One Day In Seattle: What To See And Where To Go

Where To Spend Your Morning In Seattle

You only have one day to make the most of Seattle’s sights?

If so, you’re probably having trouble figuring out where to start. With Seattle’s colorful highlights and famed places to visit, planning a 1-day Seattle itinerary is a daunting task.

While yes, it is impossible to see everything that Seattle has to offer in just one day, you still have plenty of time to see some of the highlights that this city has to offer!

To help you make the most out of your time in Seattle, I’ve written this loose itinerary, offering multiple suggestions for the best Seattle sights to see during your one day trip.

If you’re arriving in Seattle during the morning, your first concern is getting a good breakfast.

Best breakfast in downtown Seattle – Fonté Cafe

Fonte Avacado Toast
Fonte Avacado Toast

Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, Fonté Cafe offers one of the best breakfasts to be found and superb coffee to match.

Fonte Coffee
Fonte Coffee

Pick your choice of avocado toast, cinnamon roll French toast, or biscuits and gravy — to name a couple of your savory options. While you’re here, don’t forget to order a sage or rose latte for an exotic drink to accompany your breakfast.

Best cheap breakfast in Seattle – Sweet Iron Waffle Bar

With delicious Belgian waffles starting at just $4, Sweet Iron is a good choice for a tasty, cheap breakfast in Seattle. Start your one day tour of Seattle with a sweet or savory waffle and a warm cup of coffee.

If you aren’t in the mood for waffles — don’t worry! Downtown Seattle has more than a few breakfast options for you. Just take a stroll in any direction and you’re sure to come across a breakfast joint or two.

Ideal morning tourist attraction – Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market in Seattle
Pike Place Market

Now that breakfast is out of the way, you can start visiting some Seattle highlights!

Pike Place Market is Seattle’s #1 tourist destination and you can beat the hoards of tourists by visiting this location in the morning.

Pike Place Market opens at 6 am on weekdays and is a place that you must visit during your one day in Seattle. Grab a coffee from the original Starbucks just opposite the market and stroll through the colorful stalls.

Avoid the lines by visiting early – Space Needle

Seattle Space Needle
Space Needle with Monorail and MoPop

If you spend even one day in Seattle and don’t see the Space Needle, it’s arguable whether you’ve truly visited Seattle at all.

The Space Needle is one of the best places to visit in Seattle and is the most recognized icon of the city. The tower opens at 8 am and gets very crowded as the day progresses, so visiting early is a good way to avoid lines.

Seattle Highlights For Your Afternoon

Continuing your one day Seattle itinerary, let’s explore some places to visit during your afternoon in Seattle.

Best cheap lunch in downtown Seattle – Market Grill

Market Grill

Since this is likely a very full day for you, the Market Grill is a great grab-n-go lunch spot.

Offering sandwiches and seafood, Market Grill is one of the best lunch spots in downtown Seattle.

Due to Seattle’s adjacency to the Puget Sound, seafood restaurants are abundant in downtown Seattle. Seafood is practically it’s own religion in the city so don’t miss your chance to try some at Market Grill.

Top-rated green space in Seattle – Seattle Japanese Garden

Seattle Japanese Garden
Koi Pond at the Seattle Japanese Garden

With lunch out of the way, you’re probably feeling like getting away from the city bustle for a couple of hours. If you are fond of serenity and nature, a good place to visit is the Seattle Japanese Garden.

While Seattle is a populous metropolitan, the city still prioritizes parks and green spaces, resulting in lush gardens like this one.

The Seattle Japanese Garden is a beautiful Seattle highlight and deserves a good hour or two of exploration.

A combination of water & nature – Gas Works Park

Gasworks Park Pano
Gasworks Park Pano

Gas Works Park is an iconic Seattle location. This relic from the industrial age is now a public park and a popular Seattle site, due to its picnic sites, water access, and photo opportunities.

Gasworks Park Seattle
Perfect place to fly a kite at Gasworks Park

With its scenic view of Seattle across Lake Union, Gas Works Park is the perfect place for photographing the city’s skyline or just taking a nap on the grass.

Best Seattle Sights For The Evening

There are a number of Seattle sights that are best visited at night. As always, let’s start with food first.

Dinner in Seattle with a view – Salty’s on Alki Beach

Offering a stunning view of Seattle, Salty’s is an upscale seafood restaurant with a gorgeous aesthetic and mouthwatering menu.

I can’t think of a better way to finish off one day in Seattle than by eating delicious, local seafood with a view of Seattle.

Best bar in downtown Seattle – The Pike Brewing Company

Pike Brewing Company in Seattle
Pike Brewing Company in Seattle

If you are looking for a bar with a quintessentially Seattle atmosphere, The Pike Brewing Company is one of the best bars in downtown.

Offering a moody, industrial interior, The Pike Brewing Company serves local beer and pub food that doesn’t disappoint. If you are a fan of craft beer and want to experience Seattle’s night culture, The Pike Brewing Company is a Seattle highlight that you shouldn’t miss.

Tallest view in the city – Sky View Observatory Columbia Center

View from Sky View Observatory

Open until 10 pm, Sky View Observatory Columbia Center offers visitors a breathtaking night view of Seattle. The observatory gives you a bird’s eye view of the city and is sure to be one of your favorite Seattle highlights.

A combination of city and sea – The Great Seattle Wheel

Great Seattle Wheel
Great Seattle Wheel

The Great Seattle Wheel is a giant Ferris wheel on Pier 57. The observational Ferris wheel gives you a beautiful view of the Puget Sound and ranks as a top Seattle highlights for most tourists.

View From Great Seattle Wheel
View From Great Seattle Wheel

If you’d like more information on ticket prices for The Great Seattle Ferris Wheel, here is a blog post with details on prices for various Seattle attractions.

Create The Perfect 1-Day Seattle Itinerary

One of the best ways to get the most out of your day in the city is by partnering with a Seattle downtown tour company. Here at Shutter Tours, our expert guides know this city like the back of their hands and will ensure that your trip to the Emerald City is memorable and stress-free.

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