Seattle… a big city that doesn’t feel like a big city! You can get a taste of the beautiful skylines, trendy coffee shops & lush greenery in a just short weekend getaway.
My boyfriend, Joseph, & I had a free Southwest credit that had to be used up by October. When we finally sat down to decide on where to travel to.. Seattle was an easy yes for both of us!
We visited Seattle at the start of fall when the cold breeze is flowing in and all of the leaves are beginning to change colors. Such a dreamy time especially because where we are from (Las Vegas), we don’t get much of a fall, ha!
If you only have 3 days in Seattle, you will need an itinerary that is jam-packed with all the famous sites, perfect for a first time visitor. You will get to see Seattle’s Space Needle, Kerry Park, Bainbridge Island for wine tasting, Pike’s Place Market, Gum Wall and SO much more! Lucky for you, everything in this city is very close together, so can easily see multiple things per day.
Even though this Seattle Itinerary is for the fall, you could easily do it at anytime throughout the year! Here we go..
There’s a chance this guide contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking one of the links I might make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that goes towards little Rosie’s dog treats!
Seattle Itinerary Overview
Day 1: Pikes Place Market + Gum Wall
Day 2: Space Needle, Chihuly Garden, and Brewery District (with stops at famous Grey’s Anatomy Sites!)
Day 3: Bainbridge Island Wine Bars
What to Pack for Seattle?
Other than my 10 travel essentials I can’t live without, these are my top 3 recommendations for a trip to Seattle:
1. Travel size umbrella
It’s no secret that it rains a lot in Seattle! It is green for a reason! I bring a travel size umbrella on ALL my trips because it’s so small and fits in my over-the-shoulder purse if I need it. I got mine on amazon for extremely inexpensive and comes in a ton of different colors. Click here for the umbrella I bought!
2. Light Rain coat
It rains almost year round in Seattle, so regardless of the season you travel in, I would bring a light rain coat/wind breaker with you that you can easily throw over whatever outfit you’re in. I live in the desert where it NEVER rains, so I bought the least expensive one I could find. Click here for the rain coat I bought!
3. Rain boots
Rain boots are something I didn’t bring but regretted I didn’t. There is a lot of walking in any big city, especially if you are staying in the downtown area. You will want shoes that are waterproof and dry quickly. Click here for an affordable pair of rain boots!
Where to stay in Seattle?
Anywhere in the downtown area will have you perfectly situated near the famous sites. It is extremely easy to walk everywhere in Seattle, especially when there are cute coffee shops to pop into on every corner! Since this Seattle itinerary is only 3 days, I would definitely recommend staying as close to the sights as possible to save time.
I ended up staying at the Residence Inn by Marriott that was perfectly located downtown! It was a short 15 minute walk to Pikes Place Market and waterfront area. I highly recommend this hotel for their location, smart TV’s in every room, free breakfast AND… Black out shades! What a nice touch, well done Marriott 🙂 Click here to view pricing and availability.
How to get around Seattle?
I don’t recommend you renting a car unless you plan to do a lot of day trips. Because it is a “big” city, traffic can be stressful to drive in and parking is expensive! If you take my recommendation to stay in downtown Seattle, then it is extremely easy to walk to all the main sites.
If you do need to go somewhere not within walking distance, Uber/Lyft is abundant and not overly expensive!
Seattle Itinerary – 3 Perfect Days!
Day 1: Pikes Place Market + Gum Wall
Hop on the earliest flight you can catch so you can get the most out of our first day in Seattle. If you are flying from the West Coast, hopefully you will still get a full day!
Once you land, check into your hotel, grab some much-needed coffee & headed over to Pikes Place Market! You can get coffee literally EVERYWHERE. If you are walking to Pike’s Place Market (which is easily doable if you are staying Downtown) you can grab a coffee on your walk.
Like this photo? It was edited with my one-click Lightroom Presets! Click here to see them 🙂
Pike’s Place Market is a large fishing market situated right on the Puget Sound. Famous for fish mongers tossing fresh fish over the walkways to be wrapped and sold to customers! Expect this place to be bustling at all times and have long waits for sit-down restaurants. I would recommend getting a few “picking” items (Beechers Mac N Cheese is a MUST!!) to go and eat while you walk around!
TIP: Don’t be in a rush while walking through this market. It is extremely packed and you will not get to the end quickly! But hey, that’s part of the charm!
I highly encourage you to go here on your first day so you can pick up some BEAUTIFUL bouquets for your room! I’ve never seen such beautiful flowers like this in my life and they’re only $10!!
After your belly is full of mac n cheese and you’re overwhelmed by the congested crowds, walk downstairs to see the famous Seattle Gum Wall! The entrance to the gum wall area is down a metal flight of stairs located right before the entrance of the market. If you can’t find it, there will be many locals willing to show you the way!
When we arrived at the gum wall, it did not have nearly as much gum as we expected! Later that day we found out that the sugar from the gum is slowly eating away at the brick so they have to start scraping the gum off occasionally, such a bummer! If you ever hate your job, just remember that someone else’s job is scraping pounds of gum off a brick wall in Seattle, YIKES!
The Gum wall is something that is so gross and so ridiculous (people lined up to stick their freshly chewed gum on a brick wall??), but yet… it’s one of those “you have to do it if you’re there” type of things.
If that mac n cheese didn’t hold you over, make sure you have lunch at the famous restaurant “Pink Door.” This Italian restaurant has indoor and outdoor options with a beautiful view. It’s kind of hard to find, especially because the pink door is not a bright pink. It is a light pink that is extremely faded, look for the door pictured below!
The Pink Door is more packed for nighttime because they offer free shows with dinner. If you want to check this place out for dinner, you will need to make a reservation weeks in advance!
End the night watching the sunset at the best rooftop bar in town, The Nest. You can either get a reservation to sit a booth right along the glass for $50/person or you can just walk in and stand at the bar. This rooftop bar has an unobstructed view of the Puget Sound, Pikes Place Market, Ferris Wheel and Bainbridge Island off in the distance.
I would recommend paying the $50/person if you plan to stay and enjoy a few drinks and some appetizers. The bar is PACKED and it takes ten minutes just to get a drink! I truly think it’s worth the extra money to have a designated spot to eat and put your drink down.
Day 2: Space Needle
We started the day with.. you guessed it, coffee! Anchorhead Coffee is a must stop if you love coffee as much as I do. It is a very cozy coffee shop with a cute patio that overlooks the downtown area. I loved this coffee so much that I bought a few bags for souvenirs for my family and friends.
To get to the space needle, you will probably want to Uber/Lyft, especially if it’s raining. You CAN walk, but it will be about 20 minutes or so. If you drive, it’s under 10 minutes away. Up to you, but if you only have 3 Days in Seattle, you don’t want to waste any time! 🙂
I was pretty hesitant to do the Space Needle because its ~$30 per person and sooo touristy, but I can honestly say I’m glad I did it. I’ve been to the top of the Empire State Building in New York City and was not impressed! You go up, take a few pictures and then come right back down. The Space Needle is not like that at all!
They have two floors: The first is a glass bottom that revolves. Super freaky because you can see straight down 500+ft! The second has an indoor and outdoor section. The outdoor section has a glass wall with glass benches that you can sit on, which really gets the palms sweating, ha! The indoor section has a bar where you can enjoy a drink looking out at the beautiful views of the city & Puget Sound.
Plus, for only $10 more, you can wander around the Chihuly glass garden and museum. Doesn’t take long to go all the way through (30-45 minutes), but the detail of these glass sculptures are sooo impressive! If you don’t book your Space Needle tickets in advance, there will likely be a wait until your ticket is called (we waited around 45 minutes). So opting in for the glass garden was a fun way to make the time pass!
If you don’t want to wait and/or see the Chihuly Glass Garden, you can reserve your spot in advance here!
After your touristy fix, head over to Kerry Park to see the gorgeous views of the Seattle Skyline. This park is only a 10 minute Uber/Lyft ride away from the Space Needle area. Kerry Park is a long stretch of grass area situated on top of a hill, which gives you the an unobstructed view of the skyline. Even though this park can be crowded, it’s easy to get a picture with no one in your backdrop because of the shape of the park.
If you’re a Grey’s Anatomy lover like myself, you can see Meredith Grey’s “intern” house just a block away! You will see all the super-fans taking their photo in front of this iconic filming location, but be respectful because people do live there.
Want the exact address of the intern house? I share all the deets in my Grey’s Anatomy Lover’s Guide to Seattle!
One of my favorite moments of the entire trip was walking around the nearby neighborhood, hand-in-hand with my man, dreaming about living in a house like these some day. This picturesque neighborhood has beautiful homes with lush gardens out front. You can only imagine the big money in this area with a view of the Seattle Skyline from every property!
Joseph even picked me a little bouquet from the gardens!
After your done strolling the neighborhood, time to catch another Uber/Lyft north to Gasworks Park for a sunset picnic. This will be about a 10-15 minute drive from Kerry Park and you will pass by a ton of breweries along the way. Seattle is home to SO many great breweries, you can honestly spend an entire day bar hopping them because they are all in a small area of Seattle.
We had some time to kill before sunset so we headed over to this oh-so-popular brewery called Fremont Brewing Company. Twinkly lights, board games, and picnic table-style seating was the perfect atmosphere for a beer flight!
If you have a little extra time to spare, check out the Fremont Troll which is a short 5 minute walk down the road!
We grabbed some Thai food and headed over to Gasworks park. The waterfront view of the Seattle skyline WOULD HAVE been the perfect spot for a sunset picnic….. However, being a Vegas gal and all – I was freezing and the overcast skies made the sunset non-existent. We left shortly after and headed back to the hotel bar for some wine.
If you are in Seattle on a cloudy day, which is extremely likely, I would recommend brewery hopping near Fremont Brewing. Seattle has a TON of great breweries that are all very close to each other. This guide gives really good recommendations for breweries in Seattle!
TIP: Plan a sunset picnic when there’s actually a sunset to watch, ha! Great idea but the darn weather was not on our side that evening!
Day 3: Ferry to Bainbridge Island
The last day of your Seattle Itinerary… 3 day weekends go by way too fast, don’t they!?
We started the morning off getting our second dose of coffee at Anchorhead Coffee (this place is SO good!!) and headed to the ferry terminal to check out Bainbridge Island. Ferries run every hour and the ferry to Bainbridge is about 35 minutes & only $8 per person for a round trip ride! No need to book in advance, you can just walk on.
The ferry ride alone is the highlight of the day because as you drift into Puget Sound, you get an amazing view of the entire Seattle Skyline. There are snacks and drinks you can purchase on the ferry, making the 35 minutes go by VERY fast!
Before you know it you are coasting in to the foresty island of Bainbridge. Once you get off the ferry you can walk right to the main street: Winslow Way (5 min walk) with adorable store front shops, restaurants and wine bars. I really encourage you to go to one of the islands during your time in Seattle because it’s such a contrast to the bustling city life. I really felt like spending a day on an island gave such a well-rounded experience!
We only had a few hours here before our flight, but I would’ve stayed all day! This downtown area was so darling and there were endless shops to explore that are all within walking distance.
We had the yummiest pizza at Bruciato and ended with wine tastings at Eleven & Eagle Harbor.
TIP: Don’t forget to get your pup a souvenir from the dog shop: The Barkery!
- If you have an extra day in Seattle, I would recommend venturing out of the city to see the greener side of Washington! There are hundreds of hikes to choose from.
- We went the last weekend of September and were sooo blessed with the weather! It was partly cloudy and low 70’s the entire time.
- Make reservations at the Pink Door Restaurant for dinner at least a week or two in advance! For only $25 extra you get an entire show with your dinner at this super yummy spot! This place books up SO fast so we could only go for lunch – still worth it though!
Okay, that’s a wrap! I truly loved every piece of this amazing city and can’t wait to go back to spend another 3 days in Seattle! I feel like this Seattle itinerary gives you a little bit of everything: touristy sites, relaxing, foodie stops, and off-the-beaten path. Am I missing any good spots? Let me know in the comments below!
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Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂
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