Packed between Elliott Bay and the hilly neighborhoods to the east, Downtown Seattle unsurprisingly contains the city's bustling financial and retail district. This is also where many of Seattle's tourist attractions are, including the iconic Pike Place Market, the expansive Seattle Art Museum, the touristy waterfront, and some of the city's most stunning architecture, all within easy walking distance of each other.
Getting in by car is not recommended, due to the congestion and parking problems, but if you have to, these are the main routes to get in:
- From I-5 northbound, exit either onto James Street (Exit 164) or Seneca Street (Exit 165, on the left side of the road).
- From I-5 southbound, exit onto Stewart Street (Exit 166), Union Street (Exit 165B) or James Street (Exit 165A).
- From SR-99 northbound, exit onto Seneca Street.
- From SR-99 southbound, exit onto Wall Street then turn left onto 5th or 2nd Avenue.
- From I-90 from the Eastside, continue straight onto the 4th Avenue S exit, then turn left towards Downtown, or exit onto I-5 north and follow the I-5 northbound directions.
- From WA-520 from the Eastside, exit onto I-5 south and follow the I-5 southbound directions.
Additionally, the King County Water Taxi [dead link] offers service between Pier 50 on the downtown Seattle waterfront and Seacrest Park in West Seattle, with amazing views of the city. Fare is $4.75 for adults ($4 with an ORCA card), $2 for seniors/disabled, $4.75 youth ages 6-18 ($3 with an ORCA card), free for children 5 and under.
By public transit
Downtown is the hub of Seattle's public transit system, and a variety of modes serve the district. King County Metro serves downtown very well, both on the surface and in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel running between the International District Station at the southern end and the Convention Center at the northern end. Fares are $2.50 ($2.75 during the weekday rush hour) and include a paper transfer (or an automatic transfer if you pay using an ORCA card) good for two hours.
- Sound Transit provides express bus service from the outlying suburbs and communities of the Seattle Area such as Bellevue (Rt #550), Everett (#510, 512), Issaquah (#554), Redmond (#545), Olympia (#592) and Tacoma (Rt #590, 594). Southbound buses buses stop along 2nd Ave (Rt 554, 577, 578, 590, 592, 594, 595) and northbound buses stop along 4th Ave (Rt #510, 511, 512, 513, 522, 545). The #550 buses to Bellevue and the Link Light Rail to the airport via Rainier Valley & SODO go through an underground bus/train tunnel, under 3rd Ave between the convention center (9th & Pine), Westlake Center and the International district (S Jackson between 4th & 5th). See this link as to where the stops are at and where the tunnel can be accessed.
- In addition to buses, Sound Transit also operates the Link Light Rail line, which runs north through Capitol Hill to the University of Washington and south to the airport, Tukwila and SeaTac.
- The Sounder, a commuter rail service, has lines running south to Tacoma and north to Everett. The Sounder's terminal is in the King Street Station, at the southern end of Downtown.
- The South Lake Union Streetcar connects the Westlake Center in north Downtown to the nearby neighborhood of South Lake Union just to the north. Fare is $2.25 for adults, $1.50 youth, and $1 for seniors.
- The Seattle Center Monorail makes a direct connection between Westlake Center and the Seattle Center north of Downtown, which is home to the Space Needle. One-way tickets are $2.25 for adults, $1 seniors/youth; transfers or OCRA cards are not accepted.
Seattle's downtown is quite compact and northwest-southeast streets can easily be walked. However, northeast-southwest streets can be extremely steep. When your feet are tired, hop onto the Metro buses for a break.
A rule of thumb to remember the downtown street names, from Yesler Way to Westlake Park, is the mnemonic "Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest", as the streets are named as six first-letter pairs of these words (Jefferson & James, Cherry & Columbia, Marion & Madison, Spring & Seneca, University & Union, Pike & Pine).
- Argosy Cruises, 1101 Alaskan Way, Pier 55. Cruise times vary by season. Offers special dinner and sightseeing cruises. The most common tour visitors take is the hour-long journey on Elliott Bay, which gives you an excellent view not just of the Space Needle and the Downtown skyline, but the freight harbor to the south as well. Prices vary according to your itinerary; $23.75 for harbor cruise.
- Miner's Landing at Pier 57, 1301 Alaskan Way (on the waterfront below Pike Place Market), ☎ , fax: . Named for once being the main departure point during the Seattle gold rush, Miner's Landing now hosts a food court and a variety of gourmet restaurants, a sports merchandise store, a carousel for kids and the Seattle Great Wheel.
- The Seattle Great Wheel, 1301 Alaskan Way, ☎ . Hours vary by season; closes at 12AM F-Sa, 11PM (July–September) or 10PM (other months) all other days. Rising 175 feet in the air, this Ferris wheel offers a 15 minute ride in one of the wheel's 42 gondolas, each of which can hold up to 8 people. You'll get a wonderful view of the Seattle waterfront, the Downtown skyline, as well as the Puget Sound, the snow-covered Olympics, and the green city hills. $13, $8.50 ages 4-11.
- Pike Place Market, 1501 Pike Pl (1st and Pike, above the waterfront). Pike Place level: M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM. Lower level: 11AM-5PM daily. One of Seattle's most touristy destinations, Pike Place is a functioning public market; one of the oldest in the country. Mostly indoors, it consists of dozens of little shops tucked into a few square blocks downtown, situated on multiple levels. Even if you hate shopping you might still like this place, with its colorful atmosphere and quirky gimmicks, like the famous seafood stand where the staff toss fish from one end to the other. As the weather gets warmer, many artisans set up booths to sell photographs, glass, ceramics, and fresh flowers. Farmers come to sell their produce, and a vast amount of tiny hole-in-the-wall places offer all kinds of cuisine (French, Russian, Mexican, seafood, etc.) It's within walking distance of the waterfront, and crowds fill the market each time a cruise ship is parked in the harbor. Look for big blond Johnny Hahn on his portable piano or one of the other regular street musicians around the market. Be sure to head into the lower levels beneath the crowded main arcade to explore the cramped, dusty shops buried within the building. And don't miss adjacent Post Alley, a hidden gem filled with gourmet restaurants and unique souvenir shops, as well as odd sights like a gum-covered wall.
- Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way (on Pier 59 on the waterfront), ☎ . Exhibits open 9:30AM-6PM; last admission at 5PM. Showcases native fish and mammals of the Pacific Northwest. Among the highlights are the Windows on Washington (WOW) exhibit, two touch tanks featuring animals of the inland sea and outer coast, and a display that holds two giant pacific octopuses, gill sharks and Pacific coral reefs. The outdoor exhibit upstairs features a collection of birds, harbor and Northern fur seals, as well as river and sea otters. At a separate area on the lower level, you can go inside an underwater dome to get up-close with swimming animals from the Puget Sound. $21.95 adults, $14.95 children (4-12), children 3 and under free.
- Seattle Art Museum ( SAM), 100 University St (at 1st Ave), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-W, F-Su 10AM-5PM, Th 10AM-9PM, closed M. The museum's recent physical expansion, coupled with an aggressive campaign to expand the collection, now displays a good assortment of art from the Pacific Northwest and around the world. Though the permanent exhibitions only occasionally delve deeply into a specific subject (such as the enormous variety of pieces in the porcelain room), extensive special exhibitions fill the gap. Tours available. Suggested admission: $19.50 adult, $17.50 senior/military, $2.50 students/youth, children 12 and under free. Admission is free on first Thursday of the month.
- [dead link]Seattle Public Library-Central Library ( Seattle Central Library), 1000 4th Ave, ☎ . M-Th 10AM-8PM, F-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-6PM. A dramatic glass and steel structure in the heart of Downtown, designed by Rem Koolhaas. This is not an average public library and has become a tourist destination in its own right. A popular way to experience the unique architecture of the building is to take an elevator to the 10th floor, the highest observation deck in the building. From here you can walk down to the main floor through the Book Spiral; the core of the structure which organizes the library's books in one continuous path organized by the Dewey decimal system. Free.
- Sky View Observatory, 701 5th Ave (Take an elevator to the 40th floor, then another elevator to the right to the 73rd floor.), ☎ . Every day 9AM-10PM (closed on New Years Day, Memorial Day,4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). This observatory sits on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center, the 2nd tallest building on the West Coast and the tallest public observation deck on the West Coast, sitting 932 feet (284.2 meters) above the ground and more than 330 feet taller than the Space Needle. Great views are offered from the top and some people claim the view is better from here than from the Space Needle. Another advantage over the Space Needle is that this building isn't well known as a tourist attraction, so there's usually little to no line to get to the top. Tickets are available for purchase online or on the 73rd floor. There is a new cafe in the observation deck serving sandwiches and drinks (including beer and wine) and a food court at the bottom of the Columbia Center. $14.25 adults, $9 students, seniors and military with ID and kids 6 to 12..
- Tilikum Place, 2701 5th Ave, ☎ . 6AM-10PM. Etymologically meaning "welcome" in the native Chinook language, Tilikum is home to a statue of Chief Seattle, the chief of the Duwamish tribe that gives this city its name. Sit in the park or in the Tilikum Place Cafe's outdoor seating and enjoy views of the Space Needle while sipping a coffee or enjoying a lunch, and watch the monorail go by.
- Benaroya Hall, 200 University St (at 2nd Ave), ☎ . Free tours offered Tuesday and Friday at noon and 1PM. An aesthetically and acoustically beautiful new concert hall. The official home of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, it also houses other classical and performing arts roadshows.
- [dead link]SceneInSeattle Fine Art Tours. This tour is a good option for those who aren't in town for "Art Walk" but still want to know what's happening in Seattle's art scene. The tour was started by a local gallery and is headed by a curator or gallery owner. You walk through the "West Edge," also known as the Museum District, galleries and learn about Seattle's art history, up-and-coming artists, scandals, and public works. It offers a lovely insider's view in the local art scene, and they also tour other neighborhoods like the "East Edge" of Pioneer Square.
Most of the district's retail is situated around Westlake Station, roughly in an area bordered by 3rd and 8th Avenues, Olive Way and University Street. Pike Place Market is in and of itself a tourist attraction as well as a place to buy souvenirs and groceries.
- Gameworks, 1511 7th Ave (next to Regal Cinema), ☎ . M-Th 11AM-midnight, F 11AM-1AM, Sa 10AM-1AM, Su 10AM-midnight. A chain gaming arcade which is a great place to enjoy all types of video games. A restaurant and bar inside, World Sports Grille, serves American food.
- Made in Washington, 1530 Post Alley, ☎ . Daily 10AM-6PM. Sells all kinds of souvenirs exclusive to Washington state. Along with the usual coffee mugs and fridge magnets, they also sell glass sculptures you can find at the Chihuly Arts and Glass, baked salmon, artisan chocolates and the rain-globe, an equivalent to a snow globe but adapted to suit the stereotypical Seattle drizzle. They also have another shop in Westlake Center.
- Pacific Place Mall, 600 Pine St, ☎ . Daily 10AM-8PM. An upscale shopping mall at the heart of Downtown Seattle, featuring brand tenants, but only a handful of dining options. There is also a large movie theater upstairs. "Snow" falls hourly every afternoon to dusk during the holiday shopping season.
- VAIN, 2018 1st Ave (2 blocks north of Pike Place Market), ☎ . Open late most evenings check website for daily hours. Occupying the home of the infamous Vogue nightclub, Vain is a community space, boutique and hair salon. The upper two floors are 20 working art studios. They have an active arts calendar and host other cultural events and fundraisers. Known for supporting "alternative visions of beauty," you can expect to find an 8 year old getting their first mohawk alongside a 68 year old having a conservative bob trimmed up. $15-$65.
Many of the best eating options in Seattle can be found downtown, primarily at the Pike Place Market and in the Belltown neighborhood.
- The 5 Point Cafe, 415 Cedar St (at 5th Ave & Cedar St, adjacent to Tilikum Place Park), ☎ . 24 hours. Seattle's oldest restaurant, serving huge portions of American comfort food since 1929. The full menu is served 24 hours every day. Full bar with stiff drinks, over 25 local beers and liquors. Great jukebox and an eclectic mix of regulars and locals, tourists, politicians, young hipsters, freaks and grouchy old men. Free wifi. Outdoor seating. This is a true piece of Seattle history not to be missed. $10.
- Biscuit Bitch at Caffé Lieto, 1909 1st Ave, ☎ . Weekdays 7:30AM-3PM, weekends 8:30AM-3PM, F-Sa 9PM-2:30AM. The b-word is in every single item on the menu, and this excellent breakfast place is a siren call to those seeking hangover relief, providing burgers (replace the bun with a biscuit) sandwiches (replace the bread with a biscuit), and typical Southern style food. $6-$10.
- Cyber Dogs, 909 Pike St (in the convention center at the corner of Pike and 9th, across from the Express Lanes Onramp), ☎ . Weekdays 11AM-midnight, weekends noon-midnight. Hot dog stall in disguise as an internet café. Serves superb and delicious vegetarian and vegan dogs, coffee, juice and beer. $5-10.
- Italian Family Pizza, 1206 First Ave, ☎ . M-Th 11AM-8PM, F 11AM-9PM, Sa noon-10PM, Su noon-7PM. Very good East Coast style pizza at reasonable prices, in a restaurant operated by East Coast transplants.
- Ivar's Acres Of Clams, 1001 Alaskan Way (At Pier 54), ☎ . Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM. Smoked salmon plate-lunch and fish-n-chips served outdoors at a scenic downtown waterfront location. Ordering at the walk-up counter outside is inexpensive.Please do not feed ducks and seagulls as human food is harmful for birds! Good food, but pretty touristy $7.
- Mama's Mexican Kitchen, 2234 2nd Ave (in Belltown, between Blanchard and Bell), ☎ . M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-9PM; closes half an hour later on Thursdays and Sundays in the summer. Plentiful portions of decent food and a fun, festive atmosphere. Don't miss out on the Elvis Room. $5-$10.
Pike Place Market
The shops around Pike Place Market are an excellent place to grab some cheap eats. Pick up some bread, cheese, sausage and smoked meats and have a picnic on the park at the north end of the Market, or get a cup of coffee and sit at a table on the sidewalk.
- Beecher's Handmade Cheese, 1600 Pike Pl, ☎ . Daily 9AM-6PM. A library of artisan cheese from Pacific Northwest farms, as well as some handmade cheese in the factory next door, worth bringing home as a Seattle souvenir. Try some free samples and be sure to get some of their mac and cheese. Prices per cheese vary, but a piece weighing 0.5 lbs generally costs $10.
- The Crumpet Shop, 1503 1st Ave, ☎ . Closed Monday, Tu-Th 7AM-3PM, F-Su 7AM-4PM. Crumpet is a griddle cake originated from England, but you can get one here in Seattle, made with organic ingredients, sweet or savory with a number of toppings. up to $10.
- Ellenos Greek Yogurt, 1500 Pike Pl, ☎ . M-Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 9AM-5:30PM, public holidays 9AM-5PM. A bit expensive compared to its supermarket counterparts, but richer in flavor and milk, making this a local favorite. Often has long lines, but they move quickly and the owner is generous with free samples. From $3 for a small cup.
- Jack's Fish Spot, 1514 Pike Pl (in Pike Place Market), ☎ . Monday – Saturday, 7:30AM – 6PM, Sunday 8AM – 5PM. A good place to get seafood, especially dungeness crabs. Market-like atmosphere, seating in stools, and they can cook what you buy.
- Pike Place Chowder. One of the most famous restaurants at Pike Place Market. Selections of exceptional chowder, as well as sandwiches and seafood cocktails. Chowders $5.45 8 oz, $6.75 12 oz, $7.95 16 oz, $10.45 with bread bowl, $13.95 32 oz..
- Pike Place Chowder, 1530 Post Alley, ☎ . Daily 11AM-5PM. Usually has long lines (up to 30 minutes) due to the fact this location is more well-known. Has more choices of chowder. Seats quickly fill up!
- Pike Place Chowder, 600 Pine St (4th floor of Pacific Place), ☎ . M-Th 11AM-8PM, F-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su 11AM-7PM.
- Piroshky Piroshky, 1908 Pike Pl (on the east side of the market), ☎ . Weekdays 8AM-6PM, weekends 8AM-6:30PM. A very popular eatery, specializing in their namesake Russian pastries. They have many varieties from which to chose. The smoked salmon, the cheese, onion and garlic roll, and the apple cinnamon roll are all excellent. Be prepared for long lines and out of stock items if you come in late! $3-7 per piece.
- Café Bengodi, 700 1st Ave (at Cherry St.), ☎ . Daily 11AM-10PM. A cramped and friendly restaurant with well-made Italian dishes.
- Campagne Restaurant, 1600 Post Alley, ☎ . M-Th 11AM-10PM, F 11AM-11PM, Sa 8AM-11PM, Su 8AM-10PM. Country French cuisine.
- chan, 86 Pine St, ☎ . Tu-Su 5-10PM. Petite gourmet restaurant. Korean fusion food cooked with Western techniques. Don't expect a wide array of dishes because the place itself is small and rustic, but the taste is worth the price. Up to $15.
- Il Fornaio, 600 Pine St (located in Level 1 Pacific Place), ☎ . Chain Italian restaurant that serves great pasta, soup, pizza, and grill with fresh ingredients and real Italian recipes. The atmosphere is really comfortable, with an Italian style interior and great street views of Downtown Seattle through the windows.
- Matt's in the Market, 94 Pike St, Ste. 32, ☎ . M-Sa, lunch: 11:30AM-2:30PM, dinner: 5:30PM-10PM, happy hour Saturdays 5PM-7PM. Charming market ambiance and tasty seafood selections make for a fine low-key dining experience at this small spot. Lunch: $7-$15, dinner: $10-$45.
- Palace Kitchen, 2030 5th Ave, ☎ . Daily 4:30PM-1AM. Tom Douglas' upscale saloon is a hit any time of day. All meals range from $10-$25.
- Serious Pie, 316 Virginia St, ☎ . Daily 11AM-11PM. Regular and specialty Neapolitan style pizza in one of the best pizza restaurants in Seattle. This small space gets overwhelmed with customers around mealtimes. Pizzas $15-$20.
- Wild Ginger, 1401 3rd Ave (at Union St, just north of Benaroya Hall), ☎ . Lunch: M-Sa 11:30AM-3PM; Dinner: Weekdays 5-11PM, Sa 4:30-11PM, Su 4-9PM. Fine Chinese and Southeast Asian dining experience, but if you want your meal to be spicy, you'll want to specify when you order. Wide selections of meat for satay along with soup and mainly meat for entrees. Gluten free and vegan friendly. Up to $30.
- Dahlia Lounge, 2001 4th Ave, ☎ . M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM, M-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-11PM, Su 5PM-9PM. Tom Douglas' premiere restaurant and, perhaps, one of Seattle's very finest. It's a very eclectic and creative restaurant, with an emphasis on seafood that runs throughout the ever-changing menu, with many Asian influences too. The appetizers tend to outshine the entrees, so opt for making a meal by ordering one of each and leaving room for dessert (the freshly-fried doughnuts delivered in a paper sack are a bit incongruous, but deservedly popular).
- Le Pichet, 1933 1st Ave. An excellent French bistro in the heart of Downtown. Try the roast chicken.
- Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, 727 Pine St, ☎ . Tucked in the center of Downtown. Side dishes served on a per-table basis, so make sure you can agree with your companions! Skip the happy hour.
- The Metropolitan Steakhouse, 820 2nd Ave (at Marion St.), ☎ . Caters to those with fat wallets, with massive portions, classic steakhouse ambiance, and top-grade beef. $50.
- Purple Cafe & Wine Bar ( Purple), 1225 4th Ave (at University St.), ☎ . M-Th 11AM-11PM, F 11AM-midnight, Sa noon-midnight, Su noon-11PM. Has an extensive wine list and some of Seattle's best food. Don't forget to try the salted caramels for dessert.
- Daily Grill, 629 Pike St (adjacent to the Sheraton), ☎ . 11AM-11PM, happy hour 3PM-6PM. At the corner between 6th and 7th Avenues, Daily Grill is a good option for a meal after movies or shopping. Quality American food and a great interior. Definitely go during happy hour — appetizers start at $3.95.
- Elliott's Oyster House, 1201 Alaskan Way (between Ferry Terminal and Waterfront Park), ☎ . Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM, happy hour M-F 3PM-6PM. Seafood restaurant that's most famous for serving fresh oysters. In addition, the menu has various seafood to choose from, such as king salmon, sockeye, dungeness crab, king crab, yellowfin ahi tuna, you name it. Happy hour is affordable, with chef's choice of fresh oysters on the half-shell starting at $0.75 each at 3PM, $1.25 each at 4PM, $1.75 each at 5PM, and other deals. The restaurant is located right by the dock and the view is fantastic during the summer when you can sit outside.
- Mistral Kitchen, 2020 Westlake Ave (corner of 8th and Westlake), ☎ . 11AM-10PM. The embodiment of every type of restaurant Chef/Owner William Belickis loves to experience himself: a place you can pop into after work for a drink and a snack, but also the first place that comes to mind when your 20th anniversary rolls around. $30.
- RN74, Joshua Green Building, 1433 4th Ave (at Pike Street), ☎ . Lunch: M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM; Dinner: M-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM. Wine Bar: M-F 11:30AM-close, Sa 3PM-close. The cuisine at RN74 aims to be a perfect complement to the wines — creative, modern, but simple interpretations of regional French cuisine punctuated with seasonal, fresh ingredients and bold flavors, all executed with a signature original twist.
Bars and taverns
- Belltown Pub, 2322 1st Ave, ☎ . 11AM to 2AM daily. Very good local pub with happy hour every day from 4PM to 6:30PM and a late night happy hour from 10PM to 1AM Sunday through Thursday during which food options (good veggie burgers) from $5 to $8 and $1 off wells and draft beers and 5$ glasses of Cabernet and Chardonnay are available. Also, a breakfast brunch is served from 9AM to 2PM on weekends. Pool table, Foosball, shuffleboard with free play are located upstairs and multiple flat panel TVs are located throughout the bar as well. Listed as best local pub (Readers choice poll) for 2011 by Seattle Magazine.
- Cyclops, 2421 1st Ave (Belltown). Good, hip (but not ultra-hip) bar, and not a bad restaurant either. Interesting neo-retro decor. The Ace Hotel is upstairs. Excellent breakfast.
- [dead link]The Owl N' Thistle, 808 Post Ave (in Post Alley). A great Irish bar. A house band, nice regulars, and halibut burger to die for. Happy hour is 3-7, M-F.
- The Pink Door, 1919 Post Alley (at the Pike Place Market). Mon-Thu 11:30AM - 11:30PM Fri-Sat 11:30AM - 1AM Sun 4PM - 11PM. Reasonably good Italian restaurant, but it's a better bar, with a rather romantic European market ambiance and a trellis-covered outdoor deck. Occasional cabaret-style live entertainment, no cover.
- Shorty's, 2222A 2nd Ave. A variety of classic pinball games and honest hot dogs. Be sure to check out the Trophy Lounge hidden in the back.
- Tula's, 2214 2nd Ave (Belltown). Tula's is a good and affordable venue for local jazz. Cover charges range from $5 to $12.
- The Wildrose, 1021 Pike St. One of the country's oldest lesbian bars. A full bar, the 'Rose' also serves light meals and snacks. The requisite pool table is always waiting for the next challenger.
- Amber, 2214 1st Ave (on 1st avenue between Bell and Blanchard Street), ☎ . Daily 4PM to 2AM. Good upscale lounge and restaurant with no cover charge and a pleasant ambiance that has reasonable prices. Daily happy hour with food and drink specials from 4 to 7PM daily and late night happy hour Sunday thru Thursday from 9 to 11PM. Friday (Ladies night) and Saturday night draw good crowds with a live DJ and a mini dance floor. There are 2 levels with some couch and booth seating available.
- Pike Brewery, 1415 1st Ave (near the Pike Place Market). Great variety of beers (try the Kiltlifter) and good food too. Can be found in grocery stores and on tap at some bars.
- Bellino Coffee, 2421 2nd Ave, ☎ . European style coffee shop located in Belltown. The focus of the place is to make top notch espresso drinks. They have also created a comfortable place with nice chairs and outdoor seating.
- Local Color, 1606 Pike Pl, ☎ . Serves Caffé Vita coffee in Pike Place's largest independent coffeehouse. Also an art gallery, with new art on the walls at the beginning of each month. The first Saturday of every month, holds an art opening from 6PM-9PM.
- Original Starbucks, 1912 Pike Pl (in the Pike Place Market). Who would have thought, when this unassuming place opened in 1971, that it would give rise to a global empire? So get in line, order a latte (no different from anywhere else in the world), and ponder the vagaries of history. And check out the uncensored mermaid which acted as the original logo for the company.
If you're staying in Seattle, you're very likely to stay in Downtown, as here is where most of the city's accommodations are offered. Most splurge options are in the area surrounding the Pike Place Market or Westlake, while most budget options can be found in the Belltown neighborhood.
- Ace Hotel, 2423 1st Ave, ☎ . Budget hotel in the Belltown area. Rooms have an option of shared bath. Minimum furniture and quaint. Shared bath rooms from $120, deluxe from $200.
- City Hostel Seattle, 2327 2nd Ave, ☎ , toll-free: . Warm friendly accommodation. Private room available. Free breakfast and Wi-fi. All rooms have murals painted by local artists. $25 dorms.
- Green Tortoise Hostel, 105b Pike St (right across the street from the famous Pike Place Market), ☎ , toll-free: . Has a view of the Puget Sound and the Market, 30 bunk rooms in the elegantly restored Elliot Hotel Building. Free internet stations and WiFi, free dinner 3 nights a week, and free breakfast every morning. The Green Tortoise is a Seattle backpacker institution that also runs festive low-budget bus tours to Mexico and Central America.
- Hotel Five Seattle, 2200 5th Ave, toll-free: . Its namesake comes from the site of the hotel at Fifth Avenue, below the monorail tracks. Urban-designed rooms. Complimentary shuttle and bike to roam the city. From $125.
- La Quinta Inn & Suites Seattle Downtown, 2224 8th Ave, ☎ , toll-free: . Very close to Seattle Center and the downtown shopping core. High-speed internet in rooms and free breakfast included. From $130.
- Belltown Inn, 2301 3rd Avenue, ☎ . This little establishment at the heart of Belltown offers kitchenette on every room. Rooms only have fans for summer. From $190.
- Executive Hotel Pacific, 400 Spring St, toll-free: . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. A small hotel in the Belltown area. Standard rooms have small bathrooms, deluxe are slightly larger, suites' bedrooms are perfect for a family and features free Internet and newspaper. From $150.
- Hotel Max, 620 Stewart St, toll-free: . In the heart of downtown, offers an artistic setting for both business and leisure travelers. From $150.
- Mayflower Park Hotel, 405 Olive Way, ☎ , toll-free: . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: Noon. Built in 1927, the centrally-located hotel retains its classical colors on most of its interior, with modern amenities in the rooms such as flat-screen TV and coffee machine. Wi-Fi is complimentary. From $215.
- Motif Seattle, 1415 Fifth Ave, ☎ , fax: . Distinctive downtown hotel featuring modern lifestyle amenities, concierge, restaurants and lounges, meeting venues, business & fitness centers, and Seattle's largest rooftop dining patio - a unique Seattle Lodging experience. From $175.
- Palladian Hotel, 2000 2nd Avenue, ☎ , toll-free: . A new addition to the downtown hotel industry, the boutique hotel, developed by Kimpton, adopts a European flair. Every room is equipped with a yoga mat and a daily social (wine) hour is available at the hotel's classic bar. From $200.
- Renaissance Seattle Hotel, 515 Madison St, ☎ . A full service hotel in the heart of downtown. From $210.
- The Roosevelt Hotel, 1531 7th Avenue, ☎ . Another boutique and historic option at Belltown. From $180.
- Warwick Hotel, 401 Lenora Street, ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. One of the few budget options in the middle of downtown. Rooms have a view of either the skyline or the Space Needle, added with a Juliet balcony. From $150.
- Alexis Hotel, 1007 1st Ave (near the Coleman ferry docks), ☎ . This art-themed hotel has original works throughout the lobby and in the rooms. Furthermore, it sports a big old Dale Chihuly glass piece in the lobby. From $280.
- The Edgewater, Pier 67, 2411 Alaskan Way, ☎ , toll-free: . Near the Pike Place Market, right on the water, and famous for three things: you could at one time literally fish right out of your window, it was the site of a notorious Led Zeppelin incident, and the Beatles stayed here during their 1964 tour. Rooms either face the city with no great view other than the Space Needle, or face the water. These latter rooms enjoy the non-stop action of the ferries and cruise liners in the harbor. The restaurant is elegantly decorated with a few outdoor tables right over the water. From $300.
- The Fairmont Olympic, 411 University St, ☎ . The only hotel in the Northwest to win a five-diamond award. Pulls off grand and luxurious perfectly, is in the middle of downtown. From $300.
- Hotel 1000, 1000 1st Ave, ☎ . New high-tech, boutique style hotel in downtown. From $250.
- Hotel Andra, 2000 4th Ave, ☎ . A hotel of a local brand with a luxury and modern touch. Rooms have private bars and ironing boards, with plush Turkish towels and Swedish bath amenities. The in-house Mediterranean restaurant is managed by the locally-renowned restauranteur Tom Douglas. From $300.
- Hotel Monaco Seattle, 1101 4th Ave, toll-free: . Centrally located in the historic Pike Place Market downtown, facing the waterfront and Elliott Bay. Short walk to Seattle Art Museum, Benaroya Hall, Pioneer Square, Westlake Center, and lots of dining and shopping. From $280.
- Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle, 2125 Terry Ave, ☎ . Designed by Hirsch Bedner, AAA 4-Diamond award recipient hotel. From $250.
- Sheraton Seattle, 1400 6th Ave, ☎ . Immediately adjacent to the convention center. From $280.
- W Seattle, 1112 4th Ave, ☎ . For the terminally hip traveler. Decorated in a stunning palette of black, black, silver, cream, and black. From$280.
- The Westin Seattle, 1900 5th Ave, ☎ . Perhaps the hotel that has the most rooms in the city. Standard luxurious Westin-style hospitality. It is linked by a skybridge that connects with Westlake Center. From $280.
Cellphone signals are strong throughout Downtown, save for in the Downtown Transit Tunnel. Wi-Fi connectivity is available at most coffee shops. The Seattle Central Library has lightning-speed plug-in and wireless internet connections.
- A short ride by rail or bus down the Downtown Transit Tunnel takes you to Pioneer Square and International District, the Georgetown neighborhood, and South Seattle.
- A ride by the South Lake Union Streetcar or the monorail will take you to the districts of Queen Anne and South Lake Union
- A short walk away to the other side of the Interstate 5 is the hip district of Capitol Hill.
- Blake Island State Park (located in Puget Sound in the waters between Seattle and the Kitsap Peninsula). Argosy Cruises offers regular service from Pier 55 to this island state park visible from downtown that was the birthplace of Chief Seattle and still offers guests Native American style dinners and dancing.