Welcome to Seattle! While the city might be damp almost 365 days of the year, few who come to the Emerald City aren’t won over and charmed by the rain slicked streets thrown against an awe-inspiring mountain backdrop.The parks are plentiful and the city is abound with the beat of indie music- remember this is the city where grunge was born. With plenty of industry, culture, shopping and secret locally-loved spots, we’ve got the guide to Seattle you need to have a good time!
What to See
The Pike Place Market has been in operation since 1907 making it one of the oldest continuously open farmers’ markets in the USA and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Seattle. Nevertheless, the market has a ton of delightful merchants and stores full of antiques, collectibles and crafts as well as local farmers and fishmongers selling their wares. It’s a must-see for any first-time Seattle visitor. Grab some charcuterie, cheese and bread and have a picnic lunch.
Looking for something a little less overrun by tourists? Try the Fremont Sunday Market. This old-world style bazaar is filled to the brim with both junk and jewels of all sorts, as well as a slew of gourmet food trucks so make sure you come fairly hungry. If you’re looking for more of a foodie market on Sundays, head to the Ballard Farmers’ Market for everything from fresh oysters at Hama Hama Oyster Company, sausages from Sea Breeze Farm or some Firefly Kimchi. The Ballard market will suit and satisfy all taste buds!
THE FREEMONT TROLL | North Troll Avenue
Make a trip to see the Freemont Troll, a ginormous statue located underneath the George Washington Memorial Bridge (or as locals call it, the Aurora Bridge). If it sounds like something out of a fairy tale, you’re right but this colossal troll statue is clutching a real VW Beetle that he might have just swooped off the freeway above. Climbing the statue is actually encouraged!
CIHULY GARDEN & GLASS | 305 Harrison Street
Chihuly Garden and Glass is the studio of glass artist Dale Cihuly which opened as an exhibit at the Seattle Center in 2012. Cihuly manages to meld glass like you’ve never seen it before, reminiscent of fireworks, snakes and water, juxtaposed against a backdrop of plants and gardens outdoors. It’s a stunning show, beautifully curated and one that can be appreciated by all sorts of art aficionados and haters.
SEATTLE SPACE NEEDLE | 400 Broad Street
The iconic Seattle Space Needle was built for the World Fair of 1962. To get your bird’s eye view from 520 feet you’ll be whisked up by elevators traveling 10 miles/hour in a mere 41 seconds. Pick a clear day to go when you’ll be able to get the best view of the surrounding mountains, islands and skyscrapers of the Seattle skyline.
What to Do
THE SEATTLE UNDERGROUND TOUR
Climb into the underworld of Seattle on the original Seattle Underground Tour. Learn the history and some exciting fables of this fine city while traveling through a network of underground passageways and basements that were ground level when the city originated in the 19th century. The tours are 75 minutes long and start on the hour inside Doc Maynard’s Public House, a restored 19th-century saloon. Be prepared to get dusty!
AQUA VERDE CAFE PADDLE CLUB | 1307 NE Boat Street
The Agua Verde Cafe Paddle Club crosses two things off your Seattle to-do list: grabbing lunch and paddling Seattle in a kayak atop the beautiful Lake Union and rowing through the Arboretum. You don’t need any experience to get out in a boat for the first time. The Arboretum is a sanctuary of peaceful waterways, almost like an urban Seattle version of the Florida Everglades, minus the terrifying crocodiles.
HIPCOOKS | 217 Yale Avenue
If you’re looking to mingle with locals and learn something new, sign up for a Hipcooks cooking class. This playful angle on cooking classes means you can let your inner child out to play while you learn how to cook with your taste buds and not a measuring cup. Everything you need is already there (including wine) you’ll walk away with a fantastic meal you can make on your own again, some impressive knife skills and some new Seattle friends.
FRYE ART MUSEUM | 704 Terry Avenue
The Frye Art Museum contains the art collection of meatpacking plant owner Charles Frye. The museum opened in 1952 and was the first free art museum in Seattle. Charles left quite an eccentric list of stipulations regarding the keep and display of his beloved art pieces such as the free admission, concrete floors (now covered in wood) and the size of the display rooms. The museum collection is the perfect size for appreciating without getting overwhelmed and bored.
Where To Eat
ZEITGEST COFFEE | 71 South Jackson Street
If you’re the sort of soul who needs your coffee in the morning before tackling the day you’ve come to the right place. Coffee culture is huge in Seattle, partially thanks to the international giant Starbucks, but skip the Venti non-fat skinny vanilla latte for a macchiato at Zeitgeist Coffee to get a feel for the local scene and a trendy mix of people.
LA CARTA DE OAXACA | 5431 Ballard Avenue NW
For a most satisfying lunch, head to La Carta de Oaxaca for a taste of homemade Mexican food from the Oaxaca region. You’ll still find the classic tex-mex staples you crave like Huevos Rancheros alongside things like Tamales de Mole’Negro (black mole’ with either chicken or pork and wrapped up neatly in a banana leaf), Ceviche and fish soup. Try something new!
WESTWARD | 2501 N Northlake Way
Head to nautical themed Westward for an ever-changing selection of seasonal foods and drinks with stunning views of the lake as well as a beach area and fire pit for post-dinner chillin’. Feel free to visit by boat since the restaurant boasts a dock where you can step off and be handed an afternoon whiskey. The food is Mediterranean-inspired but expect an imaginative twist on anything expected.
MANEKI | 304 6th Avenue South
Maneki takes the cake for having the craziest restaurant history in Seattle. Having said that, good luck getting a table! This Japanese restaurant has survived both World Wars, Japanese internment, a handful of ownership changes and the honor of one of its dishwashers becoming the 66th prime minister of Japan. But onto the food, which is divine: sushi, sashimi and all the Japanese staples in a casual atmosphere — and for a real bargain at that. If you love Japenese food, Maneki is a Seattle must-do.
MOLLY MOON’S | 917 East Pine Street
Molly Moon ice cream shop is committed to making their Seattle community better, all while scooping some of the best ice cream in the country. Their delicious secret is the hormone-free dairy, organic and local produce whenever possible and unexpected combinations like honey lavender or balsamic strawberry that will tantalize your taste buds.
Where to Sleep
Looking for a funky and colorful boutique hotel? Stay at the Five Seattle where you’ll be able to hear the heartbeat of Seattle. You’ll be minutes away the delicious smells of the Pike Place Market, the unparalleled view from the Space Needle as well as all the shopping and dining you could want.
The Monaco Seattle is the perfectly playful hotel for you and your pet! This sustainable hotel makes great efforts to be both green and accommodating to your every need. Try the onsite restaurant, Sazerac to enjoy the best of Seattle’s sustainable seafood.
If you’re after an extra luxurious escapade, try the Hotel 1000. Book a Corner studio suite and enjoy the fabulous panorama of Seattle.
We’ve got more hotels to pick from over here.
Did we miss any of your Seattle favorites? Let us know in the comments!
*Feature image courtesy of MILKOVI, Unsplash