Recently I have been asked alot to give recommendations of things to see and do in Seattle for out of town guests, so being a Seattle enthusiast I created a list of places I personally would show my guests visiting Seattle.
Pike’s Place – Every tourist visits the market but so do the locals! I love the excitement the market offers and wide variety of local products you can buy, if you’re staying with locals you can always pick up a beautiful bouquet for $10! Be sure to see the gum wall in the post alley, get a picture with the golden pig and watch the fishermen throw fish around. The first Starbucks is here but usually has long lines. However, two of my favorite cafes are located nearby, Le Panier and The Crumpet Shop. If you’re in the mood for a french croissant and latte then head to Le Panier but if you are feeling English, tea and crumpets are delicious at The Crumpet Shop.
Columbia Tower – The 73rd floor has a 360 sky view observatory lounge with the best views of Seattle and the surrounding area. There is a cafe there so you can easily spend an hour just taking in the details of this beautiful city. As a substitute you can go to the Seattle Space Needle ($21) or the Great Ferris Wheel ($15) which are both more expensive and more “touristy” but I find the Columbia Tower ($12.50 adult, $9 student) the better option.
Seattle Central Library – This is an archetectural gem in downtown Seattle. The building is made of steel and glass and has 11 floors, definitely take the escalators to the top to see the building best.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery – This is a one of a kind Starbucks Coffee shop where you can watch the whole process from small batch roasting to single cup brewing. You will not find the regular mocha/lattes here, everything is infused this with a hint of that. This is the perfect place for a coffee connoisseur but also a neat experience for any coffee drinker.
Seattle Underground Tour – I’m usually not one for guided tours but I went on the underground tour and loved it! It’s a super entertaining and educational tour about the history of downtown Seattle and building a city next to the puget sound. The regular one lasts about 75 minutes and costs $18 adult, $15 student. They also have haunted tours at night!
University of Washington – Being my alma mater I have to include this on the list. The campus is beautiful, the architecture takes you back in time and if you go inside Suzzalo Library up to the second floor, you will see our very own Harry Potter study room.
Portage Bay Cafe – There are many great places to eat in Seattle but none like Portage Bay with the motto of “Eat Like You Give A Damn.” The food is always locally and sustainably sourced and freakin delicious!! If you are visiting Seattle, GO HERE FOR BRUNCH! Weekends are super busy so make reservations.
Gasworks Park – This used to be a gas refinery but now it’s a green park great for picnics and most famous for the picturesque views of the Seattle skyline.
Fremont – One of my favorite neighborhoods. They have a wacky Fremont walking self-guided tour which I recommend (pick up a pamphlet next to Lenin statue). You will see the Troll who lives under the bridge, a statue of Lenin, the center of the universe, a rocket ship, shrubbery Dinosaurs and much more. The canal also runs along the downtown area and you can watch rowers and sailboats go by. The downtown has lots of unique shopping and restaurants.
Theo’s Chocolate Factory Tour – In Fremont neighborhood we have our very own organic, fair trade chocolate factory! The tour costs $10, is about an hour long, is super educational and you get to eat lots of chocolate! Everyone I’ve taken on the tour has loved it.
Ballard Locks – At the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks you can watch boats being lowered from Lake Washington to the Puget Sound, and vice versa. Great for imagining what your future million dollar yacht will look like (how many jet skiis/motor boats will it have, and what about an outside bar or hot tub…?). If you walk across the locks and dam there is a neat fish ladder where you can watch the salmon through plexiglass below ground.
Volunteer Park – The park is great for summer walks and pictures of the space needle and Olympic mountain range in the donut hole of the “Black Sun” sculpture in front of the Asian Art Museum. There are also two huge laying camel statues guarding the museum which are fun to take pictures with.
Alki Beach – A California beach in West Seattle. It’s somehow always sunny there and you’ll seriously feel like your in Cali, except for the Seattle skyline staring at you from across the bay. You’ll see quirky beach front houses and lots of great places to eat.
Bainbridge Island – Only 35 minutes from downtown Seattle this is the perfect mini escape from the city. Once walking off the ferry you will immediately be in the downtown area with cute shops and eats. The air is just fresher there, and the marinas are plenty.
Madison Park – I would put this at the top of the list but if you’re reading this, you probably already know about Madison Park. This is my neighborhood, we live across the street from the beach and love the waterfront vibe. There are lots of cute shops, restaurants and banks. Bring your paddle board out and afterwards have dinner at our corner pub, McGilvras.
I may edit this list as I experience more of my city, but for now if you even try 3 things on this list you will love Seattle.