It would be terrible to spend money and time visiting a new city only to have everything ruined because you didn’t plan properly. It’s much better to settle a few things before you depart for Seattle so you can have one of the best trips ever. Let’s discover everything you should know to guarantee a fantastic Seattle vacation!
Shop at Pike Place Market
Every person visiting Seattle for the first time must make some time for a Pike Place Market visit. While some believe it’s just a farmer’s market, it’s so much more than that! It has the greatest food Seattle can offer, and going there will make your vacation one of the best trips ever. Check out Le Panier, DeLaurenti’s, Cherry Street Coffee, and more.
You can also shop around for things like indoor wooden furniture and other goods, but the food is usually the main event. As a tourist, you need to visit certain things like Rachel, a bronze pig statue, and remember to take a picture with her. Also, go underground because there’s so much to the market on the lower levels that most people miss because the public center is much more popular.
You can make your mark on the gum wall, which is a place where a comedy group from the ’90s started sticking their used gum. It was supposed to stop theater attendees from damaging seats, and it became an iconic part of the culture. Also, The Pink Door, an Italian restaurant, is always a crowd-pleaser and perfect for Instagram photos because of the cabaret, trapeze, and burlesque shows.
Take Care Driving Through the Mountains
This wouldn’t be one of the best trips ever if something happened to your car. Therefore, you need to check a few things if you’re planning a road excursion to Seattle. It’s a mountainous area, which can be dangerous and unpredictable. First, having your paperwork in check is essential, so make sure your driver’s license, AAA, and all other information is up-to-date. Talk to a car insurance agent if you don’t have an updated policy.
You can save some places on your phone and GPS apps, but always keep a paper map in your car because cell service and the internet can be spotty. Make sure you mark where you’re going and try to be careful. Once you’re on the road, try to drive at a normal speed, but if you’re going slower than experienced drivers, pull over at a legal spot to let people pass. That’s a fantastic way to avoid accidents and road rage.
Go slowly while descending mountains. You’ll want to press your brakes often, but shifting to a lower gear is much better than wearing them out. If you’re going uphill, try turning off your air conditioning because it can heat your car. Always follow road signs and keep an eye out for wildlife. Driving inside Seattle is no different from other cities, but remember that it’s a rainy area, so you’ll need to take precautions.
Eat at Elliot’s Oyster House
An amazing way to have one of the best trips ever is to visit all the famous places in the city. Elliot’s Oyster House is a staple at Pier 56. You don’t want to miss a chance to eat there. In the 1800s, Pier 56 was known as Arlington Dock, which was later destroyed during the Great Seattle Fire of 1889.
It was rebuilt by the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1902 because of the gold rush. It was called Pier 5 then, but the U.S. government renamed it during WWII. This restaurant has more than a coastal theme wallpaper. It has the best ocean view and, naturally, some of the greatest food.
It’s now owned by the E3 Restaurant Group, which has other businesses around the Pacific area. The food they serve, especially seafood, is harvested with sustainable practices to keep from affecting the environment. Their menu focuses on oysters, but they have clams, mussels, Dungeness crab, and salmon. They also work with several non-profits in Seattle.
Watch Your Spending
It’s rather easy to get carried away with money when you’re in Seattle. It’s an expensive city, but that doesn’t mean you need a huge budget to visit. You can keep things as budget-friendly as possible and maintain a set daily amount if you follow certain tips. You want to avoid going into debt negotiation later. Make this one of the best trips ever by using public transit. Even if you took your car, it’s often better to leave it somewhere and use the monorail or streetcars.
Try not to use services like Uber or Lyft because that can drive up your expenses quickly. Finding a place to stay outside downtown Seattle is also a good idea. You can visit the best spots anytime, but touristy areas are always more expensive. You can easily reserve a nice hotel or AirBnB in one of the outer neighborhoods.
You’ll be tempted to try all the sit-down restaurants, but the prices of some can be pretty high. According to Travel Lemming, you may end up spending over $35 per meal per person, so it’s much better to eat at food trucks, delis, bars, and hidden places. Hole-in-the-wall takeaway is some of the best food in the city.
Tune Up Your Vehicle Before
As mentioned, you must take certain precautions before going on this road trip. You need auto repairs before you even start, so ensure your exhaust system is in good shape. Anything wrong could decrease engine power, which is terrible if you want to explore this mountain region. Also, it can cause poor fuel efficiency, meaning you’ll be spending a lot more on gas than necessary.
Get the steering and suspension checked and adjusted because you want a smooth drive, especially if you’re traveling with kids. This won’t be one of the best trips ever if anyone gets car sick due to bumpiness. Your tires and alignment should also be a priority. Getting a flat tire in the middle of the road is not only a nuisance, it’s dangerous.
You need to have proper tire pressure, ensure the tire wear isn’t too bad, and get an inspection. Always have a spare tire available. Your brakes also deserve a check-up because the conditions in Seattle can often be tricky. You want your system to be in perfect shape just in case it rains, and you must drive slowly.
Prepare for Plenty of Rain
Seattle is one of the rainiest cities in the world, so you need to prepare for it. You don’t want anything to mess with your daily plans. You won’t have to worry about fixing your house, checking your rain gutters, and updating your windows, although that’s always a good idea when leaving town. Still, you should focus on having one of the best trips ever.
Therefore, check the weather forecast while planning and every day in the morning. Knowing what to expect and what you should wear before going outside is ideal. You must pack rain boots, rain jackets, umbrellas, etc., so you can still go outside. Check your cell service in case you need to change providers, and do it before starting your trip.
Picking suitable routes for your road trip is a great way to avoid accidents and reach your destination quickly. Also, remember to note rest stops and gas stations. Your windshield wipers also need to be in top shape unless you plan to use public transportation, as recommended above. Other tips include keeping mosquito repellent on hand and having a fully charged power bank.
Climb the Mountains Around Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak is one of the best parts of a trip to Washington State, so don’t hesitate to leave Seattle for a while to check out all the mountainous attractions. This place is one of five volcanoes, and reaching the summit will make this experience more fantastic. Just remember to be careful at any wilderness spot and national park. Stay away from unexplored places, and don’t climb a wood fence just to get a nice picture.
Keep your hiking and climbing gear on hand, talk to authorities, get permits, always keep a cell phone, and make sure you have proper outfits for the area. According to Summit Post, the most standard route starts with a simple hiking road through the woods, but then you’ll reach a junction to Pilot Ridge and Johnson Mountain.
Fortunately, it’s still mostly flat until you reach the Mackinaw shelter. Mark that place, as it’s a great spot to set up a tent, recharge, get some water, and decide what to do next. If you continue, you’ll start going up and will see all the best parts of Sloan Peak, Indian Head, White Mountain, and more.
Find a Quality Place to Stay
Whether on a budget or not, you must find a good place to stay to have one of the best trips ever. It doesn’t have to be the fanciest place unless you plan to stay inside most of the time. You just need a safe spot to leave your belongings and sleep at night. As recommended above, you can look for cheaper options outside of downtown Seattle.
However, downtown is a great area closer to the action and tourist places. Pioneer Square and Belltown are the most popular options for accommodations among visitors. Still, consider Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, and South Union Lake, which are all beautiful and not that far from the center of town. It’ll feel a little more homey without hiring heating services.
You can find the Embassy Suites, Lotte Hotel, and Ace Hotel downtown. The Belltown Inn, Hyatt Regency, and the Kimpton Palladian Hotel are great options, too. These places may be expensive depending on the season and the kind of room you pick, so you have to decide if they’re worth it. Otherwise, research other options, like Airbnb’s.
Explore the Olympic National Forest
You may be planning to visit only Seattle and its touristy areas but consider going to other places nearby, like the Olympic National Forest. It’ll make this vacation one of the best trips ever. It’s a World Heritage Site, meaning it should be on every traveler’s bucket list. It’s also designed for nature lovers, tourists, hikers, and more, so there’s plenty to do whether your family likes the wilderness or not. You don’t need to be interested in a tree service to check it out.
You just need to plan your activities before going to the park because the area is extensive. You may want to do everything, but that will only tire you out. Remember that the summer is the busiest time of the year, so you should make a reservation at the earliest possible for the campsites. There are a few accommodations inside the park but also several lodges outside.
Always check the park calendar on the website for more information and planned activities. During high season, things will be more expensive, so plan your vacation accordingly. Keep in mind that trips are supposed to be enjoyable. Don’t schedule too much or worry about your budget constantly.
Go to the Space Needle
One of the main attractions in Seattle is the Space Needle, whether you want to visit the restaurant or not. You can still go up and see the view of the city. Remember to check for ticket prices and availability. The attraction is open every day but could close for private events and special occasions.
According to Travel In USA, purchasing the Seattle CityPASS is a good idea, which gives you access to the Space Needle and other attractions, like the Seattle Aquarium and the Museum of Pop Culture. If you’re not afraid of heights, check out The Louper at the Space Needle, an area with a glass floor.
You may enjoy the food of The Atmos Cafe, which consists of typical American dishes. However, you can also eat at places nearby, like Queen Anne Beer Hall, Collections Cafe, and La Marzocco Cafe. Some people forgo the Space Needle for other places with great views, like the Columbia Center’s Sky View, Smith Tower, and the Water Tower Observation Deck.
Now that you know these tips to have one of the best trips ever, start planning, fixing your car, booking hotels, and settling on a schedule. It’s much better to know where you’ll stay and visit each day to keep things organized and within a budget. Afterward, you just need to enjoy yourself!