48 Hours in Seattle

By Courtney Likkel

Seattle is more than just grunge, rain and Starbucks. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find a charismatic and diverse city fueled by a spirit of adventure. From the scenic icons to the hidden gems, Seattle is sure to shine… even if it is drizzling. Here’s how to make the most out of 48 hours in Seattle:


Start your first day in Seattle with brunch at Portage Bay Café, famous for the best breakfast in the city. Using organic and locally sourced ingredients, Portage Bay Café is sure to redefine your notion of brunch. Want to fit in with the locals? Order that second cup of coffee, or stop by the closest neighborhood café. You’re in caffeine country now!

48 Hours in Seattle - Portage Bay Cafe

Prepare your taste buds for an epic feast at Portage Bay Café

No visit to Seattle is complete without a trip to the Space Needle. Soar up to the top, take in the views, and then explore the rest of Seattle Center. Pop into the Experience Music Project, or check out the stunning Chihuly Garden and Glass. Afterwards, treat yourself to a burger at Seattle’s most iconic burger joint, Dick’s Drive In. Once you grab some grub, venture to Kerry Park for the most picturesque views of the city skyline.

48 Hours in Seattle - Kerry Park

Admire the city’s best views at Kerry Park

Next, head over to Fremont and immerse yourself in this quirky neighborhood’s charm. Browse through the vintage shops and funky boutiques, take a picture with the famous Fremont Troll, and maybe savor a beer or two at the Fremont Brewing Company. Then hop over to Gas Works Park, a former gas factory turned urban playground with striking panoramas of Lake Union.

48 Hours in Seattle - Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park

Hungry for dinner yet? Feast upon sensational Cuban sandwiches from Paseo. These legendary sandwiches are by far the best in the city, but every Seattle native will tell you that they’re the best in the world. You might just believe them. After dinner, prepare yourself for a night out in Capitol Hill. Barca, Grim’s, The Unicorn and Cha Cha are just a few of the local watering holes where you can find an assortment of colorful Seattleites. Check out the life of the party in the Pike-Pine corridor and Lower Hill, or opt for a more low-key scene with classy cocktails or around 15th Ave.


Eat a light breakfast at Macrina and grab a coffee to go as you make your way to the Olympic Sculpture Park. Admire the variety of modern art and spectacular views before heading down to the scenic waterfront piers. Explore the docks, watch the ferries pass by, and take a spin on the Great Wheel. Fuel up for the rest of the day’s adventures with some clam chowder at Ivar’s, another iconic eatery in the Emerald City.

48 Hours in Seattle - Seattle Great Wheel

Take a spin on the Great Wheel

Next, make your way to one of the nation’s oldest farmers markets, Pike Place Market. Wander through the arcades filled with fresh produce, flowers and local art, and snap a picture of the market’s famous fish-throwing vendors. Attempt to find the Gum Wall, browse the novelty shops, and enjoy the sounds of local street performers as you visit the original Starbucks. Rain or shine, be sure not to miss the breathtaking views of Elliot Bay and Puget Sound.

48 Hours in Seattle - Pike Place Market

Take advantage of the market’s many unique restaurants by dining at The Pink Door for dinner. Hidden in Post Alley, The Pink Door serves up mouthwatering Italian dishes with a whimsical twist. Dinner is accompanied by eccentric live entertainment such as trapeze artists, live music, tarot card readings and cabaret.

Save room for dessert? Venture over to Ballard for a piece of molten chocolate heaven at Hot Cakes, where your taste buds will delight in the city’s most decadent cakes. Afterwards, experience Ballard’s vibrant nightlife at local favorites such as King’s and the Loft.

48 Hours in Seattle

Hopefully by now Seattle has charmed you into visiting for more than just 48 hours. Grab a cup of coffee and stay a while, why don’t you?

Hungry for the best Seattle eats? Check out the Eat Your Way Through Seattle Featured Trip by our Local Culinary Expert, and celebrity chef, Tom Douglas.

All Photos © Courtney Likkel

Author Bio: Courtney is a Seattle native living in Madrid, Spain and working as an assistant English teacher. Besides venturing around Europe, she likes drinking tinto de verano in the sunshine, embarrassing herself by trying to speak the local language, and attempting to seek out the best brunch in Madrid. You can follow along with her adventures on her blog Adelante, as well as on Instagram and Twitter.

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