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Let’s get something straight right from the beginning. 72 hours in Seattle is not NEARLY enough time to experience all this great city has to offer. HOWEVER, sometimes 72 hours is all you have and you have to make the most of it. No worries. You can get plenty done in three days here. But I can promise you, 72 hours in Seattle will leave you wanting more and planning your return trip! Let’s cover a three day itinerary that will help you get the most out of your time in this amazing city, one day at a time! Here’s 72 Hours in Seattle – Day 1.
What to know:
The downtown area is fairly easy to navigate and easily walk-able, within reason. The city landscape is made up of lots of steep, inclined streets, reminiscent of San Francisco (consider yourself warned, and be prepared). We covered the majority of the downtown area on this trip completely on foot. I only thought I would die a handful of times. No big deal. I felt muscles I had forgotten existed, and some I never really knew about to begin with. FEEL THE BURN! Uber, Lyft, taxis, and mass transit options are available to those who would rather not risk the feeling of walking on noodles. 🙂 But I am just stubborn enough that I wouldn’t consider it. We did, however, take the Link light rail both to and from the airport. Whew!
What to pack:
The weather in Seattle is hard to predict. The summer months can get really hot, and the other three seasons in the year can bring sunny and/or cloudy days, plenty of rain, and cold temperatures. You should be prepared for weather “options”. On this visit, we were there in early May and the weather could not have been more picture perfect. We totally lucked out. Blue, clear, sunny skies, mild temperatures (highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the lower 50’s) the entire trip. We only saw a few sprinkles on the night we were leaving while we were at a Seattle Mariners game, and that was cool because we got to see the dome close on the stadium. #yay
Depending on the time of year you are visiting, I would suggest layering options with clothing and a easily portable umbrella. Depending on your exact plans, you can go super comfy for sight seeing during the day to high-end designer for a night at the ballet and a fancy dinner. We opted for the casual route this trip. Oh yeah. Super important. Don’t forget your comfy shoes if you plan on walking around the city like we did. A easy-to-carry bag is always a good idea. There is plenty of shopping in Seattle, and you will inevitably pick up a few things along the way.
Got your walking shoes on? You know, the VERY comfortable ones we talked about? I hope so! Now…let’s get to it.
I partnered with Visit Seattle and the Seattle CityPass for this trip, and because of this we we chose to take MASSIVE advantage of Day 1. We utilized four out of the five options included in the CityPass on this first day. If you are visiting Seattle and want to experience the “must see” attractions, the CityPass is highly recommended. Not only will the pass save you money on attraction ticket prices overall, it will save you time. Each of the attractions included in the pass have designated lines for CityPass holders only, so you can skip right to the front of the line without getting in trouble. Pretty cool, huh? Feeling like a VIP yet?
The Seattle Aquarium was our first stop on Day 1. Because of it’s quaint size, this aquarium is easy to explore in a few hours time (or less, depending on your preferred pace). We were able to cover it all in just over an hour. Set right on the water at Pier 59 on the Elliot Bay, the location is an ideal option to be included in a day of sightseeing and tourist attractions. There are plenty of great waterfront restaurants nearby, so make it a point to stop by before or after lunch. If you are traveling with younger children, this stop is a must. Included in the CityPass.
The Olympic Sculpture Park was not a planned experience on Day 1 , but once we left the aquarium we decided to stroll all the way down Alaskan Way as this would lead us to the remainder of our planned stops for the day. The sculpture park was a neat find along the way. The nine acre outdoor park is free and open to the public. This is not an interactive attraction of any sort, but it is a nice area to take a leisurely stroll, admire the massive sculptures, or have a picnic and/or relax on the lawn (weather permitting).
This one right here. WOW! Maybe it’s just me, but I am blown away by the beauty found at this attraction. Get it? BLOWN away (blown glass exhibits)! Excuse me while I giggle at my own puns. 🙂 Okay, in all seriousness, the Chihuly Garden and Glass experience is worth a visit. You can spend as much, or as little, time admiring the breathtaking works of Dale Chihuly as you’d like. There are also other full-time artists who conduct live glass blowing demonstrations multiple times daily. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the process live, as it is mind-blowing to see these works of art created on the spot (okay, no more puns…I promise). If you enjoy colors and admiring works of art that seem to come to life before your eyes, please take the time to visit Chihuly Garden and Glass. Included in the CityPass.
The Space Needle is, without question, the most iconic landmark in Seattle. Sitting at somewhere around 605 feet in the air, this observation tower should absolutely be on your to-do list. I mean, let’s be honest here. It’s an observation tower. There’s not a whole lot going on up there. And if you are planning on visiting in the next few weeks (as of May 2018), the observation deck is partially under construction, so lower your expectations even further. I will say, however, that the views here are some of the best in the city. Obviously. You should experience this just to say you did, if for no other reason.
There’s currently not a whole lot going on up at the top, but the Seattle aerial landscape does make for some pretty awesome IG shots! I know they offer a restaurant with spectacular views, but we only had the time to catch a funnel cake from the snack bar. The gift shop on the bottom floor is quite extensive, so those who have an issue with heights can explore on the ground level while waiting for the more daring people in their group. On to the next! Included in the CityPass (and if you visit before 6pm, you can return anytime after 6pm using your same day ticket at no additional cost).
The Museum of Pop Culture was an unexpected surprise. Prior to having received the CityPass, I had not originally had this on our itinerary. However, we managed to spend a few hours here taking in all of the pop culture fun we could handle. With exhibits such as Marvel, Star Trek, and Nirvana (just to name a few), we were happily up to our ears in pop culture history. I have to say that my favorite exhibit was The Sound Lab. Absolutely. Loved. It. I literally could have spent the entire day in this one area. The Sound Lab is a hands-on, multi-media musical experience you have to see to believe. For ANYONE who is into music on any level, you gotta check this one out! Included in the CityPass (also includes a free return visit anytime within five consecutive days – might I suggest another trip to Sound Lab!).
And then there was more…
Not gonna lie here. I was exhausted when 5pm hit and we were leaving MoPOP. So much so, we made sure to stop in for a little beverage on our walk back to the hotel. We found a happening spot called The Whisky Bar on the way and gave our feet, legs, and minds a rest.
Oh yeah. We still had dinner to attend to! We decided on a cute, unassuming Thai place just one block outside of the Pike Place market area. Yummmmm. I love me some good Thai food, and I am always up for Pad Thai! Mae Phim absolutely delivered on great taste. We shared a plate so that we could leave room for desert…
Oh. Em. Gee. Shug’s. Desert. S’more. Sundae. Oooey. Gooey. Creamy. Chocolaty. Marshmallow-y. Indulgent. Deliciousness. I could write an entire paragraph of one word adjectives on this experience. Ridiculously good. Must try. Won’t regret. Will return. Next day. Can’t wait. Okay, maybe some two word sentences as well. 🙂
72 Hours in Seattle – Day 1
This is a recap of how we spent 72 hours in Seattle – Day 1. In hindsight, I might have spread all of these Day 1 adventures out over two days (or three). But remember, we only had three days to take in as much as we could, and I knew Day 2 & Day 3 would be jam packed with plenty to do. We had to get it all in where it fit in!
I hope this gives you an idea of some of the amazing things there are to do in this great city. Please keep in mind, this list is just a sample of what can be done in 72 hours in Seattle and only covers our Day 1. Read on for Day 2 & Day 3 food highlights and sightseeing adventures. If you have yet to visit, get to planning. I hope you love Seattle as much as we did!