In early June of 2012, my family headed west to cruise The Last Frontier (aka Alaska), but our trip started a couple of days early as we spent a little over 24 hours exploring Seattle!

Seattle has several nicknames and one of those is “Rain City”, but we lucked up and it didn’t rain on us one bit while we were exploring! The great thing about this city, depending on where you get your hotel, is a lot of the “tourist” sites are within easy walking distance of each other.

So, which sites did we see in our short visit? See below for some recommendations for your next visit to the Emerald City.

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market opened its doors in August 1907, and today millions of visitors wander the market’s stalls each year. The Market has over 200 craft vendors, 85 farm tables, restaurants, and more. Pike Place Market’s most recognizable landmark is the Public Market clock and sign, which was installed in 1927 and is one of the oldest outdoor neon pieces on the West Coast. In addition to all the sights, sounds and smells at the Market the second top site to see in Seattle is the original Starbucks.

Pike Place Market | Seattle, WA Pike Place Market | Seattle, WA Pike Place Market | Seattle, WA

Original Starbucks

Starbucks opened its doors in 1971, but moved to the Pike Place location in 1975. I recommend getting there mid-morning to avoid the super long lines (the store is open 7 days a week from 6am-9pm), but be prepared to only order coffee (or any drink) since they do not offer food. Lastly, be sure to check out the logo as this is the only store to display the original logo.

Starbucks | Seattle, WA Starbucks | Seattle, WA Southern Exhilaration: Starbucks | Seattle, WA

Seattle Underground Tour

The Seattle Underground Tour was one of my favorite sites in Seattle. I highly recommend it if you want to learn more about Seattle’s history. The walking tour takes you to some exclusive sections of the city that you normally would not experience. It’s a fun way to learn all about some of the quirks that make this city so unique.

Space Needle

The Space Needle is probably one of the most iconic landmarks in Seattle, and has a prominent place in the Seattle skyline. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle was completed in December 1961 and opened its doors for the first time on April 21, 1962. Standing at 605 feet it has been offering visitors a sky-high perspective of the Emerald City since the day it opened its doors. We were lucky enough to be there during the Needle’s 50th anniversary, and it was sporting its original “Galaxy Orange” roof color. I highly recommend getting tickets to the Observation Deck to see a 360 degree view of the city. We did the Day/Night passes ($10 more) to see the city show off at different times.

Have you ever been to Seattle? What are your favorite sites/things to do in the Emerald City?