A Football Fanatic’s Weekend Itinerary in SeattleBy Naomi Tomky
Visiting football fans must prepare to get loud for a weekend in Seattle. Joining the 12s, as the Seahawks fanbase is fondly known, requires a lot of cheering and plenty of spirit.
You have to bring your own roar, but this itinerary shows off the local vibes as you explore neighborhoods, hop a ferry and eat plenty of Pacific Northwest foods.
And if you’re looking for what real football pros recommend, you’re in luck. Marriott Bonvoy Traveler spoke to Cliff Avril, former defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, to get his tips for enjoying game days in the city.
As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.
The Friday Before Game Day
Fall Fridays in Seattle are Blue Fridays, so don your Seahawks gear and join the sea of blue swarming the city and showing team spirit.
First, head straight to Pike Place Market, where weekday mornings mean fewer people between you and the fish-throwers often featured in pregame highlight reels. Breakfast options abound in the market, including Chinese baked buns at Mee Sum Pastry and Filipino-style diner foods and purple ube (yam) pancakes at the classic Ludi’s Restaurant.
Grab a ferry across Elliott Bay to Bainbridge Island. Though the impressive views and refreshing sea breezes on the journey are the point of the trip, it’s a quick walk from the ferry dock to the island’s Winslow neighborhood, where you can shop the small-town stores and galleries and dig into fish and chips at Proper Fish for lunch before returning to the mainland.
Even if you’re going to a Seahawks game, take one of the 75-minute stadium tours to peek at sections you won’t otherwise see, such as the locker rooms and press areas, plus the top-notch views from the upper decks. While you’re there, stop by the team shop to pick up another jersey.
The Saturday Before Game Day
Locals trade in the Seahawk Blue for Husky Purple on Saturdays to cheer on the University of Washington football team. Get into the spirit by spending the day in the University District. Start with a Scandinavian-style cardamom knot or a fried egg breakfast sandwich on Japanese-style melonpan (sweet bread) at the eclectic waterfront bakery Saint Bread as boats go by in the ship canal.
The Burke Museum no longer has the original Kwakwaka’wakw mask thought to be the inspiration for the Seahawks logo, but the natural history museum houses tons of other Native American art and artifacts among the many interactive exhibits. Stick around for lunch of Indigenous cuisine at the attached Native-owned café, Off the Rez.
After lunch, make your way to the Ballard Brewery District, where more than a dozen microbreweries pour their wares within a mile of each other. Sample the selection of a local fall favorite, fresh hop IPAs (aka wet hop IPAs), made within hours of the hops coming off the vine in nearby Yakima, at Stoup Brewing or Bale Breaker.
Hit Fair Isle, which brews everything from Munich-style lager to elderflower saison, around dinnertime; the brewery houses a restaurant extension of beloved butcher shop Beast & Cleaver, including its 100-day dry-aged beef burger.
On the way back downtown, look for the large Ferris wheel lit up in Seahawks colors: That’s the Seattle Great Wheel. Stop for an evening spin with a view of the city lights.
If you still have energy to burn, check out the mini-golf course or the pingpong table at Flatstick Pub. Cap off the day by wandering outside to find one of the carts serving the city’s unique street food offering: the cream cheese hot dog.
Game Day Sunday
The Seahawks’ stadium sits adjacent to two of its most delicious and exciting neighborhoods, Chinatown-International District and Pioneer Square. Start your morning in the Chinatown-International District, where Sunday mornings are for grazing on dumplings and pastries with dim sum at Joyale.
Then walk or hop the streetcar down to adjacent Pioneer Square where the football crowds will start packing the streets and sports bars. For the classic sports bar experience with a Seattle twist, watch the early games at Hatback Bar & Grille, which has its own adjoining brewery. Alternatively, for a full Pacific Northwest immersion, cheer from behind a platter of fresh local oysters, clams, shrimp and crab at the Taylor Shellfish Farms Oyster Bar.
From there, if you have game tickets, you’ll want to head to the stadium — if not, you might as well stick to a bar to watch the game and cheer on the team with other 12s.
If you don’t have game tickets and you want a top-notch fan experience, head across Lake Washington to Legion Sports Bar & Grill, a soul food and cocktail spot from two members of the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom,” Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. In a conversation with Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, Cliff Avril, former defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, said, “It’s the ultimate sports bar, and the food is great.”
Legion Sports Bar & Grill sits inside Lincoln Square, so set aside time to do some shopping, take a few swings at the Topgolf Swing Suite or bowl a few rounds at Lucky Strike while you’re there.