Seattle, named the Emerald City for its lush evergreen forest, is the birthplace of Starbucks, Microsoft, and Amazon.The whole Pacific Northwest has the trifecta of natural beauty: water, mountains, and forests, and Seattle has it all. Seattle, what I think of as the cleaner and greener San Francisco, is also a city of seven hills. That being said, prepare to get those calf muscles moving while walking around this manageable and iconic city! What other excuse do you need to visit?
I enjoy reading and watching movies about a place before visiting. For those who enjoy reading, I recommend Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford; Where’d you go Bernadette By Maria Semple; Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. I am embarrassed to admit all of the Fifty Shades of Grey movies and the Twilight series, which use Seattle as the backdrop. Sleepless in Seattle is a classic and crowd pleaser.
Day 1: Downtown
Start your morning off at Pikes Place Market (85 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101), walk around the many stalls of fresh food and artisan goods. Even see the famous flying fish! You can easily spend over an hour perusing the market. Don’t forget to check out both Bubblegum Alley and the first Starbucks Coffee. After Pike’s Place Market make your way UPHILL to the Starbucks Reserve (1124 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101) which offers flights of coffee to try, quite an experience. From here you can walk over to the Amazon Dome and grab a free banana from the banana stand.
Grab lunch at Ivar’s Seafood (1001 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104) for lunch, great waterfront views and great fish and chips.
Head to Pioneer Square for an Underground Tour, which starts every hour on the hour. It’s a great way to get to know the city’s history before the tech companies put it on the global map. En route do not miss the modern architecture and quick walk around the Seattle Public Library.
After a jam packed day, enjoy a delicious dinner at Kedai Makan (1802 Bellevue Ave, Seattle, WA 98122) for creative cocktails and amazing Malaysia food!
Day 2: Hike Rattlesnake Ledge + Fremont/Ballard
Start your morning off by renting a car and heading to Rattlesnake Ledge or Snoqualmie Pass (updated information on directions can be found here). While I put this on day 2 of your trip, I would try to go on whatever day is not the weekend, to avoid crowds.
After the hike and with the luxury of your car, drive to the Ballard District to enjoy a beer and hard earned grub. Enjoy window shopping at the many independent stores on Ballard St and Market St. For those interested in Seattle’s quirkier side, stop in at Fremont Troll.
End your evening with a lively dinner at the Pink Door (1919 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101) for dinner and a jazz, cabaret, or burlesque show. Make sure to get there early because seating is on a first come first serve basis.
Day 3: Queen Anne neighborhood
Take it easy on your last day and start your morning with a walk to the beautiful views at Kerry Park (211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA 98119), with sweeping views of the city (on a clear day!) Enjoy a leisurely walk through the Queen Anne neighborhood.
Grab some coffee and a look around at La Marzocco Cafe in KEXP radio center (472 1st Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109) before going to a museum. The Museum of Pop Culture or Chihuly Gardens are both amazing, and it just depends on your personal preference.
Enjoy some oysters from nearby Taylor’s Shellfish (124 Republican St, Seattle, WA 98109).
The space needle is in this area, for those who want to go up and look at the city.
Cheers to a great weekend in Seattle!