We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

My 1 Day Itinerary

Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
709 posts
24 reviews
Save Topic
My 1 Day Itinerary

I'll be flying in to Seattle on 8/16, have a day and night to explore Seattle, then fly out on 8/18. I plan to stay at the Inn at the Market and not rent a car. Since I'm traveling solo and don't know anyone in Seattle I'm thinking about taking a bus tour of Seattle and walking around Pike Place Market and the waterfront. I've read the 1 day itinerary suggestions. I thought I might take a cruise around the harbor, but I'd rather take a whale watching tour. Are there any whale watching tours out of Seattle or do you have to go to Anacortes? Other suggestions are also welcome. Thanks.

seattle
Destination Expert
for Seattle
Level Contributor
19,041 posts
108 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: My 1 Day Itinerary

You need to go to the San Juan Islands to see Orcas. You can take the Victoria Clipper from the waterfront. Look at

clippervacations.com

Its a nice trip but it will take your whole day, but its very doable from where your staying.

United States
Level Contributor
2,585 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: My 1 Day Itinerary

Other options for the water are taking the water taxi to Alki Beach or the State Ferry to Bainbridge Island. These are much shorter trips. Cheaper too. :)

Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
709 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: My 1 Day Itinerary

Is it worth taking a short cruise around the harbor? Much to see? Thanks.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
541 posts
371 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: My 1 Day Itinerary

In August, you should have beautiful weather for getting out on the water. I would much prefer that to a bus tour.

You're staying in a great spot, if I were you I'd start my day with breakfast in Pike Place Market, explore that area, then head down the steps to the waterfront. You could take a ferry or water taxi ride as suggested, or an Argosy cruise sightseeing cruise (argosycruises.com), or a sailboat ride (sailingseattle.com). Other attractions along the waterfront include the aquarium, the new ferris wheel, and various shops & restaurants.

Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
709 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: My 1 Day Itinerary

Thanks for your replies. How far is the Space Needle from Pike Place Market? Is the best way to get there by cab?

Renton, WA
Level Contributor
3,993 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: My 1 Day Itinerary

If it is a nice day and you are physically up to it, just walk from the Market to Seattle Center....it's about 8 blocks.

Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
Level Contributor
2,746 posts
179 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: My 1 Day Itinerary

Argosy runs a cruise that heads out of the harbor, north around Magnolia enters the ship canal via the Ballard locks and takes the ship canal through to Lake Union where you will see the float planes, floating homes and gasworks park plus a ton of boats and good views of the city skyline. They return passengers to downtown via ground transport although I imagine if you wanted to you could end at S.Lake Union. The new Museum of History and Industry is right there along with the Center for Wooden Boats. You can take light rail back to Westlake Center downtown. That would be a good way to see the harbor, the Ballard locks and Lake Union but it is about 2.5 hours and is a fairly steep $40.25.

www.argosycruises.com/publiccruises/locks.cfm

The harbor tour itself (it has been many years since I did it) gives views of the city skyline, the olympics, the container ports and industrial harbor area (harbor island and the entrance to the duwamish). You will undoubtedly see the ferries and likely cruise ships docked downtown. Container ships are likely. There may be icebreakers at the Coast Guard pier. You will be here after fleet week so likely you will not catch military vessels although there are military bases around the Sound so you can't rule that out. The chances of marine life are slim although we do have Orcas, seals and sea lions. Orcas are much more likely around the San Juans. Other whales visit the area but are almost never in our part of the Sound.

The cruise is an hour and runs $23.50

argosycruises.com/publiccruises/harbor.cfm

An alternative to a harbor tour is an inexpensive trip on a public ferry from downtown to Bainbridge Island or Bremerton. I typically just reboard on the other side and head right back (you have to disembark). It will take about an hour and half for a r/t to Bainbridge Island. It will be more like 2.5 hours to Bremerton and back. The fare is currently $7.70 r/t passenger fares are collected only at Seattle.

You can also take a Lake Union cruise. http://www.seattleferryservice.com/

It runs 45-50 minutes and costs $11. I was going to take it last summer with some visitors but we ended up cutting it from the itinerary. The description from the website says that it covers Lake Union floating homes, a look at Dale Chihuly’s studio, Gas Works Park and the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat.

Unless you are going to take an Argosy Cruise or ferry ride, visit the aquarium or ride the ferris wheel you won't really need to spend much time on the waterfront. You can get good views over Puget Sound from Pike Place Market (like Steinbrueck Park) or from Olympic Sculpture Park, which actually has its own rocky and driftwood strewn mini beach.

Hit the market about 9:30-10am when everything starts opening up. There will be significant crowds that time of year for most of the day. You can go earlier but most vendors won't be open. Here is a post from last year asking about going to the waterfront, Pike Place Market and Seattle Center in one day.

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g60878-i74-k5657…

I have a self guided walk through of the market which I repost from time to time. It is listed in that thread.

Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
709 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: My 1 Day Itinerary

Thanks for the suggestions. They are very helpful! :)

I believe I'll skip the Space Needle. But, I would like to see the EMP.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
541 posts
371 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: My 1 Day Itinerary

As Bob notes, you can walk from Pike Place Market to the Seattle Center. Alternatively, take a shorter walk east to Westlake Center and take the Monorail, which drops you right by the Space Needle and EMP.

Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
Level Contributor
6,132 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: My 1 Day Itinerary

You know, to really see whales, it is a long trip from downtown. I would not recommend it for your short trip/time.

Instead, I think you are better served enjoying the Market on Sunday morning, then dropping down to the waterfront and riding the ferry to Bainbridge and back. If you want to head over to the Seattle Center and visit the EMP, you will have time for that. The new Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum is right there too. Fabulous, and so "Seattle" with the indoor and outdoor spaces. Collections, the Cafe at the Chiluly, is very good.

I have been on the Argosy tour, many, many times. It is interesting, but truly, I like the Harbor + Locks cruise a little more than the straight harbor tour as the locks are so unique. As klsalas mentioned, the Seattle Ferry cruise on the MV Fremont, just covers Lake Union, but I find that so interesting, and so Seattle. Do note though, that on Sundays it is the "ice cream" cruise, which is geared more toward families.

And lastly, if you would still like to join a tour, I very much like the Savour Seattle Food Tours. Great walking tours that give you a nice sense of Seattle. http://www.savorseattletours.com

A competing company is Seattle Food Tours, you can check them both:

http://seattlefoodtours.com