Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific North-West, it’s a seaport city surrounded by lush evergreen forests and deep bodies of water on every side.
Location makes Seattle more obscure and less populated than other Northern U.S. cities like Chicago and New York City; but location is also the reason that The Emerald City is filled with delicious regional food, and a truly unique culture.
Three days in Seattle is more than enough time to get a taste of the city’s landmarks and attractions.
Here’s our guide on spending three days in Seattle. We made sure to include iconic Seattle landmarks, local craft beer and coffee and other attraction to get the most out of a short visit.
THREE DAYS IN SEATTLE – DAY ONE
Start the day off with Starbucks Coffee.
It’s not hard to run into a Starbucks in any major city, but Seattle boasts three of the most unique Starbucks outlets in the world.
The first Starbucks, generally called Original Starbucks maintains it’s vintage appearance due to design guidelines that govern architecture at the marketplace.
There’s also Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, a place where select coffee is sourced from around the globe, and master roasters unlock the inherent flavor and characteristics from these beans onsite.
Find out how to get to these stores as well as a third cool location to have the ultimate Starbucks experience in Seattle
While you’re near the waterfront, it’s a great idea to get acquainted with the landmarks of the city by taking an Argosy Cruise.
On this guided tour, you’ll see the Space Needle, Mount Rainier, Queen Ann Hill, the Seattle Ferris Wheel and much more.
Once you’re back on land, head to one of the many places selling clam chowder near the harbor like Pike Place Chowder, or make a reservation for a dinner of an entire fresh Dungeness Crab or grilled Sockeye Salmon at Ivar’s Acres of Clams.
The Seattle Aquarium is involved in many areas of conservation including sea turtle rehabilitation, and protection of the elusive Pacific Giant Octopus in Puget Sound.
They actually have a Pacific Giant Octopus on display. These creatures are actually known to recognize humans that they come into contact with often enough.
Other exhibits include Puget Sound fish, birds of the Pacific North West, and marine mammals like river otters and harbor seals.
THREE DAYS IN SEATTLE – DAY TWO
Head to the Seattle Center– a bustling collection of parks, landmarks, stores and museums in the Lower Queen Ann district, an area just North West of the downtown area.
The Seattle Center has a constantly rotating collection of art installations on exhibit, as well as a few museums.
The EMP Museum is a non-profit emporium of pop culture exhibits.
Permanent exhibits include Hendrix Abroad, an exhibition that celebrates the fact that from the height of his fame, Hendrix was rarely in one place for more than a month.
And Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses, a visual tribute to the 90s grunge band Nirvana that brings together the most extensive exhibition of memorabilia surrounding the Seattle band;
There’s more than just music memorabilia at the EMP Museum. There are exhibits on science fiction movies, fantasy realms, and pop culture phenomenons like Hello Kitty, Star Trek, and Star Wars.
Next door to the EMP Museum and the Space Needle you will find Chihuly’s Garden and Glass.
Dale Chihuly is a Tacoma-born glass sculptor who crafts large-scale glass sculptures inspired by oceanic lifeforms and flora.
Walking through the scenic gardens and looking at the light play with the blown-glass art is a perfect way to usher in the night in Seattle.
The fresh seafood that dominates the Seattle food scene translates into some creative and delicious sushi.
Spots like Japonessa incorporate Latin American flavors in their American-style sushi rolls, while places like Shiro’s follows the traditional Tokyo way of preparing sushi but using fish from area waters.
The Space Needle is one of the most iconic buildings in the United States.
It’s not as tall as other observation decks like the Top of the Rock in New York City or the Willis Tower Sky Deck in Chicago, but it makes up for this with short lines and a ticket option that allows you two entries within 24 hours.
Head up during the day to scope out downtown Seattle and get an expansive view of downtown Seattle.
Head back up after dark to look at the moonlight reflecting off the waters of Elliot Bay.
THREE DAYS IN SEATTLE – DAY 3
The third day in Seattle is about getting a deeper appreciation for the character of the Emerald City.
Starbucks was founded over three decades ago, but coffee culture has evolved since then and Seattle has always been on the cutting edge of third wave coffee.
Spend some time exploring the Pike Place Market. It’s one of the oldest continuously operated farmers market in the United States and it’s filled with free samples of organic snacks, creative craft and gifts, and guys that throw fish back and forth.
Take a tour of the Pike Brewing Company, a craft beer emporium that serves up a variety of brews from hoppy IPAs like “Pike Doubble Hopulus” to smooth, creamy stouts like “Pike Post Alley Porter”.
Speaking of Post Alley, end your three days in Seattle by contributing some gum to the “Gum Wall”, one of the germiest attractions in the world.