Seattle is an amazing city whether it's rain or shine. But it's better for all travelers to the city to carry an umbrella so that one is prepared if it's starts raining. The city is surrounded by the Puget sound and lakes such as Lake Washington and Lake Union . You'll have plenty to do if you want to visit the city for a week. However, this article focusses on a short trip of 4- 5 days that could cover Seattle and its surrounding areas.

The first two days should be dedicated to the city itself. On the first day, start the morning with a duck tour that takes you around the city and gives a comprehensive overview of the city. The duck tour starts from the downtown area and you do not need to purchase the tickets in advance. This tour is real fun and besides covering the important sights, it also splashes into the waters of Lake Union from where you get a beautiful view of the city skyline. Additionally, Lake Union boasts of a few very beautiful houseboats; one of which was featured in "Sleepless in Seattle". After the duck tour, you can stroll from the downtown area towards the famous Farmers market “Pike Place” market for lunch. The city is kind of hilly and if you are walking towards the Pike Place market from downtown, you'll be walking down the hill towards First Avenue. From the Pike Place market, you'll get a beautiful view of the Puget Sound. You could spend some time in the small park overlooking the Puget Sound and then walk around the Pike Place market admiring the display of freshly caught seafood. The fishmongers actually throw freshly caught Salmons from the Puget Sound and put up a show to amuse the crowd. The market area is also full of street performers and it's a pleasure to stop and watch them. You could have lunch in one of the nice seafood restaurants or you could sample food from the various smaller cafes in and around the market.  One must try the local favorites – Salmon chowder and Dungeness crab roll. You can then have dessert from one of the local bakeries. After lunch, you can linger around in this area sitting in the park facing the Puget Sound or if are not too tired, walk towards the Pioneer Square. The Pioneer Square is the historical neighborhood featuring small boutiques and nice cafes. In the evening, walk to the waterfront. The waterfront can be accessed by foot from Pioneer Square or from the Pike Place market. The waterfront runs parallel to the Puget Sound and features a number of nice seafood restaurants. End the evening with a fabulous dinner at one of the seafood restaurants on the waterfront.

On the second day, you can explore the downtown area, the space needle and the art museum in Pioneer square. You can end the evening with a dinner at one of the downtown restaurants or near Lake Union.

On the third day, rent a car (you really did not need a car for the first two days) and head out to the Mount Rainier National Park. Spend the entire day in the park admiring the beautiful landscape, lush green forests and the majestic Mount Rainier. The park has been divided into five main areas; Longmire, Paradise, Ohanapecosh, Sunrise, and Carbon/Mowich. It is not possible to cover all the five areas in one day. Based on your interest, read about the five areas from the park homepage and select one or two that you would like to cover. Each of the five has something to offer and each one of them features a number of suggested trails. Check out the link for more information:

On the fourth day, explore one of the beautiful San Juan Islands just off the coast of Washington. The San Juan Islands comprise of Lopez island, Orcas island, Shaw island and San Juan island. Start early in the morning and drive to Anacortes from where you can take the Washington State Ferry to one of these islands. Anacortes is about 80 miles north east of Seattle. You can get detailed maps of the islands from the ticket booth at the Anacortes dock. You must take along your car in the ferry because public transportation on the islands is limited. Read about the islands before going so that you could select the island where you want to go. Here’s the link:

 If you want to spend a night in the island, you must book in advance. There are a few charming Bed and Breakfasts but they fill up very quickly. If you have only 4 days and want a day trip, I’ll suggest going to Orcas island. You can get off the ferry and drive around this beautiful island. Stop in the small village of Eastbound for lunch. If you do not have much time, grab lunch and drive over to the top of 2,409 foot Mt constitution and enjoy your lunch over there with a fantastic view of the surrounding islands.