That is, if it is summertime with its’ long stretches of warm daylight days and endless deep blue skies. However, the Emerald City is charming year-round. I’m a born and raised Seattleite and hope this guide will set you on a path to discover this amazing city, no matter what time of the year you visit. Below are some “suggestions” that may help you enjoy your time in the Seattle area either as a “short” jaunt or maybe longer?
- Day One:
Arrive at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, located approximately 15 miles south of downtown Seattle. The area is widely spread out, so a rental car is highly recommended. Take a shuttle to the brand new rental car pavilion to pick up your vehicle. Or, if you prefer public transportation, a trip on the light rail train is a mere $3.
Drive to Seattle, which takes approximately 20 minutes during non-rush hours and check into Hotel 1000. This property typifies the “new” Seattle: young, contemporary, and tech forward. Drop off your baggage and begin exploring the city’s amazing culinary scene.
A short 5 minute walk leads you to Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market. Established in 1907, this market hosts numerous booths featuring the freshest seafood and meats, local farm fruits, vegetables, and flowers, arts and crafts, gourmet foods, restaurants, and eclectic knick-knacks. In addition to the famous “fish throwing” booth. Be sure to sample the tasty offerings as you roam the market. We recommend the fresh crab cocktail, seasonal fruit, and sinful pastries. Join in the crowd to grab a coffee from the original Starbucks storefront. This will fuel you for a gluttonous evening of eating and drinking.
Begin with a tour of the area’s best happy hour spots. Some Random Bar is located in Belltown, an eclectic and food-centric area just north of Pike Place Market. Grab a pint of local beer or sip on a craft cocktail, such as a coffee old fashioned (it’s Seattle, you gotta get coffee in all forms!). Snack on crab nachos (once again, it’s Seattle!)
A few blocks away is List . The amazing happy hour includes half-off many dishes off of the food menu and $15 bottle wines. Favorite dishes include: gnocchi with truffle sauce and clams served with a side of crostini for dunking into the tasty chardonnay based broth.
How about some Brazilian food and drinks? Head over to The Grill From Ipanema for happy hour priced caipirinhas and 50% off bar noshes. The skirt steak is a fantastic way to sample the meats without committing yourself to a full buffet.
After indulging in an amazing array of food and beverages, walk down to the waterfront and catch the spectacular sunset. Seattle’s Ferris Wheel is located at Pier 57.
It offers a top-notch view of the city and Puget Sound both day and night. End your day with a night cap in Seattle’s beautiful and historic core, Pioneer Square. Damn The Weather offers a fantastic late night happy hour (gotta continue the theme of the day! They have innovative cocktails that will have your tastebuds dancing in delight. A favorite is a boozy Gitano (pisco, sherry, apricot liqueur, and china-china amer) and Uppfriska (aquavit, dry vermouth, cucumber juice, and lemon). Pair this with crispy chicken skins or fresh, local oysters and this is a late night treat for culinary champions!
- Day Two:
After a nice night’s sleep (or when the hang-over wears off…), drive to West Seattle and catch the ferry to Vachon Island. Why Vashon Island? Because it is a hidden gem that is a quick 20 minute ferry ride from Seattle. The ferry ride is quick and comfortable, affording you yet another fantastic view of the city and sound. Upon disembarking, drive to Vashon’s city center. The quaint and artistic island offers a great array of shops, galleries, restaurants, bakeries, wineries, distilleries, breweries, hard cider tasting rooms. Saturday’s farmers market is very small but focuses on local products. We loved the fresh coffee and tasty gluten-free pastries.
Explore Vashon’s beautiful nature. Head to the beach and see beautiful starfish along the water’s edge. Enjoy the Puget Sound sea life and watch seals joyfully swimming. If you can, rent a kayak and paddle along the shores. Or rent a bike and circle the island.
Return to Seattle via Ferry and make your way to the Seattle Center and the Space Needle. Naturally, you need to take a selfie in front of this iconic landmark. However, there is so much more to the Seattle Center. Art abounds the grounds. And most exhibits line the pathways and are free. However, a paid visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass is highly recommended. Although there are plenty of food venues, we recommend heading back to Pike Place Market.
This time, stroll through the market and head to Radiator Whiskey for a truly indulgent meal. The Prohibition-era whiskey and cocktail bar offers a wide array of adult beverages to get you started. However, where to start may be the biggest decision to make. Whiskey neat? Whiskey cocktail? Or beer, or wine, or something tequila based or…? You get the picture! A favorite choice is the restaurant’s own barrel aged cocktails that age for a minimum of 6 weeks.
The meat centric restaurant offers a fun choice of dishes to accompany your beverages. Start off with cornflake crusted chicken livers. If this isn’t enough, go all out and order the smoked half pig’s head. This will surely remembering your trip to Seattle for a long time to come! It is beautifully presented on a board with all of the accompaniments.
Unfortunately, your quick trip to Seattle has come to an end. However, the wonderful memories of a brief getaway will leave you wanting to explore the Emerald City even more, no matter what time of year! So pack your bags now and plan your visit!
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