A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend Jen and I went to Seattle for a long weekend. When we were brainstorming about which cities to visit, Seattle was top on our list! Neither of us had been to the Pacific Northwest prior to this trip, so we dived right in. [Side note: Jen and I studied abroad in Seville, Spain our junior year of college so needless to say, we are lifelong travel partners!]. Jen and I are both planners and as it so happens, neither of us had planned anything for this trip other than the working itinerary I had managed to put together on my flight. With this guide book (which was great), we ended up planning the trip together once we got there.
THINGS TO DO
We flew in on Thursday around noon. By the time we checked into our hotel and got settled in it was already mid-afternoon. We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard near Pioneer Square, which was a great location! It was downtown and about a 10 minute walk from Pike Place Market and 15 minutes to the waterfront. Our full itinerary is below:
- Downtown Seattle – we decided to take it easy our first night and walked around downtown seattle for about an hour. This wasn’t an incredibly eventful tour but we got to see some of the architecture and buildings (like the art-deco Seattle Tower, the Benaroya Concert Hall and Seattle Central Library.)
- Then we walked over to Wild Ginger for dinner, which was delicious. The potstickers were my favorite!
- Pike Place Market – known as the “heart and soul” of Seattle and rightfully so. It is a beautiful market with fresh fish, flowers (peonies for $2/stem!!), produce and more. Dedicate at least 2 – 2.5 hours here and try to get here early! This market gets packed around 10 / 10:30 am. Try some salmon jerky from the fish vendors and buy some chocolate covered cherries!! As you check out the flower shops and the local vendors, make sure you stop by these MUSTs:
- Piroshky Piroshky – I am Russian and I have never had such delicious piroshkies in my life. If your’e not familiar, piroshkies are pastries that come sweet or savory. They are the Russian version of samosas, as I like to say. 🙂 Get the ‘beef and onion’ and you won’t be sorry.
- Storyville Coffee – this is probably some of the best coffee I’ve ever had. It’s hidden in the market upstairs, so ask a local to show you how to get to it. We were not able to find it at first and a young Seattleite was sweet enough to walk us there. (We found that Seattleites are some of the nicest people – so friendly and warm – which made our trip that much better.)
- Beecher’s – ok, cheese lovers, this place is for YOU. Not only can you try (and buy) different kinds of cheeses, you can see it actually being made. We had the Mariachi mac & cheese (with anaheim chillies, fresh veggies & their flagship cheese) which was amazing!
- Starbucks – as you may know, the first Starbucks EVER is in Pike Place Market. We did not get a coffee here because the line was around the corner but we walked by it and crossed it off our list! 🙂
- Gum Wall – When you walk downstairs and around the corner, there’s an entire alley with gum plastered all over the walls. Nothing crazy here other than a fun stop along your way for a picture.
We spent the whole morning at the market and ate our way through it, so we did not need to get lunch afterwards! We were a bit tired and headed back to our room to rest. Here’s what we did in the afternoon:
- Theo Chocolate Factory – if you are planning in advance, book a tour here! We walked in and the tour was already filled, but we were able to walk around and sample all of the amazing chocolate. [You can also get their chocolate at Central Market & Whole Foods in case you want to try some before you go!] Then we then took an Uber to the Chihuly gallery.
- Chihuly Garden & Glass – this is such a beautiful exhibition of work. Dale Chihuly is an incredibly talented artist and I always love his extraordinary pieces. Walk through this exhibit and be awed by his glass structures and art work.
- Space Needle – this iconic Seattle structure will give you a view of the entire city from up above. It’s walking distance from the Chihuly Gardens. My advice is to buy your tickets for both in the little ticket machines outside so that you can reserve your timeslot.
- Afterwards we had dinner at Tilikum Place Cafe, which I highly recommend! We sat at the bar which was fun because we got to see the chefs preparing the food in the kitchen. I loved the decor – its bar had books stacked along the shelves.
Outside of Piroshky Piroshky
The Gum Wall
Chihuly Garden and Glass
- We had breakfast at a great little spot close to the water, Meet the Moon. It holds a special place in my heart as this was my very first avocado toast! I loved it. I always imagined avocado toast to be bland but it was delicious and flavorful! From here, we decided to get our steps in and walk to Capitol Hill.
- Capitol Hill – this is a funky & eclectic neighborhood in Seattle! My fave spot was checking out one of Seattle’s beloved bookstores, Elliott Bay Book Co. (I love love LOVE bookstores!) Afterwards, we grabbed an Uber to get lunch at Purple Cafe & Wine Bar! We loved it, although it was pretty rich cuisine, so if you’re looking for something light, maybe save this place for dinner.
- Shopping: After lunch, we walked about 5 minutes to Zara and then Nordstrom Rack! Seattle has some great shopping — after all, this is where Nordstrom started!
- Later on, we took a Ferry to Bainbridge Island and got dinner at Hitchcock Restaurant.
We left early the next morning feeling satisfied with our Seattle experience. There’s always more to see and do, which gives you an excuse to come back!
I hope this helps you if you’re planning an upcoming trip to Seattle! We loved it so much that we were conspiring to convince our husbands to move there at the end of it. 🙂 If you have any Seattle gems (i.e. restaurants, sites, etc.) that you recommend, please let me know in the comments below!