Attractions & More in the Seattle Area
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.
Great Neighborhood Restaurants, as featured in our “Night out in the Neighborhood” Special:
Capitol Hill Restaurant: Monsoon, Altura or Coastal Kitchen
Ballard Restaurant: Walrus and the Carpenter
Green Lake / Phinney Ridge Restaurant: Nell’s or RockCreek
South Seattle Restaurant: 909 Coffee & Wine, or Tin Room
Other Classic Seattle Favorites:
Downtown Innkeeper Favorites: Serious Pie, Terra Plata and The Pink Door
Starbucks Reserve and Roastery: Introducing a one-of-a kind coffee shrine in our hometown that captures the past, present and future of Starbucks.
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
Daniels 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.
THE SEATTLE AREA – SIGHTSEEING TRIPS
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.
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. 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: Puget Sound Express offers whale watching tours out of Edmonds located just 30 minutes north of downtown Seattle. See whales in the wild, departing from Edmonds, a short drive north of downtown Seattle. The Chilkat Express is the fastest whale watching boat in the Northwest, connecting you with whales in the San Juan Islands and Salish Sea.
San Juan Islands: If you have your heart set on visiting the San Juan Islands 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.
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 National Park: 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 Boat Show
Northwest Flower and Garden Show
Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
Taste Washington is a 4 day food and wine lover’s dream
Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival
Seattle Yacht Club – Opening day of the boating season
Seattle International Film Festival
University District Street Fair
Northwest Folklife Festival
Seafair Pirates Landing
Ballard Seafood Fest
Seafair and Air Show and Hydroplane raceshttps://www.seafair.com/
St.Demetrious Greek Festival
Bumbershoot Labor Day weekend
Italian Festival – Seattle Center
Seattle Earshot Jazz Festival
Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair – In the Exhibition Hall at Seattle Center
Bellevue Christmas Lights – Bellevue Botanical Gardens
Magic in the Market – Pike Place Market
Nutcracker Ballet – Pacific Northwest Ballet
Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo