Guide to Spending the Best Day in Seattle

Seattle Cityscape

If you had only one day in Seattle, what would you do? We’re going to attempt to answer this question by outlining some of the best things to do in Seattle. 

But who are we to tell you how to spend your time in Seattle? Totally Seattle is a boutique tour operator specializing in all things related to Seattle and the surrounding countryside. 

Check out our about page for more information; if you’re interested in our tours, consider our range of Seattle Private Tours.

(If you’d like even more inspiration, read our guide to the Best Off-the-beaten-path Places to Visit in Seattle and our guide to 5 Incredible Things to do in Seattle for Families.)

Soar, Sip, and Sail Seattle

Our Soar, Sip, and Sail Seattle Tour is perhaps the most ostentatious way to spend a day in Seattle. We wanted to design the perfect day in the city, and we might have outdone ourselves…

In one day, you will take a driving tour of Seattle with a trained local guide as you make your way to the heliport. Then take to the air on a private helicopter ride exploring the city and the surrounding mountains, waterfalls, and lakes.

After the helicopter tour, you’ll be escorted to one of Seattle’s top restaurants where you’ll enjoy the best local fare and panoramic views of the city. 

Then, to top it all off, we take you out on a boat to explore Elliot Bay and the Puget Sound. We’ll have a bottle of sparkling wine on ice, ready for you. 

This experience truly is the best way we could imagine spending a day in Seattle. In fact, it’s so good that we may have outdone ourselves with this first option…

You Have to Explore Pioneer Square

Pergola Pioneer square Totally Seattle tours things to do

Whatever you decide to do with your single perfect day in Seattle, make sure part of your itinerary passes through Pioneer Square — the very earliest part of the city, where the settlers first built their homes. 

The beautiful architecture, bookstores, cafes, and art galleries all make Pioneer Square one of the best spots in Seattle. In fact, you could spend the whole day here and not get bored. 

Smith Tower in Pioneer Square was the tallest building on the west coast when it was completed in 1914, and the views from the 35th floor are breathtaking.

Have a Proper Seattle Coffee on Top of the Space Needle

Seattle space needle Totally seattle tours

It doesn’t get more iconically Seattle than the Space Needle. This unique looking tower was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair. We wonder if the builders understood how famous the structure they were building would become. 

You’ll spot the Space Needle from pretty much anywhere in Seattle, standing tall, watching over Seattle as our own version of the Eiffel Tower. 

But you can take things to the next level by heading up to the top of the Space Needle to enjoy incredible views along with some very tasty caffeinated brews. Few things are as authentically Seattle as sipping a coffee at the top of the Space Needle, looking out over the city and Puget Sound. 

Head to Pike Place Market

Our own Pike Place Market & Seattle Center Tour will help you experience the best of Pike Place Market, but you don’t need a guide to simply walk around this famous commerce center, getting a feel for the stores and enjoying the hustle and bustle.

Pike Place Market is also one of the best places in the city to find local food. From incredible Italian fare to freshly caught seafood, Pike Place Market is the best place in Seattle for foodies.

If you can only eat one meal here, we suggest making it a delicious bowl of chowder from Pike Place Chowder. This might be the best chowder on the west coast!

Seattle’s Family Fun Center

Lastly, we’d like to recommend Seattle’s Family Fun Center. This may not be an iconic or historical landmark, but it is one of the best ways to spend some time if you’re visiting Seattle with some young kids in tow. 

The Family Fun Center is packed with things to do, such as go karts, bumper cars, bumper boats, bowling, mini-golf, laser tag, batting cages, over 100 arcade and ticket games. 

There is something for everyone here, which is why the Family Fun Center is part of our Ultimate Seattle Family Day Tour, which also includes an indoor skydiving lesson and a tour of a local chocolate factory. 

We put a lot of love and joy into the creation of this tour and we get so much more joy back when we see how happy the kids (and the adults) are!

There are many other things you could do in Seattle, and perhaps we haven’t described an activity that would make it onto your perfect Seattle itinerary. If so, tell us what you want and we can create a Seattle Customized Tour designed just for you.

If you have any questions about the places and tours mentioned in this guide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We hope we’ve inspired you to come enjoy your perfect day in Seattle!

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