So in honor of our second wedding anniversary, Nick and I decided to visit Seattle for a nice, long, relaxing weekend.
We had both visited Seattle previously, but neither of us really had a chance to get out and explore the city tourist-style. So with raincoats packed, we made our way north to Washington. We discovered quite a bit to do and see in just 4 days…and so very easily! With the exception of traveling out to Snoqualmie, we were able to either walk to or utilize public transportation everywhere we went (including the airport). Plus, we saved ourselves some money by purchasing the Seattle City Pass. We were able to visit the sights we knew we wanted to – plus we discovered a few we hadn’t even planned on – and were able to bypass lines! Visit their website HERE!
So here’s how we tackled Seattle – all bundled up into 6 areas.
Just a quick ride on the Link Light Rail and a slight walk drops you right in the back of center field of Safeco park:
Before my trip, friends let me know that the ballpark is quite lovely (and in some cases one of their favorites to visit) – and they weren’t kidding. The park is gorgeous – clean, expansive and very fan friendly. It has a lot of great amenities – a wide variety of craft beers to choose from, fun artwork to see and play around on, a playground area for the kids (for when that stretch from 5th to 7th inning is just a little too long), and soooooo much good food.
Plus, they even let me out on the field to make the game winning catch!!
Ok…not really…but it could have happened.
Let’s be honest – even if you’re only an occasional coffee drinker, no trip to Seattle would be complete without a visit to the mothership. The birth of coffee capitalism started in a little shop right there in Pike Place. Who could imagine such humble beginnings would create the world domination of caffeination as we know it?
There are a lot of fabulous other coffee roasters in and around the Seattle area, but at some point you will find yourself stepping under the green awning (never mind that there are about a billion locations per square block radius):
So let’s pretend for a minute that you don’t buy into the capitalistic monster that is Starbucks. Do yourself a tiny favor and at least visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room. Inside you’ll be able to watch the journey from unblemished bean to roaster to bag. But even more fun is the opportunity to try a variety of brewing methods – from pour-over to press to their awesome Siphon method.
If I had known you could mix coffee and chemistry, I’d have definitely paid more attention in high school!
Just a short ride away on the monorail:
…which, by the way, is the original monorail from the 1962 World’s Fair and still very much in excellent condition – is the Seattle Center. Here you’ll find a whole variety of things to visit just steps away from each other.
Obviously, the most recognizable Seattle icon in the middle of it all is the Space Needle. Learn all about how the Needle was built in time for the 1962 World’s Fair (did you know that they didn’t lose a single worker in construction – despite the fact that they barely used safety harnesses?). Travel 520 feet in just under 50 seconds and see all of Seattle and beyond.
Just a short walk across the courtyard is the EMP museum – an awesomely constructed metal looking behemoth dedicated to contemporary pop culture, science fiction, fantasy and beyond. Inside you’ll a huge video wall you’ll want in your own home, amazing exhibits and awesome interactive displays across 3 floors. There’s a little something for everyone – and trust me, you can spend hours in this place just playing with everything!!!
By the way, we were told that the building itself was supposedly designed to look emulate Jimi Hendrix’s smashed guitar…but I can neither confirm nor deny if that was the true intent.
A quick walk along the other side of the Space Needle gets you to the most beautiful museum dedicated to glass work that I’ve ever seen. My friend Victoria recommended the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum – and I’m so glad we made sure to stop!
The colors are absolutely stunning – and the sculptures themselves are amazing.
Even when you get outside, walking through the garden, it’s amazing how balanced the plants and sculptures are to each other. There was even a live glass-blowing demonstration outside so you could see all of the patience and steps it takes just to create one piece.
So aside from the awesomeness of our anniversary, the other real reason for our visit to Seattle was found just outside the city in the lovely town of Snoqualmie: the Dirtfish Rally School.
If you have a friend, family member or significant other that likes to zoom and slide around in cars with skill and precision, this is definitely the place for them to go! And it’s just a 40 minute drive from Seattle!
Class started at 8am, so we drove out to Snoqualmie early in the morning – which made for a beautiful sunrise drive, and gave us time to stop and watch nature being amazing:
And enjoy a gorgeous setting for breakfast…
Yeah…the waterfall isn’t too shabby either 😉
Then Nick got to spend almost all day behind the wheel of a rally car at Dirtfish, slaloming, drifting, and driving…
…while I spent the day inside all comfy on the couch with nothing to do but relax and catch up on Hulu. I did have the chance to wander outside and watch the cars cruise around the track – and it really was quite a sight to see. The whole experience was great from start to finish. The people were friendly, knowledgeable, and so very accommodating – and Nick had an absolute blast!
Shopping at Pike Place:
I don’t think any visit to Seattle would be complete without a visit to Pike Place market.
to fine dining:
there really is something for everyone to be found in the 9 acre historic district.
Plus…again…original Starbucks. You can never be too caffeinated.
Seattle Piers 50-62:
Finally, with all the water surrounding the city of Seattle, it would be a shame if you didn’t visit at least some of it! You have to see all of the seals and otters and visit the huge underwater dome at the Seattle Aquarium:
Get a different sky-high view of the city from the Seattle Great Wheel:
Enjoy a relaxing hour-long harbor cruise while learning about the history of the city
Get yourself some authentic seafood chowder at Ivar’s Acres of Clams:
Visit a distillery!! I’ve visited wineries and breweries, but never a distillery! And Copperworks was a great place to visit and learn about the gin/vodka/whisky process! These vats were made in Scotland and shipped over just for these guys!
And they brew their own beer as the base for their spirits – isn’t that awesome?? Because it takes whiskey time to age before it can be released, they haven’t actually poured any since their start-up. But they were expecting to tap the barrels by summer – so if you’re in the area, give ’em a try and let me know how it tastes!!
Or pretend to be a local and hop on a ferry and have breakfast or lunch (or both) at Bainbridge Island.
We had just enough time to ride over to the island, enjoy a delicious breakfast at the Streamliner Diner and get back to the dock before the next vessel set sail.
Overall it was a fabulous trip. Granted we only scratched the surface of what Seattle has to offer…but that just means we’ll have to go back again sometime soon!! And we had such beautiful weather while we were there – we didn’t even need to pull out the raincoats once. I was a little bummed that we weren’t going to get to sample any of Seattle’s famous weather…but it turns out Mother Nature has impeccable timing…
…it started to rain at the airport.
Not listed here but among the places we visited that are also recommended: Salish Lodge and Spa, the Carlile Room, Tula’s Jazz Club, Mayflower Park Hotel. I’ve received no compensation for any of this – we really had just that great a time everywhere we went. 🙂