Lush nature and a punk-rock attitude.
Seattle is a singular destination that offers visitors eclectic culture, excellent cuisine, lush nature and a punk-rock attitude.
Sure, the weather can be cold and damp (it was 35 degrees all weekend when I was there) for most of the year. But some people like the rain and the slightly emo mood it sets around the city. Because Seattleites spend so much time indoors, they make up for the weather with out-of-this-world food, coffee and drinks. And though Seattleites themselves are said to be quite introverted, most people you meet in the city are friendly, courteous and low-key.
Here’s an eclectic mix of must-do’s in Seattle so that you can get a vibe of this innovative, unique city in the Pacific Northwest.
1. Hit up Pike Place Market
You already know exactly where you want to go first when you land in Seattle: Pike Place Market. It’s only the most Instagram-ed place in all of Seattle and the city’s number one tourist attraction.
Pike Place Market is an extensive collection of market stalls, restaurants and artisan shops next to the pier where you can find delicious noms and fresh goods. Just step into Beecher’s Handmade Cheese for a dose of rich mac n cheese or any of the casual eateries serving up oysters, fish and chips and other seafood delicacies. Also did you know that the very first original Starbucks is located at the market?
Despite being a tourist trap, Pike Place Market remains pretty magical. Give yourself at least a couple of hours to explore every turn of this dope, historic market.
2. Visit a craft distillery
The concentration of artisan spirit and beer distillers in Seattle ought to make other cities jealous of the refined alcohol Seattleites get to consume on a daily basis. Seattle’s got a plethora of individual distillers and breweries pumping out everything from craft IPAs, bourbon, gin, vodka, cider and you name it. Thus, visiting a craft distillery is definitely a must-do if you’d love a good drink in Seattle.
We got in touch with 3 Howls Distillery in SoDo district and owner Will Maschmeier who is a mad scientist brewing up delectable liquors of all kinds. He showed us how he ages his whiskey, flavors his Blood Orange Vodka and bottles his fierce Navy-Strength Gin. Craft distillers like him make distilling alcohol an art form—one that is best appreciated by visiting the distillery where all the magic happens.
3. Get coffee at Drip City Coffee
Seattle’s world-class coffee culture also makes other cities real jealous of the on-point-every-time cups of Joe they get to drink every day.
Uber-chic, minimalist cafes and coffee shops are dime-a-dozen in Seattle. But we decided to recommend Drip City Coffee in Belltown for its cozy atmosphere and laidback neighborhood vibe. And also former Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice happens to own it, so you know the coffee must be pretty damn good if an NFL player is getting involved.
Step into Drip City Coffee after a day of sightseeing to warm up, delight in a latte and treat yourself to all the delicious treats on display at this awesome neighborhood café.
4. Take the ferry to Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island is a gorgeous island and city in Puget Sound. It’s just a 35 minute ferry ride away from Seattle, which you can catch down at the pier frequently throughout the day.
Visiting Bainbridge Island is a great way to catch a city break and soak in Washington’s beautiful, lush natural scenery without having to go too far. The ferry ride is lovely since you can catch awesome views of Seattle’s skyline as well as pretty postcard views of Puget Sound’s scenery.
Once you get off at Bainbridge Island, there are lots of cute cafes, diners, boutiques and a free art gallery to peruse in. It’s a cute community with lots of charm and rustic vibes.
5. Eat at Maneki Japanese Restaurant
Maneki is Seattle’s most famous Japanese restaurant because it’s been in business in the same location in Chinatown for over 100 years. Any restaurant that manages to stay open for 100 years, let alone 100 days, has to be super tasty.
What blew my mind when I ate at Maneki was not just how good the food was but also how cheaply everything was priced. Two pieces of uni only costs $9.50 and you can get a steak dinner combination bento for $16.50 during both lunch and dinner.
Despite its fame and stature, Maneki remains a welcoming and casual restaurant ambiance. It sticks to homemade Japanese comfort food and does it well, which explains why business is still booming after an entire century.
6. Visit Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum
Chihuly Garden & Glass was the attraction I was most excited to see in Seattle and the museum did not disappoint!
The museum exhibits extensive art installations by world-renowned glass artist, Dale Chihuly, from Tacoma, Washington. It’s a one-of-a-kind art museum that displays stunning, colorful gardens, boats, sea creatures and other objects made exclusively with glass. It’s an exclusive exhibit that can’t be matched anywhere else in the world, so be sure to check it out when you pass through Seattle!
Photos: Nadia Cho