Guest post by hmonson
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
I went to college in Seattle and this is what I’d recommend for 3 days around the area.
- Whidbey Island
You can take ferries to a lot of islands, but if you’re only going to one, I would recommend Whidbey. It’s the biggest of the San Juan Islands. 20 minute ferry ride from Mukilteo Bay. Really cheap, car + driver is less than $10. The ferry docks on the south side of the island, and you can take your car. In Langley, lot of cute small-town, island shopping. Drive up to Fort Casey, old Navy base. Really pretty and open to the public.
After Fort Casey, go to Deception Pass State Park. You can drive back to the mainland on the bridge called Deception Pass, which I recommend so you’re seeing something different instead of going back the same way. You could do it the opposite direction, too, starting with the drive and taking the ferry back.
- Mt. Si
- Snoqualmie Falls
For day 2, take a hike in Snoqualmie. There are a variety of hikes for all abilities/ages, but if you have to pick one, I’d go with Mount Si. It’s a very popular 8 mile RT hike that’s close to the city (45 minutes from downtown).
Snoqualmie Mountain is another good hike on the more challenging side. Almost 6 miles RT with over 3,000 ft of elevation gain.
For a family-friendly hike, Franklin Falls is good. 2 miles RT, very little elevation gain.
Snoqualmie Falls is also good for everyone because you can drive right to the top of the falls, and can hike to the bottom, too.
- Discovery Park
- Kerry Park
- Museum of Pop Culture
- Pike Place Market
- South Lake Union
- Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)
I don’t know that you’d be able to do all of these in one day, but I added them so you can see where they all are in relation to each other.
Discovery Park – for walkers, not hikers. Nice wilderness and views.
Kerry Park has the best view of the cityscape.
MoPop – Museum of Pop Culture is another place worth visiting. Very cool from the outside, too.
Pike Place is the famous open-air market where you can get a bite to eat and spend hours walking through it.
South Lake Union – great restaurants and where Amazon is headquartered.
Museum of History and Industry is on the lake, beautiful setting and very interesting museum. It’s a Seattle and PNW history museum if you’re interested in the area. Chronological order of Coast Salish people. All Seattle museums are free on the first Thursday of the month.
A few other tips:
The Seattle Central Library is one of the coolest buildings you’ll ever see. The interior is really neat with colors, ramps, and staircases galore.
The Space Needle is expensive, and it’s better to look at from afar than being in it.
Favorite restaurants: Breakfast: Portage Bay. Quick, cheap lunch: Red Mill Burgers. Dinner: Revel and Purple. Purple is downtown, so more on the pricy side, but they have a 97-page wine menu.
Seattle has a great bus system, so it’s a great alternative if you’re heading downtown. Traffic and parking can be a hassle and expensive.