Seattle is the essence of cool. It’s beautiful, but not cocky about it. The natural beauty of the city is what really makes it stand out. It’s a city filled with history from its founding to its stellar music scene. Let’ not forget it is the U.S. capital of coffee. Seattle’s more than just what it reveals on the surface. It’s a young, modern city filled with hip hot spots and an impeccable grub scene. While I could give you an endless list of things to do in Seattle, I put together of my Musts.
Seattle is filled with great parks including Kerry Park, Discovery Park, Olympic Statue Park, among others. While I was lucky enough to check out and enjoy the differences of many of Seattle’s parks, I must say Gas Works Park was my favorite. Like the name suggests, Gas Works Park is the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company. Sitting on the shore of Lake Union this industrialized hangout is the perfect place to lay down a blanket, pull out a book, and spend the afternoon. Before you leave be sure to venture to the top of the hill for great photo opportunities.
There are not many things Seattle is lacking and it’s certainly not short on dessert shops. Suffering from a severe sweet tooth, I was sure to try out at least one dessert shop per day. I found amazing cupcakes, delicious ice cream, and pie! A whole shop dedicated to pie in fact. Being a southerner, I was drawn to the pie like a moth to a flame. While in Seattle be sure to treat yourself to A La Mode Pies. These pies are made fresh every morning and the flavors vary by the day. Like a good Kentucky Girl, I tried the Bourbon Butterscotch and it may be the best decision I’ve made all year. Go for it, you deserve it!
While you’re on the path of indulgences, be sure to check out the local craft beer scene. It won’t disappoint. The city has plenty of breweries to tour and taste. Each has its own unique vibe that blends perfectly well with their original flavors. I had a great time sitting in the urban beer garden at Fremont Brewing Company, trying a flight of the bartender’s top picks. All were winners! Also, check out Pike Brewing Company. Take a tour through their microbrewery museum and don’t leave without trying the Pike Kilt Lifter. You won’t soon forget this scotch style ale.
There are more bars in Seattle worth visiting than just the breweries. Being a New Yorker, I can honestly say, Seattle had some of the most original bars I’ve ever been in.
- Be sure to check out Unicorn, a carnival themed joint. Try some of their bar bites and one of their magical drinks. Turns out Unicorn Jizz is better than you would’ve expected!
- Another bar you’ve got stop by is The Pine Box. This old Mortuary turned craft beer bar has a great draft list that updates frequently. There’s a cool, laid back vibe that is perfect for taking in a few drinks.
- But before you leave Seattle, you must stop by the famous water-front spot The Edgewater Hotel. Have a drink or two in Six Seven bar and take in the history of the walls around you. This hotel, which was built for the 1962 World Fair famously hosted The Beatles on their first world tour, among countless others. You’ll find original cocktails, live music, and gorgeous waterfront views.
There’s more to Seattle than just the booze, in fact, it’s their caffeinated beverages that the city is most famous for. Seattle coffee is world renowned for a reason. Sure, you can visit the original Starbucks at Pike Place. Granted you’ll be waiting in crowds of people eager to tag themselves at the first Starbucks, but if Starbucks is the only coffee you try in Seattle you’re doing yourself a great disservice. There are so many great local coffee spots waiting on every corner and each one offers the best coffee you’ve ever tasted! A few of my favorites were Ghost Alley Espresso and The Seattle Grind.
Museum of Pop Culture
Besides coffee, Seattle is known for its musical history. Being the birthplace of Jimi Hendrix and Grunge the cities musical influence over the world is undebatable. While visiting Seattle, make sure you stop by the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), which is located right next to the Space Needle. There are exhibits set up for many of the local talents including Hendrix and Nirvana. If you’re a music junkie like me, you can’t miss this museum. But being the museum of pop culture, the exhibits aren’t just limited to music. Be sure to check out the exhibit list before your travels.
Pike Place Market
While this may seem like a no-brainer when in Seattle you must visit Pike Place Market. Seeing the fish being thrown at the market is part of the Seattle experience. So long as you’re at the market, I would suggest grabbing a pork sandwich from Pikes Pit Bar-B-Que. I got the Damn Hot heat level and this sandwich was damn well worth it! After your sandwich stop and pick up a bag of donuts from the Daily Dozen Donut Company. These tasty treats are made right in front of you and are perfect for a quick sugar fix. Before you leave the market, be sure you take a stroll by the Gum Wall. You may even want to contribute to the art.
Cruise Around Seattle
While it might seem like a tourist trap, I highly recommend you take a boat ride around the city. We did the Argosy Cruise line at Pier 55. This hour cruise around the city offered some of the most breathtaking views. Plus, the Captain also acts as a tour guide and fills you in on all of the fascinating history around you. This is a great way to learn about the city and get some beautiful pictures. Of course, there’s a bar on the boat as well, so, it’s also perfect for a happy hour unwind.
A Seattle Gem
There’s one place I visited in Seattle that was completely unexpected. After a late night of musical gigs and bar hopping we stumbled into 13 Coins Restaurant looking for a late-night meal. What we expected was a standard diner: BLTs, French Fries, and if we were lucky a milkshake. Instead, what we found was a 24-hour fine Italian dining experience. After midnight, I had a house specialty cocktail from the full bar and a bowl of Pasta Verdura. For dessert, I had Crème Brule. Sometimes I still catch myself thinking back and wondering if this place was real. If you find yourself in Seattle, do the right thing and visit 13 Coins.
Whether you’re looking to make a purchase or just for the cultural WOW effect, stop by Uncle Ike’s, a pot shop. Being one of the first cities in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana, it’s important to see this side of Seattle when trying to understand and appreciate the unique vibe of the city. It’s a statement to our times and culture that you can walk into a store and legally purchase marijuana. I’m not suggesting you buy anything unless you want to. But a store like this shows the progression of our culture and is worth a quick visit.
Have you been to Seattle? What were your favorite spots?