Guide to Seattle, Washington

December 20, 2018

Known as the birthplace of grunge rock and land of a booming tech industry, Seattle is a fun area to explore if you are into coffee, food, and fun. The city tows the line of being familiar and casual while also maintaining a modern and high-end vibe, which basically means there is something for everyone.

No matter what you do, you’ll enjoy views of the beautiful Pacific Northwest whether you are taking in the luscious green spaces or looking towards the waters of Puget Sound. Enjoy a long weekend here with your loved ones whether old or young!

Eat and Drink

Cortina
Treat yourself to a modern Italian meal at this fancy restaurant. Everything is killer from the antipasti to the pizza and pasta. No surprise that the wine list also delivers.

La Caviste
Francophiles rejoice! This wine bar is a hidden gem tucked in between skyscrapers and office buildings. Go for the French wines chosen by the French sommelier and then stay for the charcuterie, cheese, tasty appetizers, and cozy-yet-sophisticated vibe.

Biscuit Bitch
Yup, this breakfast spot serves of Southern-style breakfast sandwiches served on biscuits. They are covered in cheese, meats, gravy, and everything nice making it the perfect place to visit after a night out on the town. Extra points for the theming from the meat-centric decor to the snarky signs and sassy staff.

Mr. West
Pretty sure this restaurant exists in every major city but I don’t care because they nailed it so hard. Modern industrial setting, best lattes ever, avocado toast, and an egg on everything? Check, check, check, check, check. Best for breakfast or lunch!

Sweet Grass Food Co
In need of something healthy? This vegan eatery has got you covered with massive salads, grain bowls, freshly-pressed juice, and other nutritious eats. Enjoy your meal at one of the minimalist tables in the bright light-filled atmosphere.

Loulay
Acclaimed chef Thierry Rautureau has created the perfect date spot where modern interpretations of traditional French dishes are served in a swanky atmosphere. It’s worth springing for a seafood dish or stick with a tried-and-true favorite like roasted chicken and risotto.

Fran’s Chocolates
Located just across the street from SAM (aka the Seattle Art Museum), is Seattle’s best chocolatier located in a chic and minimalist shop. Prices are are a bit high so I’ve only splurged on the chocolate sea salt caramels, which are so yummy, so worth it, and would make a great gift thanks to the fancy packaging. Others talk highly of their hot chocolate and chocolate bars.

Starbucks Reserve
Any fan of Starbucks will brave the walk up the (very) steep hill to this coffee paradise. They offer all of the regular coffee drinks but have upped the ante with coffee flights, special cold brews, and even cocktails. It’s definitely an experience to order and then take in the beautiful space with it’s walnut accents and roastery area with huge copper casks.

Monorail Espresso
If you’re anti-corporation and wouldn’t be caught dead with a mermaid cup, then head to this street-side coffee joint. Order up an espresso and drink it quickly in the company of all the bad ass bike delivery people and cool office kids.

See and Do

Pike Place Market
There’s no getting around a visit to the Pike Place Market when you are in Downtown Seattle. Take in the beautiful colors and wonderful smell of the fresh flowers and then hold your breath in the fish section. It’s worth grabbing a drink at Lowell’s Restaurant for the view. Then, add your piece of chewed-up gum to the Gum Wall (it’s gross but fun, promise!).

Chihuly Garden and Glass
You’ll feel like you are on another planet while exploring the many different glass creations of local artist Dave Chihuly. It takes about two hours to explore the indoor exhibits and outdoor garden. Admission is a bit high but worth it for art lovers. It’s also located at the base of the Space Needle and provides a wonderful view of that attraction.

Space Needle
There’s no need to pay an arm and leg to go up to the top of the Space Needle because it’s cool enough just to take it in from the ground floor. Snap as many photos as your heart desires. If you are lucky, Seattle weather will cooperate and give you a blue sky as a background.

Seattle Art Museum
While their traditional art collection is a bit lacking, this museum makes up for it with stellar Native American art, exhibits highlighting contemporary artists, and highly fascinating traveling exhibits.

Kid-Friendly Activities
Those with littles will want to work in a trip to the Pacific Science Center and/or Seattle Aquarium. Both attractions provide plenty of hands-on activities and interactive exhibits that will keep your kids entertained for hours. It’s worth it to pay for a ride out to Woodland Park Zoo and see the animals there.

Stay

A while back a friend hooked us up with an insane deal for the Four Seasons Seattle and we stayed there for a few days. This five-star luxury hotel officially ruined me for all subsequent hotel stays. Everything is tops from the room and amenities to the staff, service, and food. If you have the money, treat yourself to a few nights and never look back.

During my most recent trip to Seattle, I stayed in The Westin Seattle located in downtown and will not recommend it. While the circular towers look cool from the street, the ending result is some super wonky layouts. My room had a huge bedroom area with a teeny bathroom in comparison. Plus, the furnishings looked worse for the wear and they gym gave me creepy vibes. Not worth the high price tag in my opinion!

If we go back in the future, I’d like to check out the Ace Hotel, Hotel Max, or will book an Airbnb.

Tips and Tricks

Although it usually goes without saying, it rains a ton in Seattle! Be sure to take a rain jacket with a hood or tuck an umbrella in your purse.

While we’re touching on packing tips, I also recommend bringing flats and/sneakers. The downtown area is super walkable and you’ll likely be on foot quite a bit.

If you are planning to check out most of the attractions, consider purchasing a City Pass. It allows you to go to five different attractions for lower price than you would pay at each place.

Lastly, it’s super easy to get from the airport to the downtown area with public transportation. Check that out if you won’t be in a rush!

P.S. Here’s a travel guide for Portland if you are staying in the Pacific Northwest.