2 days in Seattle Itinerary - sunset cruise views

Maximizing Your 2 Days in Seattle: The Ultimate Seattle Itinerary

Seattle, WA, often referred to as the Emerald City, is a vibrant and bustling metropolis surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Known for its iconic landmarks, rich cultural scene, and eclectic neighborhoods, Seattle offers a diverse range of activities and experiences for visitors. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new to discover in this dynamic city.

In this 2-day itinerary, we’ll guide you through some of the best things to see and do in Seattle. From exploring the famous Pike Place Market and taking in breathtaking views from the Space Needle, to enjoying a relaxing sunset sailing cruise and experiencing the charm of nearby Snoqualmie Falls, this itinerary is designed to give you a taste of the city’s unique blend of urban and natural attractions.

Join us as we embark on an unforgettable journey through Seattle, highlighting must-see sights, hidden gems, and local favorites that will make your visit truly memorable.

glass art museum and Space Needle - Seattle weekend trip

2 Day Seattle Itinerary Details

I went to Seattle as my first solo trip after becoming a mom and spent the weekend with my best friend who lives there. She has been a local there for a few years now so she took me beyond the main attraction and a bit outside the city. This allowed me to get a taste of both worlds, the city and the incredible nature in the surrounding area!

Day 1: Exploring the Heart of Seattle

Day 1 in Seattle is all about diving headfirst into the heart of the city. Start off at Pike Place Market, where you can feast your eyes on fresh seafood, colorful produce, and the famously flinging fish. Then, take a spin on the Great Wheel for a bird’s eye view of Seattle and the sparkling Pacific Northwest. As the sun starts to set, hop on a sunset cruise for a different perspective of the city from the water.

Morning and Lunch – Pike Place Market & Waterfront

Pike Place Public Market - Seattle, WA

Pike Place Market

Start your Seattle adventure at the legendary Pike Place Market, a sensory explosion that truly captures the soul of the city. As you wander through the bustling stalls, you’ll be greeted by the iconic sight of fishmongers theatrically tossing salmon to one another—an unforgettable spectacle that embodies the market’s vibrant spirit.

Don’t miss a visit to the original Starbucks, where you can sip a cup of history in the very place where it all began.

Breakfast At Pike Place

For breakfast, indulge in the mouth-watering delights at Piroshky Piroshky, a local favorite. Their fresh-baked Russian pastries are the perfect way to fuel up for the day ahead. Whether you go for a savory beef and cheese or a sweet cinnamon cardamom braid, you’re in for a treat.

Piroshky Piroshky

The Bubblegum Wall

Next, make your way to one of Seattle’s quirkiest attractions: the Bubblegum Wall. Tucked away in Post Alley near the market, this colorful, sticky spectacle is a testament to the city’s playful and artistic side. Take a few moments to admire the thousands of pieces of chewed gum that cover the wall, creating a vibrant, ever-changing mosaic. Don’t forget to add your own piece of gum to this unique piece of public art!

Bubble Gum wall in Seattle - things to do

Lunch at Pike Place Market

Return to Pike Place Market for lunch and treat yourself to a meal at Lowell’s Restaurant. Nestled within the market, Lowell’s offers spectacular views of Elliott Bay along with an extensive menu featuring fresh seafood and local cuisine. Savor dishes like Dungeness crab cakes or clam chowder as you watch ferries glide across the water.

Lunch at Pike Place Market with view

Waterfront and Seattle Aquarium

After lunch, take a leisurely stroll along Seattle’s picturesque waterfront. The combination of sea air, scenic views, and the bustling atmosphere is sure to captivate you. Head towards the Seattle Aquarium, where you’ll dive into the wonders of the marine world. Highlights include the mesmerizing Underwater Dome, where you’re surrounded by 360 degrees of aquatic life, and the playful sea otters, whose antics are guaranteed to make you smile.

By immersing yourself in the heart of Seattle’s culture and natural beauty, your morning and afternoon will set the perfect tone for an unforgettable adventure in the Emerald City.

Late Afternoon And Evening – Seattle Great Wheel & Sunset Cruise

Seattle Great Wheel

As the afternoon wanes, it’s time to elevate your adventure—literally—by hopping on the Seattle Great Wheel. Towering over the waterfront, this iconic Ferris wheel offers an exhilarating ride with unparalleled views of the city and Elliott Bay.

As you ascend in the spacious, climate-controlled gondolas, take in the breathtaking panorama of Seattle’s skyline, the shimmering waters, and the distant mountains. The gentle sway of the wheel and the stunning vistas create a magical experience you won’t soon forget.

Seattle Great Wheel views

Sunset Sailing Cruise

Once you’ve soaked in the views from above, head to the marina for the next highlight of your day: a sunset sailing cruise. This is where the true magic of Seattle’s waterfront comes to life. Book your spot on one of the many available sailing tours, and prepare for an unforgettable journey on the tranquil waters of Puget Sound.

Seattle things to do in 2 days - sunset cruise

As the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky in hues of orange and pink, you’ll sail past the striking silhouette of the Seattle skyline. The gentle lapping of the waves and the crisp sea breeze make this a serene and unique way to see the city. Relax on deck, perhaps with a glass of wine in hand, and let the beauty of the Pacific Northwest wash over you.

Dinner at a Waterfront Restaurant

After your cruise, complete your evening with a delightful dinner at Anthony’s, a renowned waterfront restaurant. With floor-to-ceiling windows offering unobstructed views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains, Anthony’s provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable meal. Indulge in their exquisite menu, featuring locally sourced seafood, gourmet dishes, and expertly crafted cocktails.

The combination of exceptional cuisine and the mesmerizing waterfront setting ensures a dining experience that’s both relaxing and enchanting.

I loved the oysters here!

By the end of the evening, you’ll have experienced some of the most captivating sights and sounds that Seattle has to offer, leaving you with cherished memories of your time in this incredible city.

Day 2: Discovering Seattle’s Unique Outdoors & Landmarks

Day 2 in Seattle offered a perfect mix of nature and culture with a trip to Snoqualmie Falls for wine tasting followed by a scenic train ride through Northwestern landscapes. Finishing the day with a visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass and a trip to the Space Needle at the Seattle Center for a panoramic view of the city, it was the ultimate way to experience the Seattle area.

Morning – Waterfall, Wine Tasting, And Train Ride

Brunch at Salish Lodge

Kick off your second day with a touch of luxury at the Salish Lodge, where brunch is nothing short of legendary. Perched right above the roaring Snoqualmie Falls, this lodge offers a breakfast experience that’s as indulgent as it is scenic.

Brunch at Salish Lodge in Seattle - itinerary

Picture this: fluffy pancakes drizzled with local maple syrup, eggs benedict with the perfect hollandaise, and fresh-brewed coffee that warms your soul—all while gazing out at the misty cascade of the falls. It’s the kind of morning that makes you feel like royalty, wrapped in the cozy charm of the Pacific Northwest.

Snoqualmie Falls & Hike

After filling up on brunch, it’s time to get your adventure boots on and head out for a short hike to fully appreciate the majesty of Snoqualmie Falls. This 268-foot waterfall is a jaw-dropping spectacle that deserves a front-row seat. The hike is friendly enough for all skill levels, winding through lush greenery to various viewpoints.

Make sure to bring your camera, because the views are straight out of a postcard. Whether you’re snapping shots from the observation deck or getting up close to the roaring water, the falls are a photographer’s dream.

Snoqualmie Falls - weekend itinerary Seattle

Wine Tasting in Woodinville

Post-hike, elevate your day with a short drive to Woodinville for a delightful wine tasting experience. Woodinville is renowned for its boutique wineries, and you’ll get to visit at least two estate wineries offering a variety of red, white, and blended wines. Each winery has its own unique charm, and the intimate, relaxed settings make for a perfect afternoon. Take your time sampling the wines, learning about the winemaking process, and maybe even picking up a bottle or two as a tasty souvenir.

wine tasting in Seattle

When hunger strikes, you’ll find a variety of food options nearby to satisfy your cravings. Whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet meal or something more casual, Woodinville has something to offer. Keep in mind that tasting fees and lunch are at your own expense, but the experience is well worth it.

Northwestern Railway Museum & Train Excursion

With nature’s grandeur and a hint of wine still lingering, switch gears and dive into some history at the Northwestern Railway Museum. The museum is a treasure trove of vintage trains and railroad artifacts that will whisk you back to the golden age of rail travel. Don’t miss the Train Shed Exhibit Hall, packed with fascinating exhibits that showcase the evolution of the railway.

2 days in Seattle - Northwestern Railway

The real highlight, though, is the train excursion. Departing from either Snoqualmie Depot or North Bend Depot, these weekend rides are a scenic journey through the lush Snoqualmie Valley. As you chug along, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the countryside, riverbanks, and forests, all while learning about the historical significance of the railway.

It’s a delightful blend of relaxation and education, making it a perfect cap to your morning adventures.

You may also be interested in this article on how to spend a day in Yosemite National Park.

By the time you step off the train, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the natural beauty and rich history that make this corner of Washington so special.

train ride - Seattle 2 day itinerary

Afternoon And Evening

Chihuly Garden and Glass

As the afternoon rolls in, prepare to be dazzled by a kaleidoscope of color and creativity at the Chihuly Garden and Glass. This isn’t just a museum; it’s a mind-bending wonderland crafted by glass maestro Dale Chihuly. Wander through rooms filled with fantastical glass sculptures that twist and turn in every conceivable shape and hue.

glass art in Seattle

Must-see installations include the breathtaking Glasshouse, with its vibrant 100-foot long sculpture suspended above you, and the enchanting garden where glass and nature blend seamlessly. It’s an immersive experience that feels like stepping into a surreal, dreamlike world.

Space Needle

After feasting your eyes on Chihuly’s masterpieces, take your adventure to new heights—literally—at the iconic Space Needle. This towering marvel offers panoramic views that will leave you awestruck. Ride the elevator to the top and find yourself 605 feet above ground, with Seattle sprawled out beneath you. On a clear day, you can see everything from the glittering downtown skyline to the snow-capped peaks of Mount Rainier. Snap some photos, soak in the scenery, and maybe even muster up the courage to walk on the glass floor. It’s an experience that will make your heart race and your spirits soar.

Space Needle Seattle, WA

Dinner in the Belltown Neighborhood

Cap off your day with a culinary adventure in the trendy Belltown neighborhood, where delicious dining options abound. For a slice of heaven, head to Rocco’s, renowned for serving up the best pizza in town. This isn’t your average pizza joint—Rocco’s offers an array of inventive toppings and perfectly crispy crusts that will have you coming back for more.

Pair your pie with a craft cocktail or a local brew, and enjoy the laid-back, vibrant atmosphere. Whether you opt for a classic Margherita or a bold, flavor-packed creation, Rocco’s is the perfect spot to unwind and savor the flavors of Seattle.

By the end of the evening, you’ll have experienced the perfect blend of art, adventure, and culinary delights, leaving you with a treasure trove of unforgettable memories from your Seattle escapade.

Other Things to Do in Seattle & Alternate Itinerary

So you’ve found yourself with a weekend in Seattle and you’re wondering what to do with your time in this vibrant city. Sure, you could spend hours wandering through Pike Place Market or grabbing a coffee in Capitol Hill, but if you’re looking for something a bit different, why not check out some of the city’s cultural attractions? You could start your first day in Seattle by visiting the Museum of Pop Culture in Queen Anne. This quirky museum is filled with memorabilia from music, film, and television, making it a fun and interactive way to spend a few hours.

On your second day in Seattle, why not take a day trip to Bainbridge Island? Just hop on a ferry from downtown Seattle and enjoy the scenic ride across the water. Once you arrive, you can explore the quaint shops and cafes, or take a leisurely hike along the island’s picturesque trails. It’s the perfect way to get a different perspective on the Seattle skyline and experience a more laid-back side of the city.

If you’re a fan of art, don’t miss the chance to explore the Seattle Art Museum on your trip to Seattle. Located in Pioneer Square, this museum is home to a diverse collection of works from around the world, including contemporary pieces and ancient artifacts. You could easily spend a whole day in Seattle, in the same way you could spend a whole day in San Francisco, wandering through the galleries and admiring the stunning sculpture park outside.

So whether you’re on a two day Seattle itinerary or just passing through on a trip from Seattle, there’s no shortage of places to eat in Seattle and things to see and do. Make the most of your time in this ultimate Seattle experience and explore all that this dynamic city has to offer!

Where to stay in Seattle on your visit

Recap Of 2 Days In Seattle Itinerary

Over the past two days, you’ve immersed yourself in the vibrant culture, stunning natural beauty, and rich history that make Seattle an unforgettable destination. Day one saw you exploring the bustling Pike Place Market, marveling at the Seattle Great Wheel, and experiencing the serenity of a sunset sailing cruise.

Day two took you from the luxurious brunch at Salish Lodge to the breathtaking Snoqualmie Falls, an adventurous wine tasting in Woodinville, and a scenic train ride through the picturesque Snoqualmie Valley. You wrapped up your adventure with a visit to the whimsical Chihuly Garden and Glass, the iconic Space Needle, and a delicious dinner at Rocco’s in the trendy Belltown neighborhood.

Seattle’s allure goes far beyond what can be captured in just two days. This city is a treasure trove of endless adventures and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re drawn to its vibrant arts scene, the breathtaking natural landscapes, or the rich culinary experiences, there’s always something new and exciting around every corner.

Bonus: check out the underground in Seattle. It reminded me of the underground streets in Guanajuato, Mexico!

So pack your bags, put on your explorer’s hat, and set out to create your own unforgettable memories in the Emerald City. Seattle is calling—answer the adventure!

Seattle Visit Travel Tips

So, you’ve made the wise decision to plan a visit to Seattle. Congratulations! Now, let’s talk about transportation options so you can easily navigate around this beautiful city. Whether you choose to rent a car in Seattle or utilize the convenient public transportation system, getting around Seattle is a breeze.

Seattle Great Wheel views - spend two days in Seattle
image of Seattle Great Wheel views – spend two days in Seattle

When it comes to recommended accommodations, look no further than finding a place to stay in Seattle with the best views of the Seattle skyline. Treat yourself to a room with a view and start your day with a mesmerizing sight that will make your stay in Seattle even more memorable.

We chose the Pan Pacific Hotel and loved the location and views!

As for packing tips, be sure to pack layers for Seattle’s weather. The city is known for its unpredictable weather, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for any near Seattle rain showers or sunny spells that may come your way during your spending 48 hours in Seattle.

Layering is your best friend—think lightweight, breathable shirts, warm sweaters, and a waterproof jacket to handle the occasional rain showers. Comfortable walking shoes are a must for exploring the city’s many attractions and neighborhoods on foot. Don’t forget a compact umbrella and a hat to protect yourself from both rain and sun.

For those planning to venture into the great outdoors, pack a sturdy pair of hiking boots and moisture-wicking socks. Lastly, a reusable water bottle and a backpack will keep you hydrated and hands-free as you navigate this vibrant city. Happy packing and safe travels!

And last but certainly not least, the best time to visit Seattle is on a Sunday. Why? Because you can spend your day itinerary exploring the iconic Pike Place Market and checking out the unique shops in Seattle, all while enjoying the vibrant energy of the city at its best.

The best time to visit Seattle is during the late spring through early fall, from May to September. During these months, the weather is generally mild and pleasant, with less rainfall and plenty of sunshine, making it perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing. I visited in September and while it was jacket weather, the days were sunny and beautiful!

Summer, in particular, offers long, sunny days ideal for exploring the city’s parks, waterfront, and vibrant neighborhoods. Additionally, this period is packed with festivals and events, providing a lively atmosphere and plenty of opportunities to experience Seattle’s unique culture and community spirit.

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Seattle 2 Day Itinerary

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Rob and Taiss

Hi! We’re Rob and Taiss. We set off to live a life in as many places as possible. To actually live in locations around the world long enough to get to know the locals, the culture, and the food, not just a taste of it.