Places To Visit In Seattle In May – I’ll cut to the chase: my 2-day trip in Seattle was a secret love letter to this amazing city. I have lived here for almost 15 years and I love it more and more every day.
Like San Francisco, Seattle is known as a technology hub. But there is much more to the Emerald City.
Places To Visit In Seattle In May
From mild weather and gorgeous summers to incredible food and cuisine, Seattle has it all no matter what time of year you visit. However, it can be difficult to decide how to spend just two days when you get tons of search results for tourist attractions.
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Let me help you cut through the noise and experience Seattle like a local. Here’s how I spend my perfect 2 days in Seattle and what I leave behind.
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Feel free to switch days on this trip, depending on which days you are traveling! Need help customizing your trip? I am a travel planner and I love planning your dream trip!
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If this is your first time to Seattle, you should explore the downtown area. Sure, there are more tourist attractions here, but these are the places I visited and always check out for locals and visitors alike!
Please note that there are many homeless people downtown, mostly clustered near the waterfront at 3rd and Pike St. and Pike Place Market. Seattle is a sad thing, but they are completely harmless and shouldn’t be a problem!
Even as a local, I love visiting Pike Place Market. I used to work nearby in downtown Seattle and would go into the market to get food in places that tourists didn’t know about. In fact, I’ve been to Pike Place twice in the past month. So no 2 days in Seattle would be complete without a visit here!
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I have lots of suggestions for where to go in Pike Place Market and how to avoid the tourists. Get my free self-guided tour of Pike Place Market to get all my insider secrets! If food is your thing, check out my guide to the best restaurants in Pike Place Market. Here’s a tip: Pike Place Market has some of Seattle’s best restaurants with water views.
You could easily spend a whole day here, but about 3 hours should be enough to comb through the entire array of vendors and stop a few times for food at a few different places. Be sure to catch a view of the Olympic Mountains and Elliott Bay from the Market Front Promenade!
I always thought I hated museums, but in my old age I became obsessed with finding the best artists in the Pacific Northwest. In that discovery I learned that I love museums
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And the Seattle Art Museum fits the bill. It’s also located in downtown Seattle near Pike Place Market so it’s a perfect second stop on your 2 day Seattle tour.
Go to USA if you are in Pike Place faster than you think. Plan to spend about 1-2 hours here to explore the exhibits. You can find everything from paintings to sculptures to installations. Be sure to look up at the ceiling when you enter the lobby!
Pro Tips: If you need to drive to the US, check out this parking deal on Groupon. If you took too long in the market, skip this draw and move on to the next one!
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My favorite way to spend 24 hours in downtown Seattle is to visit the Seattle Sculpture Park, owned by the Seattle Art Museum. I walked home on the 3-mile Elliott Bay Trail, which runs along the sculptures and water because it offers some of the best views in Seattle.
Keep an eye out for statues of all sizes in this 2-level park. You can also take a short walk down the Elliott Bay Trail to Myrtle Edwards Park. Sometimes you’ll find seals on the rocks, so keep your eyes peeled!
Pro Tip: Walk to Alaska Way through Pike Place Market and walk along the waterfront for a beautiful view of Puget Sound. You’ll pass the Seattle Aquarium, the Big Wheel, Argosy Cruises and more on your way to the Sculpture Park.
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Dale Chihuly is a famous glass artist from Washington. The work is amazing…you won’t find small bowls here! Instead you’ll see giant, colorful glass installations at the indoor and outdoor Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. Plan to spend about 1.5 to 2 hours here on his work.
Since the Museum of Glass is right in the center of Seattle, you’ll find several other famous tourist attractions just a short distance away. If you love museums, you’ll also find the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop) and the Pacific Science Center.
Above all is the Space Needle with its glass bottom floor and observation deck looking out over the Seattle skyline and Mount Rainier in the distance.
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If you want to see any of these attractions, get a Seattle CityPass. Includes admission to the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium and your choice of Chihuly Museum of Glass, Mopop, Woodland Park Zoo or Argosy Cruise. You can buy any of these tickets independently.
I personally think the glass museum is the best attraction of them all, but you know you have options! If you are only interested in the Museum of Glass and the Space Needle, discounted combo tickets can be purchased on Groupon or the attraction’s website.
When you’re exploring downtown Seattle, before it’s around 3:00 and you have time, make your way to Pioneer Square. It is a historic city center with beautiful cobblestone streets and brick buildings remodeled into shops, cafes and bars.
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Spend about 1-2 hours walking the streets and popping into some of the best gift shops in Seattle and local Seattle city wineries.
Pro Tip: The most touristy thing to do in Punishment Square is the underground tour. I’ve done that and found the guides to be rather small, but it’s great to walk down the streets to see the historic city before modern day Seattle was built on top of it.
Head east on Pike Street to walk uphill to Capitol Hill. It’s an artsy LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood full of great vibes, murals, and a hip crowd. If any stores are still open, stop by because Capitol Hill is one of the best shopping destinations in Seattle. If you have time, you can take a guided neighborhood tour with a local.
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So many great options, but here are my favorites to visit during your 2 days in Seattle:
Now that you’ve seen the heart of Seattle and the surrounding areas, here’s how to spend 2 days in Seattle: in my favorite neighborhoods! This assumes you can visit on a Sunday when the popular markets are going on, but you should still visit these quaint neighborhoods full of shops and restaurants! Note that the mentioned deals do not happen.
The Ballard Farmers Market is arguably the best farmers market in Seattle. It shines every Sunday rain or shine throughout the year. I like to visit it during my self-guided Ballard food tour so I can graze and pop into the boutique shops across the street where the market is located. If you are in Seattle on Sunday, definitely go here! Otherwise, exploring the shops of downtown Ballard is a great way to explore Seattle in 2 more days!
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You can easily spend 2-3 hours in the area. As you browse the market, keep an eye out for these vendors:
You’ll find more than 15 local breweries less than a mile from the Ballard Farmers Market. The best part? They are all within walking distance of each other.
Obec Brewing is my favorite of the bunch, but an even closer in my guide to the ultimate Seattle brewery tour.
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About a mile from downtown Ballard is downtown Fremont. Here you will find more fun shops and the Fremont Sunday Market.
Unlike the Ballard Farmers Market, it caters more to gifts and food trucks. Pop into the shops and stalls that interest you on my self-guided Fremont food tour. When all is said and done you can probably spend about 2 hours in this pleasant neighborhood of Seattle. Here’s my guide to things to do in Fremont Seattle for ideas on how to fill the time.
When I first moved here I dreamed of kayaking with orcas in Seattle, so kayaking has a special place in my heart. My favorite way to do this is to rent kayaks through the Northwest Field Center and pick them up on Lake Union. It’s honestly one of the best ways to spend a great day here, so it’s a must during your 2 days in Seattle!
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You will not see whales,
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