Seattle really has it all. Big city attractions, gorgeous views of the sound, majestic Mt. Rainier, super fresh seafood, and of course, the Space Needle. It’s no wonder you decided to get married here. The wedding venues are dreamy, the background is idyllic, and the airport is international. Okay, that last one may not have been the reason, but you can’t argue it’s nice to be so close to it when it’s time to fly off to your honeymoon in Fiji. It will be something your guests love, though. And speaking of guests, why not help them have an even better time while they’re here for your wedding by giving them a little “must see” guide to Seattle? With so much to do, it can be too much to consider, so I broke it down to my favorites for you. Let’s chat about what to see, what to do and definitely where to chow down.
What to Do in Seattle
Seattle has a little something for everyone. Yes, it’s a huge metropolitan, but it’s also nestled smack dab between Mt. Rainer and the Puget Sound. Serious shopper or avid outdoors person, I gotcha.
Let’s just talk about the obvious one. Even if you only know about it because of Grey’s Anatomy or Frasier, it’s made the Seattle skyline one of the most recognizable in the world. You don’t have to go up to the top if you don’t want to, it’s still pretty impressive from below. But, it’s an impressive way to view the city. Your guests can even choose to grab a bite at SkyCity, the restaurant that spins. I can’t think of too many restaurants that offer that kind of experience.
Click here to view wedding photos at the space needle!
Pike Place Market had to make the list. I think right after The Space Needle, this is the second most iconic stop. How many markets do you get to watch a fish fly through the air whenever it’s ordered? Plus, your guests can buy super fresh seafood and have it shipped home right when they order it. The fish couldn’t be fresher, and the produce selection is fabulous. I suggest maybe even stop in before your “I do’s” to pick up a little fresh fruit or beer to enjoy back at the hotel instead of stopping by the grocery store. The Market has several floors and is impossible to park near, so make sure they’re fine walking a few blocks to get there.
The Museum of Flight is a fantastic stop for guests of all ages. History buffs will love the Military History exhibits, featuring planes from both world wars, Vietnam and more. Thrill seekers can even take guided flight tours in a WWII Bomber or Fighter aircraft. Those who’d rather keep their feet on solid ground can enjoy a flight simulator or simply have a seat in the pilot seat of a commercial liner. The museum is gigantic, so have your guests check out the website and the exhibit listings beforehand to plan out their visit a bit.
Probably the best way to see the Seattle skyline on land, Kerry Park is a perfect spot to feel like you’re escaping the city but still enjoying it. Grab a cup of coffee from Starbucks or any one of our million other coffee shops and enjoy the breath of fresh air. Seattleites do love their coffee, that stereotype is 100% accurate, by the way.
Made Famous by Hollywood
You know that houseboat that Tom Hanks lived in in “Sleepless in Seattle”? It is still in the harbor. And that super cool paint ball park in “10 Things I Hate About You,” that’s actually called Gas Works Park. Keep in mind though; you can’t really play paintball there. Bummer, I know. Lastly, while not quite as iconic as “The Painted Ladies” of San Francisco, any fan of the early 90’s movie “Singles” would appreciate a stop by the Coryell Court Apartments in Capital Hill.
We can take the water for granted, but a boat ride around the harbor is a cool way to see the city, and something out-of-town guests probably don’t get to do at home. There are dozens of options out there; kid-friendly, booze cruises you name it. Woodland Park Zoo is lovely and sometimes your guest needs to tire their kiddo’s out before expecting them to sit still while you pronounce your love to your fiancé. Pioneer Square is fun for those who want to meander, as is Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. Have a preteen/teenager/music buff guest? Direct them to an afternoon at MoPop (formerly the EMP).
Where to Eat
Seattle is a foodie paradise. Super fresh seafood, diverse culture and a love of the freshest ingredients, it’s pretty hard to go wrong. It’d be impossible to define the “best” restaurants the city can offer, but here are who lead the pack.
This Seattle landmark, owned by brothers Brian and Mark Canlis, has remained a thriving restaurant for over 66 years. Canlis isn’t your casual, jeans and a sweater dinner spot. This fine-dining restaurant calls for fine-dining attire, but the menu and wine list won’t have you minding the extra effort. The kitchen is lead by James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the year finalist Brady Williams who delivers perfectly balanced, enticing dishes course after course. The wine list has been carefully crafted by Advanced Sommelier Nelson Daquip, recognized by Seattle Magazine in 2008 as the City’s Best Sommelier. Their 4-course dinners start at $125, making it a perfect celebration destination.
View photos from a Canlis wedding here!
If a more laid-back, lively spot is what your guests want with the freshest oysters, this oyster bar in the Ballard neighborhood is a winner. There’s more than just seafood on the menu, but with I don’t see the need to walk into an oyster bar and NOT order something from the ocean. Fried oysters, salmon rillettes, scallops crudo, fried cod collars…you can’t go wrong.
Seattle may not scream “come here for great Mexican food,” but you can. Little Water Cantina offers a fantastic and fresh menu along with a stunning view of Lake Union. The patio can’t be reserved, but definitely try to get a seat out there. As for what to eat, you will be hard-pressed to find a better ceviche, and the tacos Pescado (I like Baja style) are dang near perfect.
Ask ten people where to get the best banh mi’s in town, and you’ll get ten different answers. Seattle Deli is my favorite though. Terrible parking spaces, no proper website, no flashy signs, simply dang good Vietnamese sandwiches. Call ahead and make it a lunch date at Kerry Park, they usually sell out of their bbq pork banh mi (best one in my opinion) by 2 p.m.
It wouldn’t be a Seattle trip without grabbing some Dick’s. Any true Seattleite can tell you their perfect Dick’s combo, and your guests will love being in on one of our worst kept best secrets. 1 a.m. burgers after a night of dancing, drinking, and celebrating your nuptials? Yes, please!
Wherever your guests end up enjoying their time away from the ceremony, Seattle has plenty to keep them busy. Giving your guests a little guidance will have them remembering your wedding weekend affectionately and make them sure to want to visit again.
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