Journey to the Emerald City: 10 Travel Apps for Visiting Seattle

Journey to the Emerald City: 10 Travel Apps for Visiting Seattle

Jason Rodway
Mar 6, 2013

Did you know Seattle played a big part in the careers of then up and coming jazz musicians, Ray Charles and Quincy Jones? And, many of us can still smell the teen spirit wafting from the epicenter of grunge bands of the 90's. The Emerald City is a musical town with a rich cultural history, amazing coffee culture, vibrant tech industry, and home to many museums, conventions, and festivals. So if you're interested in taking a trip up the Space Needle, catching a Mariners game, or setting it as the starting point of a Pacific Northwest adventure, here are some apps for your next Seattle vacation...

Getting Around & Accomodations

Left: OneBusAway - Right: Choice Hotels

Hop aboard one of King Country Metros buses or streetcars to navigate Seattle. Gain local's knowledge of the city's public transportation system with the OneBusAway app, which shows bus routes, times, and stops close by. And if you're one to easily get lost in a new city, you'll appreciate the recent stop history function, which makes it easy to find your way back should you ever get spun around (the Space Needle always works as an excellent landmark to navigate too!). Free
Also available for iOS / Android

Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels shrinks their one-click hotel booking web experience down in a digestible manner, offering access to their database of over 6,000 hotels worldwide. Users can view photos, prices, locations, and amenities to make the best choice for your requirements and budget. I found the app really helpful for weighing options and also made booking a room easy even just before boarding for a flight. Free
Also available for iOS

City Maps & Shopping Guide

Left: City Guides - Right: LivingSocial

City Guides (Offline Maps)
An offline map is essential for any trip away from home, whether it's visiting the next city over or traveling to another country.'s offline map app takes it one step further with downloadable maps which include a travel guide and trip itinerary, all available to sync across multiple devices. Read reviews on restaurants, book hotels and venues all within this app without the use of a constant Internet connection, ideal especially in destinations where wi-fi or wireless networks are spotty (not a problem in tech-friendly Seattle though). Free
Also available for iOS

Living Social
Those who love a little retail therapy (a long distant cousin to Apartment Therapy) will benefit from this popular shopping deals app, especially since Living Social spotlight's a city's local's favorites at budget prices. So whether you're trying to find discounted accommodations before you arrive in Seattle or a percentage off a planned dinner once you arrive, LivingSocial promises the best of any given place so you can shop like a true Seattle native. Free
Also available for Android

Tourist Attractions

Left: Seattle Top 25 - Right: tripwolf

Top 25 Seattle
So you don't have much time and you want to play the role of tourist, what can Seattle offer you? Seattle Top 25 narrows down the possibilities to the most popular 25 locations and 25 restaurants. Each entry is complete with location, synopsis, phone numbers and photos to not only help decide which places to visit but how to get there. Free

Discover Seattle beforehand with this tourist app which showcases a wide range of destinations points of interests. Create a complete trip itinerary and decide the best tourist sites, events, and restaurants to visit using deep details such as location, price, open times and synopsis. I personally get a kick out of reading other travelers' adventures with the trip wolf Travel Blog to gain real perspective about what it's like to experience Seattle (or nearly anywhere else) before I even arrive. Free
Also available for iOS (Through in-app purchase of $5)

Wine and Dine

Left: GrubHub - Right: Seattles Best Dining

While traveling, nobody aims to empty their wallet on lunch or waste time trying to find a recommended eatery. That's where GrubHub comes in handy, a restaurant app dedicated to food on the go or for delivery. It's easy to find a place based on cuisine, location, and price. And a bonus: the service offers coupons to save you money which always helps on vacation. Free
Also available for Android

Seattles Best Dining
Every meal in an unfamiliar city must be one to remember and Seattles Best Dining certainly has its finger on the pulse of the cities best dining experiences. Discover somewhere bold, new and hip with this apps selection of over 180 restaurants that can be narrowed down to one based on location, cuisine, price, hidden gems, scenic, trendy and more. I particularly love the smooth interface complete with interior, exterior and food photography. $3
Also available for Android

Nightlife & Traveling Necessities

Left: Seattle Weekly App - Right: Trip Journal

Seattle Weekly App
Your 100% free guide to the city's best pubs, restaurants, and events is all in one place on your iOS or Android device. The Seattle Weekly app is provided by the same publication of the same name that has delivers a comprehensive eatery guide, up to date concert and events such as fashion shows or special nightclub nights. Free
Also available for Android

Trip Journal
Are you the type to bring back memories rather than physical souvenirs? For those who collect frequent travellers miles with frequent visits to new and fantastic locations, a Trip Journal is designed for housing your travel notes, photos, and a complete timeline in digital form. Trip Journal can track your every move with GPS to regale every step of your journey, document information or opinions and collect photos or videos together so everything about your vacation stays in one bundled app that you can share with friends upon your return home. $4
Also available for iOS: $3

(Images: Jason Rodway; as linked above)

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