Seattle & Mt. Rainier Travel Guide

My sister and I just came back from one of the most breathtaking trips I’ve ever been on. She had some flight vouchers to use and neither of us had been to the Pacific Northwest so we figured we’d give it a try. We spent several days in Seattle and I’d love to share with you why we fell in love with the city! Follow along with our trip 🙂

WHAT TO DO

PIKE PLACE MARKET– This bustling farmer’s market, actually established in 1907, is a must-see on any trip to Seattle. We came several times to either shop or grab a snack. The vendors have everything under the sun- flowers, jewelry, fresh produce, clothing, art. I bought some local raspberry honey to bring back to my husband.

Tip: Go on a week day if you can and get there before lunchtime. It can get crowded pretty quickly! We went first on a Thursday morning at about 10 am and it definitely wasn’t too overwhelming. 

Tip: You can take the monorail for only a couple of dollars straight from the Pike Place Market area to the Space Needle!


SPACE NEEDLE- I’m afraid of heights so I was resisting the visit to this Seattle landmark, but my sister insisted we had to experience it, if only to say we did it. This tower houses an observation deck 520 feet in the sky, and an elevator ride takes you all the way to the top. They’ve recently finished renovations and the observation deck includes floor to ceiling glass for an amazing view of the city.

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Tip: Book your tickets online in advance at spaceneedle.com. They allow you to choose a specific time to go up, which cuts down on wait times significantly. We didn’t have to wait long when we did this. 

CHIHULY GARDEN AND GLASS- I wasn’t sure about this one before we went. It’s located right next to the Space Needle and we had time to kill so we gave this a shot. I’m so glad we did! The absolutely gorgeous exhibition of glass artist Dale Chihuly is breathtaking. You walk through beautiful indoor pieces, out to a stunning glasshouse and into some gardens. We spent some time sitting in the gardens, thank goodness we had great weather!

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Tip: When you book your tickets online for the space needle, you can also choose to add on Chihuly Garden and Glass tickets. You save extra when you bundle them this way, which is what we did! 

MT. RAINIER DAY TRIP- This is a MUST if you have time. My sister and I are both nature lovers so we knew we had to get out of the city and explore this national park. There are guided day tours to the park that you can book online, but we opted to just rent a car for the day and it was much cheaper. It’s about a two hour drive to the park entrance and another hour or so to Paradise, if you’re interested in going there inside the park. The hiking was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

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Tip: Be prepared for all kinds of weather. We went in late June and some areas of the park, we wore tank tops only, sometimes we had a light jacket, and sometimes there was snow!!

I also really recommend purchasing a Seattle CityPass, which lets you see multiple attractions for a reduced rate. I didn’t know about it until after the fact but I wish we would have done it because we could have visited all the main attractions in Seattle for a great price!
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WHERE TO EAT

CINNAMON WORKS– We came here twice on our trip for yummy gluten-free and/or vegan treats! Located in Pike Place Market, this bakery offers up lots of baked-good options for breakfast or dessert. I got a vegan gluten free chocolate chip cookie and a mouthwatering cinnamon muffin. If you have any food allergies, you must go here!

LOLA– Located in downtown Seattle, this modern Greek restaurant was a great choice for lunch on our first day. The food was yummy and the atmosphere sophisticated and lively.

LARK– This swanky little restaurant was our one splurge of the trip and boy was it AMAZING. I have to say, the food shocked me with how tasty it was. The menu here features locally-produced and organic cheese, charcuterie, vegetables, grains, fish, and meats, all prepared in season.

HOMEGROWN– This place was wonderful for a healthy, hearty breakfast before we headed off on our drive to Mt. Rainier. They offer lots of options for food allergies/dietary preferences. And everything is sustainably sourced!

WHERE TO STAY

CAPITOL HILL DISTRICT– Seattle can be really expensive as far as places to stay. When we looked downtown, the hotels were just so far out of our budget, so we decided to stay slightly out of the hustle and bustle in this awesome part of town called Capitol Hill. It’s a close walk to all of the attractions, has quaint restaurants and bars, and is much cheaper than staying downtown! We loved it there.

Have you been to Seattle or are you planning a trip? What’s on your list of must-see’s? I can’t wait to go back and do some more hiking.

*This post contains affiliate links but as always, all travel plans and ideas are booked without sponsorship!*

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4 thoughts on “Seattle & Mt. Rainier Travel Guide

  1. Bryan Fagan says:

    I was born and raised 80 miles north of Seattle. When I was little we would travel on weekends to visit my great-grandmother. The city was exciting and intimidating. Being from a small farming town Seattle was another world. In a way it still is.

    I live in Eugene, Oregon but the memories of Seattle run deep and they always will. Thanks for taking me down memory lane. Looks like you had lots of fun.

    Like

  2. Tracy says:

    My husband and I will be going to Seattle in 39 days. We are staying there for 2 days before going on a cruise to alaska. We are so excited!

    Like

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