Seattle, USA: An underrated destination

A city that had to rebuild itself after ‘The Great Seattle Fire of 1889‘, it has become a booming metropolis of art, sports, and a haven to micro-breweries. A very walkable city (don’t let the hills intimidate you). I recently went here for the first time a couple years ago, not really expecting much and was blown away. It has a San Francisco meets Portland kind of feel. Talking to some of the locals the food scene has really blown up, which I can attest to from our last trip. I am a big proponent of trying new things; whether that’s a restaurant, experience or travel destination. However, my girlfriend’s birthday was coming up and Beyonce was playing at CenturyLink stadium, so it was the perfect excuse to go back!

Getting to the city is easy with their public transportation. Since it is pretty far, I recommend taking the Link Light Rail. This will cost $3 p/p one way and take 40-60 mins to get into the city. The Westlake station will drop you off in downtown next to all the retail shops. Since you have all your luggage, I suggest ordering a Lyft from there.

Where to stay:

Both trips I stayed in the Downtown area. First was a little apartment that felt like I was in New York City (cannot remember the name) and most recently at The Edgewater Hotel. Location was great, literally on the water just north of Pike Place Market, about a 10-minute walk. With the concert in town, the prices were a little bit higher. It had the feel of being in a mountain cabin. Great views from the lobby seating area and bar. I got a great deal (based on the prices for those 2 nights) through the app HotelTonight but I do think it is overpriced.

What to do:

  • Underground Walking tour. The is a whole city under the city you currently see, how cool is that?! You’ll go under the streets and walk the old sidewalks, see the shell of what used to be a bank and other landmarks. Very informative and fun.
  • Pike Marketplace. Besides the Space Needle, this is probably the most defining landmark in Seattle. Known for the flying fish show and birthplace of Starbucks, it is a must do on your trip. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel at night and the Instagramable gum wall is also located down the alley here. (Hint: you can visit the first brick & mortar Starbucks but be prepared for a long wait).

  • A classic trip to the space needle. Don’t actually recommend going up the needle (waste of money), but there is the Museum of Pop-Culture and the Chihuly Garden & Glass center that is on a lot of guides. For museums in the city, I would suggest checking out the Seattle Art Museum and see if there happens to be a cool exhibit in.
  • Stroll the neighborhoods! (See below 😊)

Neighborhood guides:

Pike Place Market / Downtown – Definitely the most touristy part of town. Here you have the Pike Marketplace, gum wall and first Starbucks. Catch a ferry to Bainbridge Island or have chowder at Ivar’s next to Pier 52. Lots of restaurants and bars along First Ave, but you’ll only want to spend half a day here. Take some pics and keep movin…

Belltown – From The Edgewater, grab a cup of coffee from Street Bean Coffee on your way to the Space Needle. Walk around then head back down 2nd Ave to Rocco’s for a slice of pie (pizza pie that is) and a cocktail. Even though is about a 10 min walk to the Pike Place from here, Belltown has a real neighborhood feel. Another great breakfast/lunch spot to check out here is Macrina Bakery & Café.

Ballard – Loved this neighborhood! A hip and trendy area that is a haven for microbrews. You’ll need to catch a Lyft over here, but it will be worth it. Very local with some of the coolest restaurant/bars I’ve been to. Would recommend doing a stroll and savor and starting at the Ballard Beer Company. The list of local-only beers is highlighted by how far from away they were brewed (most were under 1 mile and they have a great special… all pints are $4 till 4 pm). Grab a snack at No Bones Beach, all vegan beach-themed restaurant with a full bar. Then check out locals recommended Hazlewood bar which has a speakeasy style bar and opens at 4 pm. Lots of local shops to check out on Ballard Ave then head to Bastille & Back bar which offers a 3-course meal for only $35 (Hint: go to the back… it is very cute!) Before heading back, if you don’t mind going a little out of the way, have your driver take you to Gas Works Park in Fremont. Massive views of the city skyline especially at night!

 

Capitol Hill – Funky, fun, Indie and eccentric part of town. Seattle is very accepting of the LBGTQ community and this is considered their most influential part of town. Here is the only Starbucks I would recommend going to. Start your Capitol experience at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery. Huge roasters, sample tastings, food, and a bar; this place is well put together and has a “Wow” factor when you walk in. Stroll down Pike st and grab a beer at one of the many breweries along the way, I recommend Optimism Brewing Company. Local spot with a small outdoor which hosts food trucks nightly. Pretty cool bookshop to check out called The Elliot Bay Book Company then grab some lunch to go have it in the park across the street (weather permitting of course). Lots of cool street art in this area as a well as a Jimi Hendrix Statue you can take a selfie with.

Seattle is an awesome city that just continues to grow and get better. It gets kind of a bad rap due to the weather… but even talking to some of the locals they like it that way. They don’t want people to know how great the city is, so it doesn’t get too crowded. For a great view of the city, I would go to Kerry Park in Queen Anne or Gas Works Park. Grab a coffee, go for a walk and enjoy Seattle!

 

If you have any other suggestions on things to do or go… please comment below and share!

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