2017 is my year of checking things off my list, and much of that list is travel, travel, travel. It doesn’t always have to be to far away places, but this year I’m hoping to adventure to places that are just a hop, skip or jump away!
A few weekends ago we went to Seattle to cover all of the touristy things I’ve never done before, and cross a few restaurants off of my Seattle eats list that has been growing quite rapidly.
Since it was my first time to the city and I was not very familiar with the neighborhoods, distances, etc. I used Google My Maps for the first time. Using this, I was able to bookmark all of the places I wanted to go to, color coordinate them with priority, and from then could map out how to cover each thing within our 48 hours in town. I loved this system, and I actually felt like I saw 90% of what I wanted to in such a short amount of time. If you’d like to see my personal map, I’m happy to share.
Since we did so much in so little time, I’m going to go with lists for this post – yep, you’re seeing a pattern, I love a good list.
Where to stay:
We stayed at the Westin, since I had Starwood Rewards points. We didn’t end up booking a hotel until the night before we left, as I always like to check HotelTonight the last few nights before a trip to get the best deals on the best hotels – but deals weren’t going down much in general, so I decided to bite the bullet and use my points. We definitely didn’t regret this. After arriving at about 8:30pm, with 9:45pm dinner reservation, the hotel kindly gave us a free upgraded room with a full 180 degree view of the Seattle skyline (the Westin buildings are in the shape of a circular tube here). It pays to ask in your sweetest voice ever if they have any “nicer rooms” never NOT try this :). You don’t ask, you won’t get! Apart from the room, the Westin ended up being a perfect location. Walking distance to the main downtown shopping area and Pike’s Place, but just far enough that you won’t feel like you’re in a tourist trap. One really cool thing the Westin Seattle does that I wanted to note and have never seen before, is they rent workout clothes/sneakers to their guest for $5/day with a partnership with New Balance. I thought this was a brilliant idea and would definitely take advantage of if I was traveling light and/or forgot to bring these essentials.
I also wanted to note that The Thompson would be a great place to stay and was #2 on our list but the Westin was a bit cheaper. I’m a big fan of Thompson Hotels (see my Playa del Carmen post). Although we didn’t stay here, it was still on the top of my to-do list as this small chain of hotels are known for their food/drinks/rooftops and boutique feel. The Seattle Thompson was no different. Their rooftop bar/restaurant is open all seasons of the year (even dreary January when we were there!) and boast the best views of thecity with unbelievable craft cocktails to match. A must do before dinner.
The View from Nest..The Thompson rooftop.
LOVE a big ice cube!
Tavolàta in Belltown: Italian with a twist. The food was good (nothing to write home about) but the space and mezcal cocktail were a favorite of mine.
Drinks at Clever Bottle: Walking distance from Tavolàta. We quickly became friends with the friendly bartender, Taylor, and fell in love with their old fashioned, which came with a roasted marshmallow on top!
Breakfast at Pike’s Place. Although on many tourist “must do lists” – we found this to be similar in both looks and tourist vibes as the San Francisco Ferry Building. Nothing stood out to me except the delicious lox bagels and greek yogurt we came across.
We ventured to Bainbridge Island on a whim after the market, and this was the BEST part of the trip. The ferry is a steal at $8/pp roundtrip and it takes less than 40 minutes to get there. From the ferry, you’re able to see all of Seattle and take in the PNW snowy mountain views. Absolutely outstanding. After arriving on the island, the town is a short walk away. We enjoyed lunch on the water at the best little brew pub with great, friendly service and a warm, cozy “hometown” feel. We then stopped at the cutest coffee shop on the Marina, then went wine tasting in town and shared a gourmet cheese plate before catching the ferry back to the city. This day was just perfect.
My favorite activity of the day…WINE!
Bainbridge has so much charm. I couldn’t resist!
Dinner at Heartwood Provisions: This was the best dining experience while in the pacific northwest. I made a reservation at the chef’s bar where we were able to enjoy our meal while taking in the chef’s working their magic in the kitchen. We lucked out while there as the restaurant was celebrating it’s 2 year anniversary, offering two 3-course dinner options for $60 total- such a steal for this 5-star restaurant. Between the two of us, we enjoyed fish eggs with creme sauce, kale salad, sashimi, wagyu beef with chimichurri sauce, scallops, and both the meyer lemon dessert and chocolate mousse. And wine, of course. I give this place 10 stars!!**
Brunch at Westward: This adorable spot looks over Lake Union. With its garage doors, adirondack chairs and fire pits, I’m sure its fabulous in the summer time, but it was just as fun in the winter. The food was perfect and the views were gorgeous.
I think I need this sign for my apartment 🙂
Ballard Farmers Market: I’m so glad we made time to do this – I felt like the market gave us a chance to see what it’s like to be a local in this eclectic neighborhood. Ballard also boasts great bars and restaurants – which we took advantage of for a midday mimosa (or 3). 🙂
Kerry Park: So many locals recommended this park and compared it to SF’s Dolores. Well….. it was FREEZING but the views (again) were fun to see. I think I like sunny Dolores Park a bit more than this one :). After the park, we walked to Taylor Oyster Bar in Queen Anne district as we couldn’t leave Seattle without having a few oysters and more rosé (for me). The staff was so friendly and informative and all of the oysters are sourced locally by the Taylor Family (no relation to me! :)).
Phew. What a weekend! We covered A LOT in 48 hours and it was a total blast. The locals, food, and service we experienced in Seattle were the most memorable things I took home with me.
I’m excited to go back to Seattle – maybe for a girls trip next! Portland is also on the top of my list…..