Mount Si picture
UpTop Imaging/Getty Images

Key Info

Mount Si Road

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
3.7scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

If you don't have time to make the drive to Mount Rainier (about 80 miles southeast of downtown Seattle), Mount Si offers a popular alternative. Sitting about 30 miles east of the city center, Mount Si offers several opportunities to strap on your hiking boots and hit the trails. According to most, Mount Si is also a good place to get warmed up before tackling some of the more challenging trails found in nearby Mount Rainier National Park.

On a clear day, views from the summit stretch across the city to the Olympic Mountains. The Mount Si trail to the summit is about an 8-mile hike there and back with an elevation gain of 3,100 feet. Many recent travelers said the hike is a fun way to get in some exercise on vacation, though they add it is definitely not for novices. Inexperienced hikers may want to stick to the trails in Discovery Park. Others were impressed with the great condition of the trail. Note: There are restrooms located at the bottom of the trail, but no facilities along the path.

If you plan to drive, the easiest route from downtown Seattle is to follow I-90 East to Mount Si Road. You'll need a one-day $11.50 Discovery Pass in order to park and hike the trails. Between April and October, travelers can utilize the Trailhead Direct shuttle provided by King County Metro Transit, which offers service between the Capitol Hill Link light rail and Mount Si. Check the King County website for schedules and fares. For more information on Mount Si, visit the Washington Trail Association website and to purchase your passes in advance, visit the Discovery Pass website

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#1 Pike Place Market

Since 1907, this bustling market near the downtown waterfront has been the go-to place for local produce. Today, you can find almost everything, from local artwork to vinyl records. Plus, the flower market is a particular must-see, according to reviewers. Though Pike Place Market is one of the most tourist-heavy attractions in Seattle (plan to run into crowds, especially during the weekend) that's no reason to scratch it off your to-do list. Recent visitors said the abundance of vendors and lively atmosphere make it an experience you shouldn't pass up, no matter how busy it gets. 

The streets surrounding Pike Place Market are peppered with restaurants and coffee shops, and there's an information booth just west of the marketplace at First Avenue. If you want a little help navigating the massive market, guided tours and food tours are available from third-party companies. You can find a list on the market's website here.

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Alan Alabastro/Visit Seattle
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