The Best Seattle Tours: Walking, Food, Hiking, Boat Tours and More (2024)

Interested in a walking tour that takes you to the very best places in Pike Place Market? Or maybe a hiking tour that provides round-trip transportation from Downtown Seattle to Mount Rainier?

Perhaps a coffee tour that hits up the best cafes in town? Or a boat tour providing sweet views of the skyline from the waters of Puget Sound?

I’ve been living in Seattle for several years now, and these are the best Seattle tours that I recommend to visitors who want to get to know the city a little better, with the help of informed guides.

seattle best tours

We’ve got all kinds of excursions covered, from culinary tours (seafood! chocolate! donuts!) to day tours to nearby cities (Leavenworth! Vancouver, Canada!) And this list includes several boating and sailing adventures, since Seattle is such a great place to get out on the water.

Read on for my personal recommendation of the best tours of all kinds for Seattle visitors and newcomers to the city to check out.

Note: Listed prices and itineraries are accurate as of 2024, but are always subject to change.

Quick Summary: The Most Popular Tours in Seattle
1 The Seattle Underground Tour (explore decades-old tunnels under street level)
2 The Seattle Harbor Cruise (great way to see the city from Puget Sound)
3 Mount Rainier Full Day Tour (a day in the scenic national park)

Walking Tours in Seattle

pioneer square underground tour

Seattle Underground Tour
Duration: Approximately 75 minutes. Cost: $29 per adult.

Did you know that there’s another level underneath the street level in Seattle’s oldest neighborhood, Pioneer Square? Many of the tunnels in the lower level still exist, and you can walk through a few to explore the city’s hidden history on the Seattle Underground Tour. This is the #1 most popular tour in Seattle.

The tour gives visitors a unique look into the city’s past, including its intriguing tales of prohibition and scandal. It’s also very affordable. Book the Seattle Underground Tour here.

Haunted Seattle Ghost and Pub Walking Tour
Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Cost: $38 per adult.

The Haunted Seattle Ghost and Pub Walking Tour combines tales of Seattle’s haunted history with locally-crafted beers. Embark on a journey through some of the city’s oldest establishments, known for their paranormal activity, as your guide shares spooky local history.

This tour has the added bonus of a few pints along the way, plus a visit to the infamous Seattle Gum Wall. This experience will give you a new appreciation for Seattle’s historic pubs. Book the Haunted Seattle Ghost and Pub Walking Tour here.

Seattle Food Tours

Signature Food Tour of Pike Place Market
Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Cost: $55 per adult.

The Signature Food Tour of Pike Place Market is crafted for tourists who want to get to know the famous Pike Place Market while sampling some of its best food. This tour includes a chance to taste fresh, locally-sourced produce, as well as donuts, chowder, and more.

pike place market

The knowledgeable guide also passes along information about the history of the market, and the original Starbucks location, which is located here. Book the Signature Food Tour of Pike Place Market here.

The Seattle Coffee Tour
Duration: 1 hour and 45 minutes. Cost: $63 per adult.

For coffee aficionados and caffeine enthusiasts, the Seattle Coffee Tour provides insight into Seattle’s vibrant coffee culture. From Starbucks to boutique local roasters, Seattle has been at the forefront of the coffee scene for decades.

This tour starts in the Capitol Hill neighborhood at the famous Jimi Hendrix statue, then proceeds to three coffeehouses, where you’ll get a chance to sample a variety of locally roasted coffee. Book the Seattle Coffee Tour here.

Seattle Chocolate Tour
Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes. Cost: $78 per adult.

The Seattle Chocolate Tour is a must for anyone with a sweet tooth. This tour stops at a whopping 8 different locations to try chocolate bars, chocolate covered-cherries, ice cream, beverages, and other cocoa delights.

The tour begins at a cupcake shop just outside Pike Place and typically includes a stop at the famous market. Book the Seattle Chocolate Tour here.

Delicious Donut Adventure
Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Cost: $65 per adult.

Donuts are a big thing in Seattle. Here’s a chance to indulge your sweet tooth on the Delicious Donut Adventure. The tour hits up a few donuts shops to try various types of raised or cake donuts.

seattle donut tours

Your guide will provide some fun facts about Seattle, along with steering you toward some of the city’s top dessert spots. The tour also ends at Pike Place, so you can move on to other touristy activities from there. Book the Delicious Donut Adventure here.

Plant-Based Vegan Food Tour
Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes. Cost: $76 per adult.

If you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or simply a foodie who appreciates plant-based cuisine, the Plant-Based Vegan Food Tour is perfect for a culinary adventure through some of Seattle’s top vegan spots.

This tour gets rave reviews from guests, as it visits a bunch of different spots and offers tasting of several types of foods. Even Seattle locals will learn about some new places on this excursion. Book the Plant-Based Vegan Food Tour here.

Boating Tours and Cruises

Seattle Harbor Tour
Duration: Approximately 1 hour. Cost: $43 per person.

Take in the city’s beautiful waterfront on the Seattle Harbor Tour. This narrated cruise is one of the most popular tours in the city for tourists, as it passes by the Space Needle, the Downtown skyline, and the port.

seattle harbor cruise
View of the city from the boat on the Seattle Harbor Cruise.

It’s only one hour long, so it packs a lot of sights into a short time and won’t take up your whole day. It’s also much more affordable than other guided tours in the city! Book the Seattle Harbor Tour here.

Sunset Sail Tour
Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Cost: $65 per adult.

Enjoy the vibrant colors of Seattle at dusk on a Sunset Sail Tour. The two-hour adventure is perfect for photographers or nature enthusiasts.

It provides a chance to see Seattle’s skyline, the iconic Space Needle, and the majestic Olympic Mountains in a whole new light. If the skies are clear, you may even see Mount Rainier in the distance. Book the Sunset Sail Tour here.

Seattle Locks Cruise
Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours. Cost: $56.75 per adult.

The Seattle Locks Cruise is similar to the Harbor Cruise, except it adds a few more destinations, including the Hiram M. Chittenden locks in Ballard. It’s very cool to be on a boar that rises and walls with the water levels as it goes through the locks.

ballard locks
View of the Ballard Locks.

The cruise also passes by the Space Needle, Discovery Park, Gas Works Park, and a community of boathouses, including the one from the film Sleepless in Seattle.

Note that this is a one-way tour. If you book it Downtown, the tour will end in South Lake Union. Book the Seattle Locks Cruise here.

Whale-Watching Tour
Duration: 4-5 hours. Cost: $145 per adult.

Seattle is one of the rare American cities with whales of all kinds in its waters. You can potentially see orcas, gray whales, and/or humpback whales on these tours, most of which depart from the suburb of Edmonds.

Edmonds is a 30-minute drive from Seattle, or about 90 minutes via multiple buses on public transport. So if you don’t have a car, it’s a bit tricky to get there, but it’s still doable. Book a whale-watching tour here.

Hiking and National Park Tours

mt rainier

Mt. Rainier Full Day Tour from Seattle
Duration: Approximately 10-12 hours. Cost: $170 per adult.

You could certainly drive to 14,000-foot-tall Mount Rainier on your own — and I’ve got a list of things to do at Rainier. But it’s a 3-hour drive each way, and you’d have to fight for parking. Why not just join the Mt. Rainier Full Day Tour with a group?

This tour hits up the most iconic spots in the national park, including Narada Falls, Paradise Valley, Reflection Lakes, and Longmire. It’s an excellent way to get a taste of the park if you don’t have multiple days to spare. Book the Mt. Rainier Full Day Tour here.

Olympic National Park Day Tour from Seattle
Duration: Approximately 12 hours. Cost: $305 per adult.

Olympic National Park is a marvel, but the best parts are quite far from Seattle. That’s why this Olympic National Park Day Tour takes 12 hours and costs over $300. It’s a lot of effort to get there and back in a single day.

On this tour, you’ll take the Bainbridge Ferry with your group, then drive around a few spots on the northern side of Olympic NP, including Lake Crescent and Marymere Falls. Book the Olympic National Park Day Tour here.

Forest Hike to Twin and Snoqualmie Falls
Duration: Approximately 4.5 hours. Cost: $79 per adult.

If you don’t have the time or cash to do a national park tour, try something a little simpler with the Forest Hike to Twin and Snoqualmie Falls. The latter is 270 feet tall, and it’s one of the most popular and impressive waterfalls in the Seattle area.

snoqualmie falls
The upper portion of Snoqualmie Falls.

The tour also includes a two-hour hike to Twin Falls. It’s moderately challenging, but not too strenuous, so most folks in decent shape can do it. Book the Forest Hike to Twin and Snoqualmie Falls here.

Sightseeing Tours in Seattle

Seattle Neighborhoods 101 Tour
Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Cost: $149 per adult.

The Seattle Neighborhoods 101 Tour is a cool way to get to know the city. This tour passes through four vibrant areas: Capitol Hill, Columbia City, Beacon Hill, and Georgetown. These residential areas are fun, but not touristy.

This tour is good for first-time visitors or those new to the city. The only drawback is that it’s quite expensive, but if you can make the investment, it’s a good time. Book the Seattle Neighborhoods 101 tour here.

Space Needle & Chihuly Garden and Glass Combination Ticket
Duration: Self-guided, typically 2-3 hours. Cost: $62 per person.

Check out two of Seattle’s top attractions with the Space Needle & Chihuly Garden and Glass Combination Ticket. Visit the Space Needle Observation Deck for panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

chihuly garden glass

The Chihuly features stunning glass sculptures. This is an awesome museum that a lot of people skip because they don’t realize how cool it is. Book the Space Needle & Chihuly Garden and Glass Combination Ticket here.

Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour
Duration: Approximately 3 hours. Cost: $94 per adult.

The Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour is a comprehensive trip offering an introduction to Seattle. The tour includes stops at points of cultural and historical significance, including Pioneer Square, the Fremont Troll, and Lake Union.

This tour also makes a stop at Kerry Park, a small parklet that provides the best view of the skyline in the city! Book the Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour here.

Day Tours from Seattle

Leavenworth Tour from Seattle
Duration: Approximately 12 hours. Cost: $155-195 per adult, depending on group size.

The best day trip from the city is the Leavenworth Tour from Seattle. Experience the charm of Leavenworth, a Bavarian-styled village nestled in the snow-capped Cascade Mountains. It’s one of the best places in the USA to celebrate Christmas!

leavenworth washington

This tour includes a scenic drive with stops at picturesque spots like Deception Falls and the Bigfoot statue at the Espresso Chalet gift shop. You’ll have some time to explore Leavenworth on your own, dine at local eateries, and browse the shops. Book the Leavenworth Tour from Seattle here.

Vancouver Day Trip from Seattle
Duration: Approximately 13.5 hours. Cost: $167 per adult.

Vancouver, Canada is only a few hours’ drive from Seattle! So if you’ve never been there, taking the Vancouver Day Trip from Seattle is a cool way to check that awesome Canadian city off your list.

bicyclists stanley park

This packed itinerary features a stop at Vancouver’s famous Stanley Park (check out the totem poles!) and another at Granville Island, the city’s public market. Try a nanaimo bar, a Canadian treat that is a cross between a no-bake oatmeal cookie and a slice of cake. Book the Vancouver Day Trip from Seattle here.

Which of these Seattle tours would you be most interested in trying?

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