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Seattle is a cool city. Uniquely cool, in fact. It’s a sprawling metropolis that’s known for founding some of the biggest enterprises (Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft to name a few), but it’s also surrounded by mountains and green space. It’s even nicknamed “The Emerald City” because of its lush, forest.
If you’re planning on visiting this diverse city, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a great balance of things to do in Seattle with kids that are fun for adults too!
- Is Seattle Washington Worth Visiting?
- Is 3 days enough in Seattle?
- How Can I Save Money On Seattle Attractions?
- Things to Do in Seattle with Kids
- Where is the Best Art and Culture in Seattle?
- Best Neighborhoods in Seattle to Explore
- Where Can You Find Great Views in Seattle?
- Places to Eat in Seattle
- Who Does the Best Cupcake in Seattle?
- Where Can I Find Good Coffee in Seattle?
- Places to Visit Near Seattle
- 4 Day Seattle Itinerary
- FAQs About Things to do In Seattle
- Where to Stay in Seattle
- Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Seattle With Kids
- More USA City Guides
Is Seattle Washington Worth Visiting?
The Emerald City 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 – Pearl Jam and Nirvana, to be precise.
While we were there, we discovered a vibrantly rich cultural experience. The city is bustling and vibrant, with a huge arts scene and hipster coffee shops on every corner.
It is also sandwiched between the Puget Sound and the Cascades Mountain, which makes it surrounded by natural beauty and provides easy access to so many incredible regions near Seattle.
For the uniqueness of the city and the access to amazing nature spots, it makes Seattle 100% worth visiting.
All that water from the Puget Sound on one side to Lake Washington on the other reminded me of my home in Sydney. Sydney and Seattle are very similar in that they are all about the glamour and the water, plus you can see whales and seals out in the Washington waters during migration season.
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.
Seattle is now one of our favorite USA cities, and one of our top places to visit in Washington State.
Plus, we had outstanding weather during our Seattle trip (it’s well known for its rain, so we were very lucky). Those blue skies and sunshine made it even more exciting.
Is 3 days enough in Seattle?
We spent four days visiting Seattle and experienced plenty of the top Seattle attractions from the big touristy events to the smaller, local experiences, plus had a bit of time to spare.
I would say that 3 days is just enough time to spend in Seattle, but you wouldn’t be bored if you spent more time here.
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.
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 $115 for adults and $87 for children between 5-12, which will save you 44% on admissions to the Top 5 Seattle Attractions, including the Woodland Park Zoo.
There is also now a Seattle C3 ticket which is better for shorter stays in Seattle. The cost for that is $73 (adult) and $53 (children). The C3 offers a choice of 3 attractions from a list of 5 and includes The Museum of Flight and Sky View Observatory which are not included in the main Seattle CityPASS®. (saves up to 30%)
Things to Do in Seattle with Kids
In this in-depth guide on the best things to do in Seattle with kids, we’ll be sharing the top activities with and without kids.
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. And no, it’s not all about Starbucks!
1. Pike Place Market VIP Behind the Scenes Food Tour
My favorite thing to do in Seattle was the VIP early opening food tour of Pike Place Market, probably the most famous market in the country.
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 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 a 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 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 most 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.
We heard all the stories of how these owners started with a dream that finding 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 into 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 melted in your mouth – thank you very much, Art!
2. The Space Needle
I wasn’t sure if we’d find the Space Needle to be one of the more tacky Seattle tourist attractions, especially after the long lines we encountered and the 40-minutes it took us to find a car park!
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 observation deck above.
The 360 views of the city are spectacular. I especially loved the features 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.
3. 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. It is located at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 next to the Great Wheel and close to the Seattle Aquarium.
4. 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 underground passageways. They were once the alleys leading into shopfronts as the city was being raised out of the swamps.
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 retail stores. You can also tour them with a guide who will take you to places you normally can’t go and share the stories of this Seattle world in the late 1700s or 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.
5. Amazon Spheres and The Understory
The Understory is in the heart of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. It’s a free public space with interactive exhibits about flora and design, showcasing Amazon’s approach towards an urban office.
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 from 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.
6. 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.
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.
Where is the Best Art and Culture in Seattle?
I mentioned earlier about how great Seattle’s arts scene is, so one of the top things to do in Seattle is to fully immerse yourself in it. Here are the best places to check out the art and culture of the city…
7. 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.
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, the Seattle Children’s Theater, the Seattle Pinball Museum, and Seattle Children’s Museum.
Don’t want to walk between the Seattle Center attractions? The Seattle Center Monorail can take you around in comfort!
8. Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum
So we were all pretty excited to visit his museum and learn more about his story and incredible artwork.
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 this 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 one of my favorite things to do in Seattle. Our girls were intrigued and inspired.
9. 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.
But this is not just an adult museum – there is currently a Minecraft exhibition which is great for visiting Seattle with kids if they are into Minecraft?
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!
10. Art and Play Playground
If you are looking for fun things to do in Seattle with toddlers, you most definitely want to add some time at the Art and Play Playground.
While playgrounds might be a little obvious for things to do with kids, this one is one of the most fun!
It is located 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.
11. 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.
You’ll get a beautiful view of the Space Needle and the Seattle skyline. If it’s hot, you may want to get up close to the fountain for a soaking. The kids will love it.
12. 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.
The Olympic Sculpture Park is an award-winning nine-acre sculpture park on the waterfront and is Seattle’s largest downtown green space. Its green lawn, paved walkways, and nature trails are lined with quirky sculptures.
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.
13. 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?
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.
14. 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 a while 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
If you’re looking for free things to do in Seattle, you can’t go wrong with just wandering around the neighborhoods. Each area in the city is unique in its own way. Here are some of our favorite neighborhoods to explore.
15. 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 in to 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!
Also in the area is a huge bronze Lenin statue on 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 the 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 GA’s 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.
16. Go Roller Blading on Alki Beach
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.
We didn’t spend a lot of time there, but enough time to rollerblade from Harbor Ave around the bend where the downtown water taxis arrive. There is a rollerblading and kayak rental place here.
The views of the Seattle skyline along the path were beautiful. It reminded me of my small beach hometown.
There weren’t many people out either which enhanced the experience. You could rollerblade from here all the way around to where the main beach and cafes are.
Put this on your list of fun kid-friendly activities in Seattle! The sand is clean and soft and there are a few tide pools that children will be fascinated with.
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 rollerblading 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.
17. Explore Queen Anne and Capitol Hill
We’ve heard Queen Anne and Capitol Hill are also good neighborhoods to explore. Queen Anne is where you’ll find several of the top attractions in Seattle such as the Space Needle and Museum of Pop Culture. You can also see the Chihuly Garden and Glass and just wander around looking at the 19th-century homes and boutique stores.
Capitol Hill is a pretty urban, hipster neighborhood with hip bars, grungy eateries, and gay bars. It has many indie stores and thrift shops, as well as some walking trails (make sure to check out the plant conservatory) and see panoramic views of the city.
It’s also home to the art deco Asian Art Museum and there is a wading pool at Cal Anderson Park which kids will love to play in.
Where Can You Find Great Views in Seattle?
Of course, the Space Needle mentioned above has an amazing view. But if you’re looking for free or cheap places to get views of the Seattle skyline, check out these places…
18. Kerry Park Seattle
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.
19. Gas Works Park
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!
20. 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.
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 a 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 the 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 an open air Lookout pop-up bar in the summer for ages 21 and over. We obviously could not go to it!
21. 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.
22. Seattle Ferries
Simply jump on a ferry or water taxi coming in and out of Seattle and you will have wonderful skyline views of the city.
We were fortunate to arrive in 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.
23. 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 the Seattle waterfront and downtown.
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 in a fully enclosed gondola so can be worth it on a clear day if you love city views and photography. Kids will love this!
Places to Eat in Seattle
We are big foodies and so finding good food in any city is a must! Here are some places we absolutely loved during out visit to Seattle.
24. 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.
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 freshly-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’s views and outdoor ambiance. This is definitely one of the fun places to eat in Seattle with kids!
24. 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.
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 our most memorable things to do in Seattle.
25. 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.
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.
26. 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.
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 you want to start a war with Seattle locals, ask them who bakes the best cupcakes in Seattle.
You’ll find their stores all over Seattle.
Cupcake Royal is the pioneer in Seattle cupcakes known for locally sourced ingredients. Trophy is known for its 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. It’s another reason this city is a top USA destination for us!
27. 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!
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.
28. Espresso Vivace
Our Seattle friend Rob from 2TravelDads recommended Espresso Vivace as his favorite coffee in Seattle. He was not wrong.
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.
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.
30. 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 and cool adventures, so no trip to the city would be complete without a trip out of the city.
Check out these cool day trips from Seattle:
- Olympic National Park day trip – see more in our guide to Incredible Things to Do in Olympic National Park
- North Cascades National Park
- Mount Rainier Day tour
- Port Townsend (Olympic Peninsula)
- La Conner (nice day trip)
- Orca Whale Watching at Edmonds
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.Click for immediate access
FAQs About Things to do In Seattle
Here’s what people usually ask us about visiting Seattle…
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.
- Pike Place Market (VIP Behind the Scenes Tour)
- Chihuly Glass
- 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 nighttime views too.
What’s the Best Time of the Year to Visit Seattle?
Summer without a doubt is the best time to visit Seattle. It will be busy, but you’ve got a much better chance of warm and dry weather.
The only time we noticed the crowds were 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.
Where to Stay in Seattle
If you’re not sure where to Stay in Seattle, here are some great accommodation options.
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
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.
Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Seattle With Kids
So there you have it, those are the top Seattle attractions with kids and as you can see, there is so much to see and explore.
The attractions we’ve listed are great for kids of all ages, and adults will find them fun and exciting too!
If your children are a bit older or perhaps teenagers, they may also like to see the Space Museum or Museum of Flight. I wouldn’t recommend them for small children who wouldn’t appreciate them past the flight simulator, but if your kids are older they may enjoy these attractions.
Whatever you decide to do during your travels to Seattle, we hope you have the best time!
More USA City Guides
If you’re planning on visiting more cities in the USA, then you might find these guides helpful.
- 28 fun things to do in San Francisco
- 20 cool things to do in Los Angeles with kids
- 16 awesome things to do in San Diego with kids
- 3 day itinerary for New York City
- 15 awesome things to do in Nashville with kids
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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