The Ultimate Guide For First Time Visitors To Seattle
It’s really (REALLY) easy to get overwhelmed by all the things you can do on your first trip to Seattle, or the Pacific Northwest in general.
One of the most interesting, exciting, and engaging places in the entire US, you have a unique culture here in Seattle that you won’t find anywhere else. Built on top of a historic fishing village (with plenty of “living artifacts” to this traditional way of life in Seattle), Seattle proper is a major US city with all of the hustle and bustle – and attractions and amenities – that you would come to expect from a city of this size.
First-time visitors are going to want to use the ultimate guide that we highlight below as a foundation for their itinerary, making sure to hit as many of the attractions as we touch on the low as possible for the best first visit to this area!
Check Out The Pike Place Market
Legendary around the world, no visit to Seattle – your first or your 50th – would be complete without spending at least a little bit of time the Pike Place Market.
The oldest public market in the United States (first opening up in 1907), you’ll find amazing food, amazing energy, and the historic fishmongers that throw your order from stall to stall, something you really have to see and experience to understand what it’s all about.
Take A Walk Through Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square is a pretty historic part of downtown Seattle, with many considering it to be the birthplace of the city and the heartbeat of the culture that has grown up around this community.
Perhaps the most photogenic part of Seattle, you’ll find beautiful brick and stone buildings throughout this neighborhood – and you’ll also find the birthplace of punk along the world-famous Skidow. Things can get a little bit dodgy here after dark, but you’ll find the area flooded with tourists in the middle of the day while still having plenty of space to soak in everything Pioneer Square has to offer.
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery
This is not your every day Starbucks – not by a long shot.
Seattle is the ancestral home of the now legendary global coffee company, and this location (right on top of Capital Hill) is one of the must see locations for first-time visitors. People coming to Seattle flocked to this coffee shop on a daily basis the same way people pour into the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, and many of them are just as passionate!
You’ll have a unique opportunity to enjoy some coffee options available nowhere else on the planet but here, and the world-famous Nitro Cold Group Float is something you’re going to want to enjoy while here (you might want to grab one to go, too).
See The Sights From The Space Needle And The Smith Tower
The Space Needle is always going to be packed with tourists, and you’re going to have to wait a little bit to get your shop to go all the way to the top and enjoy the spectacular view of Seattle you won’t get anywhere else.
Don’t get us wrong, the wait is certainly worth the experience – particularly for a first-time visitor to the city – but that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to check out the view from Smith Tower in the interim.
Both of these landmarks give you panoramic views of the city, the ocean, and the Pacific Northwest that are impossible to describe in words. You’ll pay a small fortune for admission to the top of the Space Needle, however, while paying next to nothing to go up to the top of Smith Tower.
Take A Tour For The Full Experience
If you really want to see parts of Seattle that most people never get an opportunity to enjoy, especially on your first time visiting the Pacific Northwest, any one of the dozens and dozens of different tours available in Seattle are well worth looking into.
Underground tours, paranormal and ghost hunting tours, seaplane tours, food and pub crawl tours, and a whole bunch of other tour options are available to pick and choose from – and you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
Self-guided tours are all right for those with a sense of adventure and a comfort level navigating through the streets and neighborhoods of a brand-new city. But for those looking to really soaking all that the culture Seattle has to offer with the help of locals that have “been there and done that” you really can’t go wrong dropping a little bit of cash and having a professional open up the door to the side of Seattle that most newcomers never get a chance to enjoy.
At the end of the day, there’s always going to be plenty to do in Seattle.
Whether you’re coming from somewhere else in Washington state, somewhere along the West Coast, somewhere clear across the United States, or somewhere from around to all corners of the globe, Seattle is going to open itself up to you in a way that few other major cities ever do.
Warm, welcoming, and always up for something new, fun, and exciting you really can’t go wrong spending time in this amazing locale. The Emerald City isn’t just a place you want to visit once to check it off of a bucket list. It’s a location you’re going to want to come back to time and time again.
International travelers looking to visit Seattle for the first time are going to want to make sure that they take care of all the proper paperwork before booking flights, hotels, and getting restaurant reservations.
It’s important to have your visa, to check ESTA status alerts in the lead up to your visit, and to make sure that you have at least one photo ID, cash, and a cell phone that you can use while you are in the US.
Cover all of those bases – with the help of this ultimate guide for first-time visitors to Seattle – and you’ll have nothing to worry about!