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Travel Ideas | How to Enjoy Seattle While on a Business Trip

seattle washington skyline the space needle

Space Needle - Seattle

Have you ever travelled to the home of the Space Needle, Starbucks, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’? Yes, one of Washington’s largest cities, Seattle has really put itself on the map. Known as a business traveler magnet, this city has some of the best business-friendly restaurants, hotels and activities. If you are travelling to the Emerald city on business, don’t worry, Seattle offers a lot to help you relax after client meetings and conferences.  So, whether it’s your business destination or you are just passing by, we hope you make some time to get to know the highlight of the West Coast!

seattle washington skyline the space needle
Space Needle – Seattle

Why is Seattle called ‘The Emerald City’?

No, this city isn’t known for emeralds. In fact, this nickname comes from its greenery. Both the city and its surrounding areas are filled with foliage all year round, even in winter because of the evergreen trees in the area. However, you shouldn’t be surprised that summer is the least green time of the year, as Seattle’s famous rainy season usually starts in September and lasts through the autumn and winter.

You’ve got a bit of spare time during your stay in Seattle, what now?

Whether it’s your first business trip to Seattle or not, here’s what you should definitely squeeze in your timetable during your stay:

1. The Space Needle

You must have heard about the highlight of Seattle’s skyline, the 605-foot structure called The Space Needle. It was finished in 1962 and since then it represents the Emerald City in everything from postcards to TV shows. To make the experience unforgettable, you can dine at the revolving SkyCity Restaurant, or enjoy the view from the 520-feet-high Observation Deck. This is where you can get a great view over downtown Seattle and Puget Sound.

Tip: If your business trip lasts a few days and you want to see the most important places in Seattle, invest in a CityPass. Then with your CityPass you can use the  elevators that take you to the observation deck when the sun sets down and enjoy the city lighting up in the evening. Worth every penny!

2. Pike Place Market

No trip to this wonderful city is complete without paying a visit to the one hundred years old Pike Place Market. Sounds tempting yet? This market is located just up from the waterfront, and it offers a variety of products. From fresh fish and produce to handmade items and more, there is something for every taste.

Give yourself a few hours for the ultimate sensory experience and go explore the beauty of this market. Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers or taste some seafood prepared on the spot. They say that if you are lucky enough, you can even get to see some fish literally thrown around.

Pike Place Market - Seattle Washington
Pike Place Market – Seattle

3. Chihuly Garden and Glass

Originally from Washington, one of the most renowned glass artists, Dale Chihuly has contributed to Seattle’s art culture quite a lot. The Gardens and Glass at Seattle Centre is a permanent exhibit of some of this artist’s work. Inside, you will find large glass exhibits lit up in dark rooms. Outdoors you can enjoy the sight of glass sculptures that blend into the gardens. Are you a fan of unique art experiences? Then this one is a must!

4. Seattle Waterfront

If you head down the harbor steps after checking out Pike Place Market, then you will get to Seattle’s waterfront. Colourful, charming and full of beautiful things to see –  Seattle’s waterfront has the perfect recipe for a pleasant walk after a stressful business meeting. If your business trip is scheduled during the summer, you can enjoy the brightness and smell of the hanging baskets of flowers, grab an ice cream or a basket of fish and chips and enjoy the view to the maximum.

Tip: While you are there don’t miss checking out some of Seattle’s quirkiest souvenir shops. For example the Ye Olde Curiosity shop is over one hundred years old and believe it or not, includes museum of bizarre, mysterious things like mummies and shrunken heads. And the best part? It’s free!

 5. Starbucks – The original one! 

If you are a fan of Starbucks’ coffee and shop, don’t forget to cross the street while at Pike Place Market to find out where the world’s very first Starbucks was opened. This is where one of the most successful chain of coffee shops began its world domination. And if you want to visit Starbucks’ first Roastery and tasting room, head to the Capital Hill neighbourhood.

 Tip: Be aware that if you want to buy a coffee from the epicenter of Starbucks itself, you would probably have to stand and wait in a long line.

6. Seattle Aquarium

 Not a must, but certainly an interesting spot in Seattle for those who would love to see a wide variety of fish and sea creatures. Some people even find aquariums perfect when they need time to think and relax away from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets. Keep in mind that while you are here, the real must-see is the room of Puget Sound natives, the otters and fur seals.

Tip: If you have some spare time, learn about the kinds of life found around the waters in Seattle. Then, you can head to the building next door and enjoy the view of the river and sea otters frisking and the enormous fur seals swimming around. 

7. Underground Tour

If you are up for some fun, then this funky tour is something you have to do. It will take you under Seattle’s current city streets to show you some of the places that existed before the Great Fire. The tour lasts an hour and a half and it’s totally worth it, as you will see a different side of the city and a true taste of Seattle’s history. After most of the area had burned down in 1889, the city planners simply decided to rebuild on top of the old portion of the city. The tour is super fun, so make sure you put it on your ‘to do’ list.

 8. Pioneer Square

Another historic place in Seattle, which was settled in 1852 and was burned to the ground back in 1889. The Pioneer Square Historic District is now known for the beautifully restored buildings, picturesque art galleries and small boutiques.

 Tip: While taking a walk through this quiet and peaceful part of Seattle, grab some coffee and stop for a break at Waterfall Garden Park. You are welcome.

9. Depending on your taste: The Museum of Pop Culture, Klondike Gold Rush Museum or the Museum of Flight 

MoPop or the Museum of Pop Culture was founded in 2002 by Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft. This non-profit museum features fun stuff from contemporary pop culture.

If you still find yourself walking through the Pioneer Square District, you should stop into the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which is actually a park. It’s free and you can learn a lot about the gold rush in Seattle. Spending some extra time at fun, interactive exhibits and looking at the outstanding replicas of dog sleds, clothing, old photographs and newspapers sounds like a good idea, right?

For those of you who like aircraft, a trip to the Museum of Flight would be a few hours well spent. This museum covers practically every aspect of flight history, including space travel as well!

Tip: You can book bi-plane rides outside the museum, or if you want to spend some extra cash you should definitely sign up to ride in B-24 or B-17 bombers. That is an experience you will surely never forget!

10. Pacific Science Center

This centre is in the same neighbourhood with Chihuly and the Space Needle. There is a planetarium and a Laser Dome. While you are there, don’t miss seeing the wonderful sculpture Sonic Bloom! It’s amazing, especially because when you walk around the giant flower sculptures you can hear sounds created from your movement.

11. Restaurants in Seattle 

After all the meetings and conferences, what one should definitely do is find a nice place to dine. It’s no surprise that some of the best business deals are sealed right there, in restaurants. So while in Seattle, make sure you visit some of its most famous restaurants, which also happen to be great for business. 

Are you ready to make the most out of your business trip to Seattle?

The Emerald City is probably one of the most popular business spots in the USA, offering its visitors an array of amazing hotels, restaurants and things to do. Business trips can sometimes be quite stressful and overwhelming, so why not use every spare time to enjoy the perks this city has to offer? So pack your suitcase smartly, and don’t forget to visit at least a few places included in this guide for a full Seattle experience!

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