Marcie Cheung, born and raised in Seattle is a local writer and runs the Seattle-based family travel blog Marcie in Mommyland. She is a mom to a toddler and preschooler. She believes in traveling as a family and helps parents maximize their vacation days to create incredible memories with their kids. Although based in Seattle Marcie highlights adventures around the Pacific Northwest, the U.S.A. and abroad.








Seattle is a port city in the west coast of United States. It is the largest city in the state of Washington and the whole of Pacific Northwest region of North America. The state of Washington is commonly confused with the capital of the country Washington D.C. which lies in the east coast.

Despite the fact that Seattle’s business district got completely destroyed in the Great Fire of 1889 and had to be rebuilt, Seattle is still known for its spectacular setting and iconic landmarks. The world renowned Space Needle known for its futurist architecture was constructed for the 1962 World Fair as an observation tower. Right next to it is the Museum of Popular Culture (MoPop). Seattle is also the birthplace of Starbucks, the largest coffee chain in the world. 

The city is the main departure port for Alaska and Pacific Northwest cruises. Seattle’s Pier 52 is the busiest ferry terminal in the United States. Seattle also has the most number of houseboats in the whole country. In fact, the Boeing company which started in Seattle by William Boeing was initially a boat company which only started manufacturing planes during World War II.

Space Needle, Seattle
Space Needle, Seattle






When is the best time to visit Seattle?

You really can’t be summer in Seattle. We joke that summer here doesn’t start until July 5th because up until then, it’s usually chilly, overcast, and rainy. But after that, prepare to be wowed by blue, sunny skies!

September is one of the best months to visit Seattle if you want to avoid the crowds. The weather is typically warm and sunny, but it’s the start of shoulder season. Kids are in school, so there are fewer families traveling to Seattle at this time.





Which is the most convenient and favored transport of Seattle

Seattle is not known for having efficient public transportation, so I’d definitely recommend renting a car, especially if you plan to explore anywhere outside of Downtown Seattle.

However, you can also hop on the Link Light Rail at the airport and it will take you into the city. The Link light rail travels between University of Washington Station and Angle Lake Station, making 14 stops along the way. You can buy tickets from the station ticket machine.

Link Light Rail Map
Link Light Rail Stops, Seattle. Image Source

Once you are in the city, you can take the Seattle Monorail which departs approximately every 10 minutes from two stations – Westlake Center Station and Seattle Center Station, streetcars or call an Uber to take you around.

Seattle Monorail Map
Seattle Monorail Map. Image Source

Another way to get around top Seattle attractions is by taking advantage of the free Seattle Waterfront Shuttle. It runs loops from the waterfront to Seattle Center. It runs seven days a week and is available every twenty minutes. It is free due to construction along the Seattle waterfront into Pioneer Square and is subject to change later.

Seattle Waterfront Shuttle
Seattle Waterfront Shuttle





What are the top three must visit places in Seattle?  

There’s a lot to see and do in Seattle, boiling down to three would be difficult. If you are the adventurous kind you can hike at Mt. Rainier National Park or grab a kayak to ply Puget Sound.

My number one place to visit in Seattle is the iconic Seattle Waterfront. This is where you’ll find the Seattle Great Wheel, the Seattle Aquarium, Wings Over Washington, and lots of seafood restaurants. And just a staircase away is the famous Pike Place Market, full of delicious foods, gorgeous flowers, and unique crafts.

Seattle Waterfront
Seattle Waterfront

Next, I’d suggest Seattle Center. There really is something for everyone there. The Chihuly Glass Museum is stunning and makes a great photo op, especially on a sunny day! Adults and teens will also have a blast exploring the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly called EMP. For kids, there’s the Pacific Science Center, Seattle Children’s Theatre, the Seattle Children’s Museum, and one of the coolest playgrounds in Seattle! And it’s also the home of the newly renovated Space Needle! There’s often cultural festivals and events at Seattle Center almost every weekend of the year.

Playground at Seattle Center
Playground at Seattle Centre

Third on my list would be the Seattle Ice Cream Cruise! It’s an affordable (and delicious) way to see the houseboat from Sleepless in Seattle, Gasworks Park, and the University of Washington. Plus, you can play with toy boats and explore the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) after your boat ride.

Seattle Ice Cream Cruise
Seattle Ice-Cream Cruise






What are the best day trips for nature, culture and history from Seattle ?

One of my favorite day trips from Seattle is Winthrop, WA. It’s a wild west-themed town that celebrates Washington’s mining and logging age. They have a cool indoor/outdoor mining museum and tons of hiking. Plus, you can ride in a covered wagon down to an authentic cowboy dinner!

Downtown Winthrop WA
DownTown Winthrop, Washington

Another fun day trip is Tacoma. Back in the day, it was nicknamed “Grit City” but now, it’s quickly becoming a haven for hipsters. While not quite on Portland’s level, Tacoma has some of the coolest coffee shops, vintage stores, and amazing street art. Plus, Point Ruston is an incredible waterfront with activities, play areas, shops, and restaurants.

Riding a surrey bike is a fun thing to do with kids in Tacoma WA this summer
Riding a Surrey bike is a fun thing to do in Tacoma, Washington

And if you want to learn more about Washington’s Native American history, take an Argosy Cruise over to Blake Island. There, you’ll listen to stories and watch authentic dancing from the Duwamish Tribe. There’s plenty of time to explore the forest and play at the rocky beach.

Blake Island
Blake Island






What is the most celebrated holiday/event of the year in Seattle

Seafair is one of the most festive events in Seattle! It kicks off with the Seafair Pirates landing at Alki Beach in West Seattle and then local communities throw their own parades all month long. Seafair weekend is the first weekend in August at Genessee Park. The main attractions are the hydroplane boat races and the airshow featuring the Blue Angels. It’s a huge community event and it feels like the whole city shuts down to celebrate!

Seafair, Seattle
Seafair, Seattle





What is the most loved local food, savory and sweet of Seattle? Is your city a vegetarian friendly city? 

Seattle food scene is pretty dynamic. To get a taste of it you can visit the Pike place market.

Seattle is definitely a vegetarian-friendly city. Not only will you find vegetarian options at just about every restaurant, we also have an array of vegetarian/vegan restaurants and Indian restaurants with many vegetarian entrees.





Where to head for shopping in Seattle?

In Seattle you are spoilt for choice, from open-air complexes like University Village, upscale shopping like Shops at the Bravern, local retail boutiques at Wallingford center to traditional shopping malls, it has just about everything you can think of.

During 1907, the prices of onions skyrocketed in Seattle, which led to the opening of the Pike Place Market spread in an area of nine acres where consumers could directly buy from the producers. Situated along the water this is one of the oldest continously operating farmers market in whole of America. It is also home to the original Starbucks.

Something that’s fairly new in Seattle is the addition of night markets. They are popping up frequently at Lake Union and you can also find some in the International District (Seattle’s Chinatown.) Most of these are food related.

Pike Place Market, Seattle
Pike Place Market, Seattle





Which is the local craft or souvenir of Seattle?

Seattle neighborhoods have some pretty cool boutiques. It’s best to head to Wallingford, Fremont, Capitol Hill, Greenwood, or West Seattle to check them out.

Otherwise, locals shop the department stores Downtown or head up North to the Seattle Premium Outlets in Tulalip, WA.

My first thought is of those chocolate slugs that I used to see at gift shops growing up! Ha! Actually, one of the coolest souvenirs I’ve seen are Chalo Seattle bags. They feature Seattle landmarks in a trendy way. I actually use one of them for traveling because it’s an awesome conversation starter!





Which are the best streets of Seattle worthy of taking a stroll on? 

Any street in Capitol Hill is worth strolling. From colorful street art and rainbow crosswalks, there’s always something to look at. Plus, it’s home to some incredible restaurants, quirky bars, and interesting boutiques!

And I’d add in Greenlake. It’s more of a path around the lake, but it’s a fabulous spot to people watch and get the real Seattle vibe.





Can you suggest a place from where one can get the best view of Seattle?

Kerry Park is known for being the best place to take photos of the Seattle Skyline.

I’d also recommend heading to West Seattle to get another perspective. But, my favorite view of Seattle is from the water! Hop aboard a ferry or boat tour and really soak in the cityscape!





Would you suggest any shows in Seattle to drama, music or art lovers? Where can one spot street art in Seattle?

I always love seeing shows at the 5th Avenue Theater because they cast primarily Seattle-area actors. The Paramount features shows from Broadway Across America, which are also fabulous. For families, I recommend Seattle Children’s Theatre. And for people who enjoy independent films, I highly recommend hanging out at SIFF Uptown Cinema





Would you recommend any local apps for food, transport or hidden gems in Seattle?

Not really. We primarily use Yelp and Uber.





Do you want to give any suggestion/tip to tourists coming to Seattle?

I always recommend that tourists add a few extra days so they can do a side trip outside the city. The San Juan Islands are breathtaking and Mt. St. Helens is fascinating. And Seattle makes a nice stop for trips to Portland, OR or Vancouver, BC.




Click here to share this interview.



If using any of Hear It From Locals’s content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.