Washington’s biggest city offers countless attractions, but it’s easy to hit some of the most notable on a whirlwind tour. As a start, we suggest you join one of Seattle 101 tours. There is no fixed charge and you pay the walking guide what YOU feel is a fair sum. This is a unique take on Seattle and your insider’s guide to the Emerald City. Stroll through the past in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square. Walk Seattle’s beautiful waterfront and photograph the skyline, key landmarks and surrounding mountains. Learn about the best happy hours and most engaging activities in town. Don’t just come to Seattle, experience Seattle! These walking tours start from Victor Steinbrueck Park (2001 Western Ave), between the two totem poles - located at the North entrance to Pike Place Market.
With over a dozen convenient stops, the Seattle Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour drops you off at all of Seattle’s most popular attractions. See the Space Needle, Seattle Center, Occidental Park, and the King Street Station, Chinatown, Pike Place Market, and other attractions. The included audio narration will ensure that you learn some of Seattle’s history and culture along the way.Make sure that you visit famous glass sculptor, Dale Chihuly’s, impressive exhibition near the Space Needle. As part of the Seattle Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour, you will also gain access to the Pioneer Square Historic District walking tour on your smartphone. Take a leisurely stroll through the oldest neighbourhood in Seattle. The Richardsonian Romanesque architecture prevalent in Pioneer Square lends itself to a quaint little jaunt through the cosy streets and wide-open spaces of Seattle’s original settlement
Pick up your rental car this morning and head south around the Puget Sound. Highlights include the largest retrospective collection of Tacoma local Dale Chihuly’s work on continuous view, the most expansive assemblage of studio art jewellery by Northwest artists, and a captivating display of Japanese woodblock prints.Next, visit the state capital Olympia and halt for a walk on the picturesque boardwalk, at what’s considered the last unspoiled major estuary of Puget Sound. In addition to the 200-plus species of birds that visit the refuge over the course of the year, harbour seals, otters, salmon, and many other animals also call these expansive tidal flats home.
Begin your journey heading north from Olympia toward Shelton. Taylor Shellfish Farms in Shelton is a prime place to pull over for a snack of oysters, clams, mussels or geoduck (pronounced “gooey duck”), a regional speciality. Skirt Hood Canal for about 30 miles of scenic shoreline, passing through tiny villages. The route continues north where you come to lavender-laden Sequim (pronounced “skwim”) and a respite from wet weather: The town sits in a rain shadow and typically boasts a sunny, dry climate. Adventure seekers can take a one-hour drive through the Olympic Game Farm to see and feed (wheat bread only) llamas, yaks, bears and more. Chances are a bison will slobber on your car window, hungry for another slice. Next up, nestled between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains, is Port Angeles, the stopping point for the day. Unwind with a glass of vino at Olympic Cellars Winery, a woman-run operation set in a whimsically restored 1890s barn, before sitting down for dinner at any of the wide number of dining options.
Overnight: Port Angeles
Use Port Angeles as a jumping-off point for explorations of Olympic National Park, a World Heritage site and drive up to spectacular Hurricane Ridge before heading down to scenic Port Angeles.
Overnight: Port Angeles
Explore this scenic corner of Washington state tucked away against the border with Canada. At the foot of Discovery Bay (about 18 miles before Sequim), take a right on SR 20 to head to Port Townsend. The city’s roots as a Victorian seaport still shine through today, with beautiful old houses and preserved period architecture.
Wander the appropriately named main thoroughfare Water Street, with sound views and plenty of small shops, galleries, and eateries to duck into. Don’t miss Elevated Ice Cream, an old-school ice cream parlour founded in 1977, where all of the good stuff is made on-site and sold by the ounce. For a dose of yesteryear, Jefferson County Historical Society Museum offers a nice overview of the area (as well as a jail cell where Jack London spent a night), and Fort Worden State Park is filled with bunkers to explore and military history.
The best time to see the daffodil and tulip fields of the Skagit Valley is in April. If visiting at other times, take time to visit one of the Gulf Islands dotting the Salish Sea. The scenic small island towns are a world apart and they are an easy ferry ride away. Back in Anacortes, drive to Tulalip to visit this fascinating centre dedicated to sharing the history and culture of the Tulalip Tribes, including the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, and Skykomish peoples who are native to this region. Check out exhibits of art and artefacts, marvel at traditional carved-wood canoes, and listen as gifted storytellers share tales that have been handed down over generations in the longhouse.
South of Bellingham, take a detour off the highway to explore some of Skagit County via the scenic Chuckanut Drive. Stop at this seafood market to treat yourself to oysters at picnic tables overlooking Samish Bay.
Return your rental car and depart from Seattle