My trip to Seattle had been a long time coming. It was a place my brother and I had tried to convince my parents would be a good family trip over and over. Then, for his high school graduation, I decided my present would be taking him out there (with a little help from my parents). So, we booked a hotel in between downtown and Capitol Hill, I bought our flights almost entirely with points (score!), got ourselves an orca transit card, and went on our way.
While we were planning things to do, I realized I could also use points to buy Seattle City Passes, which made them almost half price. Typically I don’t like feeling restricted on things like this, but it allowed us to do many of the things we were planning to do for way less money.
The Seattle City pass includes:
- day and night admission to the Space Needle
- admission to the Seattle Aquarium
- a boat tour of the harbor
- admission to Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) OR Woodland Park Zoo
- Admission to Chihuly Garden and Glass OR Pacific Science Center
Accompanied with a dinner at the top of the Space Needle, we were able to go three times. We then decided on the zoo and the Pacific Science Center.
We only had a little over three days in the city, so we had to plan strategically to be able to fit everything in while still finding time to visit all of the restaurants we planned on. Here’s how we did it:
We planned the days by location.Our hotel was pretty central and we were easily able to walk to everything (we ended walking nearly 40 miles that weekend). So our first day, we checked out pike place market and some of the downtown shopping. Then we hit the ground running with our city pass the next day, by mapping the remainder of our trip.
Stop 1: Aquarium
The aquarium was so lovely. I am pretty spoiled having the shedd aquarium at home, but this one did not disappoint. My favorite part was being able to sit outside on the pier, while still technically being inside the aquarium.
Stop 2: Harbor Tour
I have to admit we had some trouble finding the pier for this tour, but once we did it was smooth sailing (literally). We sat on near the stern of the boat and floated around the harbor for a couple of hours learning about Seattle and seeing some amazing views of the city and Mount Rainier.
Stop 3: Zoo
The zoo was our only destination not in walking distance. But our orca cards saved the day. We took a bus that dropped us off directly in front of the entrance and spent the next couple of hours browsing. It was a Sunday, so it was full of families and kids but it was fun nonetheless.
Stop 4: Pacific Science Center
This was the only thing included in the city pass that didn’t quite meet expectations. I’m not sure what we expected, but this was essentially a children’s interactive museum. However, the laser show made up for it. The Pacific Science Center and the Space Needle are right next to each other, so it’s easy to hit both in one go. Plus, there was a festival happening in the park between the two which made our time there even more enjoyable.
Stop 5: Space Needle:
This was by far the stand out of the trip, but only because we had dinner at the top. The Sky City restaurant is just below the observation desk and it revolves around the needle, making one full rotation every 47-minutes. The observation level was cool, but we wentup there after our meal. So we had already seen a 360 view of the city. Of course, the food is pricey, but it was delicious and the service was fantastic. Honestly, the food could have been awful and the experience would have been worth it.
- Lil’ Woodys
This burger place was just around the corner from our hotel and it was so good we almost went twice. What can be better than a good burger and well-made milkshake?
- Machiavelli Ristorante
After not being seated at another italian place because my brother wasn’t 21, we were able to eat here after nearly an hour wait. The place was small and cozy with lots of open windows to let the spring breeze in. The food, wine, and service were fantastic and well-worth the wait. Plus, we sneakily watched as a couple across from us was breaking up and trying to keep it together at dinner. It was brutal, but admittedly entertaining.
- Regal Cinemas
After two days of extensive walking, we took it easy one evening with a movie at regal cinemas. It has fully reclining seats and tray tables which made it a theatre to remember