Whatever brings you to Seattle, fill your agenda with visits to the city’s best spots and you’re sure to leave with inspiring memories. Guided tours are often the best way to fit all the must-sees into convenient daytime trips. But even then, you’ll find just as many tour choices as sightseeing options in this action-packed city — and not all of them are created equal. Here are four no-fail Seattle tours every visitor should book.
1. Walking Food Tour of Pike Place Market
This locally guided food tour is loaded with all the history, interesting facts, and tasty bites you crave. Sample the sights, sounds, and flavors of this world-famous destination throughout the 2.5-hour tasting extravaganza. You’ll taste through approximately 8 small bites that add up to a light lunch, including handmade samosas, buttermilk biscuits, gelato, Greek yogurt, street tacos, chowder, truffles, and Tom Douglas’ legendary salmon burger. Join the morning crowd at 10am or come later at 2pm (bonus: kids under 5 are free!). Lineup is subject to change.
2. Whale Watching
When in the Pacific Northwest, whale watching in the Puget Sound is a must-do treat for all. Puget Sound Express operates family-friendly day tours sailing from Edmonds (just north of Seattle). Board the Chilkat Express through December (excluding holidays) and experience diverse marine life such as Orcas and Humpbacks as you voyage to the nearby San Juan Islands. The 5-hour trip offers comfy seats, large viewing windows, an observation deck, and access to an onboard galley. Puget Sound Express is committed to responsible and sustainable boating practices, as well as top-notch customer service that includes a guaranteed whale sighting (or your next trip is free!). You can also opt for other seasonal tours, so check out the website for details and to purchase your ticket aboard!
3. Boeing Tour
The Seattle area’s Boeing facilities are among the most popular tour destinations for visitors, and for good reason. Did you know that the 98.3-acre Boeing Factory in Everett is the largest building in the world by volume? See it for yourself on a unique day tour, during which you’ll have the opportunity to experience the assembly plant firsthand; see legendary planes such as the 747, 777, and 787 Dreamliner; spend time plane spotting in the “Strato Deck” observation area; hear all about Boeing’s history; and visit the interactive Future of Flight exhibit. Tours depart from downtown Seattle daily at 9am, include transportation to and from the factory, and last for approximately 4.5 hours round trip. Participants must be at least 4 feet tall to enter the Boeing Factory; no babies in arms. See the tour website for important notes, restrictions, and additional details.
4. Chihuly Garden and Glass
While not technically a tour, Dale Chihuly’s urban exhibition is undoubtedly worth a visit (though, for those who want to see the greater Seattle Center overall, a city tour will get you close!). For those who purchase a ticket for admission, step into the awe-inspiring Glasshouse for a colorful photo opp, mosey through the glass sculpture garden wonderland, and wander the exhibition halls. Look up from the entrance and you’ll see the Space Needle towering overhead in the Seattle skyline! There’s nothing like spotting multiple landmarks in one fell swoop.