Of course you’re going to see the Space Needle and explore around Pike Place. When you do, don’t bother paying to go to the top (I’ll tell you where to get a better view for free), look up in Fisher Plaza for the Grey’s Anatomy Helipad and be sure to stop in BLMF Literary Saloon and the Polish Pottery Place downstairs after you throw some fish, brunch at Athenian and take pics of the #gumwall. When you’re walking the outdoor area, look for the Ballard Wine Works vendor for some of the most well-priced handcrafted wine butlers you’ll find made in the U.S. and some seriously meticulous penned artwork.

Once you have that out of your system, here are 12 Seattle Spots for a weekend trip to the U.S.’s fastest-growing city!

Metsker’s Map Store

metskers_maps_seattle metskers_maps_seattle

This place is on my list of favorite storefronts in the world (T-Site, you also make the cut). Places that just strike a chord in your heart you can’t ever unhear and have to mention to everyone who says they’ll be nearby.

Metsker’s Maps has been a family-owned staple in Seattle for more than 60 years with wall-to-wall maps, travel planning books, globes, cards, maps and more maps. This is where wanderlusters go to heaven.

Fremont Troll 

Fremont_Troll_Seattle

A real-life Three Billy Goats Gruff. This installation went up in 1990 to dissuade homeless and drug dealers from using the under bridge as a home base. Fast forward 15 years and “Troll Street” has been renamed and is a highly photographed local attraction. Great success.

Underground Tour

seattle_underground_tour

If you’re at all interested in the history of cities, do not miss this tour! Seattle was built on prostitution (shoutout Madame Lou Graham) and currently exists an entire floor above what it used to in 1889. Learn the whole story and more fun facts on this walking tour starting in Pioneer Square for $18.

EMP Museum 

empmuseum_seattle

Not everyone is into museums. This one’s pretty cool. Covering contemporary popular culture, anyone who’s been alive for the past decade will easily find a level of interest in the collections, and there are a bunch of interactive displays to keep you on your toes. The EMP Museum costs the same as a trip to the movie theater, but covers more than a dozen instead.

The Crab Pot

crap_pot_seattle

These guys serve crab stuffed shrimp. Sure, there are a ton of great restaurants off the pier, but really… crab. stuffed. shrimp. On the water. And this Pot. Don’t even try to resist taking food pics.

Canon

canon_seattle

Capitol Hill is prime area for bar scene nightlife, and both Canon and Rhein Haus – formerly Von Trapps – next door have a low max capacity so be prepared to wait to get in. Canon boasts the world’s best drink selection, Rhein Haus boasts Seattle’s largest bro selection. Whatever floats your fancy.

Keys on Main

keys-on-main-seattle

Paper song request in a fishbowl modern live piano bar. So much talent here. Tip your bartenders.

Unicorn

unicorn-seattle

image c/o foursquare

Really wish I had better pics of Unicorn, but feel free to scroll through a Flickr search for reasoning why it makes the list as a unique bar experience. Welcome to fantasy-land. If it’s your birthday, you get to wear this extra-large unicorn umm, horn, to wear. Things get weird quick here.

Kerry Park

kerrypark_seattle

Kerry Park is where you get the best view of downtown Seattle, including the Space Needle since you’re not in it, for the free. It’s a tiny green on a hill, so be prepared for street parking. Definitely bring your tripod if that’s up your alley! This pic is from February when I was still rocking team iPhone camera.

Snoqualmie Falls

snoqualmie_falls_seattle snoqualmie_falls_seattle

Not quite as far out (or arduous) as Mount Ranier, Snoqualmie Falls and the attached Salish Lodge are a top pacific northwest vantage point, calling more than 1.5 million visitors annually. It’s Washington’s most famous falls by far, and if you stay out here overnight, the 8-course breakfast at Salish is supposed to be divine.

Rattlesnake Lake

rattlesnake_lake_seattle

When you’re this close, don’t miss out on a less captured spectacular view! Rattlesnake Lake is a beautiful area to hike (or swim, if you’re feeling frisky). You’ll likely lose cell service and it’s a dark walk back to the car from sunset so set your map up in advance and bring a light source with battery to spare. When you’re driving back in to the city, The Riverbend Cafe is Seattle’s Calamity Jane’s equivalent — the vibe is strange but it’s just somewhere you have to stop.

Count the 12’s!

seattle-12s

Image c/o PixGood

Football is a big deal around here, to say the least. Loyal Seahawks call themselves the “12’s,” representative of the 12th man on the team. Think of Seattle’s 12’s as the way our prominent flag displays are perceived by non-American tourists. Drinking game: shot every 12th 12? You’re up!

And you guys? What Seattle spots do you recommend for a weekend trip?