Thank goodness Seattle is America’s coffee capital! Trust me: you are going to need a caffeine shot…or two…to kick start your whirlwind tour of Seattle’s coolest things to do.
Surrounded by stunning scenery, gourmet options, and kid-friendly activities, Seattle is the perfect urban destination for any family! Below is our family’s list of the top 10 coolest things to do in Seattle.
Ready…set…go! Grab your family and head to these unique Seattle spots and activities!
1. CHECK OUT ICONIC PIKE PLACE MARKET
No trip to Seattle is complete without time spent exploring Pike Place Public Market. Don’t miss it! The ideal way to learn about the secrets of this market is to take the Market Experience Tour, one of the Seattle Free Walking Tours. This “pay what you feel tour“ is full of insider anecdotes and plenty of yummy free samples. If you’re lucky, you may even get to toss a big fish in the world famous fish market! For a casual meal on the go, stop into the well-known Beecher’s Handmade Cheese where you can try their famous grilled cheese or mac and cheese.
For a delicious gourmet lunch or dinner just a block from the market, dine at top-rated Etta’s. We loved experiencing the seasonal seafood menu while taking in the gorgeous views outside the huge bay windows. Our highlights included creamy clam chowder, tasty calamari, meaty crab cakes and the famous “Rub with Love Salmon.” Save room for dessert…we devoured their delectable coconut cream pie!
2. VISIT THE GUM WALL
Ewww, GROSS! But your kids will be entranced and maybe even inspired by this “modern” art! Located right around the corner from the Public Market is a must-visit: a tremendous wall completely plastered with chewed-up pieces of chewing gum. Try not to think about the disgusting and germ-y aspects of this attraction. Bring along a few sticks of your own and add to this distinctive piece of art!
3. EAT YOUR WAY AROUND SEATTLE
A definite highlight for my “foodie” family was the Savor Seattle Food Tour. We enjoyed strolling around Seattle, stopping into well-curated restaurants and snacking on upscale comfort food and local organic specialties. Our enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guide kept my girls entertained and included them in all discussions. We sampled many gourmet dishes, and for the adults in the group, four wine and cocktail pairings, plus fun bubbly and fruity concoctions for the kiddies. This tour easily replaces a lunch or dinner!
4. TAKE A GLASSBLOWING LESSON
A standout experience for my girls was a glassblowing lesson at the Seattle Glassblowing Studio. Taught by an expert in the field, our instructor guided my girls in creating two magnificent colorful pieces of art. Mini-Chihuly’s in training! The studio will safely mail your pieces of work home so you don’t have to cram them in your suitcases.
5. TAKE A COFFEE BREAK AT THE MEGA-STARBUCKS
This magical mecca called my name! While you will pass literally hundreds of Starbucks stores walking through the streets of Seattle, this tremendous Willy Wonka-ish coffee factory is a gorgeous place to rest your feet. As a bonus, this Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room features Serious Pie, with gourmet, yet kid-friendly pizzas, perfect for a casual meal or snack. Be forewarned, if your kids are like mine, there are no Frappuccinos served at this Starbucks. Simply walk a few blocks to the nearest one to satisfy kids’ demands…um, I mean requests.
6. DIVE INTO THE AQUARIUM
Animal lovers will delight in meeting the otters and other sea creatures at the compact Seattle Aquarium. This is the perfectly-sized aquarium for young children.
7. CRUISE AROUND THE HARBOR
Kick back and relax on an Argosy Harbor Cruise. Spend an hour or two learning about the city and soaking in Seattle’s one-of-a-kind views of the water and mountain ranges on this beautiful boat. We opted for the one-hour narrated cruise which taught us about Seattle’s history and the operations of the shipping port.
8. GO SUBTERRANEAN!
Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour in Pioneer Square has been a fixture in Seattle since 1965. This 75-minute guided “history with a twist!” walking tour is perfect for older children who enjoy history. Our tour guide entertained us with stories of ghosts and the history of Seattle.
9. TAKE A SPIN ON THE GREAT WHEEL
Positively spectacular views! Hop a ride on Seattle’s tallest Ferris wheel at Pier 57, The Great Wheel. Riding it as the sun set was the perfect relaxing ending to our busy Seattle sightseeing trip. Don’t forget your camera!
10. EXPLORE THE SEATTLE CENTER
OK – so I am cheating a little. I actually think there are way more than these top 10 cool things to do in Seattle so I am going to refer to my other article about A Perfect Day in Seattle, which describes all of the attractions surrounding the Space Needle including the EMP Museum, the Children’s Museum, the Pacific Science Center, the Chihuly Glass Garden and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation!
WHERE TO STAY IN SEATTLE
Located smack in the middle of downtown, Hilton Seattle is an ideal home base for anyone visiting this city. We walked everywhere or used public transportation and had no need to rent a car in the city. The friendly staff, gorgeous views and modern amenities made this hotel perfect for us! If you plan to visit a variety of the above attractions, consider saving money by purchasing a CityPass.
I hope you have fun with our list of the top things to do in Seattle with kids. Be sure to add your own favorites in the comments section below!
This article was originally published by Hilton Mom Voyage.