Nestled in the stunning Pacific Northwest, Seattle is a city offering a blend of natural beauty and cultural charm. With just 24 hours on your hands in Seattle, prepare for a riveting day filled with captivating experiences that will leave you craving more. From sipping coffee at the birthplace of Starbucks to capturing iconic shots of the Space Needle to admiring unique art installations, the Emerald City has something for everyone. Let’s dive into this adventure and discover how to make the most of your time.
How to Spend 24 Riveting Hours in Seattle
Start Your Day at the Original Starbucks or the Starbucks Roastery (8:00 am – 10:00 am)
Fuel up for an exciting day ahead by indulging in a delectable breakfast at one of Seattle’s charming cafes. But why settle for an ordinary coffee shop when you can visit the birthplace of Starbucks and get your caffeine fix there? From 7:00 am onwards, you can pop over to Pike Place Market and step into the legendary Original Starbucks – where the famous lettering can be seen above the door, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air and the walls whisper stories of a humble beginning back in 1971.
Alternatively, if you’re seeking a more immersive coffee experience, visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Capitol Hill. Here, you’ll witness the art of coffee-making at its finest with exceptional blends, unique brewing methods and even the chance to observe the roasting process. Treat yourself to a cup of joe and kick-start your Seattle adventure in style. If you come later in the day, you can order menu items that you wouldn’t associate with Starbucks such as pizza, tiramisu and espresso martinis.
Join the Seattle City History & Landmarks Tour with Totally Seattle (10:00 am – 14:00 pm)
To appreciate the essence of the city, embark on the Seattle City History & Landmarks tour with Totally Seattle. Their knowledgeable and passionate guides can introduce you to the city’s fascinating history, diverse culture and bustling neighborhoods – all while getting transferred around in a luxury vehicle. Those visiting Seattle for just 24 hours or less will love the four hour version of the tour which provides you with a broad overview of Seattle’s top sights. Whether you’re traveling as a couple, family or friends – the itinerary can be adapted to suit each group member’s desires.
Starting with hotel pick-up, you’ll be greeted with flowers from Pike Place Market before setting off on the journey. Then, the options are endless for how you choose to spend the four hours – you could check out Pioneer Square, photograph the most Instagrammable spots in town or even kayak on Lake Union. Throughout the tour, the guide will share interesting stories about Seattle’s past and present-day – enabling you to experience the heart and soul of the city, and gain a deeper appreciation for its history.
Head to the Fremont Neighborhood for Lunch & Shopping (14:00 pm – 15:00 pm)
After a morning of urban exploration, it will be time for lunch. Seattle’s culinary scene offers an array of options to suit every palate. You can indulge in fresh seafood at a waterfront restaurant, opt for a mouthwatering burger at a local favorite or savor a farm-to-table meal at a trendy eatery. But if you’re looking for a bohemian spot that serves up delicious lunches, consider Fremont. Not only is it dotted with fantastic restaurants (such as Local Tide and Kin Len Thai Night Bites) but also art murals and vintage shops – a great place to spend an hour or two.
Learn About Rock Legends at the Museum of Pop Culture (15:00 pm – 17:00 pm)
Touring around the Museum of Pop Culture is a must if you’re visiting Seattle for 24 hours. In particular, the exhibits dedicated to Seattle rock greats Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix will delight all the “musos” out there. You can even channel your inner rock star at the Sound Lab and record your own song. Beyond music, the museum also celebrates all things science fiction and pop culture, including Star Trek and Marvel superhero films, and boasts futuristic architecture designed by Frank Gehry.
Explore the Exquisite Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum (17:00 pm – 19:00 pm)
Steps away from MoPOP lies another masterpiece of artistic excellence: Chihuly Gardens and Glass. Opened in 2012, this museum has been a Seattle attraction for over a decade, featuring a collection of glass art installations by world-renowned local sculptor Dale Chihuly. Heading through the dark and light rooms, where everything from colossal chandeliers to radiant glass flowers can be marveled at, is mesmerizing. In addition to these rooms, the glasshouse and beautifully landscaped gardens with the Space Needle looming in the backdrop are the highlights.
Capture Sunset Shots of Seattle’s Skyline from Kerry Park (19:00 pm – 21:00 pm)
Sunset time varies depending on the time of year you go. However, if you come during summer (June to September) the sun will set around 21:00 pm. So, as the day starts to wind down, make your way to Kerry Park – one of Seattle’s most iconic viewpoints. Located in the Queen Anne neighborhood, this park offers panoramic views of the city skyline, with the majestic Mount Rainier in the background (only visible on clear days). Time your visit right to witness the sunset painting the city in gorgeous colors. Snap some Insta-worthy photos and take a moment to soak in the beauty.
Order Some Finger-Licking Seafood Dishes for Dinner (21:00 pm – 22:00 pm)
Dinner offers another chance to uncover the gastronomic wonders of Seattle, especially the seafood. Since Seattle sources its fish locally and from Alaska, Hawaii and Japan – the restaurants make full use of it all with a variety of seafood-inspired dishes. Whether at Italian bistros or Taiwanese restaurants – there is an unlimited supply of seafood dining options in the Emerald City. Be sure to pair your meal with a local craft beer or glass of Washington wine, and let the flavors of the Pacific Northwest tantalize you.
Embrace Seattle’s Buzzing Nightlife Scene Into the Wee Hours (22:00 pm – Late)
To make every moment of your 24 hours in Seattle count, why not put on your dancing shoes and get ready for a night out on the town? Seattle’s nightlife offers an array of entertainment options – from lively bars serving cocktails and live music venues showcasing local talent, to comedy clubs and theaters hosting enthralling performances. One hotspot is Capitol Hill with its chic lounges and pumping clubs, or you could venture to Jazz Alley for a taste of blues or jazz. Wherever you choose to drink and party, let the energy of the city carry you away into the wee hours of the morning.
Bonus Activity: Visit the Snoqualmie Falls with Totally Seattle (Next Day)
If you’re fortunate enough to have an extra day in Seattle, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Book Totally Seattle’s Snoqualmie Falls, Salish Lodge & Nature Hike tour for a memorable adventure. Marvel at the magnificent Snoqualmie Falls, cascading dramatically into the river below, and set off on a leisurely hike through the lush Pacific Northwest forests. Cap off your day trip with a visit to the picturesque Salish Lodge, where a gourmet two-course meal awaits.
Final Thoughts on Spending 24 Hours in Seattle
There are so many unique things to do in Seattle within a limited time frame – and with the right attitude you can pack in several activities, be it booking tours with Totally Seattle or getting lost in the colorful Fremont neighborhood. Regardless of the experiences you gravitate towards, Seattle will leave an indelible mark on you. Make sure you wake up early, seize the day and soak up the city’s atmosphere well into the night – creating an action-packed 24 hours in Seattle that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.