Writing a “travel” blog post about Seattle, where I’ve lived and worked for eight years, is fun – though it’s hard not to make it an epic novel since Seattle has so much to offer.
If you look beyond Seattle’s infamous grey, wet weather, there is something for everyone: foodies, hikers, history buffs, mountaineers, musicians, skiers, sailors, aviation enthusiasts, artists and art lovers… am I missing anyone?
Situated in Pacific Northwest of the U.S. on the Puget Sound, Seattle is surrounded by water and mountains. The area has boomed over the last decade with its many employment and lifestyle attractions for tech companies and startups.
Putting my traveler’s lens on, I thought I’d share my personal favourite spots and activities in Seattle. I’m sure my Seattle friends will have lots of input on this (wink, wink), but I’ve really enjoyed everything below.
- Washington Park Arboretum: especially in the autumn. The colours are amazing.
- Kerry Park: I used to live in the Queen Anne neighborhood and a stroll to this small hilltop park to catch the views is fabulous – especially when Mount Rainier was out in all its glory.
- Discovery Park and the West Point Lighthouse: get your walking shoes on and head into one of the largest parks in Seattle. Lots of wooded trails and it’s worth the effort to walk down (and back up) to the Lighthouse.
- Pike Place Market: check out the merry band of fisher mongers flinging fish at each other. The array of produce here is vast and stunning and several local artists sell their wares.
- Museum of Flight: I’ve taken every member of my family here and I’ve also run several client events here. A great place to visit, especially if you want to walk inside the Concorde.
- Farmers Markets: for many months of the year, various neighborhoods in Seattle host wonderful Farmers Markets. Some are even year-round. It’s so much fun to walk around to see (and often taste!) all the local produce and products being sold.
- The Seattle Waterfront: the viaduct that looed over Seattle’s waterfront since 1950 was recently demolished and Seattle has worked to create a more lively, attractive, and safe waterfront to enjoy. There’s the Seattle Aquarium, a giant Ferris wheel with great views of Seattle and Elliott Bay, a harbour tour, and more. You can hop aboard an Argosy cruise boat to Blake Island for a salmon bake and local Native American history in Tillicum Village.
- Speaking of boats. Hop on one of the Washington State Ferriesfrom Seattle to Bainbridge Island. A cute little town to walk around, grab some lunch and take in the impressive skyline from the water.
- Take a seaplane up to the San Juan Islands, or even Victoria, British Columbia, with amazing views as you fly over the Seattle and the Puget Sound. If flying’s not your thing, you can enjoy the Clipper Ferry to Victoria.
- Hop in the car and drive up I-90 into the nearby Cascade Mountains where there are tons of fabulous hikes (my favourite is Mailbox Peak). I spent a lot of time in these mountains when I was training to climb Mount Rainier.
- Speaking of Mount Rainier, it’s about two hours south of Seattle and is definitely worth a visit anytime of the year – but especially in the summer, when the wildflowers are truly magnificent. Be sure to check out the National Park website for updates on access and passes.
- As a good Brit, I love my gin! And Seattle has a lot of craft distilleries (as well as wineries and craft breweries) with tasting options. Check out these local distilleries: Copperworks, Heritage, and Scratch.
- Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery Concert Series: this is so much fun! Grab your friends, a picnic, and spend the afternoon or evening outside listening to world-class music in a fabulous setting.
- In the winter months: hit the slopes for downhill or cross-country skiing. Not a skier? How about snowshoeing or event tobogganing?
Eating and Drinking
There are so many great restaurants and bars in Seattle, that it’s really hard not to create a list that is as long as my arm!
- Time 4 Pho
- The Pink Door
- Six Seven Restaurant
- Ray’s Boathouse Cafe
- Rock Creek Seafoods
- Butcher’s Table
- How to Cook a Wolf
- London Plane
- San Fermo
- Place Pigalle
- The Nest
Where to Stay
Hotels are expensive in Seattle (especially when the cruise ships come in) and, in my opinion, many are not worth the rates they charge. Here are a few good ones. Tip: check out Expedia and Hotel Tonight, which typically have better rates than the hotel websites.
More Seattle Activities