Here at Seattle Southside we know value, location and convenience are important to your family while on vacation. Staying near the airport can save you 20-30% compared to downtown Seattle. The nearby Link Light Rail makes it is easy to get into downtown Seattle without renting a car.
This travel itinerary is packed with all the must-see attractions Seattle has to offer as well as appropriate time increments for each attraction, allowing downtime and meal breaks for your family.
We encourage visitors who stay for three or more days to buy the Seattle CityPass, a packaged deal that saves you 43% off admission into six of Seattle’s favorite attractions.
Day 1: Historic Waterfront / Elliot Bay Cruise
10:00am Head into Downtown Seattle
Directions: Walk or ride your hotel shuttle to the Light Rail Station “Tukwila International Blvd.” or "SeaTac/Airport Station" depending on where your hotel is located. Upon exiting the entrance of Seattle Southside, turn right on S 176th street, and you will see the light rail ahead of you. Buy all day passes, just $5.50 pp. Trains run every 7.5 - 15 minutes. Catch the next one and get off at the last stop, Westlake Center.
10:45am Pike Place Market
This historic market is an icon of Seattle, you can't miss it! There is plenty of people watching and shopping around to be done here. Check out the gum wall if your kids are into “gross-out” humor located outside the Market Theater in Post Alley.
Directions: After exiting the Westlake station, walk down Pine street (west towards the water). You will run straight into the Market on 1st avenue. There is also a lower level, "DownUnder stores".
*Tip for Parents: strollers are difficult to navigate through the market as walkways and sideways are narrow.
If your kids are starved and don't want to wait to eat lunch at Ivar's along the water, stop by Pike Place Chowder (1530 Post Alley).
1:30pm Lunch at Ivar’s Fish and Chips Bar
Unless your family is starving, it is worthwhile to hold off on lunch until after you finish walking around Pike Place because just down the street is Ivar's Fish Bar along the waterfront. Order the famous chowder or fish and chips, then sit down in the sun at the outdoor tables and feed the seagulls. There is also an outdoor covered area available.
Directions: Walk down through to the "DownUnder stores" and keep walking down the steps of the "Pike Place Hillclimb." Head south (left) along the waterfront. You will pass by the Seattle Aquarium, the Great Wheel, Pioneer Jewelers, until you arrive at the outdoor Ivar's bar.
2:30pm Seattle Aquarium *CityPass
The Seattle Aquarium showcases the Puget Sound and Pacific Ocean's sea life at its best. With a dome of fish, seals and cute little otters, this is a fun place to take the family.
Directions: Walk north (back the way you came) along the waterfront to the Seattle Aquarium, on your left. Use your CityPass.
5:00pm Seattle Great Wheel
Next door, sits the 175ft tall Great Wheel that extends 40 feet beyond the pier for fantastic views of the city, Puget Sound and mountains while listening to the city waterfront's history. Prices are $13/ea for adults and $8.50/ea for kids.
Argosy Harbor Cruise *CityPass
Also included in your CityPass, take the hour long cruise that leaves from Pier 55 and loops around Elliot Bay, passes Harbor Island and continues for views of the Olympic Mountains, and then back along the Seattle waterfront.
6:30pm Dinner at the Crab Pot
One of the best seafood restaurants on the Seattle waterfront and one we frequently recommend, the Crab Pot is the perfect place to dine along the water to end your day. Everyone receives their own mallet for dinner and it makes dining an exciting adventure!
8:30pm Head for home
Directions: Walk 4 blocks up University Street until you see 3rd Avenue. On the corner of University St. and 3rd Ave. you will find the light rail to get you back to your home base on the Southside. Get off at the “Tukwila International Blvd.” or "SeaTac/Airport Station" depending on where your hotel is located. Walk to your hotel or call and request a shuttle pickup.
Day 2: Seattle Center
10:00am Downtown Seattle
Directions: Depart from the Light Rail Station and head downtown, getting off at the "Westlake Center" station. From there you can either walk (approx. 0.8 mile) to Seattle Center via 4th Ave. or walk up to the 3rd floor of Westlake Center and take the Monorail (costs $2.25 pp, runs every 10 minutes).
11:00am Pacific Science Center *CityPass
Also included in your CityPass. As your first stop of the day, your kids will have all the energy they will need to learn through interactive fun at every educational exhibit. Two hours is a good amount of time as the kids will soon get hungry, and there is a food court in the Seattle Center. There is also an impressive "wrap-around" IMAX theatre and Laser Dome, so you may want to leave the center for lunch and then come back to go to a 3D documentary or laser show.
1:30pm Lunch, your choice!
Upon exiting the Pacific Science Center walk one block north to the Seattle Center's "Food Court" Armory. There are several food vendors to choose from to make the whole family full and happy. *If you'd rather pack a lunch / buy snacks and sit by the International Fountain, there is a Metropolitan Market just one block up from the EMP on 1st Ave & Mercer St.
2:30pm EMP Museum (Experience Music Project) *CityPass
On the east side of the Seattle Center is the EMP museum which is especially interesting for parents as well as kids as you see the evolution and history of music throughout the decades. It can build an interest in music for your kids! Included in your CityPass.
5:00pm Space Needle *CityPass
You can't miss the Space Needle, it is right next to the EMP Museum. No need to wait in line to purchase tickets for the Space Needle, with your CityPass you can skip all lines and go straight up to the top hassle-free!
6:30pm Dinner, your choice!
There are many highly reputable restaurants in the Belltown / Queen Anne area, however not all are family friendly. The kid-friendly restaurants that the whole family will be happy with are: New York Pizza & Bar (Mercer St. & 5th Ave. N) or Italian food at Buca di Beppo (9th Ave. N & Roy St.). Also, if you walk 4 - 5 blocks down Broad Street will you find the Old Spaghetti Factory (Broad St. & Elliot Ave.)
8:30pm Leave Seattle
Directions: Walk back up to the Space Needle to hop back on the Monorail, which runs every 10 minutes until 11pm. Upon getting off, head down the lowest level of Westlake Center to jump back on the light rail and head for home.
Day 3: Get to know Seattle’s Southside
After 2 days of traveling to and from the city, today is a good day to sleep in and explore what Seattle Southside has to offer.
11:00am Museum of Flight *CityPass
Also included in your CityPass is entry into one of the world's largest space museums in the world. It is recommended your family eats lunch here since it is easy to spend up to 4 hours here and there is Wings Café inside with a view of Boeing Field that offers sandwiches, quick snacks and more.
Directions: From Seattle Southside Visitor Center take the bus "RapidRide line A" from International Blvd & S. 176th St (the same light rail stop you used to get into Seattle). Get off at bus stop "Tukwila International Blvd. Station Bay 1" (Tukwila Link Station), transfer and get onto Bus 124 (route into downtown Seattle) and get off at "East Marginal Way S & S 94th Pl." With wait time and bus connections, expect 30 minutes. Buses come every 8-15 minutes. Bus fare= $2.25 for adults, $1.25 for youth. Bus drivers are very knowledgeable of the area, so if you are unsure, just tell them where you are going.
One of the biggest indoor malls in the state, Westfield Southcenter is so large that you could spend hours of shopping, dining and even catch a late movie inside the mall. It is easily accessible from Seattle Southside since it is so close! If you need lunch, there is a huge food court on the top floor.
Directions: Just a short bus ride from "International Blvd & S. 176th St" take Bus 156 SOUTHCENTER. With no bus transfers, you will arrive at the mall in just a short period of time.
4:30pm iFLY Indoor Skydiving
If you're really feeling adventurous, across the street from Westfield Southcenter is one of the area's newest attractions, an indoor skydiving chamber. Make a reservation well-before your vacation to Seattle because time slots can fill up fast. Located a block northeast of the mall, iFLY is in walking distance. Parents- don't just sign your kids up, this is something you don't want to miss out on! Family packages for up to 5 people are offered for $269.95 and include 10 flights. The whole experience lasts about two hours.
Walking Directions: From the Macy's parking lot head west (right), take your first left toward Tukwila Pkwy, take the 1st right onto Tukwila Pkwy, iFLY Seattle will be less than a block on the right-hand side at 349 Tukwila Pkwy. You will be able to see the HUGE red building.
7:30pm Dinner at Southcenter
There are many restaurants around the mall ranging from seafood restaurants to jungle-themed kid palaces. The three kid-friendly restaurants recommended are Duke's Chowder House, Bahama Breeze and the Rainforest Café*.
9:00pm Head for home
Directions: Walk S from Southcenter Mall and the bus station will be at Andover Park W & Baker Blvd. Take Route MT 156 (Highline CC) and in less than 15 minutes you will arrive back at S 176th St & 30th Ave S BAY 3, back at Seattle Southside.
CityPass Info: The booklet is valid for nine days, starting on the first day of use. You can purchase the CityPass at any one of the below locations including Seattle Southside. Cost: Adult $74 (value $128.75); Child (4-12) $49 (value $65.88) Includes entry into:
•Pacific Science Center
•Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
•Woodland Park Zoo OR* The Museum of Flight
*Rainforest Cafe is now closed