24 Hours in Seattle – The Pacific North West’s Emerald City

24 Hours in Seattle – The Pacific North West’s Emerald City

24 Hours in Seattle

24 hours in seattle
Pike Place Market, Seattle

Adam and I took a trip to Seattle this past weekend to celebrate my 28th birthday. For the past few years, Seattle has been a city I dreamed of visiting. The market, the gum wall, the Space Needle, Mount Rainier; I was dying to visit and finally lay my eyes on this iconic destination. Seattle did not disappoint.

We only had just over 24 hours in Seattle so we needed to maximize our time. I had such a large list of places to visit and knew there was no way we would be able to see it all, so I lowered my expectations. (This is an important point I talk about in my post about traveling across the country) I’m an obsessive planner when I am on a trip, so taking it easy actually felt really refreshing! Here is what 24 hours in Seattle looked like for Adam and I. (All opinions are my own)

Pike Place Market

24 hours in seattle
Pike Place Market, Seattle

Although Pike Place Market is arguably the most touristy part of Seattle, I found it incredible. I either completely avoid tourist spots or fall in love with them, Pike Place Market stole my heart.

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

As soon as I locked my eyes on the market sign I smiled. We walked down the brick road passing by fresh-cut flowers, an accordion player and violinist dressed in cat masks, the smell of fresh coffee and ocean air flooding our senses. Adam turned to me and said “this place almost feels like another country” and I agreed. Immediately Seattle had us wondering what we would find around the next corner.

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

The Gum Wall

24 hours in seattle
The Gum Wall, Seattle

Once we were finished dodging the fish being thrown into the air at the market, we made our way down Post Alley to the notorious gum wall. The gum wall was cleaned off to showcase completely barren walls in 2015, but clearly it didn’t last for long. I was devastated when I heard they were clearing the gum wall after 20 years of strangers getting uncomfortably close to each others DNA – so I was thankful to see the spirit of the wall had not died.

After many, many, attempts and a half hour of cursing, I finally was able to capture this image. Shortly after, 2 young women came up to me and asked if I had any extra gum because they wanted to recreate the shot. Unfortunately, I didn’t and they told me they must have brought the wrong gum because they couldn’t get a bubble quite as big as mine. So, if you are hoping to take a bubble-blowing image in front of the iconic gum wall, here’s what to do.

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle
The Gum Wall, Seattle

I picked up a pack of bubble gum at the local drug store that morning knowing this was a location I wanted to visit. I made sure to start chewing my gum long before we arrived at the gum wall. If you want a big bubble the key is to have as little sugar as possible in the gum you’re chewing. With bubble gum, that’s obviously not the case, so you need to chew your gum until there is no flavor left. My mistake was not chewing more than one piece! I had to use another piece once we got to the wall and chew ferociously so I could get my photo. It took forever! Adam and I laughing while I tried to blow a bubble will be a moment I’ll remember for a lifetime.

Now that we had conquered the world’s grossest tourist attraction, we were off to wander happily along the streets of the city.

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle 24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in Seattle

Pioneer Square & The Smith Tower

24 hours in seattle

 

We made our way to Pioneer Square, the oldest and very beautiful section of Seattle. One of my favorite parts about Seattle was the architecture. The buildings were either modern with flare or antique with a delicate charm. I stopped almost every block to take photo after photo. There was a lot to see in Pioneer Square but considering we only had 24 hours in Seattle, we had to make due.

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

The Smith Tower

Next on our agenda was Seattle’s original skyscraper, The Smith Tower. At one point in time, The Smith Tower was the world’s 4th tallest building. The tower offers a self guided tour showcasing some historic artifacts as you make your way up to the 35th floor.

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in Seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle
The Smith Tower, Seattle

Soon you will find yourself standing in front of a stunning elevator that dates back to the early 1900’s. The only thing that has been renovated are the cable cords. I’ve never been in love with an elevator before, but I liked it.

24 hours in seattle
1900’s Elevator, The Smith Tower (source)

Once we got to the top we took in some remarkable views of Emerald City.

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle
The Smith Tower, Seattle

If you’re looking for a great view of the city but don’t want to spend the money that The Space Needle requires, The Smith Tower is a great alternative. Tickets at The Smith Tower are only $14.50 compared to The Needle’s $22.

An Evening In Seattle

Making our way through our 24 hours in Seattle, we were starving after a day of exploring. Adam and I chose Cactus for dinner. A local Mexican chain with a vibrant atmosphere and absolutely delicious drink and food. We visited the South Union location and took 2 seats at the bar. Indulging in some seriously good margarita’s and complimentary chips and salsa was necessary. Both of us ordered the chimichanga. Adam’s with chicken, mine vegetarian, and we were in Mexican food heaven. Adam turned to me and said “even if we traveled 2 and a half hours just for this food, that’d be okay with me.” The owner of the restaurant came by and offered us some complimentary flan since it was out first time visiting Cactus. 5 stars on this spot, for sure.

24 hours in seattle
Cactus, South Union

The Space Needle

Honestly, The Space Needle was not in our plans, considering we only had 24 hours in Seattle. After dinner, we took a long walk and ended up at the base of the needle. After staring at it for a good minute, Adam surprised me when he said “let’s do it.” I’m so thankful he took the plunge because it ended up being one of our favorite sights during the trip. If you can, spend the money and take a trip to the top, but make sure it’s a fairly clear day/evening first. Don’t forget your complimentary photo out on the observation deck. Just scan your ticket and pose!

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle
The Space Needle, Seattle

A Rainy Seattle Morning

For brunch we chose to go to Tilikum Place Cafe, a european style bistro that serves dutch babies (a german baked pancake) and beignets. Make sure to call ahead for a reservation. We were unaware of this and just showed up for a table. We were then put on a half hour waiting list. While we waited, we walked a few blocks down to grab a very delicious cup of coffee at the unique Uptown Espresso.

24 hours in seattle
Uptown Espresso, Seattle

Once we sat down at breakfast I was thankful we went for coffee. Tilikum Place Cafe didn’t offer regular drip coffee. Something I definitely wish I had known beforehand! TPC had a very eclectic menu ranging from european to creole styled dishes. I chose to get their well-known classic dutch baby & it was good but not as good as I wanted it to be. It’s charm was undeniable, though. I probably wouldn’t re-visit this location, but I do know it’s a very loved Seattle spot.

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle
Tilikum Place Cafe, Seattle

The Fremont Troll

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle
The Fremont Troll, Seattle

If you’re as obsessed with the 90’s as I am, you may recognize this famous troll. It was featured in the hit 90’s rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You. He lives under the Fremont Bridge on Troll Lane – no joke.

Kerry Park

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 ours in seattle
Kerry Park, Seattle

I knew our 24 hours in Seattle would include numerous 10 Things I Hate About You locations. The opening credits of 10 Things was shot from Kerry Park, one of the best views of the skyline. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a clear day on our trip. This meant we never got to see Mount Rainer. If you’re visiting in the Summer, you will have a much better chance.

Coffee For the Road at Preserve and Gather

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle

24 hours in seattle
Preserve and Gather, Seattle

Preserve and Gather served delicious coffee in a beautiful space. You may have noticed that I gravitate towards places with colorful walls. If your trip to Seattle is as rainy as ours, take the 15-20 minute drive from downtown to this lovely spot for a latte and a pastry.

I’m already counting the days until we get to visit Seattle again. I still have a long list of things to see. Any locations that I missed? Share them below!

Ryan