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Short getaways in Seattle – museums and markets on both sides of Puget Sound

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A short getaway in Seattle will give you only a taste of the city. But this itinerary will help you see the city’s highlights, just a short distance from your Seattle hotel.

Seattle short getaway day one, morning

Begin your short getaway in Seattle at the Experience Music Project museum. Located within the metallic folds of a striking Frank Gehry-designed building, the museum celebrates Seattle’s musical heroes. Displays are packed with sequined costumes, shiny guitars and headsets so visitors can hear Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana loud and clear. A single ticket buys entrance to the Experience Music Project and the adjoining Science Fiction Museum. If you have time, visit this collection to see Buck Rogers’ disintegrator pistol, Planet of the Apes’s costumes and Darth Vader’s helmet.

Start: Experience Music Project museum.
Nearest monorail Seattle Center

Afternoon

Walk around the corner to the Space Needle, which towers 525 feet over downtown Seattle. It takes only 41 seconds to zoom to the top, and on a clear day the area’s attractions are laid out like a patchwork quilt. The Space Needle’s restaurant, SkyCity, rotates 360 degrees to give a scenic backdrop to steaming bowls of chowder and halibut sandwiches. It’s a short bus ride to Pioneer Square, the birthplace of Seattle. Underneath the Victorian buildings lies the original 1851 Seattle, destroyed by fire in 1889 and later covered over. Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour follows the original city streets, past 150-year-old storefronts and shops, all beneath the modern city.

Start: Space Needle
Nearest Monorail Seattle Center

Evening

Fresh seafood and sweeping waterfront views make Anthony’s a favorite dinner spot. The restaurant is divided into three sections: Pier 66, a fine-dining restaurant; Bell Street Diner, a casual, less expensive option; and Anthony’s Fish Bar, dishing up fresh fish and chips to eat in or take out.

Start: Anthony’s restaurant.
Nearest bus stop 1st Ave. at Bell St. 

Seattle short getaway day two, morning

After leaving your Seattle hotel, nibble your way through nine acres of fresh seafood, colorful produce and creamy cheeses at Pike Place Market. Full breakfasts or baked goods are served at market restaurants, including the first Starbucks coffee shop serving the expected favorites beneath its original woodcut sign. It’s a three-block walk from the market to the waterfront, where the Seattle Aquarium displays its sea creatures – fish, coral, shore birds and marine mammals – on the shore of Puget Sound. 

Start: Pike Place Market. 
Nearest bus stop 1st Ave. at Bell St. 

Afternoon

Seattle’s ferries crisscross Puget Sound en route to dozens of scenic islands and peninsulas. A favorite is the ferry to Bainbridge Island which reveals views of Seattle’s steel and glass downtown. Ferry to the island and back if you’re content with memorable photo opportunities, or spend an afternoon in the island’s boutiques, cafés and ice cream shops. 

Start: Pier 52, Seattle waterfront. 
Nearest bus stop 1st Ave. at Marion St. 

Evening

Of all Seattle’s professional sports, none is more popular than Seattle Mariners baseball. America’s favorite pastime is played at Safeco Field from April to September. Fans dine on hot dogs and watch baseball before a backdrop of the Seattle skyline and a Puget Sound sunset. 

Start: Safeco Field. 
Nearest bus stop 1st Ave. S at S Royal Brougham Way