I moved up to Seattle from Southern California about 5 1/2 years ago. This past weekend, my wife and I registered her car in Washington. As we drove off with new Washington license plates, we started talking about how we now have a permanent WA address, WA driver’s license, WA plates. I think we can now consider ourselves real Washington residents.
With that being said, we live in Seattle. The biggest city in Washington State and one of the greatest. Seattle is not the capital of Washington (that’s Olympia), but people rarely think of any other city when referring to Washington state. (Unless your a Twilight fan, then you might be aware of a little town called Forks, WA, but I digress.)
As someone who has lived in Seattle for 5+ years, I feel like I am always finding new and interesting things in and around the city. It is a beautiful city! There’s a reason Washington State is known as the Evergreen State. There is tons of life sprouting up around us. However, in order for this life to sustain its green color, it must rain occasionally. Seattle rain isn’t your typically heavy-raindrops-type of rain. It is more like a mist or drizzle. I actually find it refreshing at times.
Now what should you do if you come visit this place that I call home. Here are some of my thoughts and suggestions:
Pike Place Market
In my opinion, this place is a tourist trap. There’s very little parking and is basically a big farmer’s market surrounded by other establishments like the original Starbucks shop, the gum wall, and some other attractions. My favorite thing about Pike Place are the cheap flowers. You can get a full bouquet of beautiful flowers for under $20. Overall, it is an iconic Seattle stop and I highly suggest you visit, but there are cooler places in Seattle.
Get on the Water! Or at least near it:
One of my favorite things about Seattle is all the bodies of water that surround the city. Take a ferry to Bainbridge Island or visit the Ballard Locks (mini version of the Panama Canal). Visit the Center for Wooden Boats in South Lake Union and take a short trip around Lake Union. Explore the Seattle Waterfront.
Attend a Sporting Event
Whether it is the Seahawks, Sounders, or Mariners… both CenturyLink and Safeco Field are awesome! Sports games are a MUST in Seattle. Just be sure to bring a poncho if you’re going to CenturyLink.
Columbia Tower > Space Needle
Don’t waste your money on the Space Needle. The view is subpar and it cost way too much. Plus you can’t see the Space Needle when you’re standing on it. For a better view and experience, visit the Columbia Tower Sky Observatory. It offers almost a 360 degree view of Downtown Seattle and more.
Paid Attractions (worth your $$$):
- Chihuly Garden and Glass
- Woodland Park Zoo
- Museum of Flight
- Seattle Aquarium
Beautiful FREE Views:
- Kerry Park – this is one of the most iconic views of the Seattle.
- Gas Works Park – grab lunch and sit on top of the huge grass hill overlooking Lake Union and downtown
- Greenlake Park – well there’s not really a view of downtown here, but if you want to go on a nice stroll/job this is the place to do it. It is roughly ~2.8 miles around the lake.
- Alki Beach/West Seattle – the view of downtown across Elliot Bay is beautiful.
Places to Grab a Bite to Eat:
- Un Bien
- Red Mill Burgers
- Macrina Bakery
- Portage Bay
- El Camion
- Canlis (if you can afford it, the experience is amazing!)
- The Matador
- Molly Moon’s
- Din Tai Fung
- Jai Thai
- Wasabi Bistro
Disclaimer: As you’ll notice, most of my restaurant suggestions are in the northern part of Seattle. Since that’s where I’ve primarily lived, this is where I feel most comfortable providing restaurant recommendations.
These are just a few of the many things to do in Seattle. If you’re staying Downtown, you can take the lightrail straight from the airport into the heart of Downtown Seattle. It is a really fun and beautiful city to explore. Parking in Seattle is rough so if you’re just planning on staying Downtown I’d highly suggest ditching the rental car and just using public transportation.
My wife and I love Seattle! If you ever have any questions about Seattle or need suggestions, feel free to leave a comment.