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My husband and I made a pact long before we got married to travel together as often as we could once we finally tied the knot. As we searched for travel destinations in the states to pepper throughout our first year of marriage, our interests brought us to the Pacific Northwest. We eventually settled on Seattle, the hip seat of the Evergreen State.
We had a ton of fun as we dined, walked and museumed our way through the city’s wide range of rich cultural offerings. Nevertheless, the further we got into our five-day excursion, the more we realized how little we knew about what makes the city so fun to visit. Using the information we learned from all the things we did and all of the things we heard about, I’m here to offer some suggestions to help you make the most of your Emerald City adventure.
Seattle has some fairly expensive lodging. However, a good location can save you money on car rental, and can really define your experience. When we were there, we chose a great economic option in the Hampton Inn downtown. Within just a few blocks of the Space Needle, it was a lovely starting point for anything we needed to do. You can always stay in a highly central hotel near Pioneer Square or Pike Place, but that isn’t make or break it. You will find that Seattle is a fairly walkable city, with most of its sights fairly close to each other. Even though we were about a 20-minute walk from Pike Place, we took advantage of the opportunity to get some exercise.
Gettin’ Around Town
Walk everywhere and take the bus as much as you can! We are from South Florida, which is a very spaced-out metropolitan area with poor public transportation. The idea of public transport terrifies us, and if we’re being honest, we’re not even sure the buses in our city run regularly. However, Seattle’s public transportation is among the best of the best. The buses are clean, reliable and easy to navigate. We got to so many of our destinations quickly and affordably thanks to the easy bus routes. I managed to travel from the downtown hustle and bustle of Pike Place to the nearby sleepy suburb of Kirkland without any hassle.
Emerald City Eats
Seattle has plenty of cultural diversity, making it a culinary wonderland. You will find a wide variety of great cuisines including Japanese, Mexican and American. You might try going to Umi Sake House, then starting your night off right with a walk down the road to Bathtub Gin. This is a great speakeasy-style bar that offers wonderful ambiance and incredible service. You have to wait in line outside (and depending Seattle’s fickle weather conditions, this may not be easy), but it is well worth the wait. If you’re not feeling the wait, hope in an Uber or bus and head across town to the Pie Bar for an amazing selection of comfort-food desserts, married with great drinks and hip music. You can also get a great chicken pot pie here; who doesn’t love that?!
Sleepless in Seattle
Seattle is the largest soccer city in America, with the Seattle Sounders as the city’s sporting sweethearts. We didn’t get a chance to go to a game there, but the dozens of soccer jerseys and advertisements we saw (in MLS’s off-season, no less) had us longing to be part of good, rowdy soccer crowd.
Contrary to popular belief, the Space Needle is really not worth the price (that’s what the locals told us, at least). For a similar breathtaking view at a fraction of the cost, I recommend going instead to the Columbia Tower, Seattle’s largest building. You can get a good view of the entire city and the majestic Mt. Rainier from the top tier of this iconic building.
And of course, no trip to Seattle would be complete without a trip to the Museum of Pop Culture. My husband spent hours fawning over its surprisingly exhaustive histories of Nirvana, Fender Guitars and horror films. This was a definite highlight of our trip; I would recommend it to anyone taking a trip to Seattle, whether you stay for a day or a month.
What we loved most about Seattle is that it is a vacation destination that feels so familiar. It’s filled with such a diversity of experiences and the people are so friendly that you are sure to feel right at home. My hope is that your trip is filled with even more amazing sights and sounds than we got to experience. Happy travels!