A couple of weeks ago Colin, Ada and I took a trip to Seattle, WA! The pictures above are snaps from that trip…we forgot our good camera so these are all iPhone shots. It was such a special trip. Seattle, and area, is like a third home to me. My Grandparents, my Aunt, Uncle and Cousins all live just outside of the city in the ‘burbs. Growing up, we would always go there for week long visits. I had my first solo flight to Seattle at the age of 8! I was an UM (unaccompanied minor) and a highlight was being able to have a choice of any soda I wanted and visiting the pilot during the flight (yes that was totally a thing!) Years ago my grandparents owned a beautiful property with the view of the Puget Sound! My brothers and I would sit on the couches with binoculars in hand and check out all the cool boats and barges coming into and out of the port! They also had an outdoor pool, so you can imagine all the fun my brothers and I would have in the summer heat!
In 2015 my brother Kevin moved to Seattle, as he was offered an amazing job at one of the big tech companies there. It was a big deal and such an exciting move for him. He found a wicked apartment in the heart of it all (blocks from DT and Pike Place Market) with such a cool view of the ocean! Talk about bachelor pad! Although we’ve spent countless times coming and visiting my family in past years, we rarely spent any time actually touring around and exploring the actual city itself. Seattle has so much to offer and since Kevin’s move, I have made a real effort to go and visit him! I’ve even come for a weekend away with my best friend. While doing so, I’ve found myself wandering the streets and falling in love with the city more and more each time.
This last trip was an extra special one – a time where Colin, myself and Ada could wander the streets for the first time all together! We shopped, we dined, we walked (boy did we walk), we explored, and we also spent some time with my Grandparents and family!
After being there as much as we have, I thought it would be fun to put together a guide of where to stay, where to eat, what to do in Seattle (with or without children).
Where to Stay:
We have been extremely lucky to either stay with my family in their homes, or with my brother at his apartment whenever we go. Yes, all three of us squish into his loft style studio space – pack’n’play, gear and all! However, we’ve stayed at these places in the past and had great experiences:
We used AirBNB last year and ended up at the Via6 in a cool 2 bdrm space. It offers some cool views of the city, is walking distance to the market and shops, and it is surrounded by all things Amazon! I like staying in an apartment, especially with a baby, because it gives us the space to relax and the option to prepare a meal every now and again.
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel was a place we stayed at a few years ago when we were in town for Christmas. Again, fantastic location and really nice hotel.
My advice is staying anywhere in walking distance to the market and shopping areas, keeping you close to the food scene, the water, and all the action!
If you find yourself in Bellevue, WA – not far from Seattle – stay at the Westin. We had a great experience as it’s steps from great shopping and restaurants in the heart of Bellevue Square.
What to Do:
You can’t visit Seattle and not visit the sites that make it famous. Even though we’ve been countless times, we seem to always check out the ‘Hot Spots’ but have also found some hidden treasures too!
- The Space Needle is a Seattle landmark. From the top, it offers a 360 degree outside view of the city itself, the freshwater lakes, Puget Sound, the surrounding islands, as well as the various Olympic mountain and volcano peaks in and around Seattle! It’s beautiful. The only thing is that it can get quite busy, so hitting it up first thing in the morning is the best…and on a warm day!
- If you’re not into big crowds, and/or you want to save some money, and/or it’s not that warm outside, check out the Sky View Observatory at the Columbus Tower instead! It’s about half the cost, twice the height, all enclosed, and not as busy! We checked it out on our last trip and it was a perfect to go with Ada (…well she napped the entire time) but we pretty much had the place to ourselves!
- At the base of the needle there is the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. It’s an indoor and outdoor space, absolutely stunning, and the little ones will love looking at all the beautiful colors. You can also buy a pass that gives you access to both The Space Needle and the Chihuly Gardens that saves you some $$.
- Olympic Sculpture Park is another fun place to walk through. It’s just up from the water’s edge and just a nice place to wonder…and its free! Great place for kids to run around. We walked through it on our way from the Space Needle to Pike Place Market.
- Pike Place Market is always on our list of To-Dos. As much as it’s a tourist haven, I love the hustle and bustle, the endless rows of fresh flowers, and massive amounts of fresh fish. On our last trip alone we walked through it 3 times because we couldn’t get enough, and Ada was so happy to people watch! I love going really early in the morning when its not busy to grab a coffee, a pastry, and watch the vendors set up for the day.
- Even though I get a little queazy just thinking about it….The Gum Wall is totally a must see – even just once! We didn’t ‘mark our territory’ with a piece, but we saw tons of people that did, so don’t for get to bring your own chewing gum to add to the display. It’s located in the coolest little alleyway called Post Alley just under Pike Place Market.
- If you like to shop, head up Pine St. where you will run into a Macy’s, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Barney’s and everything in between! Seattle has some great shopping down town and I never leave empty handed 🙂 One of my fav little boutiques is Alhambra. The owner is the sweetest lady and she is always there and so helpful!
- The Seattle Aquarium was a major hit this year with Ada! From the moment you walk in, there is a massive wall of water with divers and tons of fish…it just gets better from there. There are many interactive sections (kids can get soaked!) and tons to see. We loved the different sections that showcased habitats of the surrounding Seattle areas.
- If you’re into sports, definitely go check our a Mariners or a Seahawks game! The energy can be wild, the fans are die-hards, and the games are typically very good!
- We love walking and could walk all day and night in the city. It’s always fun to make the hike up to Capitol Hill. They have some really fun restaurants, cool cafes and thrift stores for dayz. It’s always fun to people watch up there too 😉 Very free spirited!
- Jump on a ferry! There are a bunch of fun little destinations you can get to from Seattle by boat, perfect to sneak off to for a day trip or overnighter! There are even some really cool beaches you can park your bum on and bask in the sun or throw a Frisbee around on a hot day. We’ve definitely done this and loved it! Alki Beach is one of our favs. Bainbridge is also nice.
- If you can, do take an uber/rent a car/bum a ride and cross over Lake Washington. The waterfront homes are stunning and lots of boat sightings to be had. If you keep your eye peeled you may spot Bill Gates’ mansion!
This list could seriously go on and on so I will stop here, but If you want more suggestions just ask!!
Where to Eat/Drink:
- Le Panier – we always pop in for a chocolatine…or two!
- The Edgewater is a not-so-secret place we just love. It’s a hotel on the water with a funky restaurant and we always head there for brunch one morning at somepoint! The decor is so cool and it feels like you are floating on the water! It seriously has such a cool vibe. We have never stayed in the hotel, but I bet it would be really nice.
- Le Pichet definitely made it onto our fav list. It’s also rated one of the best french restaurants in Seattle! We enjoy the cheeses from their extensive cheese menu, they make a mean cup of coffee, and their Oeufs plats jambon et fromage is so good!
- El Borracho has yummy Mexican food. We love their tacos and margaritas!
- Wasabi – we always end up eating there because the sushi is so good and the staff is so friendly!
- We discovered this little hole in the wall Korean BBQ place the last time we were there and so enjoyed it. Its called Korean Bamboo (you’ll have to google it b/c they don’t have a website).
- Serious Pie is literally on our top pizza-joint list ever! Such great pizza and the restaurant is locally owned. I think they have 3 locations now!
- Rob Roys – My brother will literally be so mad I am sharing this secret, but this cocktail bar is EVERYTHING. It’s like a little piece of NYC in Seattle. Literally some of the best cocktails I have ever enjoyed!
- Rachel’s Ginger Beer at Pike Place – hands down the best ginger beer you will ever have! Enjoy it as is, or make it into a cocktail. The space is super cool and my favorite is the Dark and Stormy – YUM! We make Kevin drive this up to our cabin in BC, Canada in the summer so we can all enjoy a glass there too.
Again, there are so many great places we’ve eaten at and really enjoyed, but these are the places we just always go back to!
We love Seattle and I am always up for a trip back whenever I can! Hope you have a great weekend 😉