Seattle, Washington

I can’t believe it’s been four years since I last visited Seattle. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to live in Seattle. People think I’m crazy because of how gray and rainy Seattle is said to be. Our trip was really no different but I just love the Pacific Northwest. I spot checked and most of our itinerary still seems relevant so hopefully it’s useful if you ever find yourself up that way.

October 12, 2016 – Travel Day

We arrived in Seattle on Wednesday evening and jumped in a taxi to our hotel [$45 USD flat rate to the city]. After checking in, we walked around Belltown, a trendy neighborhood with good boutique shopping and hip nightlife options, in search of food. We ended up at Bell + Whete, a European inspired gastropub with amazing kale and artichoke dip but otherwise unspectacular food.

October 13, 2016 – Pike Place Market & Bainbridge Island

Our first stop in the morning was Seattle Coffee Works, conveniently located near the entrance to Pike Place Market.  As a non-coffee drinker, I opted for the chai tea latte and it was just as tasty as their famous coffee. Caffeine in hand, we began our self guided tour of Seattle’s public market.  We stopped to watch the fishmongers throw their fresh catch, smell the beautiful flower bouquets and sample a slice of an apple pear at the produce stand.

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{Chai Tea Latte from Seattle Coffee Works}
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{Fresh fish at Seattle’s Public Market}
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{Pretty flowers at Seattle’s Public Market}

Next, we wandered down the street to the Original Starbucks. Per usual I’m sure, there was a crowd out the door so we didn’t stop inside but did snap a few pictures of the vintage exterior and logo. A little further down the street we stumbled across a long line at the popular Russian Bakery, Piroshky Piroshky. Drawn in by the irresistible smell of their pastries baking, we immediately fell in line and ordered two Piroshkies – one sweet hazelnut cream and one savory ham, cheese and spinach to share.

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{The Original Starbucks in Seattle}

Appetites peaked after sampling the delicious pastries, we assessed our brunch options and decided to check out Biscuit Bitch just around the corner. However, we didn’t realize it is more of a grab-and-go type place with limited indoor seating and space. Eventually, we ended back up in Pike Place Market at the Athenian Seafood Restaurant and Bar.  Fun fact, a scene from Sleepless in Seattle was filmed in the restaurant! 

Post brunch we took a walk along the waterfront and purchased ferry tickets [roundtrip $8.20 USD/person] to Bainbridge Island, an easy 20 minute trip by boat. Upon arriving on Bainbridge, it’s a quick walk into downtown Winslow, the main town on the island boasting cute boutique shops and restaurants. There, we tasted local Washington wines at Eleven Winery, did a little shopping and finished with a cold beer and rowdy game of Scattergories at Alehouse on Winslow while we waited for our return ferry.

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{Downtown Winslow on Bainbridge Island}

We ended up spending more time on the island than intended as there was a “suspicious package” found in the ferry terminal that shut down the entire operation for a few hours.  Aside from the eerie Shutter Island feeling, we enjoyed our time there and always agree, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

[Note: The Bainbridge Island ferry is filled mostly with commuters traveling between the island and city of Seattle. You can ride as a passenger or drive your car aboard for an additional fee. The day we visited it was rainy but on nice days, it’s a great way to see the city and surrounding areas from the water.]

After a quick stop back at the hotel to freshen up, we were off to dinner at The Pink Door, a unique dining experience indeed. With live entertainment including music, Burlesque and Trapeze shows, they take themes to a new level.  We visited in October so naturally the restaurant was set for Fall, cozy and complete with dry leaves littering the floors. The food was equally delicious and we enjoyed a tasty kale salad and pappardelle bolognese.

October 14, 2016 – Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition 

Our plan was to depart early for Anacortes and catch a ferry to San Juan Islands because we had pre-purchased tickets to go whale watching for the day through San Juan Safaris.  Unfortunately, the rain hadn’t let up and the winds had picked up so we decided to cancel last minute, assuming the chance of actually sighting whales in that condition would be slim. We then found ourselves checked out of our hotel, dressed and ready with an entire unplanned day ahead at barely 7AM.

To kill time until more places opened, we made our way to the Space Needle park and created our own fun with a photo and video shoot around the base of the attraction. That took all of 20 minutes so next we drove up to Kerry Park to see the panoramic views of Seattle in the early morning light where we cornered the only person crazy enough to be out in the pouring rain like us to take our picture with the pretty Seattle skyline behind.

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{Space Needle}
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{Seattle skyline views from Kerry Park}

In desperate need for a break from the rain, we sought refuge in the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, a modern coffee shop unlike your typical Starbucks. From there we went to brunch at The Wandering Goose, a cute southern cafe with old country style tables.

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{Coffee Bar at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery}

After brunch it was FINALLY normal business operating hours so we took off for the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition [$22 USD/person]. Not normally a museum person, I was surprised to find myself so taken with the blown glass – the vibrant colors and unique shapes all assembled to create the most beautiful art. It’s impressive to think that all the globes are blown simply using human breath.

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{Blown Glass at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum}
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{Blown Glass at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum + Space Needle}
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{Blown Glass at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum}

After that, we hit the road to Vancouver [with a mini side detour to the Lululemon outlet, naturally]!

[Note: One area we didn’t visit is the Fremont neighborhood just north of Downtown Seattle. This lively area is said to have a young, cool vibe with a busy event and festival schedule. There’s ton of unique restaurants, shopping and breweries. If you go, make sure to check out the Troll who lives under the Aurora Bridge.]


Accommodations & Country Specific Details

Stay: Mayflower Park Hotel

The Mayflower Park Hotel is perfectly located so that we could walk to most places in Seattle. The hotel itself feels very ornate and mature, perhaps a bit outdated. The staff there was wonderful,  we called ahead to let them know we were celebrating a few birthdays and they upgraded us to a spacious two room, two bath suite and left a sweet note and treat for us upon arrival. Overall, we enjoyed our experience! 

Transportation:

To Seattle: We flew into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Around Seattle: We walked everywhere the first day and then picked up a car from National Car Rental Downtown Seattle which was conveniently located a block from our hotel. The plan was to drive to the San Juan Islands and then continue on to Vancouver but we ended up using it to visit certain neighborhoods during our spontaneous last day in Seattle.

Currency: US Dollar (USD).

Language: English.

Outlet Adapter: The standard voltage is 120 V. The standard frequency is 60 Hz. The power sockets that are used are of type B.

Passport/Visa Requirements: N/A

Vaccinations/Medicines: N/A

Weather: We visited in October, autumn in Seattle. It rained every day with temperatures in the 60’s so make sure to bring your umbrellas, water proof shoes and lots of layers!

*Note, the cover picture for this post is from a previous trip I took to Seattle during the month of July, hence the sunshine. 

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