Where to Eat at Pike Place Market Restaurants

The Pike Place Market has many great options to enjoy eating while you are there and let’s start off with a few of our favorite locations.

Seafood Options in the Pike Place Market

Pike Place Chowder

 We believe there is no better place to get clam chowder than at Pike Place Chowder. Based on Yelp reviews their New England Clam Chowder is the #1 best rated dish in America.. yes you read that right, in America. The “Chowderheads” have taken first-place in 16 regional and national competitions…so far, so yeah you could say it’s going to be the best clam chowder you will ever have. 

The lines can be a bit long, but just order online and skip to the front.

Prices start around $8

Located in Post Alley next to Rachel’s Ginger Beer

Link to Menu

Order Online

Link to Location

Cutters Crab House

Cutters Crab House

This restaurant has always been a favorite for Seafood in Seattle. Of course they serve wonderful crab dishes like King Crab legs and whole Dungeness Crab but they also feature a fantastic Spicy Jambalaya that is not to be missed.

On their dinner menu, If you are in the mood for Halibut or Salmon or maybe a little sushi or the delicious, Kumamoto raw Oysters, then you won’t be disappointed with these choices. Lunchtime options also offer Oysters, Sushi and a delicious Open Crab faced sandwiches. For those who would prefer non Seafood items, they have chicken sandwiches as well as their Market Burger.

Prices start around $18

Located on the North end of the Pike Place Market, just follow the cobble stone street Pike Place, to the corner of Western and Virginia and it’s across the street at 2001 Western Avenue, to the right of Victor Steinbrueck Park.

Link to Menu

Link to location

Seatown Rub Shack and Fish Fry

Seatown in Seattle

Seatown is owned by local celebrity chef, Tom Douglas. Located on the north end of the cobblestone street, Pike Place, it is a great place to get fish and chips and our favorite dish the Albacore Tuna Melt. Pair this with Bundaberg, Australian Ginger Beer (Non-alcoholic), and you have a perfect meal. 

Seatown Albacore Tuna Melt

Other enticing dishes include raw oysters, Roasted Dungeness Crab, Wild Salmon Sockeye burger and other great seafood dishes. 

Prices start around $15

Link to Menu

Link to Location

Athenian

Enjoy Great Salmon Dishes at the Athenian Restaurant in Seattle.

Opening in 1909 in the Pike Place Market, the Athenian is famous for a scene in the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” with Rob Reiner and Tom Hanks. However they are also known for their wonderful seafood options such as mussels and oysters and the Northwest Salmon Fish and Chips.

Maybe start off with their smoked salmon platter served with cream cheese and herb crostini. Their neighbors next door, Pure Foods Fish, has what we feel is the best smoked salmon in the market (Featured in Sunset Magazine) and proudly serve their salmon with this dish.

Maybe you’re in the mood for some pasta and the Dungeness Crab or Prawn Fettuccini would be a fantastic choice. The portions are pretty large, so you might share this and couple it with a bowl of New England Clam Chowder. 

Prices start around $16

Located in the middle of the market next to Lowell’s Restaurant and Pure Foods Fish, it’s easy to find on the main arcade level of the market.

Link to Menu

Link to Location

Lowell’s 

Located next to the Athenian, Lowell’s has three levels of waterview seating for a great place to enjoy breakfast or lunch.

Why not start off with their delicious grilled Dungeness crab cakes served with citrus aioli sauce and their homemade fresh mango salsa on spinach side. 

Lowell's Restaurant in Seattle Bagels and Lox

For your main course you might enjoy the House Brined & Cured King Salmon Lox & Toasted Bagel with house pickled red onions, cream cheese & Moroccan capers. Or perhaps you’re in the mood for their Slow Braised Corned Beef Reuben piled on thick rye bread with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and 1000 island dressing then grilled.

Perhaps you are in the mood for the Grilled Blackened Alaskan Cod Tacos or Beecher’s “Flagship” White Cheddar Burger with home made patties of fresh Angus beef grilled and topped with Beecher’s “Flagship” white Cheddar made daily in the Pike Place Market.

Prices start around $15

Also located in the middle of the market next to the Athenian Restaurant and Pure Foods Fish, it’s easy to find on the main arcade level of the market.

Link to Menu

Link to Location

Non Seafood Restaurants in the Market

Pike Brewing Company

Pike Brewery

Known for their excellent beers in Seattle, Pike Brewing Company not only has fantastic beers, but an extensive “Bar Food” menu of choices to enjoy.

Maybe start of with three fresh pretzels with Pike XXXXX Stout mustard, house-made cheese sauce, and malt-infused whipped butter and couple that with Draper Valley Ale Glazed Chicken wings, Monk’s Uncle sauce, chili-lime cream and fresh carrots.

How about a Wild Salmon BLT? yes you read that right, they put thick-cut bacon on a salmon sandwich.  Rounding it out with lettuce, tomato, onion, and smoked pepper mayo on local artisan bun. Served with fries.

They also have a children’s menu, so it’s a great location for the whole family. 

And don’t forget to wash down your food with a Pike Sampler: a flight of six 4-ounce tastes.

When you are done, don’t forget to checkout the beer museum, claimed to be the biggest microbrewery beer museum in the world. Just grab a beer and walk around the free museum.

Prices Start around $14

The Pike Pub is located at 1415 1st Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. Enter on 1st Avenue, between Pike and Union just south of Pike Place Market, or via Post Alley, across from Post Alley Park, down from the Gum Wall.

Link to Menu

Link to Location

Bacco Cafe

Bacco Cafe in Seattle

Bacco is a fantastic place to enjoy breakfast and don’t miss their fresh squeezed Orange Juice. We’re not sure what they do to it other than foam it up a bit, but it just tastes the best. Their breakfast menu is served till 3 PM as is their regular brunch menu, so if you’re in the mood for some breakfast food midday, this may be a perfect fit. 

One dish not to miss is their Brioche French toast. Served with Brioche, Vanilla, fresh berries and maple butter. Oh man, our mouths water just thinking about it. 

Bacco’s Classic Eggs Benedict, is also a favorite, paired with potatoes and a blackberry Mimosa and you’re all set to start the day exploring in the market.  

Prices start around $8

Bacco is located on the SW corner of 1st Avenue and Stewart Street

Link to Menu 

Link to Location

Grab and Go Items in the Pike Place Market

Piroshky Piroshky

Piroshky Piroshky

Located a couple doors down from the Original Starbucks, this little bakery is packed with some nice surprises for a quick grab for breakfast or lunch. Though the lines can be a bit long during the tourist season, they are super efficient and get people through real quick. 

You might enjoy the spinach and ham with bacon and egg piroshki and if you’re in the mood for a little sweetness, the berry dazzle might be a perfect fit. The poppyseed cinnamon roll will also be a great choice to pair with your coffee from Storyville Coffee.

For a quick afternoon fill-up, you might try the Salmon Pate, a delicious blend of Smoked Salmon, cream cheese, a dash of dill and onion. Perhaps the delicious Uli’s Jalapeño and Cheddar Sausage wrapped in Piroshky dough with be a nice addition to your day. Our good friend Uli makes the best sausages in the market and this likely could be a perfect combo for you.

Prices start around $5

Link to Menu

Link to Location

Le Panier 

Le Panier in Seattle

Le Panier is a classic French Bakery with all products made on-site and sold fresh every day. They have a wonderful selection of breads and sweets that one would expect from a French bakery including one of our favorites, the Macarons. With flavors ranging from vanilla to pistachio to coffee and black currant.

Why not grab a loaf of sourdough bread and a whole cooked Dungeness crab at a local fish market and make yourself a great meal? Perhaps a Casse-Croute sandwiches on their classic baguette would be in order for a lunchtime treat. Try the Crudités with seasonal vegetables with Emmental, goat cheese and lettuce or the Jambon fromage with Ham, Emmental, lettuce with dijonnaise. 

Prices start around $3

Link to Menu

Link to Location

Beecher’s Cheese

Becchers Cheese in Pike Place Market

No stop in Seattle or the Pike Place Market would be complete without tasting the “World’s Best Mac and Cheese” at Beecher’s Cheese. Work with talented cheesemakers who apply traditional cheesemaking methods who make the cheese right there in the window at the market. They don’t use anything artificial using only the finest ingredients that are free of artificial preservatives, flavor enhancers, sweeteners, colors and hydrogenated oils (trans fats).

We suggest getting the smokey mac and cheese, you will likely never taste a better tasting macaroni and cheese in your life and you’ll know the cheese was made right there and not full of artificial ingredients out of a box. 

Link to Menu

Link to Location

Market Grill

Market Grill in Pike Place Market

 

The Market Grill is not to be missed if you are looking for a fantastic Wild Salmon sandwich. Wild Salmon is the key here because many places throughout the United States one can only get Atlantic salmon. Atlantic Salmon is always farm raised, did you know this? Don’t feel bad, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute found that 90 percent of respondents (800 people, ages 35 to 54) in a survey did not know that Atlantic salmon is farmed-raised. And a third believe that Atlantic salmon is wild… it’s not. The Atlantic Salmon is an endangered species and cannot be caught legally pretty much throughout the world. Atlantic Salmon are also raised in pens and fed mostly food pellets and do not taste as good as wild salmon.

So why the long rant on Atlantic Salmon you may ask? Well, when you’re at the Pike Place Market you have the opportunity to taste a Wild Salmon Sandwich that you might not be able to get where you live and they are delicious. 

Featured on ‘Delicious Destinations’ on the Travel Channel, the Market Grill has developed quite the reputation and our favorite is the blackened salmon sandwich with caramelized onions and herbed mayonnaise on a baguette. You’ll likely be dreaming of this sandwich way after you return home, but don’t miss it when you are in Seattle. 

Prices start around $17

Link to Menu

Link to Location

For a full list of where to eat in the Pike Place Market, check out this link. 


9 Fun Things to Do in Seattle

Shutter Tours PikePlaceMarket

There are many options of things to do in Seattle from sightseeing tours such as our Snoqualmie Falls and City Tour, to exploring Seattle waterfront and local neighborhoods like Fremont, how of the famous Fremont Troll.

We thought we would put together ideas for you to help make your travel plans to Seattle.

Snoqualmie Falls and City Tour

Snoqualmie Falls

Of course, we think our Snoqualmie Falls and City Tour is the best value in Seattle and so do over 900 people on Trip Advisor who gave us 5-star reviews. Our tour begins at Pike Place Market at 10 AM, just late enough where you can grab some breakfast at Biscuit Bitch, known for their biscuits and perhaps a cup of coffee at the original Starbucks or one of our favorite coffee shops, Storyville Coffee.

Seattle Kerry Park Shutter Tours

You’ve probably searched for how to get to the location where the famous viewpoint is in Seattle with the Space Needle in the foreground, that is Kerry Park, our last stop on our tour. This is the view made famous in the show Frasier, and we often see Mt. Rainier towering 14,410 feet in the distance. By taking our tour you can check this off your bucket list, but better than that, you’ll have the perfect viewpoint to get some fantastic photos of the city to remember your trip to Seattle.

Tour price $69.00

 Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly_Glass_Gardens_Shutter_Tours

Dale Chihuly is a world famous glass artist known for his large-scale “Glass Sculptures” and was born and raised in the Seattle area. You may not know this, but Seattle is #2 in the world for glass studios next to Murano, Italy thanks to the local influence of Dale. Dale Chihuly’s  work has been featured all over the world and is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide. On your visit to Seattle, you don’t want to miss this impressive Chihuly Gardens to see the work of this master artist that has brought a whole new appreciation of glass art.

(more…)


Check out our Linktree

In case you lost our link for the link we give out on tours, here’s a link back to it.

https://linktr.ee/shuttertours


Where to Eat in La Conner During the Tulip Festival

Updated April 5, 2023

If you’re taking our Tulip Festival tour with us in April, you’ll want to plan for where to eat when we arrive in La Conner. Here is a quick list of the restaurants located all within walking distance of each other in the main part of town. Just click on the restaurant name for a link to the menus (if available) or their website/social media site.

During the Tulip Festival, please make sure you eat first and shop second as the town fills up really quick. Waiting any more than 15-20 minutes after opening and you may not get seated in time to catch our bus departure time.

This list is in order of where they are located in town, closest to furthest from our drop off point. Click on this Google Map link to get a map of town and restaurant locations.

The Slider Cafe

The Slider Cafe’ is a great place for a home cooked meal whether you’re in the mood for a Chicken Fried Steak or some corned beef hash or their delicious burger. The service is usually fast and friendly and a great value for the money.

Opens Daily at 7 AM

Santo Coyote Mexican Kitchen

Traditional Mexican fare with a well rounded menu and great staff.

Opens daily @ Noon

 

La Conner Brewing Company

This is one of our go to spots for our guides during the Tulip Festival. We especially enjoy their House Slow-Roasted Prime Rib Dip and their wood fired pizzas and nachos. Though we don’t drink beer when visiting, if you see us hoisting a pint it’s their delicious in-house made root beer.

Opens daily @ Noon

Nell Thorn

Hands down our favorite restaurant in La Conner. The Crispy Polenta is almost a meal in itself and topped with a shiitake gorgonzola cream sauce is not to be missed. For a main meal check out their Nicoise salad with grilled wild sockeye salmon or the Nell burger or fantastic Cod and chips.

Opens at 11:30 and gets really busy by noon 

Oyster and Thistle

We really like their bar seating and if you get their early you can sit in the nice cozy booth. Here they offer an exotic fare from a half dozen raw oysters to Crispy Duck Confit to Northwest Seafood Stew.

Closed on Tuesdays and opens @ Noon Wednesday-Monday

Waterfront Cafe

When we are in the mood for fish and chips, theWaterfront Cafe is a perfect fit for us. Quick indoor and outdoor seating and right in the center of town make it a perfect place to grab a quick bite and enjoy the shopping afterward. They also have great choices for children and a Vegan menu as well.

Closed on Tuesdays and opens @ 11:30 Wednesday-Monday

The Fork at Skagit Bay

Serving upscale “Southern Comfort” food, the former location for Anelias Kitchen and Stage, Owners Jennifer and Matt offer great dishes like a fresh Dungeness crab in the shell with Grilled Focaccia. Or for that Southern style, why not have a Corned Beef Po’ Boy which will have you dreaming of New Orleans. They also offer local Taylor’s Shellfish oysters and clams.

Wednesday thru Sundays and opens @ noon

La Conner Seafood and Prime Rib House

Though Prime Rib is not available until after 4 PM, there are some wonderful dishes you be dreaming of. The Halibut Macadamia with crushed macadamia nuts and panko, topped with a beurre blanc sauce is not to be missed along with pan fried local oysters and the Dungeness crab cakes. If you’re in a mood for a burger, their bacon jam burger with gouda cheese is a house favorite.

Opens daily @ 11:30

La Conner Pub and Eatery

In the mood a for a $1.75 oyster shooter? Or how about 8 spicy hot wings or a pub platter with two hand dipped beer battered cod with jalapeño poppers, Mozzarella sticks and some other yummy choices like onion rings and breaded mushrooms with dipping sauces.

Opens daily @ 10:30 AM

Calico Cupboard Old Town Cafe

Are you gluten free? Then this bakery is for you with the best GF cookies and muffins. Their lunch menu includes some wonderful sandwiches like the Grown Up Grilled Cheese sandwich to Tuna Melt to a Garden Veggie. All of these are available GF and pair this with their wonderful Clam Chowder and don’t forget to walk out with their famous and deliciously large old fashion cinnamon roll.

Opens Daily @ 8:30 AM

COA MEXICAN EATERY & TEQUILERIA

Located a couple of blocks East from our dropoff point, COA has some of the most delicious food in La Conner. 

COA Mexican Eatery and Tequileria, offers a delectable menu of artisan cuisine crafted entirely from scratch. The restaurant derives its name from the spade-like tool utilized in harvesting agave plants, a vital ingredient in tequila production. The sibling owners take great pride in their culinary creations, utilizing only the freshest, locally-sourced, and natural ingredients in every dish. Drawing inspiration from their hometown of Durango, their cuisine is imbued with an authentic, homemade flavor that transports diners to their abuelita’s kitchen with each and every bite.

Opens Daily @ 11:00 AM – Closed Sundays


The Best Ways to Get to Downtown Seattle from Seatac Airport

How to get to Seattle from Seatac Airport

Here is a list of options (updated January 9th, 2023) to go from Seatac Airport to Seattle and back.

1. Ride the Light Rail

If you don’t mind wheeling your luggage, this is the best and cheapest way to go. The light station rail is about a 10-15 minute walk from the airport terminal with the final stop at Westlake Center in downtown Seattle. The trip will take between 35-40 minutes and one-way adult fares range between $3.25 and $5.75, depending on how far you travel. Once you arrive at your station, you’ll have to take an escalator or elevator to exit the station to go to your hotel

You’ll find all the information you need for getting to Seattle from Seatac Airport on the Link Light Rail at the Sound Transit website.

When coming back to the airport from Downtown Seattle, you will be getting off at the very last stop. The two closest stations to Downtown Seattle are the University Street Station at Benaroya Hall and the Westlake Station at 5th and Pine at the Nordstrom building.

Sound Transit also has an easy trip planner to help you determine which stop you’ll need to get off at that is in close proximity to your hotel.

2. Using Uber to go to Seattle from Seatac

I love Uber and travelling to Seattle is easy via their app. You’ll need to meet your driver by following the “Ground Transportation” signs towards the parking garage. On the third floor, you’ll see a pickup zone marked with a rideshare sign. This is where your Uber driver will meet you.

There are a couple of options with Uber

Ubergreen: You will be riding in an electric vehicle. Approximate cost from Seatac via Ubergreen  to the Westin Hotel as of this writing is $51 with no surge pricing in effect.

UberX: You and your party are not sharing an Uber and as of this writing during non-surge to the Westin Hotel from Seatac would be $51-$67 depending on traffic.

Coming back to Seatac Airport from Downtown Seattle is approximately $4-5 less than the above prices.

Download the Uber App

3. Take a Cab from the Seatac Airport

When leaving Seatac Airport, cabs will charge a metered rate that is set by the City of Seattle. Currently, that rate is $2.70 per mile plus pickup charges and also charges for any time delays you may have sitting in traffic. If you are travelling to the city during a work week from 6:30am-9:30 am, you’ll have to expect some delays coming into Seattle from the airport.

Based on the app, Taxifarefinder, you will pay anywhere between $54 during non-peak times and over $75 during rush hour.

When leaving Downtown Seattle for Seatac Airport, most cabs charge a flat rate of $40 from downtown to the airport.

4. Use Lyft

Lyft is another rideshare service you can use to get to Downtown Seattle from Seatac. Based on the website Ride.Guru, the cost for a car by yourself with Lyft is about $52.00  for a 22-minute ride between Seatac Airport and the Westin Hotel which is centrally located to downtown.

5. Take an Airporter from Seatac Airport to Seattle Hotels

Airporters are probably your cheapest option if you have lots of luggage and don’t want to walk to the light rail station.

A few options with pricing are:

Premier Airport Shuttle – offers service in a Shared Van or Private Van Service.

Lowest when booked online website link is: https://www.premierairportshuttle.com/seattle

Shuttle Express Only offers private shuttles and prices vary

6. Get a Rental Car

All the major rental car companies operate out of Seatac airport, but one thing you have to keep in mind is that parking at your hotel will be very expensive. The Seattle Westin Hotel is $50 for self-service parking. Valet Parking at the W Seattle Hotel is $68, so be careful about these additional rates when making your travel plans to Seattle.

Also check out this great resource from Kayak to find options to get around in Seattle.

In Conclusion

As you can see there are many options for getting to Seattle from Seatac airport and it all depends on what your budget is. We have found it super easy to use the Light Link Rail and for most hotels, the Westlake stop will be a perfect fit for those of you staying in downtown Seattle. You could always use the money you saved to take one of our tours.

Note: We do not offer shuttle transportation to and from Seatac Airport, we merely present this information to help with your trip planning.


50 Things to Do in Seattle: A Must-See Guide for Visitors

flying fish Seattle fish market

If you’re planning a trip to Seattle, you’ll definitely want to check out the city’s top tourist attractions. With over 40 million visitors each year, Seattle is a popular destination for tourists looking to experience the best the Emerald City has to offer. From parks and museums to restaurants and entertainment venues, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. To help you plan your trip, we’ve put together a list of 50 must-see attractions in Seattle. These are the most highly rated and visited spots in the city, so be sure to add them to your itinerary.

Green Lake Park

If you’re in need of a break from the hustle and bustle of sightseeing in Seattle, Green Lake is the perfect urban park to visit. This beautiful lake offers serene views and a peaceful walking trail that is sure to help you relax and unwind. There are plenty of activities to enjoy at Green Lake, including picnicking, paddle boating, tennis, mini golf, and simply lounging on the grass and taking in the fresh lake breeze. It’s the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon in the heart of the city.

The Pike Brewing Company

Pike Brewing Company in Seattle
The Pike Brewing Company in Seattle

If you’re a fan of artisanal brews, you’ll be happy to know that Seattle is home to a thriving beer scene. With 174 breweries, more than any other city in the United States, there are plenty of opportunities to sample some of the best local beers. One must-visit spot for beer lovers is Pike Place Brewery, where you can taste a variety of fine Seattle brews and chat with other beer enthusiasts.

Pike Brewing Company boasts the title of having the largest micro brewery beer museum in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned beer connoisseur or just curious about the brewing process, this museum is a must-visit destination during your trip to Seattle. From learning about the history of beer to seeing the brewing process in action, there is something for everyone at this unique museum.

Don’t miss out on the chance to explore the world of beer at Pike Brewery.

Pioneer Square

Seattle Underground Tour

Pioneer Square is a historic neighborhood in Seattle that is rich in 19th-century architecture and offers a glimpse into the city’s past. This area is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning about the history of Seattle. You can explore the neighborhood’s free museum, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, or visit Smith Tower, Seattle’s first skyscraper. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a unique experience in the city, Pioneer Square is sure to offer something for everyone.

Bakery Nouveau 

If you have a sweet tooth, you won’t want to miss Bakery Nouveau during your trip to Seattle. This bakery has been named Seattle’s Best Bakery four years in a row and offers a wide variety of delicious European-inspired pastries. From buttery bear claws and flaky croissants to macarons, chocolate treats, and gourmet bread, there is something for everyone at Bakery Nouveau. Be sure to stop by and indulge in some of the city’s best baked goods.

Tour the Boeing Factory (Currently Closed by Boeing)

Boeing Dreamlifter

At the moment, tours of Boeing are not available, but it is possible that they may resume in the future. Keep an eye out for updates and plan your visit accordingly.

Hop on a bus with Shutter Tours and head to the Everett Boeing Factory, famous for being the largest building in the world and the assembly site for many of Boeing’s planes. If you love educational tourist experiences or have kids that are fascinated by airplanes, the Boeing factory is one of Seattle’s best attractions for you.

Visit the Space Needle

Seattle Space Needle

Looking for an iconic and unforgettable tourist experience in Seattle? Look no further than the Space Needle! This famous landmark was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and has been a beloved feature of the city’s skyline ever since. As you walk around the base of the Space Needle, you’ll be amazed by its enormous size. And the views from the observation deck, or even better, especially with its stunning glass floors, are not to be missed. Make sure to put the Space Needle on your list of must-see attractions in Seattle.

Woodland Park Zoo

Looking for a fun and educational day trip for your family? Head to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle! This expansive zoo is home to over 1,000 animals from all around the globe, including exotic creatures like Komodo dragons and Indian flying foxes. You’ll have the chance to see these animals up close and learn more about their natural habitats and behaviors. With so much to see and do, the Woodland Park Zoo is the perfect destination for a family outing in Seattle.

Contribute to the Gum Wall

Seattle Gum Wall Shutter Tours

The Seattle Gum Wall is a local landmark that has been a popular spot for sticking chewing gum since the 1990s. The tradition began when patrons of the nearby Market Theater started sticking coins to the wall while they waited for their show. While theater workers have tried to clean the gum off the wall, it has become a beloved and permanent tourist attraction for both locals and visitors. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out this quirky and unique spot.

Seattle Great Wheel

Great Seattle Wheel

Are you seeking breathtaking views of the Puget Sound and Pier 57? Then you won’t want to miss the Seattle Great Wheel, the tallest Ferris wheel on the West Coast. As you ride the wheel, you’ll be treated to stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding waterways. And for an even more breathtaking experience, visit the Great Wheel in the evening to see the city lights twinkling below. This is a must-do activity for tourists looking to take in the beauty of Seattle from a unique vantage point.

The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop)

MoPop - Photo credit to Cacophony

The Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPop, is a must-see destination for fans of music and science fiction . This museum honors the contributions of some of the world’s most famous cultural icons and features rotating exhibits with props from some of the biggest hits in the entertainment industry. Among its permanent exhibitions, you’ll find artifacts from iconic movies and television series and musicians like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Jimi Hendrix, all of whom were local to Seattle. Whether you’re a lifelong fan or just looking for a fun and educational outing, MoPop has something for everyone.

Pacific Science Center 

Pacific Science Center Seattle

If you’re a science enthusiast, you won’t want to miss the Pacific Science Center during your visit to Seattle. This center is packed with engaging and educational activities that are perfect for all ages. You can catch daily planetarium shows, check out live exhibits featuring fascinating creatures like naked mole rats, and even experience virtual reality exhibits. There’s always something new and exciting to discover at the Pacific Science Center, so be sure to add it to your list of must-see attractions.

Pike Place Chowder

If you’re looking for a memorable dining experience in Seattle, you won’t want to miss out on visiting Pike Place Chowder and trying their famous chowder bread bowl. This iconic restaurant, located in the Pike Place Market, has been named the Nation’s Best Chowder three years in a row and serves up some of the best clam chowder in the country. Eating a bowl of this delicious chowder is a must-do activity when visiting Seattle, and the bread bowl it comes in is the cherry on top. Don’t miss out on this classic Seattle dining experience.

Seattle Pinball Museum

If you’re a fan of pinball and retro gaming, you won’t want to miss the Pinball Museum in Seattle. This expansive museum is a true paradise for pinball enthusiasts, with a collection of vintage machines that you can view and play. In addition to pinball, you’ll also find a variety of other retro arcade games to enjoy. This is the perfect attraction for anyone who loves hands-on gaming and nostalgic arcades.

Tour Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room

Starbucks Reserve Roastery

If you’re a coffee lover visiting Seattle on a pilgrimage to America’s coffee capital, you won’t be disappointed. There are plenty of opportunities to indulge in your caffeine habit and learn about the art of coffee roasting. One must-visit destination is the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, where you can watch the roastmasters in action, ask questions, and even try a coffee-infused martini at the adult beverage bar. Spend an afternoon tasting some of the most exotic brews from Seattle’s iconic coffee shop and immerse yourself in the world of coffee.

Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Great creativity with a reflection Photo Credit: Joseph Romain

Experience Seattle’s vibrant art scene by visiting the Seattle Art Museum, or SAM. This museum is home to a wide variety of art pieces, with over 25,000 items in their permanent collection ranging from paintings to artifacts. From Native American pieces to contemporary art and Islamic works, there is something here for every art lover. Be sure to check out Hammering Man, a popular installation that pays tribute to the city’s hardworking spirit. Whether you’re an art aficionado or just looking for a unique cultural experience, the SAM is a must-visit destination in Seattle.

The Pink Door 

If you’re looking to combine a delicious meal with a unique tourist attraction in Seattle, consider adding The Pink Door to your itinerary. This popular spot serves up delicious Italian-American cuisine, and the dining experience is enhanced by the addition of stunning burlesque shows and breathtaking trapezist performances. It’s the perfect place to indulge in some tasty food and be entertained at the same time.

Pacific Northwest Ballet

If you’re looking for a cultural experience that is sure to delight the whole family, consider catching a performance by the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. This dedicated team of over 50 dancers is passionate about using movement to convey creativity, and their performances are sure to stir the emotions of audiences of all ages. With colorful costumes and mesmerizing dance, the Pacific Northwest Ballet is one of Seattle’s best attractions for families with kids who love the performing arts.

Comedy Underground

Looking for a fun and entertaining way to spend a rainy night in Seattle? Check out Comedy Underground, the city’s top venue for side-splitting laughs and delicious food. This is the perfect spot for both locals and tourists who are looking to have a good time and escape the weather. Whether you’re a fan of stand-up comedy or just looking for a fun night out, Comedy Underground is sure to deliver. Don’t miss out on the chance to catch a show at this popular venue.

If you’re planning on attending a show at Comedy Underground, here are the showtimes you’ll need to know: Sunday through Thursday, shows start at 8:30 pm. On Friday and Saturday, there are two shows, starting at 8:00 pm and 10:30 pm. Please note that shows on Sunday-Thursday are all-ages, while shows on Friday and Saturday are for ages 21 and up only. The box office opens 30 minutes before each show, and there is a bar and restaurant available before and after the performances.

Pike Place Market

Shutter Tours PikePlaceMarket

Pike Place Market is the meeting point for our Snoqualmie Falls and City tour, and it’s easy to see why this iconic location is one of the top tourist attractions in Seattle.

Pike Place Market is a must-see destination for visitors to Seattle and a testament to the city’s commitment to supporting local businesses and artisanal foods and crafts. Established in 1907, this iconic market has been a fixture in the city for over a century and continues to attract over 10 million visitors annually. In fact, it receives more visitors than the Louvre in Paris! When you visit, you’ll love strolling through the maze of stalls and trying some of the delicious local delicacies on offer, like chocolate pasta and local honey. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience the heart and soul of Seattle during your trip to Seattle.

The Fremont Troll

Fremont Troll

You might have heard stories of bridge trolls, but did you know that there’s one lurking in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle? The Fremont Troll was created by four local artists and has been a top tourist attraction in the city since its unveiling in 1990. This quirky and distinctive sculpture is located under the bridge in Fremont and is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. It’s also an example of “hostile architecture,” as it was erected to deter the presence of homeless people and antisocial behavior under the bridge. Despite its controversial history, the Fremont Troll is a beloved and integral part of the city’s cultural landscape. See it on one of our Seattle tours

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Gardens and Glass in Seattle

If you’re looking to add some color to your trip to Seattle, be sure to visit Chihuly Gardens and Glass, an impressive facility that displays beautiful blown glass art and sculptures. Your whole family will be mesmerized by the rainbow of colors and intricate glassworks on display. This project features three primary components: the Garden, the Glasshouse, and the Interior Exhibits, as well as additional spaces like a 90-seat cafe with outdoor dining, a 50-seat theater and lecture space, retail and lobby areas, and more.

This facility displays beautiful blown glass art and sculptures created by world-famous glass artist Dale Chihuly. You’ll be amazed by the intricate glassworks and vibrant colors on display, and will have the chance to see the work of a truly talented artist.

Olympic Sculpture Park

If you’re looking to experience Seattle’s vibrant modern art scene, be sure to visit the city’s largest green space, the Waterfront Sculpture Park. Located in downtown Seattle, this nine-acre park is home to a variety of monumental artworks and is just one mile north of the Seattle Art Museum. It’s a great place to take a stroll and soak in the creativity and unique energy of the city. The best part? Admission is free, making it an affordable and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.

Amazon Spheres

Amazon Spheres

Consider visiting the Amazon Spheres, a botanical conservatory that is home to over 40,000 unique plants. This amazing space was built by Amazon as a place for employees to switch up their workspace, but it is also open to the public two Saturdays a month. To visit, you’ll need to register in advance, but the effort is worth it for the chance to experience this one-of-a-kind attraction. The Spheres are home to plants from the cloud forest regions of more than 30 countries, making it an unforgettable and educational experience.

Deep Dive Bar

Deep Dive Bar Seattle

If you’re visiting the Amazon Spheres in Seattle, be sure to keep an eye out for the Deep Dive Bar, a hidden gem that is tucked away within the botanical conservatory. This bar is a must-visit for anyone who is looking for a unique and memorable drinking experience. With its otherworldly atmosphere, the Deep Dive Bar is a one-of-a-kind spot that is sure to make your trip to Seattle even more special. 

Feast on Dim Sum

If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, you’re in luck when you visit Seattle! The city is home to a variety of delicious Asian restaurants, including Harbor City Restaurant and Jade Garden Restaurant, which are both well-known for their authentic dim sum experiences. You’ll love indulging in fluffy, steamed buns and custard tarts to your heart’s content at these popular restaurants. No matter which one you choose, you’re sure to be satisfied by the delicious and authentic flavors of Seattle’s Asian cuisine.

Museum of Flight

Museum Of Flight Seattle

Seattle’s Museum of Flight is a must-see attraction for families visiting the city. This museum offers engaging and educational displays that are perfect for visitors of all ages. On a rainy afternoon, there’s no better way to spend your time than by exploring the evolution of human flight and seeing some of history’s most famous planes up close. You’ll also have the chance to learn about Seattle’s personal history with the sky and the amazing details of the city’s connection to aviation. If you’re interested in history and flight, don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit the Museum of Flight during your trip to Seattle.

The Crocodile

If you’re a fan of live music, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit The Crocodile during your trip to Seattle. This venue has been hosting concerts since the early 1990s and is considered one of the top places to go for music fans in the city. In addition to showcasing local artists, The Crocodile has also hosted big names like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Death Cab for Cutie. 

The Crocodile also hosts a comedy club and if you want to “Prefunc” a little bit before a show, head across the street to Cyclops Bar

Tulip Fields Tour

Seattle Tulip Festival Tours

If you’re visiting Seattle in the spring, you won’t want to miss the chance to see the rolling Dutch tulip fields that the Skagit Valley is known for. In April, these fields are in full bloom and offer a stunning display of color and beauty. One way to make the most of your visit is to book a tour with Shutter Tours, Seattle’s top-rated shuttle tour company. Not only will this allow you to skip the lines, but you’ll also have the chance to sit back and relax while someone else handles the driving. Reserve your tulip field tour today!

Washington Park Arboretum

Looking for a chance to escape the city and enjoy some peace and solitude in nature? Consider visiting Washington Park Arboretum or the Seattle Japanese Garden. Both of these locations offer a chance to relax and unwind in the midst of beautiful greenery and natural surroundings. At the Washington Park Arboretum, you’ll be able to admire magnolia, maple, and oak trees, while the Seattle Japanese Garden offers a 3.5 acre urban sanctuary filled with winding gravel paths, stone benches, and a variety of plants and animals. Whether you’re a couple looking for a romantic outing or a family seeking some quality time together, these gardens offer a chance to relax and unwind in the beauty of nature.

Seattle Central Library 

If you’re looking for a quiet and peaceful way to spend a rainy day in Seattle, consider visiting the Seattle Public Library. As the flagship library in the region, it houses over one million books and offers a chance to spend a quiet afternoon reading and appreciating the stunning architecture of the 11-story building. The library’s central location opened in May 2004 and features an innovative “Books Spiral,” a 275-seat auditorium, and open spaces where patrons can meet, study, search the web, or simply relax and read. Whether you’re a bookworm or just looking for a quiet and peaceful escape from the city, the Seattle Public Library is the perfect attraction for a rainy day in Seattle.

Explore Seattle’s Underground

Seattle Underground Tour

Seattle’s underground is a unique and fascinating part of the city’s history. It was created after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, which destroyed much of the city’s wooden structures and left a clean slate for new development. City officials decided to raise the street level by over 20 feet, which meant that many existing buildings had their ground floors buried underground. This gave rise to a network of underground stores, shops, and homes that were used for several years, but eventually fell into disrepair and abandonment.

Today, much of the underground has been reopened for tours, providing a unique opportunity for adventure seekers to explore this hidden part of Seattle’s past.

Sky View Observatory 

Seattle Sky View Observatory

 

If you’re looking for breathtaking views of Seattle, head to the Sky View Observatory. Located on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center, it is the tallest tourist attraction in the city and offers 360-degree panoramic views of the Emerald City and beyond. From here, you can see the quiet waters of the Puget Sound, the iconic Space Needle, the sprawling cityscape, and even the majestic peak of Mount Rainier. Whether you’re a local looking for a new perspective on the city or a visitor seeking an unforgettable view, the Sky View Observatory is a great alternative to the Space Needle.

Seattle Japanese Garden 

Japanese Gardens at Arboretum - Shutter Tours Trip

The Japanese Garden at Washington Park Arboretum is a beautiful and peaceful oasis within the city. Considered to be one of the best Japanese gardens in the country, it is a popular destination for visitors who want to experience the beauty and tranquility of traditional Japanese gardening. With over 100,000 visitors annually, the garden is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike to relax and unwind. Stroll through the winding paths, watch the koi swim in the pond, and listen to the rustling of the maple trees in the breeze.

Alki Beach 

Alki Beach Seattle

Looking for a fun and scenic way to spend a day in Seattle? Take the water taxi over to West Seattle and enjoy the views of the city skyline as you ride. Once you arrive, relax on the picturesque Alki Beach and soak up the sun and the sea air. When you’re ready for a bite to eat, head down the west end of the beach to Pegasus Pizza, where you’ll find some of the best pizza in town. With its delicious food, stunning views, and laid-back atmosphere, this is the perfect outing for locals and visitors alike.

Catch a Concert at Neumos

Neumos is a live music venue located in the heart of Seattle on Capitol Hill, known for its intimate and energetic atmosphere. With a focus on showcasing local and established artists, Neumos hosts live music performances every night, making it a go-to destination for music lovers in the city. Founded in 1994, Neumos has a long history of hosting memorable shows and events, and has become a staple of the Seattle music scene. Whether you’re a fan of grungy rock shows or intimate acoustic performances, Neumos has something for everyone.

Located on Capitol Hill,  a vibrant and diverse neighborhood located in the heart of Seattle, known for its lively arts and music scene. Over the years, Capitol Hill has undergone significant redevelopment, becoming one of the city’s densest neighborhoods. This has led to a thriving community of independent businesses, restaurants, and entertainment venues, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. From bustling Broadway Avenue to the peaceful Volunteer Park, Capitol Hill offers a wide variety of things to see and do, making it a must-visit neighborhood during a trip to Seattle.

Seattle Aquarium 

Seattle Aquarium - Courtesy City of Seattle

The Seattle Aquarium is a must-see destination for families visiting the city. Located on the waterfront in the heart of downtown, the aquarium offers a variety of educational exhibits featuring a wide range of marine life, including seals, sea otters, and a variety of fish species. Visitors can also catch a diver show and learn about the whales that inhabit the Salish Sea. In addition to its educational exhibits, the aquarium also has a number of interactive experiences for kids, including touch tanks where visitors can get up close and personal with some of the aquarium’s inhabitants. With so much to see and do, the Seattle Aquarium is a top destination for kids and families looking to learn about and experience the wonders of the ocean.

Woodinville Wine Country

Chateau St. Michelle

Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or simply looking to try something new, Woodinville is the perfect destination for a day of wine tasting. The area boasts over 100 wineries and dozens of tasting rooms, offering a wide variety of wines from all over Washington state. Consider booking a tour to visit multiple wineries in one day and get a true taste of the region. From bold reds to crisp whites, the options are endless. And with the beautiful surroundings and local artisan food and craft vendors, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in the wine country experience.

Gas Works Park

Gasworks Park Pano
Gasworks Park Pano

Gas Works Park is a unique public park located on the shores of Lake Union, offering stunning views of downtown Seattle. The park was created from the remains of an old gasification plant, and now features a variety of structures, including ruins and repurposed buildings such as the “play barn.” Known for its quirky and alternative style, Gas Works Park is a popular spot for photoshoots, picnics, and exploring. It has even been recognized as one of the strangest parks in the world by the Seattle Times.

Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

MOHAI Seattle

From its early days as a Native American trading post to its modern role as a hub for technology and innovation, the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) offers a comprehensive look at Seattle’s rich history. Located in the historic South Lake Union neighborhood, MOHAI features interactive exhibits, artifacts, and photographs that tell the story of the city’s transformation over the years. Whether you’re a history buff or just want to learn more about the city you’re visiting, MOHAI is a great addition to your trip to  Seattle.

South Lake Union 

Due to Amazon’s presence, South Lake Union has evolved into a futuristic, slick, and tech-infused neighborhood. Enjoy shopping at a cashier-free Amazon Go (a semi-automated convenience store chain offering prepared foods and select groceries) or stop by Portage Bay Cafe and dine at one of Seattle’s top brunch spots.

If you’re in the mood for some fresh air and exercise, check out the South Lake Union Trolley. This free electric trolley takes visitors around the neighborhood, giving them the chance to explore and take in the sights and sounds of this vibrant and innovative part of Seattle. 

Volunteer Park Conservatory 

The historic Volunteer Park Conservatory is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in botany or horticulture. The Victorian-style greenhouse, built in 1912, is home to five different temperate houses filled with tropical and subtropical plants from around the world. Visitors can explore the Palm, Seasonal, Cactus, Fern, and Bromeliad houses and marvel at the stunning displays of plants. Located in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill, the conservatory is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and lawns, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.

Frye Art Museum 

Showcasing global artists who incorporate messages relevant to our time through their art, Frye Museum is committed to displaying contemporary and bold artwork. The museum was started by a couple’s personal art collection and has quickly become a beloved tourist attraction in Seattle.

University of Washington 

The University of Washington (UW) is a beautiful campus located in Seattle that has been providing education and fostering innovation for over 150 years. The campus features historic buildings inspired by European architecture, making it a popular destination for tourists interested in both education and gorgeous architecture. The cherry blossom season is a particularly beautiful time to visit the UW, as the flowers provide a stunning backdrop for photos. If you’re a tourist visiting Seattle and have an interest in education and architecture, the UW is definitely worth a visit.

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is a great destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy some wide open spaces. Located across Puget Sound from Seattle, the park is home to two temperate rainforests and offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including kayaking, hiking, fishing, and camping. Whether you’re looking to explore the park’s beautiful rainforests, or participate in one of the many outdoor activities on offer, Olympic National Park is sure to provide a refreshing and rejuvenating break from city life.

Theo Chocolate Factory 

Theo Chocolate is a top destination for chocolate lovers visiting Seattle. Located in Fremont, the flagship store offers artisanal, fair-trade, and ethically-produced chocolate. Theo Chocolate was the first organic, fair trade certified chocolate maker in North America, and continues to be a leader in the industry today. If you’re in search of the best chocolate in Seattle, a visit to Theo Chocolate’s “Wonka factory” is a must! Not only will you get to try delicious, high-quality chocolate, but you can also feel good about supporting an ethical and socially responsible company.

Join a Tour of Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls Tour

Embark on the perfect combination of urban sightseeing and crashing waterfalls a great way to combine urban sightseeing with the natural beauty of Snoqualmie Falls. The tour includes a visit to the falls, as well as other historical and cultural landmarks such as the Fremont Troll, Kerry Park, and Pike Place Market as a pick-up/drop-off location

The educational narratives provided by our tour guides will add an extra layer of insight and understanding to your visit, making it an awe-inspiring and informative experience. If you’re interested in learning about the history of Seattle and seeing some of the city’s most iconic sights, our tour package might be just what you’re looking for.

Book your Seattle and Falls tour today!

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

Beechers Cheese Location Seattle

If you’re visiting Seattle or the Pike Place Market, be sure to stop by Beecher’s Cheese and try their “World’s Best Mac and Cheese.” The cheese shop works with talented cheesemakers who use traditional methods to create their cheese, which is made with all-natural ingredients and no artificial preservatives, flavor enhancers, sweeteners, colors, or hydrogenated oils. The cheesemakers even make the cheese right in the window of the shop, so you can see the process for yourself. We recommend trying the smokey mac and cheese – it’s sure to be the best macaroni and cheese you’ve ever tasted, and you’ll know that it was made with high-quality, all-natural ingredients.

Paramount Theatre 

The Paramount Theatre is a historic performing arts venue located in Seattle, Washington. It was built in 1928 and originally served as a movie palace. Over the years, the theater has undergone several renovations and has been used for a variety of purposes, including live performances, films, and concerts. Today, it is a popular venue for concerts, Broadway shows, and other live performances. The Paramount Theatre is known for its stunning architecture and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a beloved landmark in Seattle and continues to be a popular destination for arts and culture enthusiasts.

Elliot Bay Book Company 

Elliott_Bay_Books_(Capitol_Hill)_interior_01 - Photo Credit Joe Mabel

As the most literate city in America, Seattle is home to many book lovers and a plethora of bookstores. One of the most beloved bookstores in the city is Elliott Bay Books. Located in Seattle, this store is a paradise for book-loving tourists. With over 150,000 titles to choose from, romantic cedar shelves, and the soothing sound of rainfall on the roof, it’s easy to lose track of time and spend an entire afternoon lost in a good book at Elliott Bay Books. If you’re a reader and are visiting Seattle, be sure to pay a visit to this charming bookstore. Photo Credit: Joe Mabel

Dimitrou’s Jazz Alley

If you’re a fan of jazz and are visiting Seattle, Dimitrou’s Jazz Club is a must-visit destination. This intimate venue is known for its lively jazz scene, featuring both local and renowned performers. You can order from an expansive menu of drinks while enjoying the music. Although Seattle is famous for its grunge music scene, the city also has a deep appreciation for jazz, and Dimitrou’s Jazz Club is a testament to this. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the timeless music scene of Seattle at this intimate venue.

Explore Mount Rainier

Mt_Rainier_Tour

Mount Rainier is one of the top things to see in Seattle for tourists who love natural landscapes and breathing crisp mountain air. Don’t have a car while you’re here? multiple tour companies offers guided tours to Seattle’s most famous natural landmark, giving you the opportunity to learn about Washington State’s largest volcano. During your tour, an expert guide will fill you in on the mountain’s history and take you to famous viewpoints like Reflection Lake and Christine Falls.

Check out our other blog post A Quick Guide to Seattle’s Fremont Neighborhood


Seattle to Victoria Ferry via the Clipper

Are you planning a trip to Victoria, British Columbia from Seattle? If so, consider taking the Seattle to Victoria ferry for a unique and scenic travel experience.

Located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Victoria is a popular destination for its stunning natural beauty and charming downtown. It’s just a short ferry ride away from Seattle, making it a convenient couple of day getaway. We suggest to spend the night to see all that Victoria has to offer. Make sure you bring your passport for this trip. It will also need to be valid for six months after you come back to the states.

The Seattle to Victoria ferry is operated by the Victoria Clipper, a high-speed passenger-only ferry that departs from Pier 69 in downtown Seattle and arrives in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. The ferry ride takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes and offers stunning views of the Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. Pay close attention and you might have the opportunity to see Orca whales as the navigate in the Salish Sea.

Onboard the ferry, you’ll find comfortable seating, a snack bar, and restrooms. You can also bring your own food and drinks (excluding alcohol) to enjoy during the journey. In the summer months, there are also outdoor decks where you can soak up the sun and enjoy the scenery of the San Juan Islands.

Visit Butchart Gardens

Photo by Joel Wayne on Unsplash

 In Victoria, you’ll find plenty of things to do and see. Visit the famous Butchart Gardens a stunning 55-acre botanical garden located in Victoria, British Columbia. The gardens are world-renowned for their stunning floral displays, which change with the seasons and include a wide variety of plants, flowers, and trees.

The gardens were originally the site of a cement company, owned by Robert Butchart and his wife Jennie. In the early 1900s, Jennie began transforming the barren landscape into a beautiful garden, planting flowers and trees and creating winding paths and ponds. Today, the gardens are a testament to Jennie’s hard work and dedication, and are enjoyed by visitors from all over the world.

One of the most popular features of the gardens is the Sunken Garden, which was created from an old quarry. The Sunken Garden is filled with colorful flowers, fountains, and statues, and is favorite of visitor to the gardens. Other highlights include the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden, and the Mediterranean Garden.

In addition to the beautiful gardens, Butchart Gardens also offers a variety of activities and events throughout the year. These include concerts, fireworks displays, and holiday light displays. The gardens are also home to a few dining options, including a tea room and a pub, as well as a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs and plants. Check the laws on bringing plants back into the U.S. however, before you make your purchase.

You can also take a stroll through the historic Old Town, or sample some local craft beer at one of Victoria’s many breweries. Or perhaps visit the Royal BC Museum to learn about the city’s history and culture.

Visit the Royal BC Museum

The Royal BC Museum in Victoria, British Columbia is a must-see destination. Located in the heart of downtown Victoria, the museum is home to a variety of exhibits showcasing the natural and cultural history of British Columbia.

One of the museum’s most popular exhibits is the “First Peoples Gallery,” which explores the rich culture and traditions of the Indigenous peoples of the region. Here, you’ll learn about the history and way of life of the Coast Salish, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nisga’a, and other Indigenous communities, and see artifacts and artworks.

Another highlight of the museum is the “Natural History Gallery,” which showcases the diverse flora and fauna of British Columbia. From giant fossils to live animals to an exhibit called “Ocean Station” that looks like a Victorian-era submarine harking back to the days of Jules Verne.

But the Royal BC Museum isn’t just about static exhibits – there are also interactive displays and activities that allow you to experience history in a hands-on way. For example, in the “Modern History Gallery,” you can step into a replica of a 1920s living room and see how people lived in the past, or try your hand at gold panning in the “Gold Rush Gallery.”

Hotel Fairmont Empress for Afternoon Tea

Lastly, If you’re looking for a unique and elegant way to spend an afternoon in Victoria, British Columbia, consider having tea at the Hotel Fairmont Empress. Located in the heart of downtown Victoria, the Hotel Fairmont Empress is a historic and luxurious hotel that has been a staple of the city’s landscape since 1908.

One of the hotel’s most popular features is its award-winning afternoon tea service, which takes place in the stunning Tea Lobby. Here, you’ll be treated to a selection of fine teas and delicious pastries, served on elegant china. You can choose from a variety of teas, including traditional black teas, fruity herbal infusions, and creamy chai blends.

As you savor your tea, you’ll be surrounded by the opulent decor of the Tea Lobby, which features grand chandeliers, marble floors, and antique furnishings. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a more refined era as you enjoy your tea in this luxurious setting.

Take a Walk Around the Harbour

Victoria is a great city, be sure to spend some time exploring Victoria’s stunning waterfront, which is home to a number of parks, restaurants, and other attractions. Here, you can take a leisurely walk along the harbor, watch the boats go by, or relax on a bench and enjoy the view, before you head back aboard the Victoria Clipper for your journey back to Seattle.

Car Ferry Service to Victoria

The Seattle to Victoria ride via the Clipper is for passengers only. If you prefer to drive, you can take your car from Port Angeles to Victoria via the Coho ferry. This ferry service operates between Port Angeles and Victoria’s Inner Harbour, and allows you to bring your car onboard. The ferry ride takes about 90 minutes, and there are several departures daily. Reservations are highly recommended.

Note: You’ll have about a 3 hour drive from Downtown Seattle via Tacoma to Port Angles where you can catch the M.V. Coho. Or for a more scenic route take the Bainbridge Island Ferry across from downtown Seattle.


Alaska Cruise Tips for 2023

Norwegian Bliss
Norwegian Bliss in Seattle

Are you planning to take an Alaskan cruise out of Seattle? There are a few things you should know before you set sail. Here are ten tips to help you make the most of your trip:

Pack for the weather:

If you’re planning to visit Alaska, it’s important to be prepared for the weather. Even during the summer months, it can get chilly in Alaska, so it’s important to pack warm clothing and layers. It’s a good idea to bring a variety of items, including long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, jackets, and pants. You may also want to bring a hat, gloves, and a scarf to keep your head and hands warm.

In addition to warm clothing, it’s a good idea to bring rain gear. The weather in Alaska can be unpredictable, and you may experience rain or fog during your trip. A raincoat, umbrella, and waterproof shoes can help keep you dry and comfortable. It’s also a good idea to bring a few layers of clothing that you can easily remove or add on as needed. This will allow you to adjust to changing temperatures and weather conditions.

If you’re planning to participate in outdoor activities, such as hiking or fishing, you may want to bring additional layers of clothing to help keep you warm and dry. Overall, the key to staying comfortable in Alaska is to be prepared for the weather. By packing the right clothing and gear, you can enjoy your trip to the fullest and make the most of your time in this beautiful and unique destination.

Get travel insurance:

When it comes to planning a vacation, it’s always a good idea to protect your investment. Cruises, in particular, can be expensive and it’s important to consider the risks involved in case something unexpected happens. That’s where travel insurance comes in.

Travel insurance is a type of insurance policy that covers various travel-related expenses and risks, such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, and lost or damaged luggage. It can provide peace of mind and financial protection in case of unforeseen circumstances that could impact your trip.

There are a number of travel insurance policies available, and the specific coverage will vary depending on the policy you choose. Some policies may cover only certain types of events, such as trip cancellations or medical emergencies, while others may provide more comprehensive coverage. We have a found a great resources and use the Insure My Trip Website. They do not sponsor us, but we have used them for years for personal travel protection.

Bring your passport:

If you’re planning to take a cruise that includes Canada as a port of call, you’ll need to have a passport in order to enter the country. Even if you’re only visiting Canada for a short time, you’ll still need a passport.

Before you travel, it’s a good idea to check the expiration date on your passport. In general, a passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your return to the United States. If your passport is set to expire soon, you’ll need to renew it before you travel.

If you don’t already have a passport, you’ll need to apply for one. The process for getting a passport can take several weeks, so it’s important to plan ahead. You can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the U.S. Department of State website.

Consider purchasing a drink package:

If you’re planning to take a cruise and want to enjoy a few drinks during your trip, you may want to consider purchasing a drink package. Many cruise lines offer drink packages that allow you to enjoy a variety of beverages for a fixed price.

There are typically several types of packages available, including packages that cover alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, or both. The specific options and prices will vary depending on the cruise line and the package you choose.

It’s important to consider your personal drinking habits and budget. If you only plan to have a few drinks during your trip, a package may not be the best value. However, if you’re planning to enjoy several cocktails, a drink package can save you money.

Make shore excursion reservations in advance:

If you’re planning a cruise and want to participate in shore excursions, it’s important to book them in advance. Many of the best shore excursions fill up quickly, and you may not be able to book them once you’re on the ship. Also you can likely save money by booking directly with the tour company as oppossed to on the ship as there is often a healthy markup when booking onboard.

By booking in advance, you’ll be able to secure your spot on the excursion of your choice and ensure that you get to do the activities you want to do.

When booking shore excursions, it’s important to consider your personal interests and physical abilities. Some excursions may be more strenuous or require a certain level of fitness. Be sure to choose excursions that are appropriate for your needs and abilities.

If you’ll have a few days Seattle, check out our Snoqualmie Falls and City Tour, it’s a great 4 hour tour that will have you to the boat by 2:30 PM, ample time to begin your Alaskan Cruise.

When you’re up in Anchorage, check out Alaskan Footprints, brothers Dan and Chris Morris have created some pretty fun tours including wildlife and food tours. We’re not sponsored by them, but we had a bit of a hand in helping them get a leg (or a foot) up in the tourism industry.

Consider booking a balcony cabin:

When it comes to choosing a cabin on a cruise ship, there are typically two main options: an inside cabin or a balcony cabin. An inside cabin is a basic cabin that does not have a window or balcony. These cabins can be more budget-friendly, as they tend to be less expensive.

A balcony cabin, on the other hand, has a private balcony or patio that provides a view of the surrounding area. These cabins tend to be more expensive, but they offer a few additional amenities that can make your trip more enjoyable.

Another benefit of a balcony cabin is the view. A balcony cabin provides a front row seat to the surroundings, whether it’s the ocean, the coastline, or the port of call. This can be a great way to enjoy the scenery and make the most of your trip. A private balcony also provides a quiet and secluded place to relax and take in the views. This cabin can be a great way to enhance your cruise experience.

Plan for sea days:

If you’re planning to take an Alaskan cruise, you’ll likely have a few sea days during your trip. A sea day is a day when the ship is sailing and there isn’t a port of call. These days can be a great opportunity to relax and enjoy the amenities on the ship, but it’s good to have plenty of activities to keep you occupied.

There are typically a variety of activities available on a cruise ship, including fitness classes, games, and live entertainment. Many ships also have pools, spas, and other recreational facilities that you can use. You can check the ship’s daily newsletter or ask the guest services desk for a schedule of activities.

Take advantage of onboard activities:

Some common activities that you might find on a cruise ship include fitness classes, such as yoga, Pilates, or spin. Many ships also offer cooking demonstrations or culinary classes, which can be a fun way to learn new recipes and techniques.

Live entertainment is another popular feature on cruise ships. You might find live music, comedians, or theater performances on the ship. Many ships also have movie theaters, arcades, and other recreational facilities that you can enjoy during your trip. And depending on your boat, you might have a go cart track like the Norwegian Bliss. Just make sure to book your time slot early, the sooner the better, once you board the boat.

Start your adventure

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime on an Alaskan cruise out of Seattle! From breathtaking natural beauty to exciting excursions and onboard activities, this vacation experience has it all. Just make sure to do your research and come prepared to fully embrace all that this amazing destination has to offer. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, an Alaskan cruise is sure to deliver unforgettable memories.


Ten Things to Do in Seattle in the Winter

Snoqualmie Falls in the Snow
Snoqualmie Falls in the Snow

Seattle is a city that offers plenty of fun things to do, even during the winter months. Here are ten ideas for ways to have a great time in Seattle during the winter:

Visit the Space Needle:

The Space Needle is a Seattle icon and offers breathtaking views of the city and surrounding area. It’s a great place to visit on a clear, crisp winter day. Oftentimes you can see Mt. Rainier in the distance on a cold winter day when the sun is out.

Go skiing or snowboarding at nearby resorts:

Seattle is within driving distance of several ski resorts, including Crystal Mountain and Snoqualmie Pass Ski Areas. Head up to the mountains for a day of skiing or snowboarding and if you’re seeing this post in summer, the ski areas have mountain biking available for an exhilarating summer thrill.

Check out the winter farmers markets:

Seattle has several farmers markets that are open year-round, including the University District Farmers Market and the Ballard Farmers Market, Seattle’s first year-round neighborhood farmers market. These markets offer a wide variety of fresh, locally-grown produce and other products.

Take a winter walk in one of Seattle’s many parks:

Seattle has a number of beautiful parks that are great for a winter walk, including Discovery Park, Gas Works Park, and Green Lake Park. Bundle up and take a stroll to enjoy the fresh air and natural beauty of the city. The Arboretum can also be a beautiful stroll in winter.

Visit the Pacific Science Center:

The Pacific Science Center is a great place to spend a rainy winter day. It has a variety of hands-on exhibits and educational programs that are perfect for all ages. They also have an IMAX theater and show the latest releases for a great immersive experience.

Check out Snoqualmie Falls:

Take a tour with us up to Snoqualmie Falls: Winter at Snoqualmie Falls can be breathtaking as the ice around the falls freezes and creates a bit of a winter wonderland. Warm up in the Salish Lodge with a fireplace located in the main lobby and take out coffee available at the restaurant next to the gift shop.

Explore the Seattle Art Museum:

The Seattle Art Museum is a must-see destination for art lovers. It has a diverse collection that includes works by artists from around the world. With over 25,000 pieces in the collection, it’s a great place to wander for a few hours on a cold day.

Take a brewery tour:

Seattle is home to a thriving craft beer scene, and several breweries offer tours and tastings. Check out breweries like Elysian, Fremont, and Georgetown for a fun and informative tour. If you’re visiting the Pike Place Market, be sure to stop by Pike Brewing. It boasts the largest microbrewery beer museum in the world and serves a variety of award-winning beers and delicious food. Don’t miss out on this unique and tasty experience while you’re in the area.

Visit the Woodland Park Zoo:

The Woodland Park Zoo is a popular attraction year-round, but it can be especially enjoyable in the winter when many of the animals are more active in the cooler weather. In the winter it’s transformed into a dazzling display of light and colors. Approximately 375,000 energy-efficient LED lights will be used to recreate wild animals and wild places in 2D and 3D along the zoo’s pathways.

Go shopping at the Pike Place Market:

And our favorite place in Seattle as we are here everyday for the start of our tours is the Pike Place Market. A popular tourist destination in Seattle, and it’s a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs. It’s also home to a number of artisan food vendors and restaurants, so you can grab a bite to eat while you shop.

Overall, Seattle has a lot to offer in the wintertime. Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor activities, there are plenty of fun things to do in the city. Just make sure you layer up as the marine air can make it much colder than you would expect.


Covid-19 Health and Safety

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An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By taking our tours, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

  • Masks are Not Required – Please feel free to wear your mask and free masks are available on our buses should you choose to wear one.
  • Vaccination Proof Not Required – As of March 12, 2022, King County has dropped the mask mandate and proof of vaccination is not required on our tours.

  • Stringent Cleaning of Buses – We are disinfecting touch surfaces and high traffic areas between each tour including windows, seats, seat belts and handrails with an EPA registered, ecologically sound, disinfectant. We will also have hand sanitizer available to all of our guests and masks are required at all times.
  • Wellness Checks – Employees receive daily wellness checks to ensure they are healthy and symptom-free. According to the CDC, COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. If you or anyone in your group is experiencing symptoms, we will work directly with you to cancel or reschedule your tour.

10 Ways an African Safari Will Change Your Life Forever

Africa Safari

When Shutter Tours first embarked on our adventure to Africa, I had no expectations as to what it would be like. Back in early 2014 Shutter Tours participated in an adventure trade show in Seattle. The show was so big that we parked our bus inside the venue and marketed our local tours in the Seattle area. A needed a bit of a break and decided to wander the show to see what other vendors were there and ran into Hellen from Maasai Magic.

As a photographer I enjoyed the photos she had on her display and not being one to be afraid of asking questions, we talked at length about what they do in offering trips to Tanzania. Thinking there might be some way to a partnership with them, she suggested I hop on a plane and join them on a “Fam” trip.  Anyone that knows me will agree that once I say yes to travel, I am on my way. Six months later I was on a plane to Amsterdam, with my ultimate destination to fly to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania. How exciting I thought, being in Africa and flying into the airport named for the highest freestanding mountain in the world.

Fast forward to today, and I’m just a week away from taking my fourth trip to Tanzania and partnering with Maasai Magic Safaris. This trip is extra special to me as I will be taking my daughter Amanda with me this year. She has been an excellent tour guide for Shutter Tours this year, and with the cancellation of a guest who was unable to make the trip, I was excited to have her fill that spot.

Africa can seem like a scary place for some people, but from my experience, it is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever travelled to. The people are warm and gracious and also seem to have a love of life that is missing in western society. So this is point number one.

So this is point number one.

1. You Will Change Your Opinion About Africa and the African People.

You will cast aside your thoughts of little children with distended stomachs and all the visions from late-night television commercials. Tanzanians are very educated and even value education more than westerners it seems. In the travel industry, you don’t just show up and become a tour guide for safari, it takes years to achieve that goal. Most workers have a four-year degree in the hotels and they all speak English.

From the time Tanzanians start high school, all lessons and homework are in English, even though Swahili is their natural language. The value of education is refreshing and is not a have to, but a want to.

The economic pressure we experience is not as apparent as well. Happiness comes from interactions with family and friends and not accumulation.

2. The adventure will be better than you thought

Our customers have made comments like “Trip of a lifetime” and there is no doubt that this trip will be top of your all-time favorites. I always say that travel is an appreciating asset and you will talk about this trip for years afterwards.

3. Every day will be a wow moment

That time that Christa got scared because she thought the lions were chasing us in the vehicle at night, or when we saw the double rainbow in the Northern Serengeti on our last day. The visit to the Hadzabe tribe where we learned to make fire and eat after they hunted or the visit to the Datogo and Makonde tribes to watch them make jewellery and wood carvings. Every day is a new experience that you will not soon forget.

4. You’ll have to address your fears of wild animals

I hate snakes, never seen a snake in Tanzania, but I heard they are there. The first trip I would do a complete sweep of the place I was staying, on the off chance that one somehow made it into the tent or room. Now I am fine, but sometimes your fear will take over and that’s something you have to wrestle with. Overcoming that is a wonderful feeling.

5. You never realized how much you’ll embrace other cultures

Hadzabe with his Dog

For me, the highlight of our trips is meeting the people of Tanzania. Whether we are visiting the Hadzabe or the Maasai or spending time with the Datoga tribes, I’m always excited to meet old and new friends.

6. The food and accommodations are way better than you expected

In Swahili, they say “Hakuna Naficy Yauatcha Kula” which translates into I’m full. Learn this phrase, because of the amount of food they feed you in amazing. I have skipped meals while on safari as I just cannot eat anymore. Also, keep in mind there is no “Bushmeat” served, it’s beef, chicken and vegetarian options made by wonderful chefs each night.

7. Going to the zoo will never feel the same

Tanzania has over 6,000 elephants in Tarangire park and some of the highest concentrations of lions in the world. A visit to the zoo will never compare to the experience of a lifetime on safari.

8. An African safari will be one of the most memorable trips of a lifetime

I like pretty and captivating places, but at the end of the day, I want experiences and conversations that I’m talking about for years to come. At the top of my list are all the trips I have taken to Africa.

9. Seeing animals roam free as nature intended without interruption of man is exhilarating.

Lion in Serengeti

10. You’ll want to come back

After 6 trips bringing groups to Tanzania, I can safely say I cannot wait to get back to there to see old friends If you’ve been there before and the wild is calling you back, why not join us in 2021 on another exciting safari.

If you’ve always dreamed of going, well I can assure you that our itinerary will allow you to have lifetime experiences every day.

Learn more at our Safari Page