Seattle trips present visitors with an array of choices for things to do, from exciting urban endeavors to spectacular outdoor pursuits. Known as "The Emerald City", Seattle is a sparkling and trendy Northwest gem, where there is truly something for everyone. A Seattle weekend getaway could see you dining at one of the many fabulous Seattle restaurants, followed by a show, perhaps, at the city's new symphony hall. Maybe you will be interested in sampling the creations from one of Seattle's coffee or brew houses. Shopping in Seattle is a joy, and surely at some point you will be curious to see what the view is like atop the 600-foot Space Needle. To the prospective trip planner Seattle can be a bit confusing, but, fret not. As long as you secure your accommodations in advance and have a good idea of which attractions to include in your Seattle getaway, the city and its outlying areas will do its best to make sure that you have a great time. Whether you are planning Seattle day trips, or looking for ideas for a Seattle road trip, the following suggestions should get you off to a good start.
If you are hanging out downtown and don't mind touristy places, the views from the Seattle Waterfront make it a worthy candidate for trip planner Seattle inclusion. Great for families, couples and anybody else looking for an eclectic good time, the Waterfront boasts plenty of unique shops and tasty places to eat. The Summer is the peak season for Seattle tourism, and the "Summer Nights at the Pier" concert series offers up some great chances to see live music. For nice views of the skyline and the Waterfront itself, you might consider taking the ferry to nearby Bainbridge Island. It leaves from Colman Dock, and it doesn't cost much. At the Waterfront, you can find the popular Seattle Aquarium, where visitors enjoy some pretty fantastic marine exhibits, like the spectacular Underwater Dome. To take a break from the action here, you can relax at Myrtle Edwards Park, which sits on the north end of the Waterfront. While you are downtown, you can also head to the Pike Place Market, which is a must visit on Seattle trips. Also found near the water, this is where the famous fish throwers add to the exceptionally lively atmosphere. People watching is at a premium here, and you might be surprised to know that there is much more to the market than just farmers and fresh fish stalls. It's not uncommon to come across an interesting street performance, or find that something special at one of the market's many specialty shops and galleries. The Pike Place Market was originally founded in 1907, and if you want to learn more about its history, you can add the 1-hour Market Heritage Tour to your trip planner Seattle itinerary.
Seattle is very much a music city, and if you are a music lover, as most people are, you can choose to supplement Seattle trips with a visit to the Experience Music Project, which is a 140,000 square foot museum dedicated to music history. Known also as EMP, it is filled with artifacts of all kinds from the collection of the museum's founder, Paul Allen, who also happens to be a cofounder of Microsoft. A truly unique architectural piece, the museum was designed by Frank Gehry, and though it was originally intended to honor Jimi Hendrix, it has expanded to include many other native musicians, as well as famous artists from the American music scene. The whole group will have a blast messing around in the museum's interactive rooms, and its downtown Seattle Center location makes it a great addition for Seattle trips. You will find a restaurant here, and an interesting cocktail bar. Easy to get to, and pretty easy on the wallet, it's a great way to spend a few hours. With so many interesting downtown attractions, your Seattle getaway could be filled exclusively with city-based activities, but there are plenty of outlying destinations that make for great Seattle day trips.
If you are staying at one of the new downtown Seattle hotels, you might add the Chittenden Locks & Carl English Botanical Gardens to your list of possible Seattle day trips. The drive out here from downtown will only take you some 10 to 15 minutes, where you will eventually cross the Ballard Bridge north of the city. Watching the boats pass through the Chittenden Locks is just part of the fun here. There is a small lock and a large one, both of which are controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers. Undoubtedly one of Seattle's most popular attractions, when crowds aren't watching all sorts of boats pass through, they love to watch the salmon using the fish ladder. These salmon attract sea lions looking for a meal, which adds a bit of extra wildlife excitement. If you are here between the months of March and November, you can enjoy a free tour of the Carl English Botanical Gardens city park, which boasts a number of unique trees and shrubs. All in all, this is just a great place to hang out, and should definitely be considered if you are planning a Seattle getaway.
Maybe you are thinking of enjoying the outdoors on a Seattle weekend getaway, or need a couple of ideas for memorable Seattle day trips. Due east of the city, and hardly possible to miss, is the rising and beautiful Mt. Rainier. Mt. Rainier serves as a constant reminder that though the city may have plenty of fun things to do within its main boundaries, the great outdoors are never far off. At the Mt. Rainier National Park, you will find seemingly endless miles of trails to hike, and there are plenty of scenic views along the way. Mountain lakes, healthy streams, and lush forestland characterize the terrain here, and if you are here in the winter, this Seattle road trip will reward you with excellent snowshoeing. You can also get some exercise cross-country skiing, and when it warms up, the park is a nice place to go camping. Located near Mt. Rainier, just south of Seattle, the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park also makes a great candidate for those looking to get outside during their Seattle getaway. There is a tram tour here that gives visitors the chance to see all kinds of animals, from snowy owls and wolves, to grizzly bears and bald eagles.
A longer Seattle road trip idea could include a visit to the beautiful San Juan Islands, which are a trip planner Seattle favorite. These picturesque islands are located about 150 miles north of the city. The bulk of the drive has you on Interstate 5. Once you finish the 20-mile stretch due west to the town of Anacortes, you can hop the ferry to one of the main islands. You can leave the car behind, or take it with you, and once you get here you, relaxing, hiking, camping or biking are just some of the possibilities. The small fishing villages, like Friday Harbor, are fun to explore, and if you want to kayak with killer whales, you can do that too. Orca watching is a big part of why people add the San Juan Islands to their Seattle trips, and the Whale Watch Park found on San Juan Island might just be the best place in the country for whale watching. The San Juan Islands boast some inns, bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals, making them ideal for a nice Seattle weekend getaway. Hopefully the other recommendations discussed in this article will also have you on your way to planning the perfect Seattle getaway.More Local Trips