For our first anniversary celebration, Matt and I decided to wander off to this beautiful city for the long weekend. Seattle in January is cold. While we were blessed with relatively good weather (i.e. no rain), the first thing I noticed was that my lungs hurt as they filled with the frigid northwestern air. So, don’t forget to pack your Patagonia down jackets, some gloves, and comfortable shoes if you plan on walking around the city. After picking up your bags, I highly recommend you take the SoundTransit if your hotel is downtown. For a rather cheap $2.75, not only will you be dropped off at the footsteps of your hotel but you will be in awe at the efficiency and cleanliness of the city. By no means does it come close to New York or Tokyo’s transit operations, but compared to LA and SF–well, let’s just say, the system works and no one’s pooping on the escalators! Check out the lists below for places to eat and things to do while you’re in Seattle. The lists aren’t exhaustive so if you’ve eaten or explored somewhere I haven’t mentioned, share away!
To eat: In general, the food in Seattle is AMAZING. I found myself wishing I had more space in my stomach (or a faster metabolism) to have an excuse to try out more places throughout the day.
-For brunch, try Café Champagne or Americana. Both are great options with relatively short waits–at least compared to SF.
-For lunch/dinner, try Japonessa, Lola, and The Pink Door. Stop by Lola during lunch for a plate of salmon kabobs and smashed garlic potatoes. If you don’t mind the extra carb load, you MUST try the garlic potatoes.
-For happy hour, try List and Umi. If gnocchi with truffle cream, $4 glasses of wine, or fresh sashimi plates sound like your cup of tea, you’ve got to check these neighbors out.
-For a sweet tooth, try Molly Moon’s Ice Cream. Although, I must warn those of you coming from SF or anywhere you’re used to paying $5 for a racquet-ball sized scoop of ice cream. You’ll leave asking yourself why you let the Ici’s and Bi-Rite’s of the world dictate how much sugar is actually enough to satiate your sweet tooth as the friendly guys at Molly Moon’s scoops you two softball sized balls of delicious ice cream on a freshly made waffle cone. You have been fairly warned.
To do: For a long weekend trip, we couldn’t do much outside of the typical touristy things but most of these were actually worthwhile.
-Walk through Pike Place Market. The market is filled with the vibrant colors of bouquets and crafts, flashing neon lights, and fishy displays. Sure, it’s overpriced and you probably won’t be buying any of the fresh fish, but I highly recommend you try some of their smoked salmon. The salmon-lover in me couldn’t get enough!
-If you want to learn more about Seattle’s history, the Underground Tour is pretty informative. The tour takes you underground through the old city that was either burnt down or flooded out.
-Take a breather and lounge around in the Elliot Bay Book Company.
-Go up to the observation deck of the Space Needle on a clear day and you can see Mt. Rainier to the south of you. When you’re done, check out the Chihuly Garden next to the Space Needle. Dale Chihuly’s work is breathtaking and you won’t believe what he can make out of glass.
1) Take the SoundTransit to and around the city. It’s a cheap and efficient way to get around.
2) Another option is to walk. The downtown area is totally walkable and it’s always nice to hop into a store if it gets too cold and/or rainy.
3) Eat as much seafood as you can.