First-Timers Weekend Guide to Seattle

10/11/2017 13 Comments

Your first time in a new city is always exciting, but daunting. My first time exploring Seattle happened to fall on three gorgeous fall sunny days, which is not the norm, I know. I did get to experience one rainy day though, so I have to say I felt the famed Seattle dreariness at least once.

What do I see, where do I eat?! Are usually the questions you ask yourself when planning a trip, with so many options. Well I’m here to bring you what I thought was worth visiting my first time in Seattle!

Get Out and Hike!

There are so many trails in the areas surrounding Seattle, but I highly recommend visiting Mount Rainier National Park for some gorgeous hikes. My boyfriend and I settled on the Paradise Park Trail, which was steep at parts but paved and well-marked so you wouldn’t need hiking shoes/equipment. It boasts amazing views of Mount Rainier too. I was lucky enough to visit on one of the clearest days in the park. The scenery was some of the best I’ve ever seen!!

Visit Starbucks

The roastery that is, not the original one. The original Starbucks technically isn’t even in the spot where it claims origin and the lines are long. Snap a pic if you must, but the coffee is the same at the other 500 Starbucks’ in Seattle ;-).

The Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room was worth it though, especially if you are a coffee fanatic, like my boyfriend. The sleek coffee inspired design of the space is awe inspiring and even retro.

Get a Rooftop View

Rooftop bars are my favorite way to get different views of cities. I highly recommend Mbar in the South Lake Union neighborhood. It’s trendy new space with sweeping views of Lake Union with small plates and drinks featuring a Mediterranean theme. I highly recommend making reservations because it is a popular spot now.

Explore the Space Needle

The Space Needle is iconic to Seattle as the Golden Gate Bridge is to San Francisco, the city landscape would be lost without it!  You can experience the city views from the observation deck 520 feet up. Check out the website for more info on when the rotating restaurant will be open to get enjoy some food while you take in Seattle from above.

Tip for children: The space needle is in a complex with the Seattle Children’s Museum, Chihuly Garden Indoor Outdoor Glass Garden

Eat Your Way Through Pike Place Market

Pike Place is one of the most famous market’s in the world and my does it live up to it’s hype. It literally never ends, you could spend HOURS roaming all the different levels of stores/booths and food stands. It’s pretty much always busy so I don’t have a recommendation as to when to visit but I did think the lines went fast.

Bring your appetite if you are a foodie! Here are some of my favorite stops:

Daily Dozen Doughnuts

Piroshky, Piroshky 

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

The Pike Brewing Company


Find a Waterfall

The Pacific Northwest is prime for waterfall chasing! There are many guides and books on amazon to waterfall chasing in this area but I settled on an accessible one by car called Snoqualmie Falls. There is a viewing platform for this natural wonder that’s been harnessed for power


Honorable mention: Check out Bellevue, Washington! I was able to spend some time in this small city on the outskirts of Seattle. It had a beautiful downtown area with gardens, playgrounds and a supervised mall. There are gorgeous homes that line up to Lake Washington right around the corner as well. There were a few public beaches that you could take in the view from. (Clyde Beach Park) Side note: Bill and Melinda Gates live in this area too!

Clyde Beach Park, Bellevue, Washington


Have you been to Seattle? What was your favorite thing to do or eat there?! I can’t wait to venture back!



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Cupcake N Dreams

New Yorker blogging about travel and lifestyle things that make me happy!


  1. Reply

    Jessi's Design


    My cousins just moved there so I have an excuse now! haha So lovely!

    • Reply

      Cupcake N Dreams


      That’s awesome!! You guys should totally visit, it was such a beautiful area 🙂

  2. Reply



    I’ve never been but I really would like to go sometime. Seeing waterfalls would be wonderful, and I LOVE exploring markets.


  3. Reply

    Marcella - WhatAWonderfulWorld


    Seattle looks like such a great city to visit! I would definitely want to search down that waterfall! 🙂

  4. Reply

    Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid


    We spent 5 days in Seattle last year and had glorious weather the whole time! We loved Pike Place Market – your favourites are my favourites, plus The Crumpet Shop! We loved Starbucks Reserve too. Other highlights included a glorious day out at Bainbridge Island, Chihuly Garden and Glass and we swapped out the Space Needle for the Sky View Observatory at the Columbia Center – no queues and the views were amazing! Seattle is such an ace place to visit, I can’t wait to go back!

  5. Reply

    Melissa @ Loving Life Moore


    I love, love, love Seattle! I think the last time I went was in 2010 though, so I’m long overdue. I never even knew about the Roastery, and I think I’ll need to plan on that next time. What a great list of things to do!

  6. Reply



    I’m from Seattle, and love many of the locations you’ve listed! Did you get to visit the gum wall while you were there, that’s always fun and gooey too! The entire area is so lovely, and you’ve done a wonderful job of showcasing some of the best parts! #citytripping

  7. Reply

    Tanja (the Red phone box travels)


    I’d love to visit it one day

  8. Reply

    Elizabeth (Wander Mum)


    Great guide! The hiking trails you did were amazing and how lucky to get such clear days! I’m with you on a rooftop bar – a girl after my own heart. I stayed a couple of nights in Seatle a long time ago but didn’t do much, I should revisit sometime. I do recall a lot of Starbucks there though! Thanks for linking #citytripping

  9. Reply

    Vanessa Brune


    I’d love to visit Seattle one day and this guide definitely seems perfect to get a good overview of the city! Pike Market and Space Needle are two musts 🙂

  10. Reply

    Calypso in the Country


    I always love a good rooftop bar/restaurant as well! What beautiful views and great tips! Thanks for linking up to Take Me Away this month!

  11. Reply

    Carole @ From My Carolina Home


    I have spent hours at Pike’s Place Market on a visit to Seattle too. Funny story, the last time I bought a bunch of really fresh veggies and fruit to take home, on a plane (before such tight security). I was hungry, and sitting at the very back of the plane I didn’t even think about peeling an orange to eat. A few minutes later one of the flight attendants found me, and said that the passengers in first class at the front were all wondering why they didn’t get any oranges, LOL!! The scent was so strong it wafted all the way up 30 rows of seats!

  12. Reply

    Mother of 3


    I have always wanted to visit Seattle! Looks like you had beautiful weather for it. So much fun in such a short time.