[Seattle and Washington] Please critique my itinerary

I have a trip to Seattle and the area around later in the summer. I did some preliminary research and would love some feedback on my itinerary. Please feel free to point out where it doesn’t make sense logistically or venue-wise.

First time visitors here. Two adults and two small kids (7 and 4). So we are skipping all the high end places, and picking casual places in general. I somewhat randomly picked the restaurants I am interested in around the neighborhood we are going to be in so would really welcome alternative suggestions to consider. I feel I should eat some NW cuisine since I am coming to your fine state. So Copperleaf is my one choice that I fit in logistically. SE Asian food is generally my thing. But want to eat whatever Seattle is strongest at.

Also, appreciate any suggestions of food-related souvenirs to bring home!

In Seattle, we are staying around the Space Needle. Won’t have a car while in the city.

For context, we are coming from San Francisco Bay Area. Thanks in advance!

Day 1 (f):
Flew into Seatac during dinner time. Anything good to eat at the airport around C or in the Central Terminal? A very quick and casual search doesn’t reveal anything overly appealing. If not, we probably will bring something onto the plane. Since we are taking the lightrail to downtown, it’ll take a while so the kids won’t last that long for us to grab a meal in the city.

Was hoping to grab some late night oysters near the hotel but it looks like Taylor Shellfish closes at 9. (What?! 9?? Friday?)

Day 2 (sa):
am: Seattle Center
lunch: Armory food court. Skillet? Anything else recommended?
pm: Seattle Center/ Children’s Museum
dinner: Adana (why is a reservation so easy to come by it seems?)

Day 3 (su):
am: Ballard Farmer’s Market
lunch: Un Bien
pm: something in Ballard- locks, ship canal tour, maybe Fremont
dinner: La Carta de Oaxaca

Day 4 (m):
am: Pike Place
lunch: Le Pichet. Second choice- Matt’s. Procopio Gelateria for dessert?
pm: somewhere around Pike. Possible choice: the ferris wheel, aquarium, ferry to Bainbridge
dinner: Stateside

Day 5 (t):
am: ?
lunch: Il Corvo
pm: ?
dinner: Ba Bar (South Lake Union)

Day 6 (w):
am: start drive towards Anacortes
lunch: Taste Of Thai By Wipa in Burlington. Second choice: Sarkall’s Donut & Noodle Soup (Cambodian)
pm: Deception Pass, Whidby Island real quick. then ferry to Friday Harbor
dinner: no idea yet. need something casual and yummy.

Day 7 (th):
am: somewhere on San Juan Island
lunch: Duck Soup
pm: somewhere on San Juan Island, ferry back to Anacortes late afternoon or mid afternoon
Grab some baked goods from Bakery San Juan
dinner: Most likely grab something to go at The Market Chef in Friday Harbor to eat while waiting for the ferry.

Day 8 (f):
am: Scenic drive on 20 in North Cascades NP
lunch: Sarkall’s or Mexican in Burlington/ Mt Vernon? Or if we get that far, Noodle Boat Thai Restaurant in Issaquah.
pm: Snoqualmie Fall, drive to Rainier NP
dinner: Crockett’s Public House in Puyallup or Coppercreek Inn in Ashford, or Noodle Boat Thai in Issaquah if we are late.

Day 9 (sa):
am/ pm: Rainier NP
lunch: pack a lunch in
pm: drive to Seatac
dinner: Copperleaf. Second choice: 13 Coins
stay near Seatac

Day 10 (su):
am: fly home

I’m sadly out of the loop on restaurants, but a few thoughts …

In Ballard, Cafe Besalu has excellent pastries and is right next door to Tall Grass bakery, who make excellent bread.

The Locks are fun for kids, if you do go to Fremont they might enjoy the Troll and the Theo chocolate factory tour is good if they don’t have an age limit on littles. Get tickets in advance.

The ferry is a pretty ride and Bainbridge has a cute several blocks of shops. The art museum there has a nice little cafe, or grab a snack at Blackbird Bakery. But kids might prefer the ferris wheel or aquarium. Pichet, Procopio, and Matt’s should all be good, there’s a new addition to the Market with a few more options such as biscuits and chocolate. Indi chocolate is bean-to-bar and you can see a bit of the process. Maybe Bainbridge or the aquarium on day 5? If you’ll be picnicking later, stock up on meats and cheeses at DeLaurenti, and I highly recommend Dolcetta confections, which are carried at Ventures on a lower level (it’s my company, I make everything :slight_smile: )

At the end of the trip, are you hoping to actually go into the park and see anything? Or just a scenic drive around it? Getting into and out of the park may take a lot of time, I’m not sure it’s really a quick half day trip. Where are you staying on day 8?

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Many of our hosts have recommended Ray’s Boathouse over the years as local landmark.

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Kid central.
Adults too. :smiley:


Thanks for all the thoughts and suggestions!

Unfortunately the tours are for 6 and above. I didn’t realize, however, that Theo is based out of Seattle!

That is a very dangerous day- with all the food loot I am sure that we’ll get at the farmers’ market on the same day.

Excellent advice! I think I may bring a cooler bag or a cooler, and when I leave town, I will just put all the good food that requires cooling in there , and then put whatever good food (chocolate, meat) that I may get in Seattle in there so I can bring them along for our later road trip, and do gourmet picnic in the national parks.

Yes half day and one day is way too short for the parks. Cascades is just going to be a scenic drive. Rainier we are going in there. Its just going to be a quick tour to see what we like. And then come back next time. The kids are a bit young for extended hiking. We are staying at Ashford right outside the Ranier entrance. We’ll probably get to the entrance early to hopefully beat the crowds.

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That’s a dangerous place to bring the kids!!

Thanks! That’s going to be a tough choice among Un Bien, La Carta de Oaxaca and Ray’s. We’ve been to Oaxaca years ago so there’s a bit of fondness for Oaxacan food. We’ll see what the family feels like.

What’s eye catching is a kids menu offering crab cake and salmon. The grown-ups always spot the sable.


Some recent reports of restaurants:

Hey @sck I still remember the meal at Nue and the view at Chandler’s, but the best things may have been the baked goods from Bakery Nouveau. I’m sure you will enjoy whatever you choose to eat.

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I’m pretty sure the Taylor Shellfish in Queen Anne was open late when I was there if that’s the one you were looking at. Their hours on their website say 11:30am - close, may want to contact them to see when closing time usually is on a Friday.


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Bummer about Theo tours but maybe Indi or Beecher’s will be making something fun to watch while you’re at The Market. Then take the Monorail back to Seattle Center and laugh at how quaint and short it is.

I haven’t been to the Children’s Museum, when I was a kid we had memberships to the Pacific Science Center, that’s another good option, lots of interactive stuff in case it rains and you want to stay inside all day :wink: Similar to the Exploratoreum in SF.

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If I don’t make it to an oyster joint while I am in the city, I would most likely make a quick side trek to those places around Bow that @kaleokahu mentioned in the oyster discussion. I just haven’t made up my mind whether I want to bring my oyster knife along. Seems to be a little too much hassle. But that allows me to go straight to the source, get some and bring it to the hotel for later consumption.

Indeed, Pacific Science Center is on my potential list. I just haven’t gotten around to planning the activities beyond the tourist standards. Food (and potential reservations) comes first. LOL.

Are there any must-not-miss vendors at the Ballard Farmers’ Market?

Well you can make use of your knife. Taylor actually has picturesque shucking stations right next to picnic tables (they were working on their wine license last time I was there). Also, Blau would probably let you shuck on their beach on Samish Island. Both will sell you bags of as many graded oysters you can haul away. Bring a cooler and they will supply the ice.

If you’re in a hurry, you may also find oysters in the shells at Skagit’s Best Seafood in Burlington, or Black Rock Seafood near Anacortes.

The Old Edison Inn and the Longhorn in Edison will have excellent shooters, scatters, etc. And if you go to Taylor (on Chuckanut Drive), you may like either Chuckanut Manor or the Oyster Bar Restaurant. Both offer excellent food, extensive wine offerings, and spectacular views with their oysters.

Oh, and Skagit Valley’s phenomenal local strawberries are at their peak right now. Many roadside stands…



Having spent some time in SF, I think you all probably do food a bit better, but SEA does parks better. We have so many parks and park like settings. Forest, mountain, water, etc. So I would think picnics, particularly with littles, if the weather is good. Bring suits for the international fountain at Seattle Center - your kids will love it. The Seattle places you’ve picked (vs islands etc) are solid, but I wonder whether you can actually get that much food into you in a day :slight_smile: Downtown SEA has some pretty good happy hours, where you can trim your budget a little by eating earlier and making do with a smaller menu.


Thanks Kaleo. Excellent suggestions on oysters. I’ll have to see whether we have time to stop by Blau after lunching at Burlington. Originally we have a 4:55pm ferry reservation, but changed it to 2pm- want to spend a little more time on San Juan Island. So if we eat quick enough, I may detour to Blau to get some oysters, and if we don’t have time, then Black Rock Seafood in Anacortes.

How big are the Blau ones? Are they the small tumbled Pacific varietes?

Blau’s are Pacifics. They are size-graded, in ascending order: Yearlings, XS, S, M and Bed Run. Call ahead to see what they have. Summertime is busy enough, but the Fourth is crazy.

On San Juan, you might want to see if you can get into Duck Soup Inn.

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Going to Duck Soup for lunch for sure. Dinner is not quite suitable for the kids according to the Inn. The meal is too long they say. Lunch isn’t quite the same but it is what it is.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold