Grab a coffee and discover our recommendations for a visit to the city of Seattle, Washington and how to add a twist of romance. If you only have time to see Seattle in a day like we did, you’ll have to make some tough choices on what to see. We hope these recommendations from our experience help in planning your romantic adventure to the Emerald City.
The Romantic Side of Seattle:
It won’t be hard to find romance during your visit to Seattle in a day. The city provides several different experiences to help bring out the feeling of romance. Enjoy panoramic views of snow capped mountains, bodies of water habituated by whales, or the city’s people with coffee in hand all on a rotating dining room floor or cuddling on top of a Ferris wheel.
Easily immerse yourself in a neighborhood and meet down to earth locals while you try numerous unique foodie experiences. There are museums of all shapes and sizes for the cloudy days and you can easily hop on a boat to enjoy nature on the sunny ones. With so many options you will surely be sleepless if you try and see them all.
- Weather: Seattle has a reputation of it always being raining and gloomy. In actuality, the city averages only 35 inches of rain, which is less than New York City, Chicago, or Houston. However, it may feel like it is always raining because those inches are spread out. You’ll experience a lighter rain but on a more consistent basis. There are also a lot of days where the sun remains partly hidden behind the clouds. Some months you will even see heavy snow. Bring layers, have an umbrella handy, and you should be fine.
- Crowds: Like any city, there are certain times of the day and year where the main tourist areas are busy and crowded. Buy your tickets in advance online when possible. Expect to wait in line when visiting the observation deck at the Space Needle. Be patient for your latte to be made and make a dinner reservation in advance to secure a table when you have a specific destination in mind.
- Transportation: The city does not have a strong transportation infrastructure that you may be used to in other cities such as NYC. Highways and some roads can be jammed packed as well. Although, you should be able to walk from most major spots within 30 minutes or jump in a cab/Uber and be where you need in 15 minutes within the main hub of the city.
Most Romantic Spot in the City:
Top choice: Sitting at a window side table with a drink in one hand and your partner across from you while you rotate 360 degrees around the city. You’ll be 500 feet up at the SkyCity Restaurant in the Space Needle.
Runner-up: Strolling through the Chihuly Museum’s glass flower gardens with your significant other’s hand linked with yours.
Tasting Seattle in a Day:
While on our way to visit family for the Easter weekend in the Olympic Peninsula area of Washington we flew into Seattle from our home in Los Angeles. Before our ferry ride to cross the Puget Sound, we had the opportunity to taste Seattle in a day so we can offer you tips on planning a romantic adventure to the Emerald City.
Seattle is large enough to offer activities and experiences to keep you well entertained for a weekend but is nicely compacted to see the major highlights if you only have a day like we did. However, you’ll have to make some tough choices based on your personal tastes and preferences.
Here are some of the highly recommended sites to consider when visiting Seattle in a day.
Say Hello to the Fish at Pike Place Market:
Time recommend: 1-3 hours
If you can, start your day at the over 100-year-old original Seattle farmers market at Pike Place Market Center. It will only get busier and more crowded as the day goes on. Also, if there is only one thing you have time for while seeing Seattle in a day, this should be on the top of that list.
The market will quickly indoctrinate you into the city and what it’s like living as a Seattleite. You’ll see numerous flower and fruit markets, specialty food items, and flying fish! There are over eighty casual cafes, fine dining restaurants, and other unique foodie experiences to choose from for any meal of the day.
You could spend all day exploring the nine-acres within the historic district and still not visit the more than 200 owner-operated vendor establishments. Take this walking guide with you to plan out your exploration.
Don’t forget to say hi to Rachel the Piggy Bank! All donations go to supporting the Market’s social services program.
Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun with lots of Gum:
Time recommend: 15 minutes
Hidden in an alleyway within the Market Center is a great wall of gum. Although it may sound gross, the Market Theater Gum Wall actually looks like a work of art. The wall contains thousands of pieces of used chewing gum 15 feet high and 50 feet long. You don’t want to get too close. This will probably be the spot that creates a super germ that wipes out the planet. In the meantime, you can take some cool photos.
To Drink or Not to Drink Starbucks, That is the Question:
Time recommend: 30 min – 1 hour
Not far from the main area of the market and still within the historic district you’ll find the original Starbucks, which opened in 1971. If you are a coffee or Starbucks lover it may be important to get your favorite Frappuccino from the location that started it all. But in the end, it is just like any other Starbucks. Plus this location has an extra long line attached to it. With limited time to see Seattle in a day, you may want to just snap a picture outside and move on.
Seattle as the world center for coffee roasting has numerous other coffeehouses to try that you don’t see on nearly every corner back home. Here is a neat map with some of the best new coffee shops to try.
If experiencing something Starbucks related is still really important to you, check out the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room only a short walk away from the original store. The Roastery Experience is a real treat for anyone who has an appreciation for coffee. Here you will discover the art, science and the craft of making Starbucks coffee. This may be the best way to get your coffee fix on for Seattle in a day.
Get Close to Outer Space:
Time recommend: 1 – 2 hours
Want to see why Seattle is nicknamed the Emerald City? Then take a ride 520 feet up in under 60 seconds in the Space Needle. At the observation deck, you’ll be able to walk around 360 degrees to view Mt. Rainier, the Puget Sound, and life in the vibrant city. The Space Needle is about a 20-minute walk from the Market Place area or a 5-10 minute cab ride.
Even better, have lunch or dinner at the SkyCity Restaurant. When seeing Seattle in a day, this is one of the best and most romantic ways to literally see it all and enjoy a unique experience.
The restaurant sits one floor below the observation deck and has a rotating dining room floor! At first, you may feel a bit weird, but knock back a martini and you’ll soon forget that the floor is moving. From the moment you sit down, you’ll start your journey in getting a full 360-degree view of the entire city and surrounding areas within 47 minutes. If you time it right and it is a clear day you could see an unbelievable sunset as well.
Blow your Mind on Blown Glass:
Time recommend: 1 hour
You probably have seen the work of Dale Chihuly in a museum or a casino, but get ready to be in awe at the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum. Walking through the beautifully colored exhibitions and galleries of blown glass may be the romantic highlight when seeing Seattle in a day.
Catch a Ballgame:
Time recommend: 3 hours
Pick your favorite ballgame and Seattle has a sports team for it. With teams in the NFL, MLB, MLS, NWSL and WNBA chances are when visiting Seattle in a day there should be at least one home team playing. There’s no better way to experience a city than to join in as a fan and root for the home team.
If you still have time here are other recommended sites to see.
Get Some Pop in your Pop Culture:
The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop) has tons of interactive, artistic, and nostalgic exhibitions. It covers many areas of pop culture. Examples include the exploration of new worlds with Star Trek, rare images and tunes from Jimi Hendricks, and memorabilia from many of your favorite classic horror, science fiction, and fantasy movies. In you have time, add this to your Seattle in a day agenda.
Where the Seattle Gold Rush Began:
If you are limited on time, you may be able at least to check out Miners Landing at Pier 57 for dinner at one of its numerous seafood restaurants. There are also shops, an aquarium, boat tours, and a Ferris wheel almost 200 feet tall with great views of the city and Puget Sound.
See Seattle from Underground:
Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour began in 1954 and explores what’s left of the city underground before it was rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1889. This looks super cool to check out, but you may not find the time on your first trip.
Map of the Top Recommendations:
Pike Place Market
The Gum Wall
Pop Culture Museum
Chihuly Glass Museum
Starbuck Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room
Miner's Landing at Pier 57
Although you need to make some tough choices, you can see the major highlights of Seattle in a day with ease. There are numerous spots where romance will come alive without much effort. Also, you’ll be able to quickly immerse yourself in the culture even when you only have time for a taste of Seattle in a day.
Have you tried to see Seattle in a day? Do you have any other recommendations? Are you from Seattle and can offer advice? Or are you planning an upcoming visit and have questions? If so, please share your comments and questions with the community in the comments section below.