Surrounded by glorious mountains, verdant forests and dazzling lakes, Seattle is an eclectic city that is alive with the spirits of nature. Seattle embodies the American Dream as a comfortable liveable metropolis that is unique and timeless!
Seattle is located in the United States Pacific Northwest, about 100 miles (160 kms) south of the Canadian border. It is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound and Lake Washington and right across from the Olympic Peninsula.
I needle little escape to Seattle!
The Olympic Peninsula is home to temperate rain forests including the Hoh, the Queets and the Quinault. Its proximity to these rainforests makes Seattle’s weather wet for much of the year so pack an umbrella!
Reaching the metropolis is usually via the Seattle – Tacoma International Airport. “Sea-Tac” is about a 20-minute drive from the city centre. Taxi and Rideshares are widely available.
The Light Rail is another option, although not very convenient if you have a lot of luggage because it is a 10-minute walk from the airport terminal. The Light Rail also runs throughout the city along with the Monorail, Metro and Street Cars. These are all economical and fun ways to explore Seattle.
Here are my recommendations on where to visit in Seattle:
- Space Needle – This futuristic-looking observation deck is a city landmark and one of the best ways to see Seattle. It was built, along with the monorail for the 1962 World’s Fair and, at 605 feet tall (185 meters), was once the tallest structure in the Western US. The 41-second elevator trip to the top will bring you face to face with amazing views of all of the surrounding areas of natural beauty while cloud cover might hide the city below!
Visit Pike Place Market “Salmon-chanted Evening”!
- Pike Place Market – The most visited sight of Seattle and a foodie’s heaven, this waterfront farmers market has been up and running since 1907, making it the one of the oldest in the United States. It is also home to the original Starbucks Coffee. Known for its loud and colourful atmosphere that features salmon tossing and similar crowd-pleasing spectacles, Pike Place Market has something for everyone.
- Museum of Pop Culture or MoPOP – With exhibits of exciting displays and interesting information on pop culture, this non-profit museum is a splendid way to spend an afternoon.
- Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour – Once made of wood, Seattle suffered a terrible fire in 1889. The citizens decided to rebuild in brick and stone on top of the ruins. This left an eerie underground city that has been featured in films and TV shows. You can tour some of the undergrounds from Pioneer Square.
- Snowqualmie Falls – This beautiful scenic spot was sacred to the Snowqualmie People, a First Nations tribe who (since November 2019) own the area and have promised to keep its 268-foot (82m) cascade pristine and free from over-development. Perhaps best known for being featured in the TV series “Twin Peaks”, this is a beautiful place for hiking, yoga and communing with nature.
- Seattle Hikes – Located near the Pacific coast and surrounded by mountains and forests, Seattle’s lush landscape is begging to be explored. My favourite hiking spots include:
The peak of my trip!
- Rattlesnake Ledge – 4 miles roundtrip, level: easy. The hike is steadily uphill through gorgeous old growth forests.
- Ebey’s Landing – 5.6 miles roundtrip, level: moderate. A beautiful costal hike on Whidbey island with many wildlife viewing opportunities.
- Mount Si – 8 miles roundtrip, level moderate to challenging. A popular hike with incredible views of Mount Rainer.
Because of Seattle’s landscape and fertile soil, fresh produce is widely available along with some of the freshest seafood available anywhere; Pacific Northwest Oysters, fresh salmon, and King Crab. Although Seattle is the 18th largest city in the U.S., it is ranked 5th for having the most restaurants! With so many trendy places to grab a bite, here are my favourite culinary gems in the Emerald city:
- Ivar’s Fish Bar – Ivar’s is a legend for its high-quality and inexpensive price. It is a Seattle institution!
- Canlis – One of Seattle’s most recognised restaurants. Fine dining with incredible views since 1950 with live piano nightly.
- Sushi Kashiba – The owner and legendary Shushi chef, Shiro Kashiba, offers a lovely dining experience and the freshest fish.
- Harvest Beat – Lavish vegan dishes with mostly organic hand-picked ingredients from the garden out back.
The freshest salmon possible!
Seattle is an easy-going city with a nightlife to match. The many live music venues, breweries and speakeasy bars always have something creative to celebrate. Seattle is the home of the original Grunge music scene pioneered by the group Nirvana! Here are some of my downtown Seattle recommendations for a fun evening out:
Make mine a “Henry’s”!
- Capitol Hill – The best place for entertainment in Seattle, this popular nightlife area is full of trendy bars, clubs and coffee shops. Great for bar- hopping and home to Neumos, one of the City’s most popular live music venues.
- The Backdoor at Roxy’s – This speakeasy has original cocktails and an amazing late-night menu. The chandelier décor and laid-back vibe are the perfect recipe for a good time.
- The Pike Brewing Company – Seasonal beer, locally sourced menu and an on-site museum! You can tour or just enjoy a few at the pub.
Here are some great places to stay in Seattle:
- The Fairmont Olympic Hotel – A lovely historic landmark, this luxury, 1924 Renaissance-style stay is located downtown near the Space Needle.
- Kimpton Alexis Hotel – Located in the heart of Seattle and known for its whiskey library. Nearby the Seattle Ferry Terminal for easy access to adventurous things to do in Seattle
- Hotel Five – A great place to stay if you’re ready to fully experience the city. Conveniently located near the bus station, Pike Place Market and the waterfront. There is also a bicycle checkout programme for an easy way to explore the city.
- Salish Lodge – This beautiful hotel is built at the top of the falls at Snowqualimie and is as comfortable as it is iconic. This is a romantic place for a couple’s getaway!
Did you know that Washington State makes really incredible wines? The white wines are excellent with the Riesling being my favourite takeaway from the region. Cultivated close to the state’s apple orchards, the wines are floral. Try the very best ones produced in restaurants and bars all around Seattle!
The scenic vistas, delicious food, exciting sights and incredible music fill my heart with delight each time I visit lovely Seattle. I hope you feel the same when you visit!