City Guide To Seattle Washington

What to do in the Seattle, Washington Area as a Travel Nurse

Are you considering a travel nurse assignment in Seattle, Washington? Seattle is the largest city in both Washington State and the Pacific Northwest region, with a metro population of nearly four million people. It is the birthplace of retail giant Amazon, and many of the most famous 90s grunge bands including Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, as well as musician Jimi Hendrix. Seattle is surrounded by ocean, rivers, forests, lakes and fields, which offer endless opportunities for outdoors lovers to explore. But there are also plenty of indoor activities that showcase the city’s thriving arts and entertainment scene. This is our travel guide for nurses wondering what to eat, drink, do and Instagram while on a travel assignment in Seattle, Washington.

Eat This!


Travel nurses in Seattle will find much to love in the selection of restaurants available here. Every genre and ethnicity are well represented at multiple price points, whether you prefer a fancy dining room or a casual food truck. If you are feeling adventurous during your stay, we urge you to have a meal at Nue, located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. This foodie-lovers dream offers street food from around the world, such as pineapple cornbread, Ecuadorian seafood soup, South African Bunny Chow, Balinese Barbecued Ribs and more. Nue also features a global cocktail menu unlike anything you have ever seen – or tasted – in your life.

Bizzarro Italian Cafe

While you’re on assignment in Seattle, chances are you’ll spend at least one night wondering where you can get some excellent Italian food in a wonderfully weird environment. BizzarroItalian Café is just the spot! This Seattle favorite has been thrilling locals and visitors alike with its quirky décor and delicious house-made pastas and breads since the mid-1980s. Ingredients including meats and produce are locally sourced and specialties such as Elk Bolognese and the vegetarian Forest Floor Frenzy are sure to get your taste buds tingling. An exceptional wine selection and to-die-for desserts complement a meal you won’t soon forget.

Drink This!

Espresso Vivace’s Sidewalk Bar

As the birthplace of Starbucks and numerous other world-renowned coffee brands, you can expect to find a good cup of joe just about anywhere in Seattle. Located in the city’s Capital Hill neighborhood, Espresso Vivace’s Sidewalk Bar is widely regarded as offering one of the best cappuccinos in the country. More kiosk than café, “The Stand” as Vivace’s is often called, is thought to be the birthplace of latte art, and you will often find a line of commuters and connoisseurs alike waiting patiently for a simple, old-school, espresso-based coffee served in a real cup. Stop by at least once to see exactly why Seattle become famous for this fresh-brewed, caffeinated delight.

Dimitriou's Jazz Alley

Travel nurses on assignment in Seattle may be surprised to learn that the city has a booming jazz club scene, with numerous establishments offering lively entertainment most nights of the week. Quincy Jones was raised in Seattle, and Kenny G. was born here, meaning its jazz heritage is almost as impressive as its grunge heritage. Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, located downtown, regularly features jazz royalty from around the world, including numerous Grammy Award-winning artists. This intimate venue with impressive acoustics is the perfect venue to enjoy a night of live music, excellent wine and a meal of Northwestern cuisine if you are so inclined.

Do This!

Pike Place Market

You may think you have been to a farmer’s market or two, but Pike Place Market in Seattle puts them all to shame with their nine-acre selection of local produce and specialty farm products, including bakeries, fish markets, butcher shops and more. Pike Place Market, which first opened to the public in 1907, also features numerous arts and crafts vendors and more than 200 unique restaurants, from donut stands to five-star dining establishments. This is the perfect place to spend the day indulging in fresh, delicious foods and shopping for unique gifts and healthy groceries. Printable pocket guides are available online at and offer tips for exploring the market’s various offerings.

Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

Founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2000, Seattle’s Museum of Popular Culture is 140,000 square feet of pop culture gold, including props and artifacts from numerous musicians, movies, fashion and video games. The funky metallic building, designed by famed architect Frank O. Gehry, is a marvel in itself and houses numerous exhibits and interactive galleries. Popular items located here include hand-written lyrics and instruments belonging to Seattle musicians Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, Captain Kirk’s command chair from Star Trek, and the infamous Sky Church, one of the largest indoor LED screens in the world. This is a must-do Seattle activity for travel nurses who are passionate about music, movies, science fiction and other forms of popular culture.

Instagram This!

Space Needle

There is no image more synonymous with Seattle than the city’s world-famous Space Needle, and photographs of or from within this iconic attraction are practically mandatory to assure your Instagram followers you are indeed here. Standing at 605-feet tall and featuring an observation deck and rotating restaurant at the top, the Space Needle is a must-do for all social-media loving travel nurses on assignment in Seattle. With 360-degree views of the city from two different levels, glass floors and floor to ceiling windows, you are sure to get some of the most breathtaking photographs of your lifetime.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

If you haven’t heard of Tacoma, Washington-born artist Dale Chihuly before you embark on your travel nurse assignment in Seattle, you will have a wonderful opportunity to discover his work at the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit, located next to the Space Needle. Quite possibly one of the world’s most famous living sculptors, his blown glass works located here will blow your mind. His unusual art, intermingled with gorgeous flowers and lush landscaping, is like something out of a beautiful fantasy world, and will help you create some fascinating photos to truly wow your Instagram followers. Pro Tip: Take some photos of the Space Needle from within Chihuly Garden and Glass to create some exceptionally eye-catching images.

Search current travel nurse jobs in the Seattle, Washington area or read our City Guides for Travel Nurses to see other cities nationwide.

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