Dec 2, 2021
7 min read
A City Guide to Seattle
Seattle is a city that has always had a lot going for it – long before Amazon set up shop there. While this growing tech scene might be the first thing you think of, it’s worth noting that Seattle has a rich history in music, art and food, too. Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix both grew up here;Dale Chihuly
is just one of Seattle’s artists; and chefs includingShota Nakajima
are based in the city.
In recent years – with more young professionals moving in, the laws surrounding cannabis production changing, and, as mentioned, Amazon – Seattle real estate is booming. With that, comes the pros and cons of an expanding city, but it also means that Seattle has become a top destination.
Frankly, we’ve always loved Seattle. It’s surrounded by great weekend getaways, has a vibrant creative culture, and world-class restaurants. We could easily spend a day in just one of its neighborhoods, lazing around the excellent coffee shops and eating seafood. Read on for a few of our favorite things to do in Seattle.
Where to stay in Seattle
This is our favorite Kimpton hotel within the city. They have a few, but Palladian has the quirky yet refined design elements we love. It’s located in Belltown, so you can easily walk toPike Place Market
and the waterfront. The rooms range in size, but we recommend getting at least a Deluxe Guest room so you can take advantage of the clawfoot tub.
Designed by Seattle’s Olson Kundig Architects, The Thompson sits on top of Pike Place, which means the views through the floor-to-ceiling windows are gorgeous. The rooms are spacious and perfectly set up for a “work-in-room” experience if you need to. And when you’re done, head up to their rooftop bar,The Nest
– there’s no better place to clock off.
Where to eat in Seattle
If you’re familiar with Seattle, you’ve probably heard of this Ballard oyster bar, as its one of the Sea Creatures restaurant group’s most popular spots. There’s a marble bar, complete with oyster baskets – and the food is truly amazing. Come for happy hour if you can get a table.
Seattle is known for good Vietnamese food, and while this is not one of the hole-in-the-wall type places, its very much the real deal. Dishing up great phở, it’s a perfect spot on a cold night when you want a bit of atmosphere. There are three locations, and we love all of them.
Eve is one of our go-to restaurants in the Fremont neighborhood. The dishes are consistently intriguing and delicious, and we love the large mural that makes up their far interior wall. Stop by for a late lunch and order a few dishes to share.
Listed in Eater’s Bill Addison roundup ofbest new restaurants when it opened
, Kamonegi is a Japanese standout in a city with a lot of great Japanese food. Their soba is made in-house and a must order. We also encourage you to try something from their seasonal sake menu.
Remember that hole-in-the-wall, Vietnamese place we mentioned above? Well, this is it. Come to Huong Binh for an incredible, cheap bowl of phở. Some people say it’s the city’s best – but we’re still working our way around the many bowls in Seattle. Just know that it’s really, really good.
Where to get coffee in Seattle
On quiet 31st Ave, this small coffee shop is real gem. Selling sustainable coffee, baked goods (with vegan options, too), breakfast tacos on weekends, and decent kombucha, all bases are covered. It’s also a nice spot to plug in and work for an hour or so.
This might be our favorite cup of coffee (and branding) in Seattle. They roast their beans in house and if that isn’t enough, they also sell fresh baked goods fromSea Wolf Bakers
. Order a latte, take a seat on one of their bar stools, and enjoy.
Located at the back ofElliott Bay Bookstore
, this is the sister cafe to larger restaurant, Oddfellows. Part the appeal is obviously that it’s a cafe in a bookshop, which we are suckers for. And, there’s great coffee and snacks.
Milstead & Co is where you take your coffee snob friend for a refined brew. It rotates renowned roasters like Kuma and Coava, and the espresso-based drinks are particularly good. Take a seat outside and savor it.
Where to work
Victrola has a few locations, but we usually head to their Capitol Hill shop. It’s built in a 1920s ‘auto row’ building and has kept a lot of the original architectural integrity. We love the big communal tables and the fact that they roast their own beans.
Where to get your hit of culture
Chihuly is a household name in Seattle. Opened in 2012, this is the artist’s long-standing exhibition in his home state of Washington. The glass structures are other worldly and you can spend hours in each room. The museum has pieces inside and outside, interwoven with the garden.
Outside the Seattle Art Museum, the design of this space has won international awards and is seen as a model for outdoor sculpture parks across the US. Home to pieces by Richard Serra and Alexander Calder, it’s also an exhibit in its own right; the architecture of the walkways and landscape is all part of the experience. It’s only open in the spring/summer season, so check ahead.
Previously EMP (Experience Music Project), the Museum of Pop Culture is dedicated to the art, films and ideas that have come about in, you guessed it, pop culture. We particularly love its take on Seattle’s music history: with more than 6,000 Jimi Hendrix-related artifacts, it also pays homage to the inspiration for the first museum (EMP), funded by Paul Allen.
What to do in Seattle
If it’s warm, try out Seattle’s ferry system by heading to Langley on Whidbey Island. Only a 30-minute boat ride from the city transports you to a seaside town. Grab a coffee and stop by home goods shop,Edit
Okay, we know. You know. Everyone knows. But you can’t go to Seattle without stopping by Pike Place. It will most likely be crowded, but don’t let that deter you. Head toMarket Grill
for a blackened fish sandwich; then check out the little bookshops downstairs for some great deals.
Where to shop in Seattle
Seattle is a bit of a bookstore hub, and Peter Miller has a reputation as the most design-centric of them all. Alongside luxury coffee-table books, you can also buy home goods, drafting supplies, and more.
Where to drink in Seattle
This is one of our favorite wine bars. The interior is a mix of rustic wood and beautiful wallpaper, and the wine selection is top notch. They also have oysters and small plates, and we’d happily while away the whole weekend on their patio if we could.
Serving “apothecary” style cocktails and Creole food, Percy’s has long shared tables and a backdrop of hanging plants behind the bar. Their big booths are the perfect place to cozy up during the rainy months.
If you want a good-weird sort of dive bar and a great burger, Twilight is your place. It has stickers on the ceiling and random trophies displayed, but that is all part of the charm.
Where to workout
Our friend and yoga teacher Anna Douglas tipped us off about this spot. They have group and private classes, but what we love most is the ability to get a massage right after the workout.
Here you can choose between Bouldering Basics, and Bouldering 1-3, depending on your skill level. Head to their cafe, West Wall, afterwards for a debrief over coffee.
The weekend can get a bit crowded here, but it still makes for a great walk. The inner loop is 2.8 miles and the outer loop is 3.1 miles around the lake. If you want to go further, head towards Woodland Park from the south end of Green Lake.
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