Dave and I had the opportunity for a Seattle Day Trip the first part of January.
Neither of us had ever been to Seattle, and we had a list of places we wanted to visit and photograph.
It was hard to narrow the list of things to see and do to create our One Day Itinerary in Seattle.
We share our Seattle Day Trip Guide to help anyone else who may also only have one day to explore Seattle.
The list includes things to see and places to photograph in Seattle that include iconic sites and unique art.
Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Read the full Disclosure Policy.
SEATTLE DAY TRIP GUIDE
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is a must-see for a Day Trip in Seattle, Washington.
Founded in 1907, Pike Place Market is the oldest continually operating farmers’ market in the United States. This nine-acre Market overlooks Elliott Bay.
We were only able to spend a short time here, but in that hour or so, we could feel the eclectic vibe and energy of the place.
Here’s a list of fun things to see and photograph at Pike Place Market:
- Pike Place Market Sign
- The Oldest Starbucks
- Rachel the Piggy Bank
- Pike Place Fish Market
- Post Alley
- Food & Dining
- Street Performers
- Street Art
We knew Pike Place Market gets crowded so we arrived early.
One tip for a crowded day is to venture to the lower levels and discover all the fun below street level.
Photo credit: Seattle Monorail Services
Riding the Seattle Monorail is a fun activity. We used public transit and the monorail to get around Seattle for the day.
Built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair to provide a link between the fairgrounds and downtown Seattle, the once futuristic mode of transport has become a major tourist attraction and a convenient way for locals to get to major festivals and events.
The Space Needle is an icon. It was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair.
No Seattle itinerary is complete without a visit to the Space Needle.
View the downtown Seattle skyline, Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands from the top of the Needle.
The NEW Space Needle provides an all-glass floor on the lower level and floor-to-ceiling glass on the upper level.
The Loupe is the world’s first and only rotating glass floor.
Yes, this is a busy tourist attraction, especially with the new renovations. But it’s busy for a reason: the views are stunning!
To avoid the crowds, start your Seattle Day Trip to visit the Space Needle when it opens. Many say the Sky View Observatory at the Columbia Center even affords you better views of the city that includes the Space Needle in your photos.
PHOTO TIP: Walk around to find interesting and unique views of the Space Needle from the ground looking up.
The Space Needle is a wonderful subject for Black and White photography.
PHOTO TIP: Images that have graphic elements, strong lines, geometric shapes or form make wonderful subjects for Black and White. Always look for lines that run diagonally, horizontally or vertically through the image and try to create interesting compositions with them.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Dale Chihuly was born in Tacoma, Washington. While studying interior design at the University of Washington, he was introduced to glass. This began his lifetime obsession with glass.
His work is included in more than 200 museums worldwide, and he has created many glass art installations in Venice, England, Paris, and more.
A few years ago, Dale Chihuly was invited to present a comprehensive exhibit of his work at the Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 World’s Fair, and next to the Space Needle. The Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit includes a garden, an exhibition hall, and a glasshouse.
Words cannot describe the glass works of art here. Adding this exhibit to our Seattle One Day Itinerary was the best decision we made!
Chihuly Exhibition Hall
Note the Photography Guidelines found on the Chihuly Garden and Glass website: Still photography and video is allowed from a handheld device. Photography of objects in the exhibition is permitted for personal, non-distributional, non-commercial use. Flashes, tripods monopods or video cameras in the galleries are prohibited. No photographs or videotapes may be reproduced, published, distributed, sold, transferred or otherwise commercially exploited.
PHOTO TIPS (while inside the Exhibition Hall):
- Try to keep the overhead lights and their reflections out of the frame of your shot as much as possible.
- Make use of the reflections on the black glass platforms the art work is mounted on.
- Zoom in on interesting small sections.
PHOTO TIP: Photograph the Space Needle through the windows in the glasshouse. Be creative with angles and composition.
PHOTO TIP: Photograph the Space Needle reflection in the many spheres in the garden section of the Chihuly Exhibit. This is truly a photographer’s playground for creativity.
PLAN YOUR SEATTLE VACATION
Transportation in Seattle
If you aren’t staying in the downtown area, use public transportation.
Traffic in and out of the city combined with the cost of parking downtown make driving your own car just not worth the hassle and expense. We were staying near the SeaTac Airport so we rode the Link light rail train. It took us within blocks of our first stop downtown.
Where to Stay in Seattle
We use Airbnb (here’s a $40 coupon) | Hotels.com | HotelsCombined to rent accommodations that have a kitchen. Cooking our meals saves us quite a bit of money compared to eating out, and it’s much healthier!
PIN FOR LATER
Watch our TRAVEL TIPS Video Series:
Be sure to SUBSCRIBE so you are notified when new videos are posted.
If you enjoyed this, please share and let us know your thoughts below.