out the amazing dedication wall to Prince.

They frequently have musicians come in for live performances so keep your eye on those schedules to experience that.

If you would like to attend a free KEXP Live In-Studio performance, you must register in person at KEXP starting 90 minutes before the live performance.

Check out the complete list of upcoming in-studio performances here .

Tours of KEXP are offered daily at 2pm and 10am in the summer months.

Best Neighborhoods in Seattle to Explore

Fremont: Theo’s Chocolate, Fremont Troll & Fremont Brewery

Fremont is a quirky neighborhood filled with creatives, artists and foodies.

When in Seattle with kids, stopping into see the Fremont Troll is fun for them. You’ll find the 18 ft. troll sculpture under the Aurora Bridge (of course). The troll is grasping a Volkswagen beetle in its hand. Be careful when crossing the bridge!

Fremont Seattle
Trolls, chocolate and beer – what a day!

Also in the area is a huge bronze Lenin statue in the main street, and a sign declaring Fremont as the center of the Universe.

While in this area, be sure to walk along the riverfront trail from Fremont down to the Gas Works (see below in Seattle Views section).

Start with some samples of delicious locally made Theo’s Chocolate. You have probably seen them in supermarkets around the country. You can sample loads of different flavors – the chili chocolate won me over – another of the cool things to do with kids in Seattle!

Then head down to the GAs Works along the riverfront ( or bike path) past the blue and orange Fremont Bridge for a city view and return to finish the Fremont Brewery for a wide selection of craft beers and ciders.

This a family-friendly and dog friendly brewery with a large beer garden. There is no food served here but you can bring in food from outside.

Alki Beach (go roller blading)

Whilst I wouldn’t be recommending Seattle as a place for swimming beaches (although some do), Alki Beach in West Seattle is a wonderful place to visit in Seattle with kids for a quieter local Seattle experience.

Alki Beach, Seattle, Washington
Alki Beach is a fun place to visit in Seattle

We didn’t spend a lot of time there, but enough time to roller blade from Harbor Ave round the bend where the downtown water taxis arrive. There is a roller blading and kayak rental place here.

The views of Seattle skyline along the path were beautiful. It reminded me of my small beach home town.

There weren’t many people out either which enhanced the experience. You could roller blade from here all the way around to where the main beach and cafes are.

Put this on your list of fun activities in Seattle!

You can also catch a taxi over from downtown Seattle, which was highly recommended to us. Unfortunately they weren’t running on the day we were visiting for some obscure reason.

If roller blading is not your thing you can also kayak or paddle board. While here, treat yourself to delicious seafood and views at Dukes Seafood and Chowder. See more on that down below.

Other Neighborhoods

We’ve heard Queen Anne and Capitol Hill are also good neighborhoods to explore. We didn’t dive into them deeply enough to write about them.

To be honest, If found the neighborhoods in Portland a lot more interesting, so didn’t gravitate to exploring the Seattle neighborhoods too much.

Where Can You Find Great Views of Seattle?

Of course the Space Needle mentioned above has an amazing view. And then these places below.

Kerry Park Seattle

Kerry Park Seattle
Great views at Kerry Park

For a beautiful and unique view head to the small neighborhood Kerry Park located in the Queen Anne neighborhood.

You could use a visit here as an opportunity to also explore the many boutique stores of the Queen Anne neighborhood.

Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park, Seattle
A lessor known Seattle view

What was once home to Seattle Gas Light Company’s gasification plant is now a place to fly kites and enjoy a stunning view of the Space Needle and the Puget Sound.

I would love to see them turn those giant rusty structures into some cool community space!

Smith Tower Observatory

If the views from the Smith Tower Observatory don’t rock your socks, the 19th century vibe of this early prohibition building might.

Smith Tower Observatory
Drinks with a view in Seattle

I loved the surprise entrance we had guided through different rooms and quirky exhibitions sharing Smith Tower’s storied past including connections to radio, rum-running, and a host of interesting characters and scintillating stories and ending with a ride in an historical Otis elevator to the speakeasy-inspired bar on the 34th floor.

Here you can sip on Prohibition infused craft cocktails while enjoying the views and the eclectic mix of 20s with Chinese inspired décor.

The Wishing Chair is a popular seat for selfies and single people hoping its magic will rub off on them to be married within a year.

Go for a walk outside on the narrow viewing platform, which will be partially obstructed by the wrought iron protective fence.

Drinks are expensive but if you visit during happy hour it may lighten the load. Happy Hour is Mon-Fri 4-6pm and costs $12 to go up to the deck. Usually $20.

Continuing on the Seattle Starbucks story, you can see the giant this corporation has become with a view down over their headquarters – the big white building in the distance with the logo shining bright!

There is a open air Lookout pop up bar in the summer for ages 21 and over. We obviously could not go to it!

Sky View Observatory

We did not make it to the Sky View Observatory at Columbia Center, but many recommended it to us as having the best views of Seattle.

You’ll climb 73 stories for panoramic Seattle views and the tallest public viewing space in the PAcific Northwest.

Views include Mt. Rainier, Bellevue, the Cascade Mountains, Mt. Baker, Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains, the Space Needle and the city of Seattle.

If you want to luxe it up, they have a special sunset VIP experience that includes food, beverage and 2-hour window-side table views.

Grab your observatory entrance pass here.

Seattle Ferries

Simply jump on a ferry coming in and out of Seattle and you will have wonderful skyline views of the city.

View of Seattle from the Seattle Ferry
Love the ferry view

We were fortunate to arrive to Seattle from the Olympic Peninsula by way of Bainbridge Island on the ferry. What a way to incorporate views of the skyline. It was a wonderful Seattle welcome.

Argosy cruises of the Puget sound with views of the Seattle skyline are included on your Seattle CityPass.

The Seattle Great Wheel

You will see the giant Seattle Wheel as you sail into the city. It’s just a giant Ferris Wheel offering superb views of Seattle waterfront and downtown.

Seattle Great Wheel
See Seattle from above

It’s one of the fun things to do in Seattle with kids, although surprisingly, our usually brave Kalyra freaks out on any kind of Ferris Wheel.

This ride will last about 30-minutes so can be worth it on a clear day if you love city views and photography.

Places to Eat in Seattle

Crab Pot

After your ride on the Seattle Wheel and Wings over Washington, head straight to the Crab Pot located on the same wharf for a seafood feast.

The Crab Pot restaurant in Seattle
Pacific Clambake for the win

Your waitress will sort you out with a giant bib and throw a bowl of Pacific Clambake, on the paper in front of you.

Get your hands dirty and plow into some delicious locally fresh caught seafood that included steamed clams, Pacific Mussels, Dungeness Crab, Snow Crab, Shrimp, Salmon, Corn on the Cob & red roast potatoes.

It’s probably the best seafood I’ve had in the US and reminded me even more of Sydney. Even better that it was paired with a glass of chardonnay on a warm summer’s day.

A table on the wharf would be best for Seattle views and outdoor ambiance. This is definitely one of the fun places to eat in Seattle with kids!

Duke’s Seafood and Chowder House

Let’s keep the seafood vibe happening over at Alki Beach.

Duke’s Seafood and Chowder House is an independent locally owned restaurant since the late 70s. They are strict in ensuring the food is 100% sustainable and free from chemical nasties.

Duke’s Seafood and Chowder House
My faovrite place to eat in Seattle

There’s plenty of fresh, sustainable, wild-caught seafood and gluten free options, including their delicious clam chowder, a meal I rarely get to enjoy – thank you Dukes!

There are vegan and vegetarian offerings and a delightful menu for kids including Wild Alaska Salmon and Coconut Prawns.

It’s worth eating here for the views alone from the upper deck dining.

Plus, for families, the beach is across the road, so if the kids get antsy, you can let them go over to play. Given your elevated seat on the deck, you can easily watch them while you relax over your meal and drinks.

The service was as exceptional as the food and the views. I can tell you, eating at Duke’s is a culinary experience that will never fade into the background. One of ourmost memorable things to do in Seattle.

Joe Bar

We visited Joe Bar on a whim after somehow finding they had gluten free crepes. It was a local Seattle find. Since 1997, it’s been focused on community, coffee and art, and delicious crepes.

Joe Bar, Seattle
The kids will love the crepes!

It is in a cute grey stone historical Tudor style building. Crouch down low and head up the creaky stairs to eat, drink or tap away in their unique balcony area designed for hobbits.

Green walls display art from high-caliber arts, mostly local. It’s one of the unique Seattle places to eat and their smoked salmon and goat cheese, gluten-free crepe was delicious.

Service was very friendly and accommodating.

Arthurs, Alki Beach

We LOVED eating breakfast here before our morning roller blading around Alki Beach. Mostly because it’s an Australian inspired all day café!

We can sniff out that vegemite from miles away.

Arthurs, Alki Beach
Aussie breakfast

The girls were delighted to have that for breakfast. I was delighted with my flat white and smashed Avo: heirloom tomatoes, poached eggs on top of avocado mashed with lemon, mint, basil and parsley on (gluten free) toast. It never fails to please.

Kin Dee Thai

If you’re looking for authentic Thai food in a neighborhood environment, head to Kin Dee on E Madison St. Thankfully, our Airbnb was just a short stroll away.

Kin Dee Thai Food, Seattle
Delicious Thai food

The pumpkin curry was delicious.

And I could not resist ending the meal with one of my all time favorite Thai dishes: mango with sticky rice. It did not let us down. Kalyra’s first impressions were, we’ve got to make this at home.

Who Does the Best Cupcake in Seattle?

Is it Trophy Cupcakes or Cupcake Royal? Or maybe Top Pot?

If ypu want to start a war with Seattle local, ask them who bakes the best cupcakes in Seattle.

Who makes the best donuts in Seattle?
Seattle cupckae sampling

It’s a pretty even battle based upon passionate responses. The best thing to do is to decide for yourself. The main contenders seem to be Trophy Cupcakes and Cupcake Royal. We also went to Top Pots.

You’ll find their stores all over Seattle.

Cupcake Royal are the pioneers in Seattle cupcakes known for locally sourced ingredients. Trophy are known for the party style designs (they sell ice cream too).

Both have gluten free and vegan cupcakes, but had all sold out when we arrived. The girls didn’t really favor one cupcake store over the other – both were equally delicious – but they are a must do in Seattle with kids!

Let us know in the comments, or by tagging us on social, which one is your preferred Seattle cupcake.

Where Can I Find Good Coffee in Seattle?

You want great coffee. You’ve found it in Seattle.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room

While everyone else is lining up at Starbucks in Pike Place Market, we recommend you instead head to the Starbucks Roastery for a unique Starbucks experience!

Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room
Coffee tasting fun at Starbucks

You’ve got more than coffee here and a small cabinet of snacks. There’s a store, a roastery, a café, a coffee library and almost a museum of the coffee roasting process.

You can get bakery and food items and alcohol here (operated by Princi Bakery), which I felt were a little overpriced. But, you know, Starbucks.

The Experience Bar is a place to sit down and order unique and siphon brewed coffees not found elsewhere.

Espresso Vivace

Our Seattle friend Rob from 2TravelDads recommended Espresso Vivace as his favorite coffee in Seattle. He was not wrong.

Espresso Vivace, Seattle
Best coffee in Seattle

We popped into their flagship café in Capitol Hill location after our crepes at Joes. Grab your favorite cup and a window seat and watch the world go by.

La Marzocco Cafe

As mentioned above, with our visit to KEPX, even the radio stations make great coffee. La Marzocco is the café located in the KEPX studio.

La Marzocco Cafe Seattle
Love this place

The space displays coffee history while creating the coffee future through its rotating roaster program. It’s also a showroom for the La Marzocco Italian espresso machine company.

I think this was my favorite coffee in Seattle.

Storyville

We popped in for a latte at Storyville in Pike Place after our tour. It was creamy and delicious and very popular.

They have a 3 sip guarantee here. If you don’t love it after the third sip, they’ll refund your money. We did not have to use the guarantee.

South Lake Union Zoka

We popped in here on our way out of Seattle. It’s located in the heart of the Amazon campus and offers a busy atmosphere with delicious coffee.

Surrounding the area were many food trucks with workers grabbing their daily meals. The coffee was great and perfectly suited to our drive north.

Places to Visit Near Seattle

Seattle is near many fantastic places. We’ll have posts coming soon to share them with you.

But for now check out these:

If I Only Have One Day to Spend in Seattle, What Should I See?

Great question. Below is a brief outline of what we think you should see and do with one day in Seattle.

Seattle Washington
  • Pike Place Market (VIP Behind the Scenes Tour)
  • Chihuly Glass
  • MoPop
  • The Space Needle
  • Seattle Underground Tour

This would be a very busy day, but worth it. Be sure to grab your CityPass for savings and book tours in advance so you can hit the ground running and be more time efficient.

Depending on how the schedule pans out and your timing you can figure out where to eat, and where to get coffee near the area you’ll be exploring.

You can definitely get a huge food fix in the morning on the food tour! Grab your cupcakes while there to munch on throughout the day.

If you have time, you may be able to head up to the Smith Tower Observatory or Sky View Observatory for dusk views, or even The Space Needle for night time views too.

4 Day Seattle Itinerary

We have a free printable 4 day itinerary for Seattle, which may help you with longer trips to Seattle.

You can easily take one of the days from the itinerary to adapt and follow for your Seattle visit. It includes a map with directions for each day.

We offer free printable itineraries, checklists and guides to those in our free VIP email tribe.

What’s the Best Time of the Year to Visit Seattle?

Summer without a doubt. It will be busy, but you’ve got a much better chance of warm and dry weather.

The only time we noticed the crowds was at the Seattle Center and even then it wasn’t too bad. If you book in advance and plan accordingly, you will be fine.

Do I Need a Car When Visiting Seattle?

No! Especially if you stay in the city near all the best Seattle attractions.

If you only have a day or two in Seattle, staying in the city center may be a better idea then staying at an Airbnb in the neighborhoods. It will give you more time for exploring and less need to rely on public transport.

Check car rental options here if you want to explore places near Seattle.

Map of Seattle Attractions

Click the top left icon to navigate between things to do in Seattle, places to eat and drink and stay.

Where to Stay in Seattle?

Seattle Airbnb

We stayed in the suburb of Madison Valley which is near the trendy suburb of Capitol Hill. It was a fantastic location and quiet neighborhood.

Seattle Airbnb
Seattle Airbnb

It only took 15-minutes to drive into downtown, and close to that to drive anywhere. The three bedroom home was spacious and comfortable and had plenty of amenities, inlcuding a blender!!

You can see it here.

Lynn was a fantastic host and had a welcome gift of wine and chocolates and an in-depth guide book on things to do in Seattle from her local perspective. It was awesome.

Hotels in Seattle

Kimpton Palladian Hotel

Stay in the heart of Seattle 1,000 feet from Pike Place Market and 0.6 mi from the Space Needle. Kimpton’s are our favorite hotel brand so we always recomend them for their boutqiue style quirkiness.

The guest rooms here feature pop-art pillows while certain units have a claw footed bathtub.

An evening wine hour is held every night from 17:00 to 18:00 at Kimpton Palladian Hotel. Free bikes are also available.

Past guests rave about the modern décor, spacious and comfortable rooms and location. Check rates here

Belltown Inn

Located 15 minutes’ walk to the Olympic Sculpture Park , is the Belltown Inn. Pike Place Market and the Space Needle are within 10 minutes’ walk.

Rooms have a kitchenette and the inn has a furnished rooftop terrace.

Previous guests rave about location, price and clean well sized rooms Check rates and reviews here.

For more Seattle accommodation options click here to see what is available.

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If you have any suggestions on what to do in Seattle with kids, or any questions, leave a comment down below

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