If you follow me on instagram (@marthasachser), you know I recently came back from the west coast and was able to visit some awesome places. Among them, Seattle, which is one of my favorite cities in the US. Mainly because I’ve developed a deep love for nature, so going to a big city that is also surrounded by so much natural beauty is the best of both worlds and I always get super excited! And also, from there you can easily get to Canada, some amazing national parks, Alaska and even the beautiful Oregon coast, so it’s one of my favorite destinations for sure! I’ve been to Seattle before in 2013 but this time I included some new things to the list and wanted to share with you all! To see more pictures of my favorite spots, make sure to follow me on instagram @marthasachser and @the50statesgirl.
For those traveling on a budget or in search of a great cultural experience, I recommend staying in hostels. And this time we stayed at the Hostelling International of Seattle. Steps from public transportation and walking distance to all major downtown attractions, this was our home for a few days. We booked a private room (we never pack light and needed some extra comfort). The hostel also offers free breakfast, wi-fi and other amenities. Restaurants, shops and a unique local vibe! I shared more of my awesome experience HERE!
A trip to Seattle is not complete without a nice dinner at the Six Seven Restaurant, inside the legendary Edgewater Hotel. Famous for being the one and only hotel in Seattle’e waterfront and hosting several music icons (including the Beatles), this was our best dining experience in the city and the view was just amazing! I shared more of my experience HERE!
I try hard to blend in and avoid being just another tourist but to my surprise, this was one of the best things we did in Seattle! I’m officially addicted to taking tours as soon as I arrive in a new place, so to add some fun to it, we tried the Ride The Ducks of Seattle. For about two hours we learned soooo much about the city, laughed really hard, listened to great music and took awesome pictures! And yes, the bus goes in the water, it was a great experience! Highly recommend it!
FROM THE TOP
There are a few ways you can see Seattle from above, but the Space Needle is still my favorite! I’ve been there at night so this time we went up around 5:30pm. if you are wondering which one is the best, both are worth visiting! At night is just harder to take good photos, but the view is always beautiful! Regular tickets start at $19. If you have the chance, add the Chihuly Garden and Glass to your itinerary as well, is right next to it. And the Museum of Pop Culture is also another place you should consider!
We didn’t have much time to shop but without a doubt this was the most fun! I love farmer’s markets so the iconic Public Market is a must go. From flowers, to souvenirs, handmade art and fresh seafood you will sure enjoy your time there (except for the huuge amount of tourists trying to move around at the same time). The first Starbucks is also in the area, so if you’re interested in going inside or grabbing some coffee, make sure to get there early or be prepared to wait in line.
I’m a national park lover and I’m so glad I took the time to explore Mt. Rainier! Beautiful from every angle, this is a must see if you’re planning a trip to Seattle! Other great options I had the chance to visit this time and that I would add to the itinerary if I were you is the Olympic National Park and Mt. St. Hellens. I listed them both here on this list as well because they deserved their moment!
This is a hidden gem and I have to thank Jaque for that. She follows me on instagram and sent me a direct message telling me I had to go to West Seattle to see Seattle’s skyline by the water at sunset. Even though the smoke from the latest fire in Canada made everything less clear, it was still very beautiful! Another plus? The Hawaiian restaurant Marination is right there and is the place to end a perfect day before heading back to our hostel!
NIGHT OUT / DINING and LOCAL VIBE
If you are looking for a local vibe, Capitol Hill is the place to be! From cafes, to bars, to bookstores and the beautiful Volunteer Park, this neighborhood will make you feel like one of the locals for sure! This place is also famous for being the home of the LGBT community. One afternoon should be enough to explore, grab something to eat and maybe hit a bar for happy hour.
I didn’t have so much time to explore every corner of Seattle but Kerry Park remains my favorite park for what it offers: a great view of the city and the chance to see beautiful houses. Yes, I love just driving by them and admiring the different styles, colors and architecture! So get your camera ready and enjoy the view of Seattle’s tallest buildings and the beautiful bay surrounded by locals and tourists.
The Evergreen State won’t disappoint. But if you are in search of more green than Seattle can offer and you have the privilege of time, make sure to explore the Olympic National Park. It was one of the highlights of our trip. Unfortunetely we weren’t able to see all sides of it (Hurricane Ridge for example was covered in smoke from the recent fire in Canada) but we made sure to include the rain forest to our itinerary. We did the short trail, pretty easy and you get to see these beauties.
WORTH TRAVELING FOR
Mt. Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument was one of the highlights of our trip. If you have time to hit the road, the volcano is about 4 hours drive from Seattle. I recomment watching the video that tells the story of it and how the area is still recovering from the big eruption. “At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted and blew down or scorched 230 square miles of forest…30 years later, recovery at Mount St. Helens continues.” Read more about the volcano HERE!
Again, there are many museums you can visit in Seattle, but I also recommend including the University of Washington in your itinerary! Established in 1861, this is one of the oldest universities of the West Coast and it was ranked the number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s 2015 rankings. Pretty impressive. The UW educates more than 54,000 students annually from all over the world. You can take a tour on your own to explore the grounds. Make sure to add the library to your itinerary. Read more about it HERE!
If you are in the mood for some serious shopping with nice dining options, I recommend stopping by the University Village. As you can imagine, it is close to the University of Washington. We spent some time window shopping and having what seemed like endless japanese food at Blue C Sushi, lucky me, they had many vegan options!
For those book lovers like me who enjoy some quite time and a good coffee, the Elliott Bay Book Company is the place! Home to over 150,000 titles, set on cedar shelves in a multi-level, inviting unique atmosphere. New books and bargain editions available and a nice coffee shop in the back! Located at 1521 Tenth Avenue, Seattle, WA.
Underground tour, this is one of the most popular tours of Seattle. I didn’t have time to do it but it was highly recommended by everyone. According to the website it is a humorous stroll through intriguing subterranean storefronts and sidewalks entombed when the city rebuilt on top of itself after the Great Fire of 1889.The 75-minute guided walking tour begins beneath Doc Maynard’s Public House, then spills into historic Pioneer Square, Seattle’s birthplace, before plunging underground for an exclusive, time-capsule view of the buried city.” More info HERE. Photo credit: Postdlf from w .
The beautiful Seattle waterfront. This is one of my favorite places to end the day in the city. And there is a little bit for everyone, specially if you are traveling with kids! From the cliche touristic spots, you also get to see some local art, the Seattle aquarium, ferriswheel and some restaurants and shops. You can also observ the cruise ships and different water tours. So make sure to add that. Wanna grab a bite to eat? Ivar’s Fish Bar, famous fish and chips restaurant is also there. Between the farmer’s market and the waterfront, you have yourself a full day of activities. Wanna see more? Click here for all the fun things you can do in Seattle waterfront!