Making the Most of a 12-Hour Layover in Seattle

February 18, 2016
Kayla Bernardino
3 min read
Layover in Seattle

Hello fellow travelers and trip planners! WeTravel is the trip organizing platform to help you organize your group trip or find the next trip you’d like to take. While you are awaiting your final destination, sometimes life has you stuck in interesting places. Here’s one of our travelers, Kayla, who made the most out of a long layover in Seattle, Washington. 

 A few months ago, my mother and I decided to book a spontaneous trip to Anchorage, Alaska. Tasked with raising four children, she unfortunately has never had the chance to fulfill her dreams of traveling. I hope that will change now that I’m old enough to afford such trips (even with a meager college student income). My goal is to take her (and my father) to as many places as possible!

Pike Place Market

While looking at flights to Anchorage, I happened to find one with a 12-hour layover in Seattle, Washington. I hate short layovers (i.e. 1-3 hours) because you’re stuck in the airport the entire time. However, I’m always game for long ones and was able to convince my mother as well. When there’s an opportunity to take in the sights of another city, why not? We were in no rush to make it to Anchorage, so we had the luxury of traveling at our own pace.

With nearly half a day to kill in the “Rain City,” my mother and I opted for museums and the typical touristy attractions. Like most people, I love finding places off the beaten track. At the same time, attractions are attractions for a reason, and I do think such sites are worth visiting at least once.

Upon arrival in Seattle, we grabbed a bite at Caffè Umbria before catching a Lyft ride to Pike Place Market. Featuring unique shops by local craftsmen, farmers, and merchants, it is a fun market to walk through and great for souvenir shopping (not too much for us though, since we wanted to travel light in Alaska). Pike Place is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world (Top 50), and my mother really enjoyed browsing the wares.

Next up was Chihuly Garden and Glass, a museum showcasing the glass art of the world-famous Dale Chihuly. The exhibit is right next to the Space Needle, so it’s easy to kill two birds with one stone. We purchased our tickets online for the sake of convenience, but the day we went, there was actually no line at the ticket counter. Based on TripAdvisor comments, that’s not always the case. So if you’re planning to visit the area, consider the season you’re going and the tourist demand.


After relaxing at the top of the Space Needle for an hour, we also popped on over to the Experience Music Project Museum, where we listened to audio recordings about pop culture, read through hand-written lyrics by Jimi Hendrix, and watched music videos on one of the largest screens I’ve ever seen. We didn’t have too much time left after that, so we quickly grabbed clam chowder bread bowls at the Pacific Place Mall before catching the light rail service back to the airport. All in all, it was a successful day– and definitely worth delaying our arrival to Alaska!


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