I visited Seattle last Fall to attend my first Create + Cultivate conference. I'll write about that a little later. Although the conference lacked in some ways, the location did not disappoint. Seattle is absolutely beautiful! The scenery is gorgeous so if you’re a sucker for landscapes like me, this is your place.
I stayed at the Marriott Seattle Bellevue. This was one of the hotels recommended by the conference, as it is close to the Microsoft Campus, but I would not recommend staying here. It’s a beautiful hotel and the ride over Lake Washington is a must-see, but if you like to be close to the “action” you should stay closer to the city. Capitol Hill seems like the place to be with lots of bar and restaurant options. I spent about $20-$30 in Uber one-way, everyday, for a 15 min ride, to get into the city where the attractions are. The daily rides over Lake Washington boasted gorgeous views of mansions in rolling hills and beautiful blue water hosting the yachts of my dreams. One day Mt. Rainer made an appearance in the backdrop of this scene wearing a purplish-orange sunset at it’s waist.
My favorite part of the visit was my accidental sailing trip. On one of my many trips into the city to wander around and explore I stumbled upon one of the Piers where I saw a sign offering sailing trips. I assumed it would be out of my price range and sold out as the next boat left in 15 minutes but I decided to give it a shot anyways. I’d never been sailing and because of recent fires this was the first clear and sunny day on my trip. It was my last day so I walked over to the skipper and inquired. I was in luck! The cost was $30/person for a 3 hour BYOB sailing tour - I signed up immediately. It was too late for me to run and grab food and drinks but I’d just eaten and purchased a book I was ready to dive into. Close to 15 strangers joined me on the boat, most of which were couples and small groups, ready to pop open their wine and snacks. I found a comfy seat at the bow and settled in. The views were to die for and the warmth of the sun and a cool breeze were the perfect little cherries on top. I felt so relaxed and my eyes were fed.
Here are my recommendations on what to do and see on your trip to Seattle.
DO + SEE + EAT
ELLIOTT BAY WATERFRONT
Everyone's heard of Pike Place, right? Huge market - come with an appetite! Lots of different foods to try, handmade goods + rows and rows of gorgeous, inexpensive flower bouquets. Great place to buy international chocolates and coffee (local, too). The very first Starbucks is here as well - the line, as you can imagine, was ridiculous. Cool to see even from the outside but I definitely didn't feel it was worth it to stand in line and order anything - there were much better coffee options in the area. I stood outside eating street corn and did some people watching and window shopping. The street corn was AMAZING.
Great place to see the Fishmongers toss giant fish orders and sing a little chant while doing so. Big crowd, lots of cheering, laughing and of course, amazing seafood selections. If you rent an Airbnb, definitely stop here to pick up some delicious bites and cook yourself a fabulous meal.
Interesting collective art or disgusting display of odd human behavior? You decide? I see it both ways. It fascinates me that this is a "thing" people look forward to. I think it has something to do with the bright variety of colors and the fact that anyone can participate and leave their mark. Kinda cool contributing to something thousands around the world have too. On the other hand that's a whole lotta spit in one place.
"Does anybody else have anything I can possibly use? Anti-bacterial wipes perhaps?"
As if tasting everything under the sun at Pike wasn't enough, stop here after walking around for a while for a yummy lunch. Deliciously strong margaritas - try the Pineapple Jalapeno if you're feeling as adventurous as I was - and vegan friendly!
If you like things stuff inside of delicious warm bread and flakey bread, go here.
Ever cried in a bookstore and hid in the shadowy corners pretending to mull over a purchase so no one would see you weeping like a child? Just me? K. This store had so many pieces that spoke to me it was insane. I was pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed by the diversity of books and especially the focus on black history and culture. There were shelves and shelves of books I'd never seen before and unless you're looking pretty hard, you probably haven't either. From politics to human interaction pieces - I could have spent hours in there. I purchased the well known book, The Hate You Give and started it on my sailing trip.
I missed the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit by a few hours during my trip but decided to walk around this beautiful place anyways. After lots of walking, I found a quiet corner in their downstairs cafe, ordered an espresso + macaron. While I charged up my phone I read again for a while and took breaks to people watch passersby on the sidewalk.
Miner's Landing // Pier 57
Raw oysters. Clams. Mussels. Steamed. Fried. Baked. You name it, it's here. If that wasn't enough to tempt you, there's a gorgeous view of Puget Sound's Elliott Bay, a Ferris wheel and more.
Sail Puget Sound // Pier 56
Gorgeous, peaceful and relaxing sailing trip around Elliott Bay + Puget Sound. BYOB - champs, wine, snacks.
Worth the view + price. I went on a Monday afternoon and avoided an outrageous line and overcrowding. Stunning views of Seattle. Go all the way to the top! Plus they offer free photos of you which is so nice - so don't decline - there's no catch. On your way out don't forget to stop by one of the photo kiosks and email the free copies to yourself. It also smells like scrumptious (yet overpriced) caramel popcorn up there.
From Barneys, to All Saints, there's lots of shopping in this area. I worked at Nordstrom as my first job out of college and I wanted to see the flagship location - it was huge! They even have a Chanel boutique. Fancy.
Uber driver said great things about this place and was going to visit but it was more expensive than what I was looking for and kind of a time commitment. Cool alleyway leading up with jazz art. Seems like a fun date spot if you're traveling with your s/o. Instead I went to Palace Kitchen around the corner.
Intimate dining with attentive staff - sustainable practices and farm to table food. I enjoyed a peaceful meal of Pan Seared Bread Dumplings, a summer salad and a glass of Pinot Noir. Owned by Thomas Douglas Seattle Kitchen.
Capitol hill // first hill
Yummy Vietnamese dishes including. Delicious Phở real. Ha.
Although my trip was filled with conference events, I managed to squeeze in quite a bit. From what I did get to experience, Seattle is definitely a placed I'd love to visit again. Is Seattle on your list?