I used this forum so much in preparation for my trip that I wanted to share the experiences I had. My husband and I travelled to Seattle for 3 nights from a Sunday - Wednesday.
- we stayed at Hotel Five on 5th avenue
- great value, good location
- fun decor that made the stay more interesting (not sterile and predictable as every other hotel)
- helpful staff, free bikes to use, free Starbucks coffee and muffins in the lobby each afternoon.
- walking distance to the Pike Market (10 - 15 mins), bars, Space Needle, downtown shopping.
- go across the road to 'Midtown Espresso' they do delicious hot chocolates and coffee. Also had scrambled eggs on toast with sausage for $5.95 which was a great price!
- parking $15 - a great deal!
- LOVED Settle food!!! The seafood was so amazing.
- The Pink Door: fabulous Italian restaurant with Burlesque entertainment. Such a unique and fun dining experience. Great with friends or for a romantic meal.
- Seatown Seabar: right near the markets overlooking the water. We went there twice to have crab as an afternoon snack. Food was really tasty.
- Julia's: a bar in Capitol Hill (very funky area). The bar wasn't anything special but it had great happy hour deals and it was good for a late afternoon snack and drink after walking all day! $3 beer $4 food during happy hour (2-7pm).
- Tap House Grill: 160 BEERS ON TAP!!!! My husband LOVED this place. Great atmosphere, definitely a unique experience, great food.
- Crab Pot: a touristy seafood place on the waterfront but a fun experience. My husband ordered crab legs and they poured to crab onto the table (not on a plate), gave him a wooden plate and wooden hammer and bib. He had so much fun eating and it tasted great!
- The underground tour through Pioneer Square is a MUST to fully appreciate Seattle and it's interesting history.
- Pioneer Square: gorgeous architecture, great place to go for a few hours (incl the tour)
- EMP museum: I thought it was over priced. It was interesting but people who are into music and fans of Hendrix and Nirvanna would LOVE this place.
- Smith Tower: at Volunteer Park, it's free and when you climb the tower you get a view of Seattle, incl Space Needle in the distance and the water. It's on gorgeous grounds and we enjoyed it. We then walked through the residential area into Capitol Hill.
- Capitol Hill: We enjoyed the walk into this area but were confused why everyone online said it was a funky place and we could only find a few shops and cafes but you have to find Broadway Avenue...that's where the action is. We loved it there and wished we could spend more time there. Did a bit of clothes shopping in this area.
- Museum of Flight: had to drive out of downtown for about 10-15 mins or so. Got to go into the British Airways Concord AND an old Air Force One plane which was fun. If you are really into space and planes, you'll love this place. There was a great WWI and WWII area.
- Ferry to Bainbridge Island: Took the 4pm ferry over to the island to try to get the sunset on the way back. We walked Main st then had a pizza. Drove around the island and managed to find this amazing view looking back at Seattle. this would be a great place in the Summer. Got a nice sunset returning on the 7pm ferry.
- Pike Place Market: wished we had done the tour but we ran out of time. Great food, flowers and other items. If I was a local I'd buy my produce from there!
- a couple of times we skipped lunch then had a snack late in the afternoon so we weren't ready for dinner at the usual time. Twice we got caught out as we'd left the hotel at around 8:30pm and many restaurants' kitchens closed at 9pm so we struggled to find a place to eat late at night.
- hired a car through Thrifty and were happy with the service and price. We only used the car twice in 4 days. We either walked or caught (cheap) cabs around downtown.
- Money: hard to find a place to exchange money, banks weren't helpful and exchange rates/fees were a rip off. I ended up withdrawing money from an ATM to get $US and the exchange rate was great.
We loved every minute of our stay in Seattle. There were a number of things we didn't get the chance to do but we were happy with what we got done. Seattle is definitely a hidden gem!!!