The Best Three-Day Itinerary For Seattle, Washington With Kids

The Best Three-Day Itinerary For Seattle, Washington With Kids

by | Oct 6, 2023 | 0 comments

Seeking the perfect two or three-day itinerary for your escape with the family? Seattle is an enchanting destination to plan a vacation with or without kids. Washington state’s largest city marries city vibes, waterfront allure, natural beauty, and a rich cultural heritage. It’s not just all about Seattle coffee, big tech and grunge! However, we do love Seattle coffee shops! With its blend of urban energy and serene landscapes, this Pacific Northwest gem promises an unforgettable three-day itinerary and incredibly fun getaway that caters to every preference.

Seattle’s charm is further amplified by its easily walkable layout. Navigating the city’s streets is a delight. Well-designed pathways connect all of its diverse attractions effortlessly. One moment, you’re in the bustling heart of Seattle’s downtown area, and the next, you’re meandering through lush parks or gazing at Seattle’s picturesque waterfront. It’s a city that encourages exploration by foot, inviting you to immerse yourself in its sights, sounds, and flavors.

Centrally-Located Seattle Hotel

Staying at The Maxwell – A StayPineapple Hotel puts you in the perfect position to explore everything on your three-day itinerary. Its convenient location allows you to walk or ride a complimentary bike to many Seattle attractions.

See my recent review of The Maxwell Hotel in Seattle HERE.

Best Things To Do In Seattle

As you explore this captivating cityscape, a meticulously planned two or three-day itinerary awaits. If you have 36 hours or less, you’ll have more than enough time for the best attractions and experiences that showcase Seattle’s unique charm and vibrant character. Whether traveling with little adventurers or on a solo escapade, Seattle promises something for everyone.

Day One / Three-Day Itinerary

Begin at the Seattle Center, a cultural nucleus that hosts some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Ascend the Space Needle for sweeping views that extend from the cityscape to the Olympic Mountains and the serene waters beyond.

Next, the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit beckons, a realm of vibrant glass sculptures nestled amid lush gardens, creating a whimsical fusion of art and nature.

Day Two / Three-Day Itinerary

Immerse yourself in a captivating adventure through time at the Museum of Pop Culture (MOPOP), an innovative institution that celebrates music legends, science fiction icons, and contemporary culture. The museum’s dynamic exhibits and interactive displays invite you to dive deep into the worlds of music, creativity, and imagination. 

A quick monorail ride takes you to the inaugural Starbucks and the iconic Pike Place Market, where the bustling energy of vendors, artisans, and visitors converges. This historic market isn’t just about fresh produce and throwing fish; it’s a gastronomic haven offering a delectable array of artisanal creations and culinary delights. A multilevel, bustling marketplace; so fun to explore! Be sure to find the quirky Gum Wall and, of course, Rachel the Piggy Bank.

Head down the Pike Street Hillclimb stairs—don’t worry, there’s an elevator too—towards Elliott Bay, where the Seattle Aquarium offers a glimpse into the vibrant underwater world of the Pacific Northwest.

For an immersive experience, embark on a harbor tour with city views or explore the Ballard Locks. Seattle was founded in the 1850s along the Puget Sound waterfront, and these excursions offer an awesome way to connect with Seattle’s maritime roots. It’s a living tribute to the city’s maritime history and fascinating engineering feats. 

Day Three / Three-Day Itinerary and Beyond

Should your journey extend beyond a few days, Seattle’s offerings continue to captivate. Discover the Amazon Spheres, an architectural marvel that houses a lush indoor garden within a bustling corporate campus. Check out the glass and steel Seattle Public Library. Delve into history with the Seattle Underground Tour, a voyage into the city’s past beneath its streets.

For panoramic views that define postcard perfection, Kerry Park is your haven, showcasing the city’s skyline against the backdrop of the magnificent Mount Rainier. Seek solace in Discovery Park, where meandering trails lead to stunning vistas and tranquil beaches.

Mother and daughter on a three day itinerary at the Maxwell Hotel in Seattle.

Looking to venture out of the city limits? Hop on one of the ferry boat trips to Vashon Island or Bainbridge Island (Winslow) to savor the charm of island life.

Sports enthusiasts know Seattle boasts a passionate sports culture with seven professional teams to root for. Immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere of a game, where Seattleites channel their enthusiasm into fervent support for their teams.

Plan Your Three-Day Itinerary To Seattle, Washington, Any Time Of the Year

Seattle, a city of diverse charms, wears a different guise for every season, each enchanting in its own right. Whether embraced by the vibrant hues of autumn, basking in the sunlit adventures of summer, cozying up in the winter wonderland, or witnessing nature’s rebirth in spring, Seattle beckons year-round. Every season unfolds a unique tapestry of experiences, promising visitors a perennially delightful journey through varied landscapes, cultural richness, and engaging activities.

Fall in Seattle: Embrace Fall Foliage

In the fall, Seattle’s cityscape transforms, embracing the vibrant hues of autumn. It’s a season where city, water, nature, and music harmoniously coexist, creating a symphony of experiences that linger long after you’ve bid the city farewell. As you journey through Seattle’s walkable streets, take in this captivating metropolis’s artistry, history, and spirit. Whether wandering through hidden alleys, savoring local flavors, or basking in the warmth of its cultural offerings, Seattle promises a multi-faceted adventure that will forever hold a place in your heart.

A girl with a statue of Sasquatch sticking out her tongue. She is in Seattle on a three-day itinerary.

Spring in Seattle: A Blossoming Affair

When spring blankets Seattle, the city unveils its most enchanting side. Cherry blossoms adorn the streets, casting a delicate pink hue against the city’s skyline. Parks and gardens burst to life with a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in nature’s rejuvenating embrace. The famous Pike Place Market comes alive with fresh produce and local artisans, and the air is infused with the scent of blooming flowers. Seattle in spring is a canvas of beauty, where one can relish the gentle breeze while strolling along the waterfront. Of course, you’ll no doubt absorb the lively energy that fills the air.

Summer in Seattle: A Sunlit Adventure

Often known for its rainy reputation, Seattle transforms into a sun-kissed paradise during summer. The waters of Puget Sound beckon, offering opportunities for sailing, kayaking, and other water sports. Festivals and outdoor concerts dot the city’s calendar, providing a delightful fusion of music, food, and community. Al fresco dining has become a way of life, with numerous eateries and cafes setting up their outdoor seating, allowing patrons to bask in the long, sunny days. From hiking trails to the bustling markets and the iconic Space Needle, summer in Seattle is a vivid tapestry of outdoor adventures and cultural festivities.

Winter in Seattle: A Cozy Wonderland

The city transforms into a cozy haven as winter blankets Seattle with a gentle chill. Rain gives way to occasional snowflakes, adding a magical touch to the cityscape. Streets adorned with twinkling lights and decorations evoke a sense of holiday cheer. Coffee shops become gathering spots for locals and visitors seeking solace in a warm cup of coffee or cocoa. The city’s vibrant arts and theater scene come alive in winter. We love the indoor entertainment options that let you escape the cold while immersing yourself in cultural experiences. Winter in Seattle is a time to embrace the comforting ambiance. Get cozy by the fireplace, or bundle up and explore the city’s inviting nooks and crannies.

If You Go:

Flights

  • Airport: Fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac). 
  • Return Flight: Plan your departure with ample time. Sea-Tac Airport’s security lines can be extremely time-consuming unless enrolled in CLEAR, a program that offers expedited security screening.

Transportation

  • To and From the Airport: Check if your hotel offers a free shuttle from the airport; if not, consider taking Uber. Remember that these options can be expensive, and the drive to downtown Seattle takes about 40 minutes in traffic. If your three-day itinerary includes staying at our favorite Seattle hotel, The Maxwell, here are some great alternatives from our friends at Rome2Rio
  • Within Seattle: Uber, Taxi, Biking, Walking, Bus, Monorail and Rideshare are all great choices.

Hotel

  • Strategic Stay: Opt for The Maxwell – A StayPineapple Hotel for an optimal experience. The hotel’s central location allows you to walk to various attractions conveniently. Plus, they are very family-friendly and pet-friendly. There is a pool, a fitness center, a market and a restaurant on site. Complimentary bikes and a shuttle on demand will take you around the city. Or walk just a block away to the Seattle Center and monorail.
  • Marriott Hotels: Everyone knows we love staying at Marriott Hotels! They’re the best for accumulating points towards future hotel stays. Are you a Marriott Bonvoy member?

Things To Do in Seattle

  • Local Exploration: Seattle’s pedestrian-friendly layout facilitates walking exploration. Just pack comfortable shoes for your urban adventures. Got a Seattle escapade planned for a few days with top attractions in mind? Opt-in for the Seattle City Pass—purchase online—and enjoy 5 MUST-SEE sights on your three-day itinerary while keeping your wallet plump.
  • Best Time to Visit: The best time to experience Seattle depends on the weather you prefer for exploring and enjoying the city. Fall is a magical season, painting the city with rich and enchanting hues of autumn foliage. It’s a captivating and cozy atmosphere that complements Seattle’s unique charm and culture. On the other hand, if you prefer less precipitation and want to bask in warmer, sunnier weather, the period between May and September is ideal, making it a “dryer” time to explore the city’s outdoor attractions.

Girl riding a bike in the Seattle Center near MOPOP on a three-day itinerary.

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girl with bag next to palm tree pointing out to the beach.

Meet Chanin

Chanin is an experienced travel and lifestyle writer, content strategist, editor, photographer and entrepreneur. Her writing has appeared in various print and online publications and her photography has been licensed by major brands. She has collaborated on campaigns with over 80 lifestyle brands, hotels, tourism boards and small businesses, many long-term and repeat clients. Chanin helps businesses share their unique story and perspective through compelling high-quality content that engages and inspires. Contact Chanin to see how you can work together!
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