First Timer’s Guide to Seattle

(Last Updated On: October 2, 2020)

Chihuly Glass Sculpture

When you hear the word Seattle, some of the first thoughts that may come to mind likely include rain, coffee, the space needle, house boats and the Puget sound.

At least those are the first things that come to my mind, along with the movie Sleepless In Seattle starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.

What a romantic city Seattle is! 

There is just something about the thought of waking through the rain, umbrella in one hand, a steaming cup of coffee in the other as you run errands around the city that seems dreamy to me.

If you have never been to Seattle before then this post is for you. Here is my guide for the things you don’t want to miss on your first trip to the emerald city.

Space Needle & Monorail 

It wouldn’t be a trip to Seattle without visiting the iconic Space Needle now would it? Tickets to ride the elevator up to the viewing platform will set you back $22.00 for an adult, but you won’t regret the gorgeous view. 

There is a Starbucks located at the top encourages you to purchase a coffee, sit on one of the many comfy chairs and take in the magnificent view.  For a moment you will feel like you are a member of the Jetson’s family!

In addition to the Space Needle, the best way to get to there is to ride the Monorail. 

The monorail was built for the World’s Fair back in 1962 and is the way most people get to and from the Seattle Center from it’s starting point, the Westlake mall. The ride is short, just 10 minutes. It’s a quick ride and also historic. As you ride the monorail you will learn about some of the other famous people who have rode it, Elvis for example!

First Starbucks & Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room

I couldn’t help myself but combine these two activities as they go hand in hand. First off, the first Starbucks located at 1912 Pike Place is a must see for any coffee enthusiast out there. This shop has been known to have the BEST customer service out of any other Starbucks location in the world. 

It is here you can purchase cool coffee mugs only available in this store that engrave slogans stating “1st Starbucks”. 

In addition to visiting the first Starbucks you can’t leave Seattle without visiting the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room.

Front entrance to Starbucks Reserve Rostery in SeattleThis opened in December 2014 and was designed to emulate Willie Wonka’s fictional chocolate factory. 

I have been a few times and I must say that it is quite a magical experience. 

Coffee is being roasted right before your eyes. You can see the coffee being roasted and then being transported in a clear tubing system throughout the store. 

You can purchase beautiful mugs, barista aprons, books and of course linger with your favorite cup of java.  If you are hungry for more than just coffee you will not be disappointed with the attached Serious Pie pizza place by renowned Seattle chef Tom Douglas.

Pike’s Place Market

Go to see the flying fish! That’s right you heard me, flying fish!  At the beginning of the market, you will see men and women dressed in orange overalls tossing fish and catching them to amuse the tourist passing by. 

It is quite a sight to see.  The market has fruits, veggies, and seafood galore!  In addition you can purchase some great art and jewelry! Even if you buy nothing at all, you must walk through this iconic market.

I personally love going to Piroshky, Piroshky to get a pastry while in Pike’s Place market. It is a Russian pastry shop with a few locations in Seattle. It is common for a line to form out the door, but the good news is it moves fast. It’s totally worth the wait.

Proshky Proshky in Pike's Place

Stroll Alaska Way

Smell the salty ocean and stop for a bowl of chowder in a sourdough bread bowl and watch the ferry’s go across the sound.  Alaska way has an old gold rush feel to it. The Seattle aquarium, boat tours, restaurants and the “great wheel” Ferris wheel are all located along Alaska way.  You can spend hours walking around this part to town.

While you are exploring Alaska Way and Pike’s Place Market I recommend making a reservation at The Pink Door. It’s an Italian restaurant with stunning water views. 

Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square is the oldest part of Seattle. This was the center of the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1800’s. The buildings in this area are historic and this is the home to one of Seattle’s oldest bars The J&M Café.

Some say it is haunted.  You can take the famous “underground tour” and stroll the subterranean streets that used to be the ground level of Seattle.  I have actually taken the night time ghost tour and it is really fun.

Next door to the Pioneer Square are the baseball and football stadiums. If I visit Seattle in the spring I always make sure I incorporate a baseball game. I have been to opening day twice, and I highly recommend going, as there is a lot of fanfare associated with opening day. 

For the 2019 season, Mackelmore gave a free concert, and Mike Mccready from Pearl Jame played the national anthem on his electric guitar.

Opening day 2019 Seattle Mariners

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