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Trolls, tunnels, and tunes: 48 Hours in Seattle

The hidden gems of the Emerald City.

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Created by Roadtrippers - March 22nd 2016

Known for coffee, rainy weather, and grunge, Seattle takes pride in being a little offbeat. In fact, they take being quirky and ahead of the curve pretty seriously. The city did give us Starbucks and Nirvana, after all. Spend your 48 hours in the Emerald City exploring old Seattle favorites as well as looking for the next big thing.

Photo of The Fremont Troll

3405 Troll Ave N, Seattle, WA, US

The Fremont Troll

Meet Seattle's most beloved citizen: The Fremont Troll! This massive public sculpture is located under the George Washington Memorial Bridge, and is a play on the classic Scandinavian Billy Goats Gruff fairy tale.

Photo of Pike Place Market

85 Pike St, Seattle, WA, US

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is one of the city's most popular attractions, and for a good reason: it's a microcosm of everything that makes Seattle what it is. Views of the ocean, fresh seafood, locally-sourced goodies, coffee shops, great people watching, and other quirky offerings can be found here.

Photo of Market Theater Gum Wall

94 Pike St, Ste 32, Seattle, WA, US

Market Theater Gum Wall

Tragically, Market Theater Gum Wall was scraped clean in November of 2015...but of course, The Man can't keep such an important piece of Seattle history down, and within hours, the first few wads of gum were back on this alley wall in Pike Place. When they cleaned it, though, they removed over 2,000 pounds of chewed up gum.

1530 Post Aly, Seattle, WA, US

Pike Place Chowder

If you're not too grossed out by the gum to grab a bite to eat, you should sample one of the city's favorite dishes: chowder. They offer different kinds at Pike Place Chowder. The Market Chowder is a great way to go, since it just has whatever the chef thinks looks best that day, but they also make a mean smoked salmon chowder, and even have a vegan, gluten-free option.

Photo of Science Fiction Museum at EMP

963 Pike St, Seattle, WA, US

Science Fiction Museum at EMP

The EMP is a museum dedicated to everything pop culture, which means exhibits on everything from indie games and Hello Kitty to horror movies and Jimi Hendrix. The Science Fiction Museum housed within is a favorite: artifacts from "Star Trek," "Blade Runner," "Mars Attacks!", "Dune," "Terminator 2," and more can be found here.

Photo of Olympic Sculpture Park

2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, Seattle, WA, US

Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture Park is a 9-acre public park, sculpture museum, and beach, and it's a great way to appreciate the coastal views of Puget Sound. It makes for an especially pretty stroll right at sunset.

1300 N 45th St, Seattle, WA, US

Archie Mcphee

At Ballard's Archie Mcphee, you can find some of the absolute weirdest novelty toys you've ever seen in a store filled with stuff you don't need at all, but desperately want. Displays of bizarre creatures, like the mysterious "Wallingford Beast," line the walls, bacon-flavored candy sits near the register, and toys like boxing nuns, unicorn horns for your cat, and boxes of bedpans all beg to be bought. You'll buy this stuff to give to friends, but we all know you're going to keep it for yourself.

4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA, US

The Walrus and the Carpenter

A great cocktail menu, a simple atmosphere, and, of course, outstandingly fresh oysters and seafood keep people coming back to The Walrus and the Carpenter for a nice but laid back meal. And if you don't go for seafood, there's always steak tartare, seared duck breast, and foie gras mousse.

1356 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA, US

Knee High Stocking Company

You can text for a reservation at Knee High Stocking Company if you want, but when you arrive, you have to ring the doorbell (don't be freaked out that there isn't a sign, it's all a part of the speakeasy theme.) They offer awesome craft cocktails, and use pretty much any and all booze, so there's sure to be something for everyone.

1524 Minor Ave, Seattle, WA, US

Still Liquor

Still Liquor is a converted 1920's garage, and is a little quieter and more laid-back then Knee High Stocking Company, with a selection of awesome beers and wines to go with their cocktail menu.

Photo of Hotel Max

620 Stewart Street, Seattle, WA, US

Hotel Max


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Hotel Max is easily the most effortlessly cool lodging in the Emerald City. There's no doubt that the meticulously-designed and decorated hotel has a pretty keen sense of style, but it's all the quirky extras that really make this place stand out: a pillow menu, a free happy hour, and an entire floor dedicated to the legendary Sub Pop Records, are among the offbeat offerings.

1400 East Union St, Seattle, WA, US

Skillet Diner

When you're ready for an out-of-this-world breakfast experience, the Skillet Diner is probably the most intense brunch in the city. They offer incredible cornmeal and pork belly waffles, a mind-blowing fried chicken sandwich, and rich biscuits and gravy. But if you're feeling indulgent, they even have a burger on the menu.

704 Terry Ave, Seattle, WA, US

Frye Art Museum

Free admission and parking are great, but the exhibits in the little but still impressive Frye Art Museum are worth paying for. Their rotating offerings can lean more offbeat (they recently had Russian propaganda posters), and it's a cozy, intimate atmosphere.

404 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA, US

Salumi Artisan Cured Meats

You haven't had salami until you've had it from Salumi Artisan Cured Meats. Different spices and flavors, like mole, oregano, and paprika, among others, are combined with amazing cheeses and fresh bread to make mouthwatering sandwiches.

Photo of Seattle Underground Tunnels

608 First Avenue, Seattle, WA, US

Seattle Underground Tunnels

It's hard to believe, but the Seattle you see today was literally built on top of the original city. Flooding, fires, and plagues caused the city to decide to regrade the streets a level above the original, and what was once the street level of the buildings became hidden. You can tour the Seattle Underground Tunnels and old basements, which have been decorated to look as they did in the 19th and early 20th centuries, for an interesting look at the city's history.

508 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA, US

Seattle Pinball Museum

The Seattle Pinball Museum is all about pinball. They have machines from as far back as the 1960's, the world's largest pinball machine, and a massive collection of classics. Plus, it's a flat rate for unlimited free play, so you don't have to worry about quarters.

304 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA, US


You'll have to make a reservation at Maneki in order to get a table, but it'll be worth it. This Japanese restaurant has been open for over 100 years, and has consistently served up some of the city's best sushi. Plus, the prices are shockingly reasonable.

Photo of The Crocodile

2137 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA, US

The Crocodile

You can't come to Seattle and not enjoy some live music, and The Crocodile is a low-key venue that makes for a great place to catch a show. Not only because they were among the first places that Nirvana performed, but because it remains a great place to discover a new and totally cool act.

The best time of year for your 48-hour Seattle getaway: Spring is rainy, and winter can be pretty cold here (although there's some great skiing in the area), so summer and fall are ideal times to visit. The overall temperatures remain pretty mild, despite the fact that the city is known for its drizzly weather.


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