Seattle Itinerary 3 Days in Seattle, Washington by

Seattle Itinerary: 3 Days in Seattle, Washington

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Creating a Seattle Itinerary can be quite the task! Seattle is brimming with cool cafes, iconic sights and incredible nature. Spending 3 days in Seattle, Washington is just enough time to get acquainted with the city, visit top attractions and sample the local fare. To help fellow travelers plan their Seattle trip, we designed a perfect Seattle 3-Day Itinerary that features the absolute best of the city.


About Our Seattle Itinerary

Our Seattle, Washington 3-Day Itinerary is comprised of a detailed day-by-day Seattle trip plan. We feature the best things to do in Seattle – including tours, attractions and food. Because there are so many things to see in Seattle in 3 days, we have limited our recommendations to places and experiences that are unique to Seattle.


3 Days in Seattle Itinerary FAQs

Before we get to our outline of what to do in Seattle for 3 days, we want to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about our Seattle trip plan. 


Are there Free Things To Do in the Seattle, Washington Itinerary?

Yes! While many of the things to do in Seattle are ticketed attractions that cost money, we do highlight the top neighborhood exploration and free Seattle activities, as well. 


Can I Use this Seattle Itinerary for Families? 

Sure! Throughout the post, we offer many kid-friendly attractions that will be fun for the whole family. 


Do you Provide Tips on How To Plan a Trip to Seattle?

Absolutely! In addition to our tips for how to see Seattle in 3 days, we also provide pertinent travel info – like how to get there, where to stay and what to pack. 


3 Days in Seattle, Washington

Travelers planning a long weekend in Seattle might be wondering, Is 3 days in Seattle enough – or is it too long? From our experience, we think 72 hours in Seattle is just enough time to get a good feel for the city. 

Therefore, below, we have outlined how to spend three perfect days in Seattle.

However, we know not everyone has plans to visit Seattle in 3 days, so we share our tips for shorter (and longer) Seattle itineraries at the end of the post. Whether you are planning how to visit Seattle in a day, are spending 2 days in Seattle or have a full week, our Seattle trip planner suggestions will help you plan your time in the Emerald City.


SEATTLE ITINERARY: What To See in Seattle in 3 Days

View of the Seattle Skyline, Washington State, USA

Our itinerary provides a succinct plan for seeing Seattle in three days. In addition to our tips for how to spend 3 days in Seattle, we also offer advice on alternate activities that you might want to include. In short, this Three Days in Seattle Itinerary includes everything you need to plan your vacation!

Save, Bookmark or Pin our Seattle Travel Guide to plan your trip to Washington State!


Day 1 of Your Seattle 3-Day Itinerary

On Day 1 of your 3-Day itinerary for Seattle visit the city’s most iconic landmarks. After checking into your accommodations (recommendations below), head straight for Pike Place Market, then wander along the harbor at the Seattle Waterfront Park and make your way to the iconic Space Needle.

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Pike Place Market

Visiting Pike Place Market is practically mandatory on your Seattle 3 Day Itinerary – which is why it is where we suggest starting your vacation. 

Opened in 1907, Pike Place Market is a multi-storied farmer’s market and one of Seattle’s top attractions. Covering 9 acres, the expansive 24-building market was established as a place where shoppers could meet the farmers, butchers and bakers face-to-face.

In addition to the produce, meat and fresh baked goods for sale, Pike Place Market is home to numerous craft vendors, antique shops and top Seattle restaurants.


Planning a Trip to Seattle Pike Place Market: What To See, Do and Eat

Some must-see Seattle sights at the market are the famous salmon-tossing fishmongers at the Pike Place Fish Market, Rachel the bronze piggy bank, the original Starbucks, the infamous Market Theater Gum Wall and the bright red Seattle Public Market Center sign.

However, the real draw of the market and the reason it is a must on a 3 day trip to Seattle is the food…and there is plenty of it!

Nearly impossible to pick just one place to eat, we recommend grazing your way through the market. One thing not to miss, however, is a plate of Seattle’s own Chowder Fries from the famous Pike Place Chowder.

Looking for an upscale dining experience for your Seattle three day itinerary? Inconspicuously located down Post Alley, The Pink Door is an iconic Italian eatery. 

Pro Tip: For the best introduction to the massive market during your weekend in Seattle, we highly recommend joining a tour. Local guides will help you navigate your way through the market to the best Seattle bites and shops – all while filling you in on the spectacular market history. Reserve your spot!


Seattle Great Wheel

A relatively new attraction on Elliott Bay, the Seattle Great Wheel is a 175-foot-tall Ferris wheel standing proudly on Pier 57 since 2012 – and it’s a must for your Seattle Itinerary.

Visitors can hop on for a spin and enjoy the magnificent views of Seattle. That said, personally, we like the view of the wheel, which lights up at night with a dazzling display of 500,000 LED lights.


Waterfront Park Seattle

When planning a trip to Seattle, don’t skip the Waterfront Park. Originally called Schwabacher Wharf when it was developed in the late 1800s, the old Seattle docks were transformed into a park in the 1960s.

Seattle Waterfront Park consists of several viewing platforms – and there are tables, benches and telescopes for visitors to use.


Space Needle and Seattle Center

Next up on your Seattle, Washington 3 Day Itinerary is the famous Space Needle. From downtown Seattle, hop on the Monorail (or into an Uber) and ride uphill to the Seattle Center, a 74-acre park built for the 1962 World’s Fair.

The landmark Space Needle – standing at 605 feet – is the centerpiece of the park. Getting an up close view of it is a must on your Seattle 3 Day Itinerary – especially if it is your first time in Seattle.

Visitors can take the elevators up to the observation deck, which offers stunning 360-degree views of Seattle, Puget Sound, Bainbridge Island and (hopefully) Mt Rainier. Tickets to the Space Needle are included with the Seattle CityPass – which we talk more about later.

Other top attractions at the Seattle Center that you might want to visit during your 3 days in Seattle are the International Fountain, theaters, top Seattle museums and art exhibits.


Kerry Park Seattle

After taking in the views from the top of the Space Needle, trek uphill to Kerry Park.

Barely more than a narrow strip of land, the elevated park is the place to go for panoramic views of the Space Needle, Seattle Skyline and Mount Rainier. If you are a traveler who likes epic views, Kerry Park will be a highlight of your 3 Days in Seattle trip (and don’t forget your favorite travel camera!).


Dick’s Drive In

Eating at renowned Dick’s Drive-In is a must on your 3 Day Seattle Itinerary; Washington native Sir Mix-a-Lot even rapped about this burger institution in his 1988 song, Posse on Broadway.

The famous Seattle fast-food chain has been doling out “Dick’s Deluxe” burgers – which includes two well-done patties, cheese, lettuce, mayo and relish – since 1954. The Dick’s Queen Anne location opened in 1974 – and is the only restaurant in the locally-operated chain to have indoor seating.


After Dinner Drinks on Day 1 of Your Seattle Vacation

For after dinner drinks on the first night of your Seattle weekend trip, either go to a classic Seattle dive bar or a modern craft beer bar.

The 5 Point Café is a diner-slash-tavern – and exactly the kind of jovial atmosphere you would expect at one of Seattle’s best dive bars. Opened as a greasy-spoon American diner in 1929, the 24/7 tavern serves all day breakfast and features a full bar menu. It’s another iconic place to go on a 3 day trip to Seattle.

Just a block away, TeKu Tavern offers a more polished bar experience. With a gigantic selection of beer and ciders in bottles, cans and on tap – including a large menu of local Seattle libations – visitors are spoiled for choice. Patrons who want a taste of several local Seattle craft beers can order a tasting board.


Seattle Live Music during Your Seattle Weekend Itinerary

The Seattle music scene is legendary. In fact, many visitors plan a trip to Seattle for the express purpose of catching a live music performance.

The birth of Grunge happened in Seattle’s downtown locales. Among the many small venues where grunge bands got their start, there is none more popular than the iconic Crocodile.

Opened in 1991, the Crocodile stage has seen a slew of iconic acts – including Seattle’s own Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, along with R.E.M., Green Day and many others. The Croc is still an operating club featuring live music – so go check out a show! It’s one of the best things to do in Seattle on the weekend.


Day 2 of Your Three Days in Seattle                              

On the second day of your Seattle travel itinerary delve into the history of the city, get a taste of local fare and end the day at a baseball game.

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Breakfast on Day 2 of your Seattle Visit Itinerary

The coffee culture in Seattle is unmissable! In addition to the recognizable (unavoidable?) brands – like Starbucks, Tully’s and Seattle’s Best Coffee – Seattle is home to hundreds of coffee shops and local roasters. Getting a taste of the city’s best coffee is a must on your Seattle long weekend trip – and it tastes even better with a breakfast of biscuits or doughnuts. 

In a city where drinking coffee is serious business, where you get your cup of joe will depend on your interest in the craft – and what breakfast you want to eat with it. We have two phenomenal Seattle food recommendations: General Porpoise or Biscuit Bitch. 


General Porpoise Doughnuts and Coffee

If you want to your day in Seattle with a combination caffeine jolt and sugar high, then head for General Porpoise (Pioneer Square location), where coffee and doughnuts are perfectly paired.


Biscuit Bitch

Travelers looking for a heartier ‘trailer park to table’ breakfast experience should track down Biscuit Bitch. Get your day started with a heaping mess of biscuits and gravy and a cup of Seattle coffee made specially for the restaurant by local Seven Coffee Roasters. 


Pioneer Square: A Must on your Seattle Travel Itinerary

The next stop on your Seattle, Washington Itinerary is Pioneer Square. At the heart of the city when it was founded in 1852, the Pioneer Square district is steeped in history and filled with architectural gems.

Wander the streets, pop into the art galleries or embark on the Trail to Treasure to better understand the events that shaped Seattle. (Pick up your free map at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park to seek out the Seattle, Washington points of interest).

Some Seattle tourist attractions not to miss in the area are Occidental Square (an urban park with art exhibits) and the Waterfall Garden (for a calm respite). 


Seattle Underground Tour

One of the best things to see in Seattle in 3 days is the city’s underground. The history is fascinating!

The Great Seattle Fire of 1889 decimated the original city – and, when it was rebuilt, the planners buried the rubble and started with a clean slate. By doing so, remains of the first city are preserved underground…and visitors can access the old Seattle streets to explore the fascinating subterranean labyrinth, but only on a guided tour. Reserve Your Spot!


Smith Tower Seattle

After navigating the underground, the next activity on your Weekend in Seattle Itinerary is to soar to the top of the Smith Tower.

The 38-story building was opened in 1914 – and ranked as the tallest building west of the Mississippi River at that time. Today, guests can access the 35th floor observations deck and Prohibition-themed bar by taking a ride up on the original Otis elevator. Buy Skip-the-Line Tickets here!


Chinatown-International District

A vibrant, multiethnic neighborhood, Chinatown-International District (or just CID) is a conglomeration of three distinct neighborhoods: Chinatown, Japantown and Little Saigon. Known for its many Asian eateries, landmarks and festivals, CID is one of the most intriguing districts to visit in Seattle.

For lunch on Day 2 of your 3 Day Seattle Itinerary, eat at Jade Garden or Honey Court Seafood – two of the more popular Seattle Chinese food restaurants. Another good food option is to check out the goods at the Uwajimaya grocery store where visitors can dine on an array of delectable Asian eats.

Pro Tip: Unbeknownst to many, one of Seattle’s signature dishes is teriyaki – which is prevalent on many menus in the district. 


What To See on a Trip to Seattle: CID Sights

While in CID, there are a few top attractions that you might want to include in your Seattle itinerary.

The Wing Luke Museum details the history and culture and Asian Pacific Americans in Seattle.

The Panama Hotel dates to 1910 and features a Japanese bathhouse.

The Hing Hay Park, Kobe Terrace and Historic Chinatown Gate are other top places to see in Seattle CID.

For something unique in CID, stop by the Seattle Pinball Museum, where visitors can play classic arcade games!


Seattle Craft Beer

Just like many of the best vacation cities in the United States – like Denver, San Diego and Portland and even nearby Spokane or Vancouver WA – the craft beer revolution in Seattle is in full swing. There are dozens of craft breweries that you could pop into during your three days in Seattle.

That said, we recommend putting Elysian Fields – one of the first microbreweries – on your Seattle trip itinerary, but only if there is a sporting event. Otherwise, belly-up to the 16 taps at Old Stove Brewing or have a tour and a taste and The Pike Brewing Company.

For real bar nostalgia, however, head to Flatstick Pub. The Pioneer Square location is like a playhouse for adults, with mini golf, duffleboard, beer pong…and naturally an extensive craft beer tap list. 

Nearby is another entertaining bar, Seattle’s Cowgirls Inc. Guests rave about the mechanical bull and jovial atmosphere in the Western-themed drinking institution.


Mariners Baseball Game (or other Seattle Sporting Events)

Seattle may not have as a deep-rooted history of baseball – like New York, Boston and Chicago – but they do have an awesome ballpark. If there is a Mariners game during your visit , it is a must for your Three Days in Seattle Itinerary!

While the team is not known for their successes (the Mariners have never played in a World Series), a night at T-Mobile Park is still quite the experience.

In fact, the Mariners proudly produce one of the best dining menus of all Major League Baseball venues. With a robust selection of ballpark classics and unique eats (like Hawaiian Plate Lunches and Acai Bowls), having dinner at a Seattle Mariners game is half the fun!

Pro Tip: Before going into the stadium, seek out Al’s Gourmet Sausage (he has a yellow tent!) outside the stadium for an epic Seattle Dog. Al is often credited for starting the strange Seattle tradition of topping hot dogs with grilled onions and cream cheese (yep, cream cheese) – it’s one of the unique things to eat on your Seattle trip! If there’s no baseball games when you visit Seattle in 3 days, see if there is a Seahawks or Sounders FC home game at Lumen Field, right next T-Mobile Park.


Best Seafood Dinner in Seattle

If there are no home games to attend (or you’re just not interested in sports), consider settling into a classic Seattle seafood meal at nearby Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar. Taylor shellfish farms have been operating in the Pacific Northwest since the late 1800s – and the company is committed to fresh seafood and sustainable farming.


Day 3 of Your Seattle Trip Itinerary

On the last day of your Seattle Three-Day Itinerary, get caffeinated and then spend time in the beautiful outdoors. There are heaps of outdoor adventures in the city, so we are offering a few suggestions of places to include in your 3 perfect days in Seattle.

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Starbucks Coffee during your Weekend Trip to Seattle

Starbucks was born in Seattle – and while it is now available anywhere in America (and nearly every country in the world), getting a taste of the successful chain’s coffee in its home city is a must on your Seattle weekend itinerary.

Visitors can fight the crowds at the original Starbucks location (near Pike Place Market) or visit a Starbucks Reserve Roastery, where guests get a coffee experience like none other.

At the Reserve Roastery, Starbucks offers multiple coffee bars, tasting flights and even liquor-infused coffee drinks. It’s a fun place to kick off the final day of your 3 Day Itinerary Seattle.

In fact, we recommend staying in the Capitol Hill district for a little sightseeing after your coffee. Stroll through Cal Anderson Park to the Reflecting Pool, peruse the books at the Elliott Bay Book Company or do some shopping at Harvard Market. 


Seattle Parks

Seattle is dubbed the Emerald City for its year-round evergreens and abundance of nature – so spending some time in the outdoors is essential during your Seattle 3-Day Itinerary. There are heaps of choices when it comes to parks in Seattle, and we are highlighting a few of the best.


Olympic Sculpture Park

Located just north of downtown, the waterfront 9-acre Olympic Sculpture Park is part of the Seattle Art Museum and a wonderful place to include on your Seattle vacation itinerary.

Once an industrial site, the land was transformed into a green space in the early 2000s. The park, which is free to enter, contains a permanent and rotating exhibition of artworks.


Gas Works Park

The former site of the Seattle Gas Light Company, the Gas Works Park is a unique outdoor space to visit on your three days in Seattle.

The park contains remnants of the coal gasification plant, combining industry with nature in an intriguing way. Beyond the plants remains, the other top attraction is 60-foot Kite Hill that offers stunning Seattle views.

Visitors who go to Gas Works Park might also want to check out the nearby Fremont Troll (who resides under an overpass) and Fremont Brewing’s Urban Beer Garden.


Volunteer Park

Situated in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Volunteer Park, was established in 1901. Marked by gardens, ponds and trails, this Seattle park also features a conservatory, amphitheater, water tower, statues and sculptures.

Nearby is the Lakeview Cemetery, which is where Kung Fu master Bruce Lee and his son are buried – and their graves attract visitors to Seattle from around the world (so why not include it on your Seattle trip itinerary, too?!).


Washington Park Arboretum and Seattle Japanese Garden

Washington Park Arboretum is a lush park maintained jointly by both the University of Washington and Seattle Parks and Recreation. Visitors can join a guided tour or use the trail maps to explore the park on their own.

On the south end of the park, the inviting Japanese Garden is a beautifully landscaped green space that was planned with impeccable detail. For many travelers, it’s one of the top things to see in Seattle in 3 days.


Outdoor Excursions for your Itinerary for Seattle

When you visit Seattle in 3 days, there is just enough time to get out and explore the surrounding area on the afternoon of your last day. Even visitors spending 3 days in Seattle without a car can explore beyond the city center.

In the afternoon of your third day in Seattle, continue your discovery of the great outdoors by either enjoying a harbor cruise, hopping on a ferry to Bainbridge Island or spending time on Lake Union.


Seattle Harbor Cruise

Enjoying the views from a harbor cruise is a fantastic way to cap off your Seattle 3 Day Trip. The classic, narrated 1-hour tour features the beautiful sights of the Seattle Harbor and Elliott Bay. 

Pro Tip: The 2-hour cruise takes passengers to the Ballard Locks and a community of houseboats (that were featured in the film Sleepless in Seattle). This is a top Seattle tour, but be aware that it is a one-way route. 


Ferry to Bainbridge Island

Located on Puget Sound just across from Seattle, Bainbridge Island is a perfect half-day destination that you should fit into a 3-Day Seattle Itinerary.

With the ferries running regularly, Bainbridge is easily accessible. Once there, guests can either walk into town – where there are museums, shops and winery tasting rooms along Winslow Way – or rent a bicycle to explore Bainbridge Island’s ample gardens and parks.

Visitors who would rather a guide lead the way can join an all-inclusive Bainbridge Island tour from Seattle. Get the details here!

Pro Tip: Another fun Seattle ferry ride is from the Seattle Ferry Terminal to Bremerton. Once in Bremerton, visitors can see the Harborside Fountain Park and Puget Sound Navy Museum, wall the Bremerton Boardwalk to the USS Turner Joy Museum and dine on delectable seafood at the famous Anthony’s at Sinclair Inlet. 


Lake Union Seattle

A large freshwater lake just north of the Seattle city center, South Lake Union is a popular destination for outdoor recreation in the summertime and a great place to spend some time on your Weekend in Seattle itinerary. There is an abundance of options for getting out on the water – from renting luxury boats to paddling around in kayaks to taking a cruise.

Visitors looking for a unique Seattle water expedition should look into renting a Hot Tub Boat – where participants…well, it’s self-explanatory.

Pro Tip: For a truly spectacular experience, take off in a seaplane for a flight over Lake Union. The scenic tours offer the most breathtaking views of Seattle, surrounding islands and Cascade Mountains. Get the details!


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Seattle Map

Use this link to Google Maps to find our Seattle map of attractions. Our map of Seattle highlights the locations of the sights from Day 1 (BLUE), Day 2 (RED) and Day 3 (PURPLE). 

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More Seattle Things To Do

We outlined our three perfect days in Seattle – but there is so much more to do in the city! Consider adding or substituting (we won’t be offended) some of the following attractions to your Seattle, Washington Itinerary.


Seattle Museums

As wonderful as the surrounding nature can be, the weather in Seattle doesn’t often cooperate. Thankfully, Seattle has a slew of excellent museums and indoor attractions that can be added to your Seattle travel itinerary.


Top Museums for your 3 Days in Seattle Itinerary

We are highlighting a few of the top-rated museums in Seattle – some of which are included with the Seattle CityPass. These are some of the best places to visit in Seattle on rainy days.


Seattle Museum of Pop Culture

The Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPop, is one of the most intriguing places to visit in Seattle. Housed in an architecturally unique structure, the engaging and interactive exhibits cover a range of pop culture topics. Visitors could easily spend the better part of a day seeing the culturally significant artifacts and exhibits on film genres. Find out more!


Chihuly Garden and Glass

A simply magnificent display of Tacoma native Dale Chihuly glass artwork, the Chihuly Garden incorporates the intricately colorful glass displays into natural settings. Book it now!


Pacific Science Center 

PacSci is a fun, hands-on museum that is great for a Family Trip Seattle Itinerary. In addition to the science exhibits, the PacSci features an IMAX theater, a butterfly house and a laser show. 


Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Featuring an array of modern art, international artworks and special exhibits – like the Porcelain Room, the SAM Art Museum is an ideal place to wile away a few hours when visiting Seattle. Travelers planning a Seattle Itinerary on a Budget should visit SAM on the first Thursday of the month when admission is free! 


Museum of Flight

The city of Seattle has a strong connection to the history of aviation – and there is no better place to learn about it than the Museum of Flight. Exhibits feature more than 100 years of history, including famous aircraft – like Air Force One and the Concorde. Get tickets here!


Museum of History and Industry

Situated on the south bank of Lake Union, the Museum of History and Industry (or MOHAI) is a kid-friendly space that features key exhibits on innovation, tech and the history of Seattle. 


Seattle Aquarium

A fun place to see seals, seat otters, puffins and giant octopus, the Seattle Aquarium is prominently located right on the waterfront promenade. With knowledgeable staff and hands-on exhibits, the aquarium is a fun Seattle attractions for visitors of all ages! 


Woodland Park Zoo

The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle is a fun place to go for families with young kids. From red pandas to grizzly bears to giraffes and monkeys, the walkable zoo is home to a variety of animals from around the world.


Theo Chocolate

A fascinating experience for Seattle visitors, the Theo Chocolate offers a behind-the-scenes look at creating delectable chocolates…plus the opportunity to taste the product! 


University Of Washington

Home of the Huskies, the University of Washington was founded in 1861 – and is just a short jaunt from downtown Seattle. Campus visitors will not want to miss Red Square, the Drumheller Fountain or the Suzzallo Library.

If your visit to Seattle happens to be in the springtime, check to see if the Yoshino cherry trees are in blossom on the Quad. Also, the university’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture is an excellent place to learn about Northwest US history – from dinosaurs to Native Americans. 


Amazon HQ Tour

Headquartered in Seattle, Amazon has built an urban campus in the center of the city – which features The Spheres, three glass-dome conservatories. Tours are only available on select days, so check ahead of time before adding it to your Seattle vacation itinerary.


Alki Beach in West Seattle

Although the Puget Sound waters may be too cold to swim in, the Alki Beach is a top summertime destination for walking, sunbathing and hanging out with friends.

Additionally, there are a few points of interest that are fun to seek out – like the Statue of Liberty replica, Alki Point Lighthouse and the Birthplace of Seattle Monument. Visitors can travel by water taxi to West Seattle. 


More Parks in Seattle

We highlighted a few top parks in our 3-Day Seattle Itinerary, but there are a several more notable Seattle parks – such as Kubota Garden, Green Lake Park and Discovery Park – that are also worth checking out on nice days. Visitors could also explore Pioneer Park on Mercer Island. 


Seattle Architecture

The Seattle Space Needle isn’t the only architectural stand-out in the city! In fact, there are numerous buildings in Seattle that architectural gems.

Some of the uniquely designed Seattle buildings include the Seattle Central Library, Columbia Center, Rainier Tower, Seattle City Hall and King Street Station. Architecture fans will want to make time to see these structures when they plan a trip to Seattle.


Seattle Tours and Tickets

Visitors planning what to do in Seattle for a weekend might want to include a Seattle Tour in their itinerary plans. We highlighted some of the best food tours and city experiences throughout our 3 Days in Seattle Itinerary – and we are listing a few of the top ones here again. When looking for the best tours in Seattle, we recommend starting your search on Viator


Seattle City Pass

An all-in-one pass to the best museums in Seattle, and includes entry to the Space Needle, the Seattle Aquarium, the MoPop Museum, Woodland Park Zoo, Chihuly Garden and a harbor cruise. Get yours now!


Seattle Day Trips

While there are certainly enough city center sights to fill 3 days in Seattle, there are ample regional attractions that visitors might want to include in their Seattle itinerary.


Boeing Factory Tour (Currently Closed for Tours)

Interesting to more than just aviation geeks, the Boeing Factory, which is housed in the largest building in the world, is a phenomenal place to learn about the history and engineering of airplanes.

On half-day expeditions from Seattle, participants will tour the Boeing Factory, enjoy interactive exhibits at the aviation Center Gallery and get an educational learning experience at the Future of Flight Aviation Center Museum. Book it now!


Mount Rainier Tour from Seattle

Mt. Rainier, located within the Mount Rainier National Park, stands as the tallest mountain in Washington State – and it can be reached on a day trip from Seattle.

On a popular day tour, visitors are led by a guide to spectacular waterfalls and amazing viewpoints. Depending on the season, the day may also include snowshoeing, sledding and wildlife watching. Get the details!


Olympic National Park Tour

A UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve, Olympic National Park features both coastline and forests and has multiple ecosystems. It is considered to be one of the best national parks in America.

Visitors can plan their own Olympic National Park Itinerary from Seattle – or join a tour the includes convenient pick up and a gourmet lunch. Learn more here!


San Juan Islands Whale Watching Tours from Seattle

The San Juan Islands archipelago is a fabulous destination from Seattle! Located north of the city near the Canadian border, the islands are renowned for their exceptional beauty and relaxing vibe. 

One of the best ways to experience San Juan Islands from Seattle is on a whale watching tour. Visitors embark on the journey from Pier 69 to the San Juan Islands and search for sea life – like orca, humpback and minke whales. Dock at Friday Harbor and spend a couple of hours in in town before making the boat trip back to Seattle to complete the full day tour.


Vancouver, WA

Take a 3 hour drive down I-5 to surprising Vancouver, Washington. We completely enjoyed our stay in the city and you can read all the details in our Best Things To Do in Vancouver, WA article!


Snoqualmie Falls and Wine Country

On a relaxing day trip from Seattle, tour participants see the beautiful Snoqualmie Falls and then travel to Woodinville – Washington’s wine country.

In addition to the famed Chateau Ste. Michelle, one of the most famous wineries in Washington, tours also stop at a family-run winery for tastings. Before returning to Seattle, there is one more stop at Boehms Candies, a local chocolate factory. Find out more!

The Best Seattle Itinerary How To Spend 3 Days in Seattle, Washington by


How Many Days in Seattle

There are many factors to consider when determining how many days to visit Seattle. Among the most important are you personal interests, overall time allotment for the trip and your Seattle vacation budget. 

We think spending 3 days in Seattle allows the best introduction to the city. To make the most of the time, we absolutely packed our itinerary with the top things to see in Seattle in 3 days. 

That said, we could easily condense our Seattle trip plan to a single day – or extend it to a week or longer. 


More Seattle Itineraries

We shared our top tips for what to see in Seattle in 3 days – but what if you have more – or less! – time? No need to worry! We have ideas for how to spend a half day to a week in Seattle!


Half Day in Seattle

Travelers constrained to visiting Seattle in half a day will need to limit their Seattle sightseeing to just the highlights. An ambitious visitor might be able to plan a Seattle itinerary that includes Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. However, for a more leisurely half day, we recommend seeing Pike Place Market then going to Waterfront Park.


Seattle 1-Day Itinerary

Visitors creating a 1-Day Seattle Itinerary will still need to be detailed in their sightseeing plan.


How To Plan a Seattle One Day Itinerary

For us, an ideal Seattle in One Day Itinerary would basically follow our outline for Day 1 in our above 3-Day Seattle Itinerary. That said, visitors most interested in history might want to create a 1 Day in Seattle Itinerary using our outline for Day 2 instead.


One Day in Seattle with the City Pass

If the weather is unsavory, it is also possible to spend most of the day indoors at museums. In fact, it is possible to create a 1-Day Seattle City Pass Itinerary. After exploring Pike Place Market, use the City Pass for the following sights (in order): Elliott Bay Cruise, Seattle Aquarium, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Museum of Pop Culture and Space Needle. Find out more about the pass!


Seattle in One Day with a Tour Guide

One more way to plan a day in Seattle would be to leave it up to a tour guide! Skip all the hassle of planning what to see and how to get around and join a wildly popular One Day Seattle Tour. Book it now!


Seattle Itinerary 2 Days

Spending two days in Seattle allows a lot more time for exploration! In fact, with 2 days in Seattle, it is possible to see nearly all the iconic sights and highlights.


How To Create a Seattle 2 Day Itinerary

To plan a succinct Seattle 2-Day Itinerary, we recommend following Days 1 and 2 from our Seattle 3 Days Itinerary in order to get a good overview of the city. 


Seattle Weekend Itinerary

A Weekend in Seattle Itinerary – utilizing 2.5 days – is a fabulous opportunity to include just a bit more sightseeing into your trip. Assuming that you arrive on Friday afternoon; get settled into your accommodations, then kick off your Weekend trip to Seattle Itinerary with a fun Haunted Pub Tour. Then, use our advice for a Seattle 2 Days Itinerary (directly above) for things to do on Saturday and Sunday.


Alternative Seattle Itinerary 3 Days

While we feel our outlined Seattle 3 Days Itinerary is a fantastic introduction, we know that some visitors have different interests. The city offers a variety of activities that will surely appeal to wide range of preferences.


How To Plan What To See in Seattle in 3 Days

While our itinerary sticks close to the city, other visitors may find touring the region to be more interesting. Therefore, visitors not keen on exploring Seattle’s history may instead want to take a full-day trip to Rainier National Park on Day 2.

In fact, travelers who want to mostly experience nature can book a 3-Day tour of Seattle and the surrounding region that includes the city, Olympic National Park and Mt Rainier National Park. Get more info!


Seattle Itinerary 4 Days

Visitors planning a 4-Day Seattle Itinerary will have ample time to see the top sights – and much more!


How To Plan a Trip for 4 Days in Seattle

Using this post as a base, it’s relatively easy to plan a Seattle 4 Day Itinerary. To create a 4 Days in Seattle Itinerary, use our Seattle, Washington 3-Day Itinerary, then on day 4, go on a Seattle day trip! We recommend going to the Cascade Mountains or Washington wine country, based on your personal interests.


Seattle Itinerary 5 Days

Travelers with 5 days in Seattle can easily fill their days with fascinating sightseeing!


How To Plan a Perfect Seattle 5 Day Itinerary

Start by using the above Seattle 4-Day Itinerary as a base. Then, on the final day of your 5-Day Seattle Itinerary, venture out to see the optional parks and sights listed on Day 3 of our original 3-Day Seattle Trip Plan. For example, if you spent Day 3 at Volunteer Park and Bainbridge Island, then on Day 5, go to Gas Works Park and Union Lake.


Seattle Itinerary 6 Days

Thinking about planning 6 days in Seattle? You will have ample time to see the best sights and the some of the surrounding nature – plus a few of the fabulous museums.


How To Create a Seattle 6 Day Itinerary

Use the above Seattle 5-Day Itinerary as a base for your plans. Then on the last day (or any rainy day during your stay), use the Seattle CityPass to explore the museums.


Seattle Itinerary 7 Days

Visitors planning a week in Seattle will find that there is plenty to see and do! You will truly be able to get a taste for the city and PNW region. 


How To Plan a 1 Week Trip to Seattle

To create an ideal Seattle One-Week Itinerary, use our tips for the above Seattle 6-Day Itinerary and then on the last day either take a second day trip, explore the University of Washington campus or relax for the day on Alki Beach.


Portland and Seattle Itinerary

Because of their proximity, many travelers will want to create a Seattle–Portland Itinerary. Visitors can easily get between the two cities by renting a car or using a bus or train (or even fly if you aren’t returning to Seattle for a flight home). To plan your time in Portland, be sure to read our Guide to the Columbia River Gorge and our complete Portland Itinerary!


San Francisco to Seattle Itinerary

A popular US road trip route is from San Francisco to Seattle (or vice versa). Travelers making this journey can use our tips for the Oregon Coast portion of the drive or opt for the inland route through Bend, Oregon. Either way, get back to the coast to see the giant redwoods outside Crescent City and when in SF check out our San Francisco Itinerary.


Top Travel Tips For Your 3 Days In Seattle Itinerary

Now that you know what to do in Seattle for 3 days (or longer), we have a few final tips and packing hacks for your vacation.


Organizing a Trip to Seattle, Washington

Organizing your Seattle trip plans is a must! Make sure you keep track of all the trip planning details – from flights to restaurant reservations – in a travel planner. Our Printable Travel Planner is ideal for staying on top of trip planning for Seattle! 

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How To Get To Seattle

An essential consideration for your Seattle vacation itinerary is how to get there. Seattle can be reached by car, bus, boat, train or plane. Our preferred method of travel is by plane – we are JetSetting Fools, after all! When we start looking for the best flights and airfare, we start our search on SkyScanner.


Seattle Airport to Seattle

The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) – or SeaTac – is located about 15 miles south of the city center. SeaTac offers loads of flights from around the world, including international services from Amsterdam, London and Tokyo as well as direct flights from major US cities like Chicago, Phoenix, Boston, NYC, and Washington DC to name just a few!

Visitors can easily hop on the Link Light Rail to get from the SeaTac airport to downtown Seattle, but Uber is an option as well as private transfers booked online


Where To Stay in Seattle

Choosing where to stay for your 3-day trip to Seattle can feel overwhelming – there are so many accommodation options to choose from! We have stayed in various hotels in Seattle – and you can find the best place to stay for your trip, as well!


Seattle Hotels

To find an ideal hotel for three days in Seattle we recommend looking for accommodations in downtown. From there, it is easy to get to the best places to see in Seattle. Of course, hotels in Seattle – especially right in the heart and during the summer – are notoriously expensive. 

The luxury Artic Club Hotel is our recommended place to stay. We absolutely loved staying in this classy and cozy hotel that was just steps from attractions. Check rates and availability for your stay! 

Budget travelers can find an affordable place to stay in the Seattle City Center at the Green Tortoise Hostel. Check rates for your stay! 

Use our tips for booking the best hotels – and start your search for the best hotels in Seattle on – like we do!


Seattle Airbnb Apartments

While there are numerous hotel choices in the downtown area Airbnb apartments are an alternative to pricey hotels in Seattle. We have stayed in Airbnb Apartments around the world and have found that they are affordable options in most cities. However, before booking a Seattle vacation rental, be sure to compare the final Airbnb price (with all the fees) to the total cost of the hotel to make sure you are, in fact, saving money. 


What To Pack for 3 Days in Seattle, Washington

These are our top tips for what to pack for your trip to Seattle – but you can find more of our packing advice on our Ultimate Packing List post. Need a packing checklist? Get your FREE Packing Checklist here!


The Right Shoes for your 3 Day Itinerary in Seattle

When visiting Seattle in 3 days, you are going to need good walking shoes! Seattle sights are spread out and, while there is good public transport and Uber/Lyft, you will want to wear comfortable walking shoes. I like to wear these shoes by Columbia and Kris prefers wearing Merrell trail shoes.


Seattle Weather Gear

Make no mistake, it rains in Seattle! Be sure you are prepared for wet days with a travel umbrella and a packable raincoat. Of course, the sun can be intense, so make sure you bring sunscreen and a wide-brimmed travel hat if you are visiting Seattle during summer months.


Travel Camera for Seattle Photography 

Seattle is certainly beautiful – so bring an actual camera to capture the stunning landscapes and sights! We use a Canon Rebel with an everyday 18-135mm lens. It takes excellent photos – and comes bundled with tons of great accessories that are perfect for beginner photographers!


Day Pack for your Seattle Trip

Whether you travel with a suitcase or a backpack, you will certainly want a great day bag to organize and secure all of your essential, everyday travel items.


US Travel Insurance

Trip insurance may protect against trip cancellations, flight delays and lost luggage – among other travel mishaps. Check rates and coverage at World Nomads.


Start planning your trip to Seattle, Washington! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning Page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides Page!


Planning More USA Adventures? 

We share insider tips for how to spend time in the best US destinations! For quick trips, don’t miss our top picks in our Best USA Weekend Getaways guide! Looking for less visited places? Check out our list of Underrated US Destinations!

Best Weekend Getaways in USA Top 22 Destinations

Dig into our complete guides to Montana, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Austin, Cincinnati, NYC, Denver and many more on our USA Travel Guides Page!


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