There are a wide variety of things to do during your visit to Seattle, as the city is rich in parks, museums, interesting shops, gourmet restaurants, entertainment, beaches, and spectacular vistas. Seattle is a very “walkable” city with an excellent public transportation system. There are also many scenic day trips within a few hours of Seattle. Your innkeeper is an invaluable resource for enjoying the city, recommending sights, events, and restaurants, and providing directions.
The period of May through September can be quite a busy time for our Seattle B&Bs. Advance reservations are recommended. Weekends fill most rapidly, so if you are able to choose midweek travel days for your Seattle stay, you may find more dates from which to choose. Most B&Bs have a minimum stay requirement during the summer months, although you may find one-night openings especially midweek.
If you are ready to make a reservation or you are simply at a point where you would like more information, please check our online availability and/or call the innkeeper at any inn directly. You will find member innkeepers happy to answer any questions you might have about their B&B and about Seattle. We invite you to ask about the inn and the rooms that appeal to you most. You can use the guide on our Amenities page to find the accommodations that are best suited to you. Personal attention to your selection of rooms and of a B&B is part of the unique Seattle travel experience that we offer.
THE SEATTLE AREA – RESTAURANTS
Innkeepers’ Favorite Restaurants
Seattle is a town for eating, everything from seafood – a Northwest specialty – with Washington wines, to any ethnic taste you desire. Each neighborhood and the downtown area have a large variety of restaurants to tempt your palate. The innkeepers have their favorite neighborhood places and will be happy to help you select the place that’s best for you. Since many of Seattle’s finest places do require reservations, we thought we’d list our top favorites should you want to make a reservation before you leave home. For more information on area restaurants, we suggest looking at Open Table: Seattle Restaurants and Restaurant Row Web sites.
Great Neighborhood Restaurants, as featured in our “Night out in the Neighborhood” Special:
Capitol Hill Restaurant: Poppy or Olivar
Ballard Restaurant: Volterra or Walrus and the Carpenter
University District Restaurant: Pair or Frank’s Oysterhouse and Champagne Parlor
Green Lake / Phinney Ridge Restaurant: Eva or Stumbling Goat Bistro
South Seattle Restaurant: Bistro Baffi
Central District Restaurant: That’s Amore
Queen Anne Restaurant: Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge
Other Classic Seattle Favorites:
Ray’s Boathouse: Featuring Northwest seafood with a view of the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound – this is one of Seattle’s top spots for locals and tourists. Dining is available inside or outside. The deck is our favorite spot to watch the sunset and once the sun is down, they’ll even give you a blanket to wrap up in while you finish dinner. 206-789-3770
Wild Ginger: Seattle’s most popular Asian restaurant – this one does require reservations to be sure you get a spot. As one innkeeper puts it, “I’ve never gotten a bad review from a guest about this restaurant.” 206-623-4450
The Flying Fish: One of Seattle’s best and most often written about seafood spots. It’s located at South Lake Union. 206 728-8595
Daniel’s Broiler: For meat eaters, this is our favorite place. You may have read about other more famous places for steak in this seafood town, but this is the one we frequent. With locations on Lake Washington and on Lake Union, you can view the water and have your excellent steak with all the trimmings and a great bottle of wine (and yes, they do broil seafood too!). On Lake Union: 206-621-8262. On Lake Washington: 206-329-4191.
Palisade: Great seafood and fabulous views. Located on Elliot Bay Marina, with views of the boats, city, and Puget Sound, this one is hard to beat. Seafood served simply grilled or with Asian-influenced sauces, the food is hard to beat, and the decor includes a tidal pool and waterfall. The view inside is almost as good as the view outside, and … one innkeeper highly recommends the trio of burnt-cream custard for the perfect finishing touch! 206-285-1000.
There are many things to see in Seattle, beyond the famed Pike Place Market. We have put together a list of other things to entertain you while staying in the city.Pike Place Market
A must-see Farmers’ Market established in 1907 with a huge selection of fruits, veggies, meats, bakery items, fresh-cut flowers, local crafts and great eateries.Olympic Sculpture Park
Located along Seattle’s downtown waterfront, this nine-acre industrial site has been transformed into a green space for art.Seattle Great Wheel
Seattle’s huge Ferris wheel with 42 fully enclosed gondolas extends 40 feet over Elliott Bay giving you great views in every direction.Seattle Aquarium
Located at Pier 59 boasts a huge variety of sea life for all ages to enjoy.Seattle Art Museum
Located in the heart of the city magnificent displays of art from all over the world.Washington State Ferries
Hop one of many ferries at Pier 52 for a sail across Elliott Bay.Pioneer Square
A 20-block neighborhood with multiple galleries and stylish restaurants.
Once the tallest building west of the Mississippi — visit the Chinese Room on the 35th floor for great views of the city along with Mt. Rainier.
Visit Seattle’s history by viewing it from underground in this popular tour beginning in Pioneer Square.
Klondike Gold Rush Museum National Historical Park
The smallest National Park that shares the story of the early days of Seattle’s Gold Rush.
A single-rail train that travels 1.3 miles between downtown Westlake Center and the base of the Space Needle and the Seattle Center grounds.
Space Needle / Seattle Center
605 feet up you can enjoy the best views of the city and especially from the rotating restaurant at the top. The Seattle Center was the home of the 1962 World’s Fair.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
An exquisite display of blown glass in a glasshouse setting and also an outdoor garden.
Experience Music Project & Science Fiction Museum
Interactive music museum that combines state-of-the-art technology along with science fiction and pop culture.
Pacific Science Center
Fascinating and imaginative hands-on displays of science and arts with learning opportunities for children of all ages.
Museum of History & Industry
The home of thousands of items sharing the growth of Seattle and the Puget Sound area.
Center for Wooden Boats
Maritime history preserved for future generations located on Lake Union along with boat rentals that take you out on the lake.
Gas Works Park
Rusting hunks of the remains of the Seattle Gas Light Company situated on a knob of land on the shores of Lake Union is a great place to watch sailboats and seaplanes come and go.
A 12-mile biking and walking trail that runs from Ballard along Lake Union and Gas Works Park through the University of Washington campus and continues to the shores of Lake Washington.
Henry Art Gallery
An exceptional display of 19th and 20th century art including Japanese ceramics and American and European paintings.
Washington Park Arboretum & Japanese Garden
200-acre park and botanical research facility for the University of Washington along with colorful displays of blooming azaleas, dogwoods and flowering cherry trees each spring.
Seattle Asian Art Museum
An extensive display of Asian art located on the grounds of Volunteer Park with its historic Conservatory.
A narrow strip of greenery with some of the best views of Elliott Bay, the Space Needle, downtown and, if the weather cooperates, Mt Rainier too.
Woodland Park Zoo
92-acre park has pioneered the concept of naturalistic habitats for many interesting creatures for all to see.
Hiram M Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks)
A working canal that transports commercial and leisure boats from saltwater to fresh water right in a matter of minutes.
Future of Flight
Tour the commercial assembly plant of the Boeing Company located at Paine Field in Everett, WA.
Flying Heritage Collection
A private historic collection of aircraft and ground weaponry located at Paine Field in Everett, WA.
The “Birthplace of Seattle” is a wonderful place to stroll the beach anytime of the year and attracts shiny cars and sunbathers during the summer months.
Museum of Flight
An impressive collection representing the entire aircraft industry enjoyable to all ages.
Chinese Gardens at South Seattle Community College
This six-acre garden is the home of The Song Mei Pavilion designed and fabricated in Chongqing China for the City of Seattle.
This multi-use park is located on the shores of Puget Sound with a salt-water pool, walking trails, and tennis courts.
Log House Museum
Known as the “Birthplace of Seattle,” this restored 1904 log building shares the story of the first settlers arriving in Seattle and is located just one block from Alki Beach.
INNKEEPERS’ FAVORITE DAY TRIPS
Western Washington offers plenty of sights within driving distance – in fact, the countryside is so beautiful that the drive is half the fun!
Water Falls and Hiking: Enjoy a day in what Seattle refers to as the ‘Eastside’ and ‘Foothills’. Drive out to Snoqualmie Falls with its viewing deck and the ‘Twin Peaks Lodge’. Take a hike to the bottom of the falls, or for the more enthusiastic hiker, continue driving east another 15 miles and hike up to an alpine lake. Closer yet, hike up Mt. Si or Tiger Mountain for spectacular views of the entire central Puget Sound.
Wineries: If you are not into hiking, then we suggest visiting some of the more than 100 wineries in the Woodinville area; most notably Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Winery, both next to the Redhook Brewery. Downtown Kirkland is worth a little stroll among the shops and the waterfront if the weather is good as it is just west of the wineries on the northeast shore of Lake Washington.
Islands: North of the city, we believe that Whidbey Island is a great day trip. Drive north about 30 minutes to the Mukilteo Ferry dock for the short ride to the southern tip of the Whidbey Island. The island is 30+ miles long and narrow. The highlights being Langley and Coupeville for antiques and lunch, Ebby’s Landing for a peaceful walk on the beach with a great view, and Deception Pass at the top of the island for a little hike and great pictures. You can be back in the city for dinner.
Seaplane Excursion: Flying a seaplane off the water from Seattle is a Northwest must-do. Visit www.kenmoreair.com. We recommend a day trip to Victoria or the San Juan Islands on Kenmore Air, the leader in the seaplane world. Flight times are about 45 minutes. You can enjoy a full day away, without long lines or wasting time en route. Return to Seattle in time for dinner, theatre, or a ballgame. Kenmore Air offers two Seattle area terminals, downtown on Lake Union and their home base on North Lake Washington. Or try their 20-minute flight-seeing options over downtown Seattle.
Whale Watching: If you have your heart set on visiting the San Juan Islands and going on a whale watching tour, the best way to do it on a day trip is to drive about 90 minutes to Anacortes and walk on the Ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Enjoy a beautiful ferry ride, a great little town with shopping and restaurants, whale watching tours and sea kayaking, and then take the early evening ferry back to your car in Anacortes. In the summer months, the Victoria Clipper runs a high-speed catamaran to Friday Harbor from downtown Seattle. Not up for such a long day? There is also a tour service out of Everett about 40 minutes north of Seattle that offers in-season whale watching tours.
Tulips: Also north is the town of LaConner, about 75 minutes by car. It is best known for the center of the Tulip Festival in April each year, but is worth a visit all year long for antiquing and strolling. Another town nearby that is better known for antiquing is Snohomish, which is a bit closer, but not on the water.
Bavarian Charm: For a little longer drive, Leavenworth, a quaint Bavarian theme town, is less than a two and a half-hour drive through the mountains past the Stevens Pass ski area that offers great hiking in the summer months.
Victoria, B.C.: Victoria is a great town that can be seen in one day if you take the Victoria Clipper in the morning. Take the bus to the Buchart Gardens first thing, then come back to Victoria and spend the afternoon and early evening having high tea, visit the BC Museum or Craigdarroch Castle, and stroll around the town. The Clipper will have you back in Seattle by 9 PM. The other alternative would be to take a Kenmore Air seaplane from Lake Union in the heart of Seattle up to Victoria Harbor, a fun experience with great views of the area.
Olympic Mountains: For those wishing to see the Olympic Mountains to the west of Seattle, in the late spring to early fall, you can take a ferry across the Puget Sound and drive up north to Hurricane Ridge, which is near Port Angeles. The hike to the top affords some spectacular views of the range and across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Vancouver Island. The Hoh and Quinault rain forests on the west side of the Olympic National Park are at least a 3-½ hour drive each way and are great. Remember though that it is a ‘rain forest’, so it rains often and a lot.
Across the Sound: For a shorter day trip across the Puget Sound, we recommend taking a ferry from downtown to Bainbridge Island. The Bloedel Botanical Gardens are the best in the area, but require a reservation–206-842-7631. Poulsbo is a sleepy little Scandinavian town just off the north end of the Island with a fabulous bakery and antique shops.
Volcano: To the south, there is our resident active Volcano within just a few hours’ drive. The Mt. St. Helens Johnson Observatory and Interpretive Center views of the landscape are both educational and awe-inspiring. Enjoy good hikes and surprising wildlife.
Mount Rainier: Certainly, the ‘granddaddy’ of all day trips is Mt. Rainier and the encompassing National Park. Be reminded that all those pictures that you see of Mt. Rainier with the snow on it are true. It is huge and dominates the vistas from up to 150 miles away. The low trails are great for most of the year, but the high trails at Paradise and Sunrise are best after mid-June into early October.
We have very long days in the summer months with up to 16 hours of daylight at its peak. It does of course rain in the Seattle area, which means the foliage is lush and green, and our gardens start blooming in February all the way into October. The summer months are the best with very little rain, low humidity, few bugs, and temperatures rarely above 90 degrees in July, August, and September. In the spring and fall, the rainfall of a “rainy day” often comes at night and in the morning hours with beautiful afternoons. Snow is rare, but when it does happen, we just kind of slow down and enjoy its beauty until it melts that afternoon or the next day.
THE SEATTLE AREA – EVENTS
Seattle Yacht Club – Opening day of the boating season
Seattle International Film Festival
University District Street Fair
Northwest Folklife Festival
Seattle Art Museum – Rembrant, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House of London
St.Demetrious Greek Festival – Sep. 13 – 15, 2013
Fremont Oktoberfest – Sep. 20 – 22, 2013
Italian Festival – Seattle Center – Sep. 28 – 29, 2013
Bellevue Christmas Lights – Bellevue Botanical Gardens – Nov. 24, 2013 – Jan. 4, 2014
Macy’s Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting – Downtown Seattle – Nov. 29, 2013
Magic in the market – Pike Place Market – Nov. 29, 2013
Dine Around Seattle
Nutcracker Ballet – Pacific Northwest Ballet – Dec. 1 – 29, 2013
Winter Beer Fest – Dec. 6 – 7, 2013