Things to Do

  • Kerry Park - Great view of the city and Mt Rainier.  Do this instead of the Space Needle.  Free.  Kid friendly.
  • Pike Place Market - A Seattle classic.  Check out the fish, flowers, and oddball stores downstairs.  Free.  Kid friendly.
  • The Gum Wall - Kind of gross, kind of amazing.  Located in Pike Place Market.  Free.  Kid Friendly.
  • Seattle Aquarium - On the waterfront near Pike Place Market. Kid Friendly.
  • Seattle Public Library - Remarkable building, designed by some architect we should know.  Free to look around.  Check out the automated return system.  Downtown.  Free.  Kid Friendly.
  • Gasworks Park - Fun place to stretch your legs and get a view of Lake Union and the city.  Plus there are some really cool, old, rusty industrial remnants on the site.  Free.  Kid friendly.
  • Olympic Sculpture Park - Great views of the Sound, Mt Rainier and The Olympics.  Oh, and there's art too.  Free.  Kid friendly.
  • Fremont Sunday Market - Food, art, antiques, weird things.  Info here.  Free.  Kid friendly.
  • Fremont Troll - It's a giant troll under a bridge.  What more is there to say?  It's cool.  Free.  Kid friendly.
  • Ballard Ave. - Ballard is our favorite neighborhood.  Ballard Ave. has a great collection of local shops and restaurants.  Free.
  • Ballard Locks - For some reason we can't explain, it is really interesting to watch as boats enter/exit Lake Union through these locks.  Plus if you walk across to the far side you can watch salmon jumping and swimming upstream through the fish ladder.  Info here.  Free.  Kid friendly.
  • Ballard Breweries - So many micro-breweries have sprung up in Ballard that it's now a thing.  See info here.
  • Kayaking on Lake Union - Rent a kayak from Aqua Verde and paddle around the lake and arboretum.
  • Elliot Bay Books - A great local bookstore with excellent staff.  (Guidebooks may still list its old location in Pioneer Square, but it has moved to Capitol Hill.)
  • Theo Chocolate Factory Tour - Yum.  Enough said.
  • Von Trapp's - Play bocce ball inside a giant bavarian beer hall.  Strange combo but somehow it works.
  • Seattle Pinball Museum - A few dozen pinball machines from vintage to contemporary.  All available to play.  Calling it a "museum" gives the wrong impression.  It's a pinball arcade.  Pay a flat price and play all day.

Food to Eat

There are plenty of fancy restaurants with great food in Seattle.  This list does not include them.  These are good, local, moderately priced places for quick, easy, good food.

  • Molly Moon's Ice Cream - Great local ice cream.  Multiple locations, including Queen Anne and Capitol Hill.
  • Serious Pie - Creative pizza recipes from a wood-fired oven.  Go to the South Lake Union location, it has way more seating available.
  • Skillet - It started as food truck, then opened a diner in Capitol Hill and a Counter at the Seattle Center Armory.  Great burgers.
  • Homegrown - Great lunch and breakfast sandwiches.  Multiple locations including Queen Anne and Downtown.
  • Macrina - Great baked goods and sandwiches.  Several locations, including the center of Belltown.
  • Paseo - They have lots of Caribbean food, but all you need to get is the cuban grilled pork sandwich.  Fremont.
  • Salumi - Their hours are limited and the line goes out the door at lunch but they make incredible sandwiches with their locally made cured meats and meatballs.  Pioneer Square.
  • Top Pot - Donuts - Yummy donuts.  Multiple locations, including Belltown.
  • Hot Cakes - All sorts of chocolate goodness.  Ballard.
  • Biscuit Bitch - No, that's not a typo.  Downtown.
  • Mezcaleria Oaxaca - Real Mexican food, Oaxacan style.  No refried beans covered in yellow cheese here.  Homestyle cooking with reasonable portions.  Queen Anne and Ballard.

  • Canon - A whisky and bitters emporium. (That helps, huh?) Fun and unique cocktails.  Be sure to order the homemade cracker jacks with a kick (angostoura-bourbon nuts). Capitol Hill.