More Trees, Fewer Houses
Escape the Northeast’s wrathful heat and cool off in emerald shade at 46.60º N, 122.33º W, aka Seattle. This is a frontier city where people come to experiment with their lives. Read on for our handpicked recommendations for the city that always smells of pine trees and the sea.
For the best service and a re-interpretation of Northwestern Pacific food, this is the place to go. It’s a landmark of fine-dining in Seattle, and offers stunning and delicious plates in a midcentury-modern home.
Quick tip: This place isn’t cheap. Book months in advance, if possible.
2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
La Medusa — Italian
Snug and casual trattoria serving up some of the best Italian soul food (made with local ingredients!) in the the US. Guests can expect an open kitchen, a chalkboard menu, and no pretention.
Quick tip: You must try their homemade pasta. It’s delectable!
4857 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Best place in town for oysters. Their other seafood dishes and cocktails are also worth trying. But, we love this place most for its oysters.
4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Thai-style platters made with local ingredients can be found at this bright new eatery. The plates are as delightfully delicious as they are imaginative.
Quick tip: Try the crisp-skin king salmon with pinot noir-fennel sauce. Ask for seating in their outdoor garden area.
c. Ç c, 622 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102
Mike’s Noodle House
A no-nonsense, cash-only hole-in-the-wall spot for soups & other classic Asian eats in a snug storefront with simple decor.
418 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Hidden gem that serves up eclectic cocktails alongside well-paired small bites.
Quick tip: If you’d like a more substantial meal, head over to the mother restaurant, Blind Pig Bistro just right next door. In fact, there’s a passageway that connects Babirusa and Blind Pig Bistro.
2236 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102
They say rankings are shallow, but we beg to differ. There are a plethora of reasons why this bar is often named one of the best bars in the US. Expect to wait for a seat; there’s little standing room, and reservations require a small credit card hold.
Quick tip: Parties over four will be kindly turned away.
928 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Cocktails and sushi? Who said they didn’t go together? Before 4pm, it’s a charming coffee house (it opens at 8am). After 4pm, break out the sushi and whiskey, por favor.
Quick tip: We recommend the Seattle Sour; a drink of rye, coffee liqueur, and the foam from local favorite pale ale Manny’s.
517 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Hailing from the Northwest, Dale Chihuly is best known for his otherworldly glass sculptures that can be found in public buildings and private collections. In his own museum, Chihuly takes glass art to a whole new level by creating a glass garden straight out of Alice in Wonderland.
Quick tip: Despite what you might think, this place is actually quite family friendly.
Resembling a slightly off-kilter Rubic’s Cube, the Central Library is quite a beauty to behold. Head up to the tenth floor for the best view of the city.
Quick tip: Needless to say, admission is totally free.
Normally, we would have put this in our “Eat” section, but this famed revolving restaurant belongs in “See” for obvious reasons. Get a 360º view of Seattle from the iconic Space Needle.
Quick tip: The food is quite good, albeit pricey. Make sure to book way in advance.
Amazing artisanal chocolate heaven that even Obama has commented on. They use only the finest and highest-grade ingredients, local whenever possible.
1325 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
Lucca Great Finds
A whimsical eccentric shop selling European toiletries, including Santa Maria Novella soaps, handmade jewelry and cards, and high-end paper products.. You’ll find unique and gift-worthy Seattle memorabilia as well. You’ll be as surprised with your finds as you are with the price points (spoiler alert: it’s reasonably priced).
5332 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Pike Place Market
Despite being Seattle’s number one tourist attraction, Pike Place Market hasn’t lost its fresh charm. Restaurants dot the buildings of the market; fresh halibut can be seen being tossed from fishmonger to fishmonger; and the freshly made donuts beckon you into the chaos. It’s as close to a bazaar as America will ever have.
Quick tip: The mornings are the best times to cruise the market.
The Triple Door
A cultured music venue for grown-ups instead of wild just-out-of-college types, this place maintains an interesting roster featuring top name performers and the best popular and jazz musicians in Seattle. If you don’t care much for music, at least stop by for a cocktail at the Musicquarium Lounge.
Quick tip: The space is tight and it often gets packed, so if you’re claustrophobic, we recommend forgoing this experience.
Center for Wooden Boats
Every Sunday, the Center gives free boat rides on the lake. The rides run from 1–3pm. The first-come, first-served slots tend to go fast, so you should queue up at the Center as soon as it opens. You may also rent a variety of small crafts to explore the lake on your own. Rates are $25–$50 per hour.
Quick tip: Check out the events calendar for weekend workshops or to schedule one-on-one sailing/boating lessons.
One of the most modern luxury hotels in Downtown, this is the place to stay if you want to be near the important, fun stuff. The newly renovated rooms are spacious and sure to impress techies. Practice golf with their virtual golf course, and the eatery and bar are noteworthy as well.
Average stay per night: $395
1000 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
A casual, quirky hotel on that water that the Beatles stayed in in 1964. ‘Nuf said. Ask for room 272.
Quick tip: The hotel’s restaurant Six-Seven offers a fine dining experience. If the weather permits, get a patio table and enjoy your meal right on the water.
Average stay per night: $399
1000 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Hotel Āndra is a new boutique hotel built and designed in a heritage building near Downtown. The best way to describe its decor: Northwest natural meets Scandinavian sleek. The rooms exude warm, relaxed luxury.
Fun tip: The word ändra in Swedish means “change. The hotelier sought to breathe new life into the heritage building when designing this hotel.
Average stay per night: $328
2000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
There is nothing bad we could ever say about a Four Season, and this one is no exception. With its infinity pool overlooking Elliott Bay and Olympic mountains and unusually generous rooms, the experience is worth every penny.
Quick tip: This place is perfect couples looking for a romantic treat. Even if you don’t stay at the hotel, at least try the restaurant in the hotel that serves up plates made from ocal and organic ingredients.
Average stay per night: $539
99 Union St, Seattle, WA 98101
Observation tower and Seattle icon that looks more like a flying saucer on a stand. It’s open from 8am to 12am, daily. In order to avoid the crowds, go on the shoulder times (9am-11am or 10pm-12am).
Seattle Art Museum
Go to the main museum located in Downtown. There are several other museums the operating organization maintains (and they are worth checking out if you have more time); for first-timers, the main one will suffice. There is no required admission fee, rather a “suggested” one. Typical Seattle.
Olympic Sculpture Park
9-acre outdoor park with massive sculptures. No entrance fee.
Quick tip: Don’t miss the “Eagle”, a soaring red-steel structure.
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