When visiting Seattle, it’s often difficult to prioritize the events and sights we want to experience. There’s so much going on in the city that it would be easy to spend days around Seattle Center, and entire week just checking out Capitol Hill and its vibrant food and arts scene. Here are a few essential Seattle activities that we’d like to prioritize in 2019.

Enjoy Every Last Bite at The Bite of Seattle

The Bite is the most popular festival in Seattle—drawing close to 400,000 people over the course of three days at the end of July. In 2019, be sure to enjoy its free food samples, live music, contests and exhibits. The entire celebration brings Seattle Center to life and allow festival-goers to revel in the city’s unparalleled food scene.

Hear the Tunes at Bumbershoot

One of Seattle’s largest music festivals, Bumbershoot welcomes the likes of Modest Mouse, James Brown, SZA and Lil Wayne to the Emerald City. We can’t wait to see who’ll be headlining in 2019!

Visit the Cadillac of Starbucks

Seattle’s vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood harbors the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, an immersive and interactive coffee experience. Be sure to visit the “Experience Bar,” where you can order siphon-brewed beverages, unique coffees and drinks not available at the main ordering area of the store. It’s a fantastic way to get to know your coffee a little bit better and savor the morning.

Head to the Mountains

Local tour group Evergreen Escapes offers fabulous private tours of Mount Rainier, the mighty Cascade peak near Seattle. A Mercedes van picks you and 9 other explorers up for a full day on the mountain, where you’ll snowshoe, walk and see wildlife—all under the guidance of an expert naturalist. It’s an amazing way to see one of the region’s greatest natural assets.

Commune with Whales

Grab a ferry to Vashon Island for front-row seats to an unscripted orca performance. These majestic creatures often bob and bow less than 50 feet away from shore. This is a low-key, easy way to see wildlife without paying for a full day’s tour.