If you’ve ever asked my opinion on where to go on a Seattle vacation, the Seattle Waterfront is always at the top of my list. I mean, I wrote a whole post about exploring Pier 57 with kids last year!
So, it should come as no surprise that it’s also an unforgettable date night in Seattle! May contain affiliate links.Whether you’re visiting from out of town or you are a Seattle local (like me!) there’s something alluring about watching ferries go in and out on the water while the downtown lights twinkle behind you.
It’s so magical and romantic that it’s no wonder Grey’s Anatomy always seems to feature it anytime they want to remind us the show is set in Seattle!
Romantic Date Night in Seattle
I’m so bad at it that I recently asked my friends for Seattle date night suggestions. I wrote a post about my favorite romantic things to do in Seattle.
But, I can’t believe I forgot to include the Seattle Waterfront!
Since it’s truly one of my favorite places to spend time with loved ones, I’ve decided to write a dedicated post declaring my love for Pier 57!
Miners Landing at Pier 57
For those of us who geek out about history, you’ll be interested to know that Miners Landing at Pier 57 played a part in the Klondike Gold Rush.
The first boat loaded with gold from Klondike docked right where Miners Landing now stands!
People dropped everything (including my own ancestors) and headed to Alaska to find their fortune. And that was the start of the Klondike Gold Rush!
Talk about a “rich” history!
Nowadays, Pier 57 is the home to waterfront dining, attractions, shops and house-made ice cream and sour dough bread!
THE FISHERMAN’S RESTAURANT & BAR
If you are looking for a Seattle waterfront restaurant with a view, head to The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar.
It’s located at the foot of the Seattle Great Wheel and overlooks Elliott Bay.
We tried it for the first time this week and the flavors blew us away! I can’t believe in all our years exploring the Seattle Waterfront, we’d never eaten here before.
Chef Nick brought us oyster shooters from their happy hour menu to kick off our night.
One tasted exactly like a buffalo wing (which my husband loved!) and the other had a citrus base (which I loved!)
Then, we moved on to fresh shucked Treasure Cove oysters on the half shell.
They had a grapefruit mignonette, mustard caviar, and a grilled lime. My husband and I definitely enjoyed the bright flavors!
One of the standout appetizers was the goat cheese beet tartine.
Neither my husband nor I have ever been a fan of beets, so we were hesitant about trying it. But, it was so delicious!
Chef Nick prepared the beets in three ways and the beets had a mild flavor that worked perfectly with with punch of the goat cheese.
And we also got to try Fisherman’s classic clam chowder in a house-made sourdough bread bowl.
This chowder was served with a slice of lemon and my world is forever changed!
Even though I normally squeeze lemon on my seafood, it has never occurred to me to squeeze it in chowder.
It was unbelievably delicious and I can’t wait to enjoy this dish again!
Even though we were starting to get full, we paced ourselves so we could try a few of their entrees.
The first one we tried was the braised tomato shrimp brodo with ricotta dumplings.
The ricotta dumplings kind of tasted like gnocchi and I couldn’t stop eating them!
And the shrimp had an amazing charred taste that my husband really liked.
Next up was the pinenut and walnut crusted Pacific cod.
The crust was a bit too thick for us and it wasn’t our favorite dish.
However, the sauce and those pickled plums were insanely tasty and we would have eaten an entire bowl of just the plums!
The final entree we tried was their classically grilled steelhead with rice pilaf and Brussels sprouts.
This dish hit all the marks for us. I’m not usually not big on rice pilaf, but this one had a nice, bright flavor.
And the fish and Brussels sprouts were seasoned well!
Finally, it was time to try some desserts! Dessert is my favorite part of dining out, so I was very excited!
The most interesting dessert was the vanilla braised pineapple with red velvet ice cream and red velvet cake crumble.
The pineapple is actually semi-frozen and would be incredible on a stick in the summer! The vanilla pairs really nicely with the pineapple!
And the ice cream is made right on the pier! It’s very smooth and full of red velvety goodness!
Next, we tried their purple carrot cake.
This one had an unexpected texture. It actually reminded me of gingerbread. The cake layers are dense and chewy like bread.
And the topping is super fun and crunchy.
I really liked the purple carrot cake and thought it would be really yummy with coffee as a brunch treat!
Finally, we saved the chocolate pot de creme with diced strawberries for last.
The chocolate was thick and creamy and the sea salt made this one of our favorite desserts!
And even though we were pretty stuffed, we ate the entire dish!
The service was outstanding and we were lucky enough to chat with Chef Nick.
We could tell instantly that he’s very proud of the food at The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar and genuinely hopes everyone else enjoys it as well.
He has a nice balance of innovative creations, as well as classic seafood dishes, so there’s really something for everyone.
We’ll definitely be back to sit on their gorgeous patio this summer! And we’ll bring our friends!
Additional Pier 57 Dining Options
Another good option is The Crab Pot, where they dump seafood on your table and you eat with your hands! It’s yummy, but messy fun!
And the Salmon Cooker is awesome for easy takeout for a waterfront picnic.
THE SEATTLE GREAT WHEEL
In 2012, the Seattle Great Wheel forever changed the Seattle skyline. And for the better!
I was so obsessed with this project that I spent my birthday riding it just days after it opened to the public.
We’ve been back several times with our kids and out of town guests, but this was the first time we went at night time. We had clear skies and the views of the city lit up were breathtaking!
The Seattle Great Wheel is the largest observation wheel on the West Coast and can hold more than 300 passengers at any given time.
It’s covered in half a million LED lights and they do all kinds of light shows throughout the year.
Rides last anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on how many people need to load/unload. And each ride is three full rotations.
The Seattle Great Wheel is such a smooth experience that it doesn’t even feel like a ride. It’s more like a slow elevator ride with an unbelievable view!
This was also the first time we rode in the VIP Gondola!
There’s only one of them and it has 4 leather seats, a sound system with awesome jams, and a glass floor for the ultimate Seattle Great Wheel experience!
WINGS OVER WASHINGTON
The first time I experience Wings Over Washington, I did it with my oldest son who loved every second of it!
In fact, his commentary and reactions have forever made this one of our favorite Seattle memories, so far!
But, my husband had never done it. So, I was super excited to see what he thought of this state-of-the-art immersive theater experience.
As you enter, you’ll sit in a holding area that is decorated in true Northwest design. It feels like you are in a happy log cabin.
Then, a park ranger will tell you a few humorous stories and some totems will start moving and you’ll hear a bit about safety.
If you’ve ever done Soarin’ at Disneyland or Walt Disney World, this ride is very similar.
There are two rows of seats with baskets underneath to store jackets and bags.
When the experience starts, the chairs are lifted up and you’ll feel like you are flying over some of the most beautiful spots in Western Washington.
There are even some smells and surprises thrown in to really heighten the entire experience.
My husband and I had goofy smiles plastered on our faces the whole time and it made us feel like we were on a special adventure!
THE CAROUSEL, ICE CREAM + MORE
Miners Landing is a fun place just to walk around. A few stands feature ice cream that’s made right on Pier 57.
And there are some shops with a mix of kitschy souvenirs as well as locally made Seattle products you’ll actually want to keep or give to friends.
What I love about this vintage amusement park area at Miners Landing is that it feels completely tucked away from everything else on the Seattle Waterfront.
You’ll feel like you discovered a hidden gem!
There are a few cute games, buttered popcorn, cotton candy, and a giant gumball machine.
The lovely historic carousel plus house-made ice cream make a sweet end to a romantic date night in Seattle!
More Fun on the Seattle Waterfront
THE SEATTLE AQUARIUM
My husband and I actually had our second date here at the Seattle Aquarium. And we did our engagement photos here because we’re quirky like that!
It’s a really fun place to go in the late afternoon before dinner. The families have left for nap time and you can take your time looking at the different exhibits while holding hands.
We like to joke that looking at the fish makes us hungry for a seafood dinner!
Another one of our favorite things to do is an Argosy Cruise. We had our wedding rehearsal dinner aboard one of their boats and our guests still talk about how much fun they had!
There are a few different options around Seattle, like the Tillicum Excursion to Blake Island and the Saturday Wine Cruise around Lake Union.
But, I’d suggest the one hour harbor cruise around Elliott Bay. That gives you time to enjoy a cocktail and soak up the gorgeous Seattle scenery before heading to dinner.
How to Get to Miners Landing
My husband and I usually drive ourselves and park across the street in one of the parking lots/garages.
Another option is to take the ferry from West Seattle or one of the islands. You can walk on as pedestrians and then walk down the street to Miners Landing.
But, Miners Landing is also easy to get to from Pike Place Market. It’s just down below and you can take the parking garage elevator all the way down to Alaskan Way.
SEATTLE WATERFRONT SHUTTLE
They tested out the Seattle Waterfront Shuttle last year for what was supposed to be a limited run.
It was such a wild success that it’s now running year round.
What I love about this shuttle bus is that it makes stops at many of the top Seattle attractions and popular intersections.
That means you can stay almost anywhere downtown and have an easy ride to and from the Waterfront. Perfect for enjoying a few glasses of wine without worrying about driving.
Oh and it’s FREE!
Romantic Seattle Hotels
And if you really want to go all out and make it a romantic Seattle weekend getaway, stay at one of these incredible Seattle hotels:
The Edgewater is one of the most epic Seattle Waterfront hotels. This is where The Beatles infamously fished out of their hotel room window.
But, it’s also a romantic hotel with cozy gas fireplaces, a fantastic restaurant, and unsurpassed views of Elliott Bay.
THE FAIRMONT OLYMPIC
One of my personal favorites for a romantic getaway is the iconic Fairmont Olympic Hotel.
Their rooms are recently renovated and feature rainfall showers, plus they have an on-site spa, several restaurants, and some of the best customer service in the business!
It’s an easy walk to Pike Place Market, the Seattle Waterfront, the 5th Avenue Theater, and tons of shops and restaurants.
THE FOUR SEASONS
For a splurge, head to the Four Seasons Hotel. They have marble bathrooms with soaking tubs, separate rainfall showers, and TV screens in their mirrors!
Plus, they feature an infinity pool, a spa, and an Ethan Stowell restaurant.
THE ARCTIC CLUB
Just a bit further from the Seattle Waterfront is the lovely Arctic Club Hotel.
It was founded by members who “made it rich” from the Klondike Gold Rush and there are tons of cool details all over the hotel highlighting their rich history.
Their rooms feature whirlpool tubs and their Polar Bar is a fun experience!