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Top Attractions for 1 Day in Seattle

One Day in Seattle The Space Needle

What can you do with one day in Seattle? In fact, we actually stayed 2 nights in Seattle. However, we arrived late the first night on the fast ferry from Vancouver Island and then left early morning on the third day. So that left us one full day to make the most of Seattle. Of course, there are lots of things we couldn’t do or see in that time but we did manage to fit in many Seattle Attractions and enjoyed some fabulous sightseeing. Here I want to share our one day in Seattle and so give you an idea of the top things to do in the city.

When we arrived in Seattle, it was raining and apparently this is not unusual in Seattle so be prepared. Also, it turns out that Seattle is very hilly. Funny how it looks so flat on the map!!! Seriously though, do bear this in mind if, like us, you plan on doing a lot of walking. Fortunately, Seattle has a great public transport network so you can always give your feet a rest.

Space Needle

The Space Needle is a must see during your one day in Seattle
The Space Needle is a must-see during your one day in Seattle

Of course, top of our list of things to do during our one day in Seattle was a visit to the iconic Space Needle. Whizz to the top in the elevator and then you stand 520 feet above Seattle. What better way to get a fabulous view across the city while you start your one day in Seattle sightseeing.

While at the top of the Space Needle, you can view Seattle from floor-to-ceiling glass windows which you lean into. It certainly gives a unique perspective of the city below. If you’re brave enough you can also walk on the glass-panelled floor and see the air beneath your feet. Just some of the reasons why the Space Needle is undoubtedly one of Seattle’s top attractions.

If you have time then plan in a visit to the museum restaurant for lunch. We ate lunch here and it is a surprisingly good organic/health food place where we picked some excellent tasty wraps.

You can reach the Space Needle on the monorail which is very convenient, if like us, you are relying on public transport. However, if you have your own car then there is parking available as well.

One day in Seattle View from the Space Needle
View from the Space Needle

Space Needle: Practical Information

Opening Hours:
Monday to Thursday: 10 am to 7 pm
Friday to Sunday: 9 am – 7 pm

Admission Fees:
Adults: from $32.50
Children (5 to 12 years): from $24.50

Public Transport: You can reach the Space Needle on the Monorail and also by public bus.

Official Website: https://www.spaceneedle.com/

View from the Space Needle
View from the Space Needle

Chihuly Garden and Glass

One Day in Seattle Chihuly Garden and Glass
Chihuly Garden and Glass

Right next to the Space Needle you will find Chihuly Garden and Glass. This small but fascinating exhibition is the work of Dale Chihuly. He has exhibited his glass work all over the world and this permanent exhibition in Seattle provides an opportunity to see some of his amazing artworks.

There are eight galleries and also two drawing walls to discover inside the exhibition. Particularly, do not miss the glasshouse gallery. Inside what looks like a giant greenhouse or conservatory is a massive 100-foot long art installation. The beautiful flower-like glass feature is all shades of red, orange and yellow. It looks particularly stunning in the sunlight.

Chihuly Garden and Glass
Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass: Practical Information

Opening Hours:
Monday to Thursday: 11 am to 6 pm
Friday to Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm

Admission Fees:
Adults: $32 or $22 (after 4 pm)
Children (5 to 12 years): $19 or $14 (after 4 pm)
You can also buy combined tickets with the Space Needle.

Public Transport: You can reach the Chihuly Garden on the Monorail and also by public bus.

Official Website: https://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/

Museum of Pop Culture

One Day in Seattle Museum of Pop Culture
Museum of Pop Culture

Afterwards, we walked across to the Museum of Pop Culture. This fascinating museum contains all kinds of exhibits related to popular culture. For example, the guitar gallery features the instruments of many famous musicians and you can also watch a video of them in action.

One Day in Seattle Museum of Pop Culture Guitar Gallery
Museum of Pop Culture Guitar Gallery

There are also special exhibitions which feature the works of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Jimi Hendrix. It’s a must-see attraction for music lovers.

See the Jimi Hendrix Exhibition at the Museum of Pop Culture
See the Jimi Hendrix Exhibition at the Museum of Pop Culture

However, there is much more here than just music. You can also explore the fascinating exhibition, Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction which has exhibits from top films and shows such as Star Trek, Blade Runner and Men in Black.

The Fantasy Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibition showcases shows like the Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings. There’s also an exhibition on horror films with lots of opportunities to watch clips as well as view the props.

Be prepared to spend several hours here at least. There’s a lot to see and it’s very interactive so you’ll want to spend time watching the film clips and music videos as well as looking at the exhibits.

Museum of Pop Culture: Practical Information

Opening Hours:
Winter (September to May): 10 am to 5 pm
Summer (June to August): 10 am to 7 pm

Admission Fees:
Adults: $30 or $28 (online price)
Children (5 to 12 years): $21 or $19 (online price)
A combined ticket with Minecraft: The Exhibition costs extra for adults but is the same price for children.

Public Transport: You can reach the Museum of Pop Culture on the Monorail or public bus

Official Website: https://www.mopop.org/

Monorail

Ride the monorail to get around on your one day in Seattle
Ride the monorail to get around on your one day in Seattle

If you’re a fan of the hit tv show Frasier then you’ll be familiar with some of the sights of Seattle. I loved that show and I remember when Frasier and his brother got stuck on the monorail on Frasier Crane Day. Of course, if you’ve never watched the show you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about but still, you’ll want to take a ride on the monorail during your one day in Seattle. It’s a great way of getting around the city and it goes to some of the top Seattle attractions including the Space Needle.

Seattle Monorail from Above
Looking down on the monorail from the Space Needle

You can catch the Monorail from either Westlake Station (5th Ave and Pine Street)or the Seattle Center Station (Space Needle). Trains depart every 10 minutes so you never have to wait long. Hop on and in approximately 2 minutes you’ll be at your destination.

The Seattle Monorail from below
The Seattle Monorail from below

It costs $3 for a single trip for adults while children (6-18) are half price. Children 5 and under are free so take the family. You can get up to date schedules and information on the official Monorail website.

Riding the Seattle Monorail
Riding the Seattle Monorail

Waterfront

Seattle Waterfront
Seattle Waterfront

Make time for a walk along the Seattle Waterfront during your one day in Seattle. We first saw this when we arrived on the ferry and you can take a boat ride from here out and about on Puget Sound.

There’s plenty to do without heading out to see though. Discover the sculptures at Olympic Park or visit the Aquarium. We always like to wander through parks and gardens when we visit a city and in Seattle, you can cycle or walk around Myrtle Edwards Park.

Seattle Great Wheel at the Waterfront
Seattle Great Wheel at the Waterfront

You can take a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel for fabulous views across Puget Sound. Or if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, shop for souvenirs at the many stalls along the promenade. As well as the usual tourist items you can also get some really good quality craft items here.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

We found this small but fascinating museum when we ducked inside to avoid the torrential rainstorm that caught us during our walking tour of Seattle. I’m so glad we did though. It’s actually an urban National Park and so is run by the National Park Service. It may be small but it’s very informative and has some fantastic exhibits.

Miner's Cabin
Miner’s Cabin

The park is located in the Cadillac Hotel and inside you’ll be welcomed by park rangers. You can then explore the history of the Klondike Gold Rush through the many displays and exhibits. We had planned a quick look until the rain passed but ended up spending quite a long time inside. It’s well worth a visit.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park: Practical Information

Opening Hours:
10 am to 5 pm during winter
9 am to 5 pm during the summer

Admission: Free

Location: Just off Pioneer Square

Website: https://www.nps.gov/klse/index.htm

Pike Place Market

One Day in Seattle Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market

Another thing you should make time to do on your Seattle City Tour is a visit to Pike Place Market. Overlooking Elliott Bay on the Seattle waterfront, Pike Place is a popular visitor attraction throughout the day. Start early and have breakfast here, fresh produce is available from 7 am. Throughout the day you’ll find farmer’s stalls, craft items, fresh food and beverages. Browse for speciality foods or just relax with a coffee at one of the many cafes.

Our one day in Seattle was part of our longer world trip. Here are the related posts from our trip around the World Without Flying

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What can you do in Washington State's largest city in just one day? Get advice and tips for making the most of one day in Seattle. #USA #Seattle #Travel