Seattle, Washington is one of the top destinations in the entire Pacific Northwest. When you go there, you want to experience all the best things. One of the best and most loved parts of Seattle is the waterfront area. The Seattle Waterfront is home to some awesome chances to eat out, some great family friendly attractions, and a number of great places where you can view both the city and the water, as well as all the activities that take place right out in front dock area. Spending time on the Seattle Waterfront is never a bad idea.
16 Seattle Waterfront Family Travel Tips
EAT, EAT, EAT!
If there’s one thing every family needs to do when they visit the Seattle Waterfront, it’s go out to eat. This can be done at some of the fancier restaurants there or at some of the casual and welcoming places you can order at while walking right up to from the sidewalk out front. Dining on the Seattle Waterfront is a wonderful experience. From the great seafood, as well as other types of offerings, to the great view, it’s something many families set out to do year after year.
RIDE THE SEATTLE GREAT WHEEL
The Seattle Great Wheel is still one of the newer attractions on the Seattle Waterfront. This is a fun family experience, getting to board what amounts to a luxury Ferris Wheel and take a ride up to see some awesome views of both the city and Puget Sound. A great experience that will be remembered for a very long time.
RIDE THE WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES
One of the best excursions in all of Washington State can be taken right from the Seattle Waterfront. Washington State Ferries operates the largest ferry fleet in America. You can head right out on the water from the Seattle Waterfront, for a very reasonable fee, and enjoy a trip across Puget Sound to either Bremerton or Bainbridge Island. You can then explore that destination or just hop back on for the return trip. In between your departure and arrival you’ll be treated toa fun water excursion and plenty of photo taking opportunities.
If shopping is your thing, then your family will love time at the Seattle Waterfront. There you’ll find all sorts of things including t-shirts, collectibles, and gifts.
While there are some great restaurants on the Seattle Waterfront, don’t pass up the opportunity to eat outside. Eating outside on the Seattle Waterfront treats you to views of both the city and the water. It also gives your family the chance to do some world class people watching. You can do this by getting your food to go and finding one of the several public seating options or visiting one of the many restaurants that offer outdoor seating.
VISIT PIKE PLACE MARKET
Another of Seattle’s greatest attractions, and very popular with shoppers, is Pike Place Market. Lucky for you, this awesome shopping venue is located just off the waterfront via a short stair climp up. Once there, you’ll get to explore interesting shops and eating establishments in the interior as well as craft booths and fresh produce up above. This is a can’t miss and experience when visiting the Seattle Waterfront.
GO ON A TOUR
Seattle, like many large cities, offers plenty of tour opportunities. Many of these start right at the waterfront or at least lead through it. Some of the tours available that your family can take advantage of include Ride the Ducks, Emerald City Trolley, and Seattle Underground.
SO MANY PARKS!
Most people don’t realize that the Seattle Waterfront is home to several park areas. Waterfront Park is located between the Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle Great Wheel and it features sculptures, viewpoints, seating, and more. Myrtle Edwards Park features trails, open grass areas, and some great views of the cruise ships. Olympic Sculpture Park is also located nearby and features some great artwork and more great views of the city and the water. There are other parks located along the waterfront as well, some an easy walk from wherever you most likely parked.
GO SHIP WATCHING
One of the best parts about visiting the Seattle Waterfront is watching all the action out on the water. From small boats and even kayaks to the large ships of Washington State Ferries, cruise ships, and big tankers; there’s more than enough eye candy on the water for anyone interesting in maritime travel or beautiful scenery.
DON’T MISS ARGOSY TOURS
Argosy Tours is headquartered right on the Seattle Waterfront and this is something the entire family will love to participate in. When you book a voyage on Argosy Tours you’ll have the option of everything from exploring the water immediately in front of Seattle to going up through the nearby Ballard Locks and exploring Lake Union and Lake Washington. This is simply one of the best ways to experience the Seattle Waterfront.
CLAM CHOWDER TO GO!
One of the most iconic restaurants on the Seattle Waterfront is Ivar’s. Ivar’s offers some great seafood and is a fun little stop for a meal or a snack. One of the best snacks going there though is the clam chowder and getting it to go so you can enjoy it walking down the waterfront or in a casual outdoor seating spot is a great idea.
WALK THE ELLIOTT BAY TRAIL
The Elliott Bay Trail leads north from the Seattle Waterfront and passes by or through all sorts of great sights to see like Olympic Sculpture Park, Myrtle Edwards Park, Centennial Park, Elliott Bay Park, and of course all kinds of waterfront attractions.
CHECK OUT THE SEATTLE AQUARIUM
The Seattle Aquarium is one of Seattle’s top attractions and a main reason why many people take their families to the waterfront area. The aquarium features a wide array of species and even offers the chance to interact with them. If you’re traveling with kids, then this is a guaranteed home run of an attraction.
DON’T FORGET THE SPACE NEEDLE
Another of the iconic landmarks in Seattle is the Space Needle. The needle though isn’t located at the Seattle Waterfront. If you walk up the hill though, like you’re going to Pike Place Market, you can go a couple of more blocks to the Monorail. This uniqueform of transportation travels back and forth between there and Seattle Center, home to the Space Needle. When you use this method of visiting the Space Needle, you still get to enjoy the Seattle Waterfront and you don’t have to mess with driving to or finding parking again.
SEE THE CRUISE SHIPS
The cruise ships that leave Seattle for Alaska are very popular. An Alaska cruise is an unforgettable travel experience. It can be fun though just looking at these amazing ships up close. And you can do just that when you visit the Seattle Waterfront.
WALK TO THE OLYMPIC SCULPTURE PARK
The Olympic Sculpture Park is a one of a kind attraction. Many people don’t picture themselves enjoying the outdoors when they go to the big city. The truth is though that Olympic Sculpture Park allows you to be outdoors, be near the water, and enjoy some great examples of public art.
The Seattle Waterfront has been one of the most popular attractions in the city for a very long time. It doesn’t take much more than an hour or two there to see just why that is too. From having a great meal to having a new experience, this part of Seattle can treat your entire family to a truly special time.