“Sleepless in Seattle: Top Quirky and Fun Places to Stay in the Emerald City”

fun places to stay in Seattle by the waterfront

We narrowed our search for fun places to stay in Seattle, but the Palihotel was our number one pick, and we couldn’t have been happier with our decision. The Emerald City has some of the best luxury hotels, boutique hotels, and unique places to stay.

While we will mainly focus on the Pali Hotel, we will share a few others that were front runners on our most recent couples getaway weekend in Seattle. An indoor pool was a line item on our list, but a hotel with a pool was around 100 more a night. A fitness center and indoor pool are not worth that much in our book since we would rather experience the city and just give us an excuse not to leave the hotel. While those might be important to some, we tend not to make them a focal point of our trips and only use them as a way to add a rest day. Well, share those later but let’s plan this fun trip to Seattle.

Finding Fun Places to Stay in Seattle

Planning a vacation of any kind is an exciting endeavor, and one of the key elements that can make or break your trip is choosing the perfect fun place to stay in Seattle. While comfort and convenience are very important factors for us, a truly memorable couples getaway often hinges on discovering an amusing and delightful accommodation.

We wanted somewhere fun and cute with a great location in the downtown area. For the past few visits, we have stayed in Downtown. Next trip, we will stay on one of the islands nearby and use the ferry or train to get to the City to experience more of Washington State.

For now, we still have a lot to explore when it comes to Downtown Seattle, and we wanted to be right along the water. In this post, we will break down not only fun places to stay in Seattle and the best boutique hotels, what makes a place fun to stay during your vacation, and a few places first-time visitors must do so you can also create unforgettable memories on your next Seattle trip. 

Fun places to Stay in Seattle

If you’re planning a visit to the city, finding fun places to stay in Seattle is just the beginning. This list of hotels will help you experience the city to its fullest.

Palihotel Fun places to stay in seattle

Palisociety Hotel 

If you’re seeking a one-of-a-kind hotel experience that combines artistry, charm, and a sense of community, look no further than Palisociety Hotel. Palisociety hotels offer an immersive stay that goes beyond mere accommodation. 

These hotels are strategically placed in vibrant neighborhoods, allowing them to immerse themselves in the local culture and discover the hidden gem of the area. You literally step out the front door and see the Pike’s Market Sign. 

Whether you’re traveling solo or with your partner, Palisociety offers a range of accommodations to suit your needs. From intimate rooms with cozy nooks to spacious suites with beautiful views, you’ll find the perfect space to relax and rejuvenate.

If you want to enhance your stay with add-ons, Palisociety knows exactly how to make your stay extra special.

Couples Getaway Weekend

On this particular trip, we were celebrating 8 years of marriage, and this would be our second trip away from our daughter. My husband called ahead to arrange a special add-on. He selected a bottle of champagne and cupcakes. This was the perfect thing for him and me to kick off our couple’s getaway in Seattle.

We opened the bottle for breakfast and had mimosas. Then, I ate cupcakes for dessert and for a late-night snack at the end of a day exploring the Emerald City. 

fun places to stay in seattle
Couples Getaway in Seattle

On the first morning, we had room service delivered before we made our way out on the town. I’ve never experienced room service quite like this, and it was one of the contributing factors to the Palihotel’s being on the fun places to stay in Seattle list.
Each day, you must fill out an order form by the night before and indicate what time you would like your order to arrive. You hang the form on your door, and the following morning, at the time you indicate, your room service comes.

It was then off to explore the City and again think about food.

room service fun places to stay in seattle palihotel
Palihouse seattle fun places to stay room add-ons

While strolling through the market area, we stumbled upon Pike Place Chowder. The line was down the street and around the corner, and every seat outside was taken. Unable to resist a good cup of chowder, we made an Uber order for pick up and decided to take it back to the room. Make sure to add a bread bowl to your order for pickup. Make sure you don’t miss out on the amazing bread.

Hanging out in our room, especially this one with a view of the waterfront and the Market, was the perfect way to cool off and relax before heading up to Capitol Hill for dinner.

More Fun Things to Do in Seattle – 56 Seattle Bucket List items.

Palihouse Hotel fun places to stay in seattle
Palihotel Seattle guest room

Overall Thoughts on Palihotel for Fun Places to Stay in Seattle

The Palihotel’s atmosphere is a mixture of urban chic and cozy comfort. As soon as you step inside, you are greeted with smiling faces and an inviting and stylish ambiance.

The guest rooms are the other part that really contributed to the reason why this is our top suggestion for fun places to stay in Seattle. The rooms were designed to maximize space and functionality without compromising on style. Each room has modern amenities, with internet and a flat-screen TV, and an old-school feel with the furniture and decor.

Overall the Palihotel Seattle provides a stylish and inviting atmosphere with fantastic customer service and wonderful guest rooms. You will find a cozy and relaxing space to make your stay in Seattle memorable.

So, if you find yourself in Seattle, make sure to stay at Palihotel Seattle. You can immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Pike Place Market, and bring back an array of culinary delights to enjoy in the comfort of your hotel room. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!”

The Edgewater Hotel

Second up on our fun places to stay in Seattle list is The Edgewater Hotel. Imagine waking up to breathtaking views of Elliott Bay, surrounded by the tranquility of the water. The Edgewater Hotel, situated on Pier 67, offers exactly that. Known for its rustic charm and luxurious accommodations, this iconic hotel has hosted legendary musicians like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. The Edgewater provides a quintessential Pacific Northwest experience with its cozy fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Hotel Max

Hotel Max is the perfect place to stay if you’re an art enthusiast or a creative soul. Located in downtown Seattle, this unique hotel showcases a vast collection of contemporary artwork from local artists. Each guest room is uniquely designed, and the hotel features a curated selection of music and literary works to inspire your stay. Don’t forget to check out their “Sub Pop” floor, dedicated to Seattle’s renowned music label.

The Arctic Club Seattle – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

Step back in time at The Arctic Club, a beautifully restored hotel that pays homage to Seattle’s gold rush era. This historic landmark features elegant rooms, a magnificent dome ceiling in the lobby, and an impressive collection of Alaskan artifacts. Don’t miss the opportunity to relax in the famous Polar Bar, where you can enjoy a classic cocktail while surrounded by intriguing polar memorabilia.

Sleeping in a Houseboat

As one of the truly fun places to stay in Seattle and a unique way to truly embrace Seattle’s unique maritime culture, consider staying in a houseboat on Lake Union. Houseboat rentals provide a one-of-a-kind experience, offering picturesque views of the city skyline and the peaceful waters. It’s a fantastic option for those seeking a tranquil getaway, with the added charm of being close to popular attractions like the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI).

Maxwell Hotel

Maxwell Hotel is nestled in the heart of Seattle’s dynamic lower Queen Anne neighborhood and welcomes you to a world of vibrant style and unparalleled comfort. With its contemporary design, friendly atmosphere, and convenient location, the Maxwell Hotel offers a unique and memorable stay for both leisure and business travelers. Let’s explore what makes the Maxwell Hotel a standout choice for your visit to Seattle.

Inn at the Market

Located in the heart of Seattle’s vibrant Pike Place Market, the Inn at the Market is a true gem among hotels. This boutique inn offers an unmatched experience, combining comfort, style, and breathtaking views of the market and Elliott Bay. With its luxurious accommodations, personalized service, and proximity to world-class dining and shopping, the Inn at the Market is the perfect base for exploring Seattle’s iconic attractions. Wake up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and step outside to immerse yourself in the bustling energy of Pike Place Market. Whether you’re a foodie, an art enthusiast, or a nature lover, this exceptional hotel ensures a memorable stay in the heart of the city.

Hotel Sorrento

Welcome to the enchanting Hotel Sorrento in Seattle, where history meets luxury. Nestled in the vibrant First Hill neighborhood, this iconic hotel exudes old-world charm and elegance. With its classic architecture, refined decor, and impeccable service, Hotel Sorrento offers a timeless experience for discerning travelers. Indulge in the comfortable and tastefully decorated rooms, dine at the acclaimed onsite restaurant, and unwind in the cozy fireside lounge. Immerse yourself in the rich history of this landmark hotel, which has been hosting guests since 1909. Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, Hotel Sorrento promises an unforgettable stay, blending modern comfort with a touch of nostalgia.

What makes a hotel count as one of the fun places to stay in Seattle

Finding fun places to stay in Seattle is not difficult. This town is unique, fun, and eclectic, but here are our top tips for finding a fun place to stay in any city.

places to stay in seattle


First and foremost, the #1 thing that will contribute to the fun factor of a place to stay is its location. Opt for accommodations that are centrally located or near attractions, beaches, or natural wonders. Easy access to points of interest allows you to maximize your time and immerse yourself in the destination’s unique experiences without spending excessive time commuting. The Pali specifically was a 5-minute walk to the train for public transportation and a perfect ride to the airport. Location, as with real estate and all other things in life, matters.

Palihotel entry way fun places to stay in seattle

Unique Themes and Features

Distinctive themes or unique features can add an extra layer of fun to your vacation. Whether it’s a treehouse nestled in a lush forest, a retro-themed motel with vintage decor, or a beachfront villa with a private pool, these unique offerings can enhance the overall experience and create lasting memories. Look for places that align with your interests and preferences, allowing you to immerse yourself in a world of whimsy and imagination.

Engaging Amenities and Activities

A fun place to stay often goes beyond just a comfortable bed and basic amenities. Seek accommodations that offer engaging activities and amenities tailored to your interests. This could include things like on-site water sports, hiking trails, cooking classes, or even access to cultural events. Choosing a place that offers exciting experiences right at your hotelsteps lets you indulge in leisure activities without venturing too far from your accommodation.

sitting area in Palihotel Fun places to stay in seattle

Social and Community Space

A vibrant social atmosphere can significantly contribute to the enjoyment of your vacation. Consider accommodations that provide communal areas such as game rooms, rooftop lounges, or outdoor gathering spaces. These areas can foster interactions with fellow travelers, creating opportunities for new friendships, shared experiences, and a sense of camaraderie. Additionally, look for accommodations that host social events or organize group activities, allowing you to connect with like-minded individuals.

Local Experience and Authenticity

To truly immerse yourself in the destination, opt for accommodations that reflect the local culture and offer authentic experiences. This could include boutique hotels with locally-inspired decor, guesthouses run by friendly locals, or eco-lodges that prioritize sustainability and support the local community. Staying in such places not only provides a unique insight into the local way of life but also supports the local economy and preserves the authenticity of the destination.

Guest Accommodations

While a warm and inviting atmosphere is part of the guest room experience when selecting fun places to stay, having a welcome gift enhances your stay. Many hotels have packages for couples’ getaways, mini-bar, snacks, and in-room spa packages. The little details can make a big difference in creating an extraordinary and unique guest experience. 

When it comes to selecting a place to stay on vacation, it’s essential to go beyond the functionality and prioritize the elements of fun. A truly enjoyable accommodation can elevate your travel experience, creating lasting memories and a sense of adventure. From a well-located establishment to unique themes, engaging amenities, social spaces, and a touch of authenticity, the right place to stay can transform an ordinary vacation into an extraordinary one. So, before you embark on your next adventure, take the time to consider these key factors and hotels and choose a place that promises fun, excitement, and an unforgettable journey. 

the great wheel seattle fun things to do

Things to do in Seattle 

Now that you have selected one of the fun places to stay in Seattle, its time to find things to do. If you are a first-time visitor, there are a few places you will have to go in the Seattle area. Start your exploration at Pike Place Market, a bustling hub of fresh produce, local crafts, and iconic fishmongers.

Stroll along the waterfront and take in the stunning views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Visit the Space Needle for panoramic views of the City, and explore the surrounding Seattle Center, home to museums, theaters, and the International Fountain. Discover the cultural richness of Seattle neighborhoods like Pioneer Square, known for its historic architecture, and Capitol Hill, brimming with trendy shops, restaurants, and nightlife.

Finally, don’t miss out on the coffee culture by indulging in a cup of java at one of the City’s many renowned coffee shops. From iconic landmarks to vibrant neighborhoods, Seattle offers a range of experiences that are sure to leave a lasting impression on any visitor.

With so many tourist attractions and things to do within walking distance, you will not run out of things to do in Seattle.

Seattle Space Needle Things to do in Seattle

Space Needle

If you want to make your way to the iconic space needle, there are a few ways to get there. The monorail was our favorite, especially since it was a short walk. Just recently completed, the public transportation monorail runs from downtown Seattle to the Space Needle every 10ish minutes. Our first time visiting the needle, it was under construction and currently has been completed and looks absolutely fabulous.

Smith Tower fun things to do in seattle
Smith Tower fun things to do in seattle

Smith Tower

Seattle’s Smith Tower is an architectural gem that stands tall as a symbol of the City’s history and charm. As one of the tallest buildings in Seattle for over 100 years, the Smith Tower, similar to the Space Needle, will give you beautiful city views and a perfect look at Mount Rainier on a clear day. This historic building has a small tour before you head to the 35th-floor observation deck for cocktails and appetizers overlooking the City. The vintage-inspired Chinese Room transports you back in time with its opulent decor and timeless elegance. Smith Tower offers a captivating and nostalgic experience that encapsulates the essence of this vibrant City.

The Great Wheel fun things to do in seattle
The Great Wheel at sunset fun things to do in seattle

Great Wheel

The Great Wheel in Seattle is an iconic landmark that offers a thrilling and unforgettable experience. Rising high above the City’s waterfront, this towering Ferris wheel provides breathtaking panoramic views of Seattle’s skyline, Elliott Bay, and the majestic Mount Rainier. Step into one of the comfortable gondolas and embark on a captivating ride that combines exhilaration and awe-inspiring scenery. Whether you choose a daytime ride to marvel at the City’s bustling activity or a nighttime ride to be dazzled by the city lights, the Great Wheel promises an enchanting adventure. It’s a must-visit attraction that captures the essence of Seattle’s beauty and offers a unique perspective on the Emerald City.

Starbucks Reserve Fun things to do in Seattle
Starbucks Reserve Cold Brew Malt Fun things to do in Seattle

Visit the many coffee shops in Seattle

Coffee culture is HUGE in Seattle. Visiting the numerous coffee shops in Seattle is a caffeine lover’s dream come true. From the iconic Starbucks Reserve Roastery to cozy local cafes, the City is a mecca for coffee enthusiasts. Start your day at the birthplace of Starbucks in Pike Place Market, sipping on a signature brew. Explore the diverse range of specialty coffee shops, where skilled baristas craft unique and flavorful concoctions. From latte art to single-origin beans, the coffee culture in Seattle is rich and thriving. Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or simply appreciate a great cup of joe, Seattle’s coffee scene promises a delightful journey of flavors and discovery. The Starbucks Reserve Roastery is a really fun experience, and we actually went back the next day to try a few other things.

World famous Pikes Market fun things to do in seattle

Famous Pike Place Market

Famous Pike Place Market is a bustling, iconic Seattle landmark. It captivates visitors with its unique charm and is vibrant, diverse, and energetic. Overflowing with colorful stalls and artisan shops, the market showcases of fresh produce, delectable seafood, local crafts, and vibrant flowers. The lively atmosphere is punctuated by street performers, enticing aromas, and the lively banter of vendors. From the iconic fishmongers tossing their catch to the original Starbucks, Pike Place embodies the spirit of Seattle, offering a sensory feast that delights locals and tourists. It’s a must-visit destination where history, culture, and culinary delights converge.

Pioneer Square fun things to do in seattle

Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square, Seattle’s historic neighborhood, gives off a captivating blend of old-world charm and contemporary vibrancy. Cobblestone streets wind through beautifully preserved Victorian buildings, creating a timeless ambiance. As the City’s birthplace, Pioneer Square boasts a rich history and architectural wonders, including the iconic Smith Tower. Art galleries, live music, boutiques, and trendy restaurants line the streets, offering visitors a diverse range of experiences. Occidental Square, a picturesque park at the heart of the neighborhood, invites relaxation and community gatherings. With its thriving arts scene, and captivating architecture, Pioneer Square is a testament to Seattle’s past and present, making it a must-see.

Seattle Art Museum (SAM) fun things to do in seattle

Seattle Art Museum

Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is a cultural treasure in downtown Seattle’s heart. Spanning three unique buildings, it offers an immersive experience celebrating art in all forms. With its impressive collection of global artworks, SAM showcases diverse perspectives and narratives that inspire, challenge, and provoke thought. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, the museum invites visitors to embark on a journey of discovery through its exhibitions. Engaging educational programs, interactive installations, and community collaborations foster a sense of connection and dialogue. With its commitment to artistic excellence and fostering creativity, Seattle Art Museum serves as a vibrant cultural hub that enriches the lives of visitors and locals alike.

Paramount Theatre

Paramount Theatre, nestled in the heart of downtown Seattle, is a beloved cultural hub that has captivated audiences for over 90 years. This stunning venue combines historic charm with a welcoming atmosphere, making it a place where everyone can feel at home. From its eye-catching marquee to its beautifully designed interiors, the theater exudes a sense of timeless elegance. Whether you’re a fan of Broadway shows, live concerts, or other performances, Paramount Theatre offers an unforgettable experience that brings entertainment to life. With its rich history and exceptional talent, the theater invites you to be a part of the magic and create lasting memories in a truly special setting.

Olympic Sculpture Park

On Seattle’s waterfront, Olympic Sculpture Park is a breathtaking outdoor oasis that seamlessly blends art, nature, and urban life. Spanning nine acres, the park showcases a captivating collection of contemporary sculptures by renowned artists worldwide. As you wander along its winding paths, you’ll be immersed in a sensory journey of creativity and natural beauty. The stunning views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains provide a picturesque backdrop to the thought-provoking artworks. With its open spaces, lush greenery, and interactive installations, Olympic Sculpture Park offers a tranquil retreat where visitors can connect with art, embrace nature, and find inspiration in the intersection of culture and the outdoors.

Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo, located in the heart of Seattle, is a captivating destination that brings the wonders of the animal kingdom to life. Spanning 92 acres, this world-class zoo is home to a diverse collection of wildlife from around the globe. As you explore its lush pathways, you’ll encounter majestic lions, playful penguins, towering giraffes, and so much more. With a strong emphasis on conservation and education, Woodland Park Zoo offers engaging exhibits, interactive experiences, and informative programs that inspire visitors of all ages to connect with nature and become stewards of the planet. From the immersive habitats to the passionate staff, a visit to Woodland Park Zoo is a thrilling and educational adventure that fosters a deeper appreciation for the beauty and diversity of our animal kingdom.

Kerry Park 

Perched on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, Kerry Park is a hidden gem that offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the City’s skyline and the majestic Mount Rainier. With its small and intimate setting, this beloved park captures the essence of Seattle’s charm. Whether you visit during the day or at sunset, you’ll be treated to an awe-inspiring vista that includes iconic landmarks like the Space Needle and Elliott Bay. Surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens and a cozy seating area, Kerry Park provides a tranquil space to relax, snap memorable photographs, and soak in the beauty of Seattle’s skyline in all its glory.

Hot Tub Boat

Hot tub boats in Seattle offer a truly unique and unforgettable experience on the water. These innovative vessels combine the joy of cruising with the relaxation of a private hot tub. Imagine floating along Seattle’s stunning waterways, soaking in warm, bubbling waters, and taking in breathtaking views of the city skyline or the surrounding natural beauty. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, enjoying a romantic getaway, or simply seeking a fun adventure with friends, hot tub boats provide a delightful and luxurious way to explore Seattle from a whole new perspective. With the ability to steer your own course and the ultimate in relaxation at your fingertips, hot tub boats promise an experience that will make memories to last a lifetime.

Explore University District 

Exploring Seattle’s University District is a vibrant and dynamic experience that immerses you in the lively energy of a college town. This eclectic neighborhood is located near the University of Washington and offers various attractions and activities. From bustling street markets and charming coffee shops to quirky boutiques and trendy eateries, there’s something to satisfy every interest and taste. Take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful campus grounds, visit the engaging museums, or catch a live performance at one of the theaters. With its youthful atmosphere, intellectual buzz, and a melting pot of cultures, the University District is a captivating destination that showcases the true essence of Seattle’s vibrant spirit.

Alki Beach

Alki Beach is a picturesque waterfront destination in West Seattle that offers a perfect blend of sandy shores, stunning views, and a laid-back atmosphere. Its expansive sandy beach invites visitors to bask in the sun, build sandcastles, and enjoy picnics with a backdrop of the Seattle skyline. The beach has vibrant cafes, charming shops, and local eateries that cater to all tastes. For a unique experience, hop on the West Seattle Water Taxi, which provides a scenic and convenient ride across Elliott Bay, offering breathtaking views of downtown Seattle. Alki Beach is a beloved spot for locals and tourists alike, offering relaxation, recreation, and unforgettable memories by the waterfront.

Museum of Pop Culture

The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) in Seattle is an immersive journey into the world of popular culture. This vibrant museum celebrates the creative expressions that shape our modern society, from music and film to video games and science fiction. The iconic building, designed by Frank Gehry, reflects the museum’s innovative and dynamic spirit. Inside, you’ll find engaging exhibits that showcase the evolution of popular culture, featuring artifacts, memorabilia, and interactive displays. Whether you’re a music lover, a movie enthusiast, or a gaming fan, MoPOP offers a captivating and hands-on experience that transports you into the realms of imagination and creativity. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to explore the vibrant tapestry of popular culture.

Seattle Aquarium

The Seattle Aquarium is a beautiful aquatic wonderland that invites visitors to explore the diverse marine life of the Pacific Northwest. Located on the scenic Seattle waterfront, this award-winning aquarium offers an immersive and educational experience for all ages. From playful sea otters and mesmerizing jellyfish to majestic sharks and vibrant coral reefs, the exhibits showcase the incredible biodiversity of the region’s waters. Interactive touch tanks provide a hands-on encounter with tide pool creatures, while daily feedings and educational presentations offer deeper insights into the marine world. With its commitment to conservation and engaging exhibits, the Seattle Aquarium is a must-visit destination that sparks wonder and fosters a deeper appreciation for our oceans.

couples getaway weekend ferry ride to bainbride
Ferry to bainbridge island fun things to do in seattle

Ferry Ride to Bainbridge Island

Embark on a ferry ride from Downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island, a delightful excursion offering various experiences. Whether you’re seeking an all-day adventure or a quick ride back and forth, the ferry provides a scenic and convenient journey across the Puget Sound. For a small fee, you’ll board the vessel and be treated to stunning views of the Seattle skyline, the surrounding mountains, and the sparkling waters. As you approach Bainbridge Island, you’ll be greeted by its charming downtown area, filled with unique shops, galleries, and restaurants. Explore the island’s natural beauty, visit the Bloedel Reserve or the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, or savor a delicious meal while enjoying the serene island ambiance. The ferry ride to Bainbridge Island offers a perfect escape from the City and a chance to immerse yourself in the tranquility and charm of this scenic destination.

We hope this list helps you pick one of the best fun places to stay in Seattle and helps you create the best list of fun things to do in Seattle as well.

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