Staying stress-free is a breeze when you take a some time to strategize your Seattle trip. Explore these tips to help you have a hassle-free trip to the Emerald City.
Planning Your Trip
- How to Get There
A quick flight from home to your Seattle vacation saves the bulk of your vacation days for fun. Choose your mode of transportation to suit your budget and your vacation plan. Driving to your Seattle trip means that you have your car available to get from your vacation home rental to the Seattle Space Needle without taking public transportation. Your last option would be to take a train up the coast, and make your time spent traveling a part of the fun.
- Pick A Date, Any Date
Travel dates that include holidays mean higher prices and more crowds at all the places you want to go. Many airlines and vacation rental services offer lower rates during the slower seasons. Visit Seattle in September and October for great weather, whale watching, and less wait time for the best attractions.
- Travel Agents Make It Easy
Pick a travel agent who specializes Seattle to help you to get the best rates and a great idea of what lodging and sight-seeing choices are available during your vacation dates. Travel agents provide everything from driving directions to reservations and even trip tickets. Working with a Seattle trip planner means having someone who knows the city helping you see the best that it offers.
- Make a House Your Home
Seattle vacation planning requires setting up a home base. Rent a vacation home, and settle in with home-cooked meals that save you cash. Keep in mind that resorts, home rentals, and hotels tend to have the best prices outside of the holiday seasons. Some neighborhoods you’ll find great rental options include Capitol Hill and Ballard.
- Plan for Everything
Make a list of the things you want to do during your Seattle vacation. Whale watching, plenty of shopping, world class restaurants, exciting museums, and unique Seattle attractions are just a few of the reasons to visit the Emerald City. Decide which day trips are most important to you, and make a list of “must see” landmarks. Seattle has dozens of amazing museums, but some top suggestions include the ever-so relatable Museum of Pop Culture, and the Instagram-famous Chihuly Garden and Glass.
- Dress for Success
Once you determine the dates for your Seattle trip, be sure to pack clothing that suits the season. Cold and rainy winters mean adding a raincoat to the suitcase to stay cozy. While the summers require less coverage, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. But no matter what time of year you’re visiting, comfortable walking shoes make all the difference as you roam through Seattle’s city streets.
- Pick up a Seattle CityPASS
Whether you’re spending a single weekend in the city, or taking a month-long sabbatical, some sights are just begging to be seen. The Seattle CityPASS gives you admission into the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, and an Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour for less than $100. Additionally, with the Seattle CityPASS, you have the choice to obtain admission to either the Museum of Pop Culture or the Woodland Park Zoo; and Chihuly Garden and Glass or the Pacific Science Center.
- Think Outside of the Coffee Bag
Visit the first Starbucks location in Seattle, and grab a Grande blonde roast. On certain Sundays you can go sailing for free at the Center for Wooden Boats, or check out some of the surprising houseboats that are cruising around Puget Sound. Be brave and skip battling the crowds at the Space Needle for something slightly more unusual. Head to Freemont to tour the Theo Chocolate Factory for a tasty treat or enjoy a little live music at one of dozens of Seattle music festivals throughout the year.
Best Areas to Stay
Before you finalize your Seattle, Washington vacation, think about these rental tips and what you want to spend your time doing in the city.
- Stick to the Center for Less Commuting and More Fun
The city center is packed with great things to see and do. Choose a rental home, apartment or hotel here and you’ll be within walking distance of The Pacific Science Center, Seattle Children’s Theater, Intiman Theater, the Space Needle and a big park space that hosts community events and festivals. You’ll also find lots of breakfast and lunch spots, plus some great dinnertime options.
- Foodies Should Check into the International District
The International District also goes by the name Chinatown, in reference to the large Asian-American population. Given Seattle’s position along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, the city has been a popular destination for Asian tourists and immigrants for a long time. Thanks to the influx of outside cultures, Seattle’s International District features various Asian and ethnic restaurants, food markets and import stores. It’s a great place to explore new foods, pick up some fun imported products and visit the large Hing Hay Park.
- Book at the Waterfront for Views, Cruises, Vendors and Crowds
The Waterfront is probably the most popular tourist destination when it comes to Seattle. Because of that, the area is pretty crowded and prices tend to be higher in shops and restaurants. That said, this is a very beautiful area with stunning views and direct access to ferries and boat tours. Walking tours also meet along the waterfront. If you’re willing to battle the crowds, this neighborhood could be right for you. The streets are filled with taffy and T-shirt vendors, so you won’t risk going home without souvenirs.
- Keep the Costs Down and the Atmosphere Electric in the University District
The neighborhood surrounding the University of Washington – The University District – is the home front for university students, young people and travelers in search of a lively atmosphere. Costs are low here, but quality is high. Look here for trendy eateries, welcoming pubs and cafés, plus indie-style shops. In this neighborhood you can catch a football game at Husky Stadium and join the tailgate party. Yachts and trucks are, of course, welcome here. Meany Hall will keep you entertained with plays, musical shows and dance numbers, while Lake Union can cater to your outdoor needs.
- Soak Up Seattle History in Pioneer Square and Pike Place Market
Pioneer Square is Seattle’s historical district, in which you will find some of the city’s oldest buildings and urban architecture. Join a tour here to learn about the Great Fire of 1871, the local Gold Rush and the industrial sites that helped shape the city. At Pike Place Market you can shop for the freshest fish, produce and bakery items, plus arts, crafts and specialty items.