72 Hours in Seattle


While there are so many great U.S. cities to choose for a weekend getaway, few are as beautiful as Seattle.

I experienced this in-depth when I lived in Seattle for a summer. All of the best parts of summer, including warm weather, long days and beautiful sunsets, were just exaggerated in Seattle, especially on clear days when the city boasted views of Mount Rainier and other snow-capped peaks further afield. So to lead off Kind Traveler’s 72-hour travel series, I’m kicking it off with a travel guide to 72 hours in Seattle. If you only have 72 hours in Seattle, these are some of the best things to see and do.

Getting Around

In most cases, travelers to Seattle are staying in downtown Seattle, near Pike Place Market, since this is where most of Seattle’s hotels are. One of the perks of staying in downtown Seattle, besides the convenience, is that the Seattle Link Light Rail runs between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and downtown Seattle, and through many of the city’s best neighborhoods. Additionally, many of Seattle’s hotels are just a few blocks from a light rail station. Otherwise, for travelers who want to visit neighborhoods like Fremont or Ballard, it’s a short Lyft or Uber.


With its location set amidst the lush Pacific Northwest, and on the Puget Sound, Seattle has an abundance of fresh food. Travelers can experience this firsthand at Pike Place Market, overlooking Elliott Bay, at one of the oldest public markets of its kind in the U.S. Here, fresh seafood, produce and specialty foods are on display daily. If your hotel has a kitchen, or you’re staying at a vacation rental, then Pike Place Market is a great place to pick up veggies, fruits and other grocery items.

Additionally, the area around Pike Place Market is home to one of the highest concentrations of restaurants in Seattle. This includes familiar chain restaurants like Veggie Grill, but other restaurants like the Alibi Room for pizza, Wild Ginger for Asian fusion, Purple Café and Wine Bar, and Wild Fish Poke, all of which have options for vegans and vegetarians.

For food lovers, Capitol Hill and Ballard are considered a couple of Seattle’s top food neighborhoods. Many of Seattle’s best vegan restaurants are in Capitol Hill, including Plum Bistro and Araya's Place for vegan Thai food. Notable vegan-friendly restaurants in Ballard include No Bones Beach Club and Ocho, a tapas bar. Otherwise, food lovers should visit any number of Ethan Stowell's restaurants, many of which are considered among Seattle’s best restaurants, and spread throughout the city. Also of note is Tom Douglas, a James Beard award winner, with numerous restaurants around Seattle, too.

One of the best perks of Seattle, particularly in the summer, is that it has some of the longest days in America, which means more time for outdoor adventures.


Seattle has some of the most recognizable landmarks in America, including Pike Place Market, which I mentioned above, but others like the Space Needle, The Museum of Flight and Museum of Pop Culture. If you have just a long weekend, these are a great start. However, other great Seattle museums include Chihuly Garden and Glass (near the Space Needle and Museum of Pop Culture), Seattle Art Museum and the Pacific Science Center.

With its location on the Puget Sound and set amidst towering mountains, Seattle has an abundance of outdoor adventures. Among the most unique outdoor adventures in Seattle is whale watching, offered through Clipper Vacations, a tour operator that leaves directly from downtown Seattle. Other unique Seattle outdoor adventures include a number of ferry trips, like Whidbey Island and Bainbridge Island, touring the Ballard Locks or even going to the beach, which you can do in West Seattle. One of Seattle's most unusual attractions is a tour of the Seattle Underground, which actually takes place underneath Seattle's streets. If you do one Seattle tour, I recommend a tour of Seattle’s underground.

Thompson Seattle

Thompson Seattle


The Thompson Seattle, a Kind Traveler hotel, is conveniently located near Pike Place Market in the heart of downtown Seattle. Mere steps from Pike Place Market and many of downtown Seattle’s top landmarks and restaurants, the Thompson Seattle is a great base for travelers to Seattle. Additionally, it has its own farm-to-table restaurant, Scout PNW, and a rooftop bar, The Nest, which overlooks Elliot Bay.

Conveniently, many of Seattle’s top hotels are located near Pike Place Market, and therefore a short walk to Link light rail stations, the Seattle Ferry Terminal and other points of interest. While there are accommodations in Seattle’s other neighborhoods, most travelers stay in downtown Seattle, especially considering it’s so connected by public transit.

Pro Tip: 

When you book Thompson Seattle on Kind Traveler, you’ll access exclusive rates + perks upon a $10 nightly donation to local Seattle charity, Pike Place Market Foundation, or to any Kind Charity. When you support Pike Place Market Foundation, you’ll provide a week of groceries for three in-need families at Pike Market Food Bank in Seattle. 



Thompson Seattle

Spencer Spellman is a traveling writer/photographer, strategist, cocktail maker, N.C. expat, boarder, and bucket/life list doer.