One Night in Seattle? Here is What You Should Do! The One Evening Itinerary for Seattle

I love where I live during the summer. Don't get me wrong, I love to travel, but during the summer, I like to stay close to home and take in the mild summer temperatures, the beautiful water on the Puget Sound and the mountains that surround us. I recently spent the evening in Seattle with my family on a beautiful July evening and was reminded of just how many people flock to our area during the summer as tourists. Many tourists are just passing through as they board a local cruise ship to sail up into Canada or Alaska, both beautiful this time of year. It had me thinking if you had just one evening to spend in Seattle, what would be the best use of your time to get a real feel of our city? I've got the perfect itinerary for you if you are limited in your time in Seattle, so buckle up and check out my recommendations!

boy with ferris wheel in downtown area

One Night in Seattle?
The One Evening Itinerary for Seattle, WA
seattle things to do

How to Get to Seattle

Every year, driving in the city seems to get worse and worse. The traffic is horrible in and around Seattle and parking is limited. However, traffic tends to free up in the evenings as you come into the city, especially from the south.

Driving and Parking in Seattle

If you come into the city after 5, you can often find free or reduced rate street parking and there is limited free parking in the city on Sundays. So if you are just exploring Seattle in the evening, I'd recommend driving in. Parking can be easily found on Alaskan Way to get you in the right spot to hit every area on this itinerary.

Where to Eat in Seattle if You Only Have One Night

where to eat in seattle

If you want fresh local seafood, Fisherman's Restaurant and Bar is the place to start your evening. Pop in for dinner and request a waterfront view or seat on the patio for a beautiful view of the city. Watch the Great Wheel spin and the ferry boats come in and out of the harbor and enjoy some local favorites. Chef Nick Novello is bringing his long history of cooking PNW dishes and serving them with a twist. 

Order the crab toast, the fresh-shucked local oysters and keep your eyes out for the chef's seasonal specials. You won't be disappointed! 

fishermans restaurant miners landing pier 57

Entertainment on Pier 57

pier 57 seattle

Stay close to Pier 57 if you only have one evening. There is plenty to do while you are there!

Wings Over Washington

visit seattle waterfront what to do

After dinner, don't miss the Wings Over Washington experience. I've lived in Seattle for nearly 20 years and I have explored a fair amount of this beautiful state, though I'll be the first to admit that I still have a lot more exploring to do. If you want to see it all, but just don't have time, take this quick glimpse as you soar over Washington in this Disney style theater ride. 

Children do need to be a minimum of 40" tall but people of all ages can enjoy this ride.

The Seattle Great Wheel

pier 57

Get a view of the city like you haven't had before from the Seattle Great Wheel! Take a few spins around and take in the waterfront and the Seattle skyline from a new perspective. The Great Wheel gondolas can accommodate groups of up to 8. The few times I've ridden, we've always had a private cabin for just our group.

visit seattle waterfront

If you have the time to wait, this is the perfect thing to do at sunset. However, keep in mind that during the summer, sunset is often after 9 in the Seattle area, so if you have little ones {or are like me, with an early bedtime!}, the wheel is perfect any time of day. 

Walk the Waterfront

great wheel seattle views

There is plenty to see and do as you walk along the waterfront on Alaskan Way. Take in a new view of the city from every angle. The waterfront is a delightful place to spend your time. There is something new to see and explore every time you visit.

Visit Pike Place Market

seattle downtown

This Seattle classic is a working farmers market. It does shut down around 6 every night, so if you only have one evening, and Pike Place is on your must-see list, make sure you head up to the market as soon as you can. There are several staircases up from the Alaskan Way area, so you can stay parked and make the trek up before dinner for the ultimate itinerary.

visit seattle downtown

My Favorite Stops at Pike Place Market

  • pick up a walking cup at Ellenos
  • warm hot cinnamon sugar mini donuts from Daily Dozen Donuts
  • cheddar cheese from Beecher's
  • stop and smell the flowers 
  • watch the fish throwing 
  • walk through the gum wall in Post Alley

I feel like with a few good hours in the city, you'll be able to get a really good taste of Seattle in a short amount of time. Of course, you won't see it all, but if time is limited, this is the perfect itinerary for an evening in Seattle and the best way to make the most of your time.

If you have more time in the city, here are 20 ways you can explore Seattle like a local.

seattle downtown

Have a weekend to spend in Seattle? Here are my favorite go-to places!

Find the best food trucks in Seattle

space needle

A hidden gem, just outside the city. Explore Bellevue, WA 

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