Ms. Cups and I are doing our pre-wedding honeymoon trip to Hawaii next week, and because we don’t want to end our marriage before it even begins by having to travel all the way from Hawaii back to Florida in one day, we are pit stopping in Seattle for 2 nights. This includes maybe a cup of (Starbucks) coffee on a Saturday night (depending on when the flight gets in) and all day on Sunday. So barring the evening, this means that I have literally one day to enjoy Seattle.
What should I do/can’t miss? I’m open to pretty much anything.
I want to visit the first 'Bucks, go in the Space Needle, and visit the fish market, but that’s all I have and know of Seattle. Is there one of those handy “buy this card and see these 5 sites” kind of things? I like museums, but I’d prefer a history/cultural one over an art museum. I like animals, any zoos or aquariums worth seeing? Any hidden gems in the emerald city?
So tell me 'dopers…what should I do with my one day in Seattle?
The Space Needle is right beside the Chihuly museum, if you’re into that, and also the EMP, a museum devoted to music and movies. They have Princess Bride costumes in there, and stuff from classic sci-fi movies, and a dedicated display of Nirvana stuff as well as a lot of famous guitars, among other things. All right at the foot of the Space Needle. Walkable. Nice parks and stuff all around them.
Pike Place market (which includes the fish market) has a lot to see.
You mentioned aquariums; there’s one just down the hill from Pike Place.
Space needle is good, but if you’re doing that, the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum is right next door and is worth seeing.
If you’re an aviation buff, Boeing’s Museum of Flight is a must see. The first 747 is on display there, as is a Concorde (you can walk through the cabin) and JFK’s Air Force One plane (also can walk through). Tons of other planes, too.
Seeing the original Starbucks is neat if you are already set on the fish market but the line is usually out the door. The Starbucks Reserve a little east on Pike street is a lot more impressive IMO
I haven’t been to Seattle for 25 years but the one thing which sticks in my mind was the Seattle Underground Tour.
I’d start off with the Space Needle and Experience Music Project, hop on the monorail to go downtown, maybe some shopping as you walk the few blocks down to Pike Place. Wander through the market, grab a bite to eat, then walk over to the Seattle Aquarium. If you really want to cram stuff into your day, catch a boat tour of the Puget Sound – although, that’s really best to devote a whole day to. Then amble back up town, find dinner, monorail back to where you started.
This is surprisingly good. It’s pure cheese, but relatively self aware and well executed. I’ve enjoyed it on both occasions I did it while entertaining visitors.
In terms of tall buildings offering great views I think the Columbia Tower observatory is better value for money than the Space Needle. At 73 floors up it is higher, and you get to see the Space Needle from it for a more iconic Seattle view. It’s pretty close to the Underground Tour.
That said, you could easily spend a day just sticking around Pike Place and the Space Needle complex. As others have stated the latter has Chihuly and the EMP, both worth visiting. Also, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation visitors center is across the street. Fairly interesting, and low key and free.
I like the zoo (especially the grizzly bear exhibit). No surprises, but if you like zoos…
The Ballard Locksare very interesting–gardens, boats of all kinds, sometimes salmon running up the fish ladder.
And a ferry ride to Bainbridge and back is fun and an easy way to see the landscape from the water.
I was just there last week, for the first time. Pikes Place was fun. Chihuly museum was probably the most impressive. (I hear it’s even better in the dark, but I think this time of year it doesn’t get very dark before it closes.) MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture, formerly Experience Music Project or EMP) was OK, the guitar history/collection was interesting but I wasn’t too impressed with the rest of the museum.
I also noticed recreational marijuana was legal there…
I had three days in Seattle. The first day (well, half day) we went to Pike’s Place and the Needle.
Next day I went to the EMP and did a Duck Boat tour. I think maybe I visited the Butterfly House and science museum that day too. They were all in the same area.
The next day I visited **needscoffee **and we went on the Underground Tour and walked around the “old downtown” for a bit (that is where you catch the underground tour). I also headed out and visited Brandon Lee’s grave and Kurt Cobain’s memorial park area (it’s just a bench).
All of that stuff was enjoyable! I say don’t go to the aquarium or anything that you could do in Hawaii. The Underground Tour is definitely unique to Seattle. And I liked the EMP even more than the Rock Hall here in Cleveland (shhhh!)
We made the exact same stop on our way to Maui from New Brunswick last year. We spent a day at the Pacific Science Center and really enjoyed ourselves. I would recommend it. We were there with our 10 year old and so spent more time that we would have had we been by ourselves.
We also spent a day on the way back from Hawaii but, to be honest, spent that day in the hotel recovering from the vacation and mentally preparing for the flight home.
Drop by Smapti’s house and visit his wrestling museum.
Try not to do too much. The Space Needle, a museum, and Pike (no ‘s’) Place Market are PLENTY for one day. MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) isn’t too far from the Space Needle, either.
ETA: The area around MOHAI is being completely transformed by Amazon and related industries like condos and restaurants. From the Space Needle, it’s the area to the North/Northeast with all the construction. It’s unrecognizable from even a couple years ago.
Relax for a couple of hours by taking the Seattle ferry to Bremerton and back. It’s a nice little tour, and there’s a few stores there for touristy window shopping right across the street from the dock in Bremerton, including a decent Ice cream shop.
The EMP at the Seattle Center is now called MoPOP(Museum of Pop Culture), and it includes a Science Fiction museum. Website.
It’s been years since I have been to Seattle so I will add nothing to the excellent comments above.
I would note that you (1) Don’t say where the hotel is and (2) If you’re renting a car or not. Sea-Tac is more than a few miles from the attractions mentioned (about 15-17 from airport to Space Needle) and while there is public transportation (light rail or commuter trains), the amount of flexibility may be limited.
So I’d suggest checking out the Sound Transit site (https://www.soundtransit.org) and see where/when/cost.
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Just a few doors down from the original Starbucks is a little pastry shop called Piroshky Piroshky. It may also have a line out the door, but it moves quickly and is worth the wait.
I’ll run all these by Ms. Cups after work, but we aren’t going for over a week, so keep the suggestions coming
I never had any problems getting in the original Starbucks as long as I went within the first half hour of it opening.
There is a coupon booklet you can buy but with only one day, I’m not sure you’ll have the time to make it to enough things to make it worth your while.
I’ve always wanted to do that too. You could do it on Saturday night . . .