Andrew and I have slowly been whittling away at our US bucket list, taking advantage of 3 day weekends here and there to get away and discover new cities that we haven’t been to.  We finally were able to cross Seattle off of our bucket list, and we had a fantastic time exploring this city.  We primarily stayed in the downtown area, as there is so much to see and do there, and it’s easy to get around without a car (beware the hills though!). I realize this Seattle City Guide isn’t the end-all be-all list, and there is so much more to see and do.  However, if you find yourself going to Seattle for a weekend or three days and want to get some ideas of what to see and do, then this Seattle City Guide is for you.

Where to Stay in Seattle

If your budget is on the higher end, then no question consider the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle. The sophisticated Four Seasons Hotel Seattle is across the street from Pike Place Market and the Seattle Art Museum, and minutes from the waterfront. Spacious guestrooms are urban-chic and feature deep marble soaking tubs and floor-to-ceiling windows that let in tons of great natural light. The resort-like outdoor terrace offers a fire pit and infinity swimming pool, the horizon line of which leads the eye to Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Enjoy similar views from The Spa’s couple’s treatment room or Goldfinch Tavern, which I recommend for brunch. The restaurant, in partnership with chef and restaurateur Ethan Stowell, offers simply prepared Pacific Northwest cuisine using the finest local ingredients.

When booked through me, Virutoso amenities include:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Continental breakfast daily for up to two in-room guests
  • One $50 USD Spa credit per stay, valid on treatments only
  • One $50 USD Food & Beverage credit per stay

If you still want to have a luxe hotel experience but don’t want to pay Four Seasons prices, then consider the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. The recently renovated Fairmont Olympic Hotel has redefined downtown sophistication with its long-standing reputation as the Emerald City’s finest hideaway, along with being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1924, Seattle’s premier hotel, just steps from Pike Place Market, the waterfront, museums and world-class shopping, offers nearly a century of luxury service standards, while melding classic elegance with mid-century modern room decor. Come and see why the Emerald City’s first love has never looked more beautiful.

When booked through me, Virtuoso amenities include:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Breakfast in the Georgian or In-Room Dining for two daily for duration of the stay
  • $100 USD Equivalent Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay in the Georgian, Shuckers, Terrace Bar, or In-Room Dining
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

For something with a little bit more modern flair, consider the Thompson Seattle. This luxury boutique hotel reflects the intrinsic beauty of Seattle and elevates the refined edge of downtown. Condé Nast Traveler thinks so, too—as it recently named it to its 2017 Hot List as one of the 75 most exciting hotels in the world. Vitality and innovation find their home here, where innovators, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists seek refuge from the ordinary. Conceived by the city’s own award-winning Olson Kundig Architects, Thompson Seattle is a contemporary urban landmark at the center of an unparalleled landscape. Expansive, gasp-inducing views of the Sound, coupled with the energy of Pike Place Market and the culture of downtown, ensure that Thompson Seattle embodies the best of this modern city.  The hotel boasts a fantastic rooftop bar, The Nest, with astounding views of Elliott Bay. It’s the perfect spot to get the night started, or the perfect place to have a nightcap before going to bed.

When booked through me, the following Virtuoso amenities are available to you:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Breakfast in Scout or In-Room Dining for two daily for duration of the stay
  • Complimentary one-way private airport transfer from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for two (2) -OR- Complimentary overnight parking for up to two (2) nights
  • Welcome amenity curated seasonally by Executive Chef Derek Simcik and Executive Pastry Chef Kate Siegel with welcome note
  • Invitation to enjoy a Virtuoso cocktail/mocktail in The Nest Rooftop Lounge at Thompson Seattle for two (2), once during stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

What To See And Do In Seattle

Check out the Seattle Aquarium, if you like aquariums. This aquarium offers a compact collection of marine exhibits, including seals, river and sea otters and an enlightening depiction of Puget Sound’s intertidal life and salmon runs. A hands-on tide pool is a popular part of the facility. In the unique Underwater Dome, visitors can observe fish from a glass tunnel through a giant tank. They also have seals and otters that are quite fun to watch.

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

Take a ride on the Great Wheel. Located on Pier 57, this gigantic Ferris wheel stands 175 ft tall. Visitors ride high above the waterfront inside of a gondola, and the views of downtown Seattle are exceptional. A ride lasts 10-20 minutes, and it’s just a few minutes down from where the Seattle Aquarium is.

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

Check out Pikes Place Market, and try to do a food tour if you can. This is one of the city’s best-known landmarks, and public outcry saved Pike Place from demolition in 1971. The area is renowned for its antiques stores, apothecaries, galleries, buskers and bookstores. The small shops and eateries are neighbors to a huge farmers market, where locals shop and out-of-towners can sample some of the city’s finest flavors. The original Starbucks is there, although the actual building that housed the first Starbucks is just a ways down from where the “original” Starbucks now stands. If you’re interested in booking a foodie tour, let me know, I have some great contacts that can offer various different choices, from regular food tours, to VIP food tours, to many more.

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

For the art buffs, it’s worth checking out the Seattle Art Museum, which is located downtown, and within walking distance to the hotels mentioned above, as well as the Great Wheel and Pikes Place Market. The mammoth Hammering Man sculpture continues his rhythmic work outside this museum with two full floors of gallery and restaurant space. A striking installation of nine tumbling Ford Tauruses by artist Cai Guo-Qiang greets visitors in the airy main lobby. The museum features mainly African, European and Native American art of the Northwest, plus a sophisticated collection of modern and contemporary art. Live music performances take place on the second Thursday of each month.  Other museums worth checking out based on other interests: Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Experience Music Project, Museum of Flight, Olympic Sculpture Park, and many more. 

One of the museums I really enjoyed was the Chihuly Museum.  If you plan it right, you can buy tickets for both the Chihuly Museum and the Seattle Space Needle, just make sure to make a note of the times that are listed on your ticket. This stunning indoor and outdoor exhibition at the base of the Space Needle showcases the work of Tacoma native Dale Chihuly. There’s a fun cafe on-site that presents some of Chihuly’s collections and drawings. Pro tip: ask for headphones, and head over to www.chihulygardenandglass.com/m/tour/rooms/ to listen to an audio explanation about the different installations in the different room.

Once you’re done at the Chihuly Museum, head on over and get in line to go up the Seattle Space Needle. Recognized as the symbol of the city, the Space Needle was built to tower over the site of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, also known as the Century 21 Exposition. Down on the ground are the museums, shops and eateries of the Seattle Center—worthwhile stops for any visitor—but first take the 41-second elevator ride to the Needle Observation Deck, 520 ft up. If the deck isn’t surrounded by clouds, the views are astounding. You’ll also be able to get more info and see pictures of how they built this impressive structure while you wait in line.  Fun fact: you can also enjoy cocktails once you make it to the top.

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

If you have a chance to check out a sports game while in Seattle, I would highly recommend it.  We were able to catch a Seattle Sounders/Portland Timbers game (soccer), which happens to be a huge rivalry.  Last year, we were able to watch this same game while we were in Portland, and the Timbers happen to be Andrew’s favorite soccer team.  They play at CenturyLink Field where the Seattle Seahawks play, just south of downtown and right next to the Mariners’ baseball stadium. Tickets to most sporting events are available up until game day.

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

Don’t forget to check out Seattle’s famous Gum Wall! Located in a small alley just next to Pike Place Market, this gum wall is world famous and when last cleaned, the city of Seattle removed over a ton (literally) of chewed up gum.  Although the wall does periodically get cleaned up, it’s not very long before people head back and continue the old tradition.

If you have an extra day or so, you can also do some day trips from Seattle to Mount Rainier National Park, Snoqualmie Falls, San Juan Islands, and Bainbridge Island.  If you need help making arrangements for sightseeing and tours, I’ve got some fantastic contacts and would love to help you out.

Where to Eat in Seattle

There are no shortage of amazing restaurants, cafes, and bars in Seattle.  We were able to hit up a few during our stay, and I’m including a list of the ones that I wanted to target as well as a map of where they’re located so you can check to see if there’s anything around you while you’re out and about.

Lark was one of the restaurants that we went to, and we were able to walk there from the Fairmont–a 25 minute walk up the hill. We totally deserved the cocktails, wine, and delicious pasta dishes that we consumed.  The food is described as Pacific Northwestern cuisine. The Menu features locally-produced and organic cheese, charcuterie, vegetables, grains, fish, and meats, all prepared in season.

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

Spinasse is one restaurant that I tell people they absolutely have to go to.  It was rated as one of the top Italian restaurants in the US by the Food Network, and it serves some of the best hand-made pasta.  The highlight on this menu is their Tajarin al Ragu pasta–it’s absolutely to die for.  We ended up splitting it, and I would suggest that you order this dish for yourself.

Seattle City Guide | The Hungry Chronicles

Tajarin al Ragu

Brunch at Goldfinch Tavern at the Four Seasons.  Wow, this place knows how to do a Sunday brunch! Their spread of fresh seafood, salmon and lox, soups, salads, shrimp cocktail, charcuterie and cheese, and their a la carte items like fresh crab cakes and pancakes are out of control.  They also have bottomless mimosas and bloody marys, and the ultimate dessert bar.

Other restaurants, cafes, bars and ice cream shops you don’t want to miss in no particular order:

  • Cafe Presse
  • Contadino
  • Spinasse
  • Frolik Kitchen+Cocktails
  • The Nest at Thompson Seattle
  • 2120 Restaurant
  • Mioposto Pizzeria
  • Via Tribunali
  • Musashi’s
  • Scout PNW
  • Ooink
  • Blank Space Cafe
  • Oddfellows Cafe+Bar
  • The Fat Hen
  • Din Tai Fung (I think there are a few locations)
  • Frankie & Jo’s
  • Manao Thai Street Eats
  • Tallulah’s
  • Mamnoon
  • The Walrus and the Carpenter
  • Il Corvo
  • San Fermo
  • Hotel Albatross
  • Ba Bar Restaurant
  • Quinn’s
  • Artusi
  • Bluebird Ice Cream

Just to name a few 😉  below you’ll see the map of hotels, restaurants, and sightseeing/attractions so you’ll have a better idea of what’s around you when you go to Seattle.

As always, if you have any questions or would like help booking your trip to Seattle (or anywhere), I would love to help you out.  Feel free to reach out to me at ane@thehungrychronicles.com, or get more info on my Travel Services and contact form here.

 


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