Feeling like summer is a million months away? Don’t let the gray get you down! This time of year offers the perfect excuse to indulge in dessert-level breakfast beverages (welcome back, eggnog latte!), plus the region’s iconic peaks are all the more distinctive with a fresh dusting of snow. Voted the top “hygge” city in America, Seattle undoubtedly knows how to make the most of wintertime!

 

The sun may be setting earlier this time of year, but that just gives the city’s skyscrapers a little longer to twinkle! With the downtown streets a bit quieter, the Olympic mountains dusted with fresh snow and a plethora of coffee shops to cozy into, winter is a pretty ideal time to visit the Emerald City. Check out our guide on how to spend 36 hours in the Emerald City and get to planning!

Day 1

7:45 p.m. – Victoria Clipper Arrives from Victoria, BC into downtown Seattle

8:30 p.m. – Mayflower Park Hotel

Enjoy beautiful, historic digs in an ultra-convenient downtown location with a stay at the Mayflower Park Hotel. Built in 1927, this iconic Seattle property has been faithfully restored with crystal chandeliers, gleaming brass accents and period antiques. Plus, as the city’s oldest continuously-operating hotel, their service and attention to detail are truly second to none.

In town for a Seahawks game? The Seattle Light Rail station is just up the street. Or if you want to check out the Space Needle and MoPOP, the Monorail station is right around the block. Not to mention Pike Place Market, the Seattle Aquarium, and the heart of downtown are just a quick walk away, making Mayflower an ideal home base to explore the city. Book this hotel with Clipper, learn more.

Cozy up in a plush queen room at the Mayflower Park Hotel. Credit: Mayflower Park Hotel

9:15 p.m. – Oliver’s Lounge

With your bags tucked away in your room, hop into an elevator and head downstairs to Oliver’s Lounge. With floor-to-ceiling windows, an elegant high ceiling and award-winning martinis, there is no better spot to toast to a fun weekend ahead!

Want to venture a little further afield? Local favorite Zig Zag Café is just a 10-minute walk away, tucked along the side of the Pike Street Hillclimb. Sip on a fragrant Ginger’s Snap or choose from a lengthy list of liquor options at the spot credited with putting Seattle’s cocktail scene back on the map in the early aughts. (Inside tip: You can also check out our city-wide rundown of some of the best cocktail haunts!)

Sip an expertly-crafted martini as you watch the hustle and bustle of downtown pass by at Oliver’s Lounge. Credit: Mayflower Park Hotel

Day 2

10:20 a.m. – Serious Pie & Biscuit

Summon a Lyft or make the 15-minute walk past Denny Park to the sun-soaked, industrial-chic Serious Pie & Biscuit. Fuel up for a day of exploration with a hearty baked egg skillet straight out of the wood fire oven or nosh on their ham, egg and cheddar sandwich on a buttermilk biscuit. No matter what you settle on, don’t skip a side of their bacon fat home fries!

11:30 a.m. – Belltown and Pike Place Shopping

Walk off your breakfast and get a jump on some holiday shopping at the unique boutiques and gift shops scattered throughout Belltown’s historic neighborhood. Duck into consignment shopping mecca Sell Your Sole for curated designer threads and accessories that are a little easier on the wallet. Pop down the street to Sassafras to browse sustainable attire made by local PNW designers and artists.

From there, head toward the water to make a stop at Pike Place Market. Cruise through the Crafts Market for artisan wares offered by more than 200 vendors, where you can find everything from paintings and pottery to jewelry and leather goods.

Take the stairs down to the lower level of the Market for an array of little shops that specialize in unique products like vinyl records, magic supplies and maps from around the world. With an extensive labyrinth of more than one hundred stores, we won’t blame you if you have a hard time pulling yourself away from all the shopping goodness.

Peruse local goods like fresh flowers and local honey at Pike Place Market. Credit: Haydn Blackey

1:45 p.m. – Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

Hail a cab or hop on the nearby South Lake Union streetcar to venture up to the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI). Get inspired to be your most creative self as you explore exhibits highlighting the region’s diverse history of creators. Learn all about the innovations that have established Seattle as a hotbed of imagination and ingenuity, from the software on your computer to your cup of coffee in the morning!

Natural history more your thing? The Pacific Science Center is the perfect fit. Spend an afternoon immersed in a jungle full of butterflies, having your mind blown in the Planetarium and traveling back in time to meet the dinosaurs. Or take in a screening at their state-of-the-art IMAX theater! Choose from a selection of nature documentaries or catch one of the rotating feature films, all playing on the largest movie screen in Seattle.

Perched on the edge of Lake Union, a visit to MOHAI will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the city around you. Credit: Flickr user sea turtle

4:30 p.m. – Banya 5

After a day of pounding the pavement, warm up and chill out at Banya 5 urban day spa. Luxuriate in an 80-minute-long Signature Massage or try out something a little different with a moisturizing Coconut Shea Wrap. Extend your relaxation with a visit to Banya’s Russian-style sauna, soaking pools and Turkish steam room – which you can buy a pass to visit a la carte if a spa treatment isn’t in your budget.

7:15 p.m. – Lost Lake Café

Rested and refreshed after some time in a soaking pool, make your way over to Capitol Hill for dinner at Lost Lake Café. Decked out in retro décor with serious Twin Peaks vibes, this is an excellent spot for a comforting meal in a cozy booth. The only challenge at Lost Lake? Narrowing down your order from their extensive diner-inspired menu, which offers everything from a chicken quesadilla to a mushroom & swiss burger and even a pot roast dinner!

Tuck into classic comfort food at Capitol Hill’s Lost Lake Cafe. Credit: Joe Wolf

9:00 p.m. – Hotel Sorrento’s Fireside Lounge

From glitzy decorations to seasonal food and drink menus, the impeccably-appointed Hotel Sorrento is just the spot to end your evening on a swanky note. Settle into a velvet-swathed couch in the Fireside Room, sip on a Maple Bourbon Old Fashioned and soak in the glam, old school atmosphere.

Hotel Sorrento’s Fireside Room offers up the coziest possible environment for a wintry happy hour. Photo courtesy of Hotel Sorrento

Day 3

7:00 a.m. – Clipper Café at Pier 69 (8:00 am departure)

Make your way to the Clipper terminal on the Seattle waterfront for the ferry ride back to Victoria. After a quick check-in at the front counter, swing by Clipper Café for a melty breakfast burrito or an Ellenos Yogurt parfait with fruit and granola. (Have an earlier boarding number? You can also order breakfast items like our smoked salmon platter or pastries from Macrina Bakery onboard the Victoria Clipper V.)

On the ride home, be sure to take full advantage of the outer deck upstairs! Whether you pop out to catch the shrinking Seattle skyline or the jagged peaks of the Olympic Peninsula, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything more serene or stunning.

Bid farewell to the skyline with a mimosa in hand from the back deck of the Victoria Clipper. Credit: Brenna Ciummo

Featured image: Chad Peltola