WHATS UP SEAAATTTTLE - I would scream if I were a comedian and people thought I was worth seeing at a show. I am not a comedian (to anyone but myself), but I did just get back from a great trip to Seattle.
My lovely gal pal, Missy, was really great at turning those "we should go on a trip" texts and calls you have with all of your favorite friends but never seem to happen because...well...life...into a reality! Missy lives in Minneapolis so we narrowed down a couple favorite cities and it worked out for us to go to Seattle best, and it just so happened to fall right after my 33rd birthday. I know, I know...I don't look a day over 31. I'm flattered. ::blush::
Anyway, I fully prepared to have a weekend of girl talk, sleeping in, eating hot food I didn't have to cook or clean up after and even embraced Seattle's reputation for being such a rainy city by packing more rain appropriate jackets than I did underwear. Even better, knowing it might not be the best weather to walk around we got a Mazda6 Signature to test out and drive around and make our girls trip effortlessly great.
Let me side note quickly and tell you how surprised I was how much I loved this car - and please know I was allowed to drive this car for the weekend in exchange for my honest review of the experience. Not only was this car cute and sporty, perfect for a mommy's escape trip, but it also had all of the modern features I'm accustomed to: great audio, radio/music choices galore, pretty navigation system (with the typical car navigation issues - I still prefer my google maps on my phone to theirs), comfortable...and it barely used a quarter tank of gas after driving all over Seattle and Bainbridge that weekend so the mpg compared to my big mom SUV was such a breath of fresh air. Ever since I switched to driving more "luxury" vehicles (my current and last vehicle are both Audi's) I've become a huge stickler for handling and this cutie car passed the test. I definitely let my lead foot test it out a bit on some gorgeous winding roads on the island of Bainbridge and it handled like a champ!
So, here's my GIRLFRIENDS GUIDE TO SEATTLE and please let me know if I missed anything you think is a MUST SEE in Seattle. This is a mix of my favorite things we stumbled across, some recommendations from trusted friends and also a few places I just know would be great even though we didn't have time to see them all (I'm coming back, Seattle...you better be ready).
Favorite ways to spend a day in Seattle:
Day One: Capital Hill
Okay, so unfortunately on Day 1 of our trip Missy was very ill (we suspect the food from our Thursday night dinner, so they got axed off the recommendation list despite the eye candy bartenders). I took a little walk by myself on the only poor weather morning we had that weekend, and after that I was pretty cold and hungry so I found THE BEST RAMEN IVE EVER HAD!
Kizuki Ramen. Let me tell you that the Garlic Tonkotsu was quite literally the best ramen I've ever had (I added pork belly, sorry if you're vegetarian eek). One thing basically anyone I've ever lived with or dated knows is that I'm not only a super picky eater, but also incredibly annoying to go to restaurants with because I will be like "Yes I'd like the noodles from here, and the veggies from this dish, with the sauce from this, but extra ____ and none of this, this or this k THANKS. I basically make up my own dinner plates as if the menu was an ingredient list and not a predetermined menu made by professionals - I'm a brat, I'm aware; I leave great reviews and tip accordingly mmmk. Anyway, this was bomb AND the neighborhood I ended up in because of this place and it's amazing reviews is where we ended up spending the rest of the day.
So, after filling my belly I meandered over to the Rapha store to get Sev a souvenir - this is super trendy biker shop for all of those 30+ year old men who like to stuff themselves like sausages into windbreakers made for Barbies and ride around on skinny little circus bikes going way too fast to escape their midlife crisis. Apparently, they also have bomb ass coffee but I don't drink coffee (GASP, I know) so you'll have to just try it.
Chatting with those guys, they mentioned how close I was to the Seattle Starbucks Reserve Roastery - okay, if you like coffee and Starbucks this place is like your absolute heaven. It's a gorgeous Roastery complete with a bar, bakery, tasting room, exotic bulk coffee, a shopping area and lots of educational opportunities. I got a chai tea with almond milk and it was a lovely herbal tea vs a concentrate latte you'd get at a regular store, but I didn't realize the way they more properly brew coffee in Seattle is that they do a very dense, thick foam on the top which would've been much tastier in dairy vs. almond milk. Missy did an oat milk latte later in the trip at a brunch we went to that she said was really great.
We spent the rest of the afternoon thrift shopping, shopping at the adorable boutiques around Capital Hill and even found the most amazing smoothie bowls for a snack at Verve Bowls. Walking up and down Capital Hill was great - it's a very LGBTQ positive community so there's lots of colorful shops, sidewalks are painted in rainbows and the vibe was super chill but vibrant and liberal all in one.
Day Two: Bainbridge
So, our next two days were a little out of order but I am going to write day 2 as how we should have done it to make more sense of time.
Suggestion: Hit up the pier, grab some awesome brunch or if you grab brunch where you're staying then some fish and chips down by the entry to the ferries. After a quick Google search, we decided to ferry over to Bainbridge as the day was gorgeous, the schedule worked out in our favor and we were hoping to get in some West Coast scenery and didn't have enough time to drive very far outside of Seattle.
The ferry was SUCH a fun experience - I was such a dork on it. First of all, you should expect when taking a vehicle onto the ferry to wait a good 15-30 minutes just parked and ready to get on. It seems like it can get very busy and full quickly, so I'm sure during high tourist season it's common to wait longer. If you don't NEED a vehicle, it might even be easier to just hop on as a pedestrian but we were planning to go up into the island more than just the main street so we brought the Mazda - cost was about $25 there and under $20 back. I imagined taking a date night on the ferry or bringing your kids over for a day trip would be so much fun if you lived in Seattle - especially grabbing some popcorn (or a drink if you'd like!) and cuddling up on the benches or even watching the sun go down on the skyline would be so lovely. Nobody really directed us where to go, so we just kind of figured it out - we didn't even know if you were supposed to get out of your car but once we saw others going up to the snack/dinner area we followed.
Once in Bainbridge, grab some lunch at the little Emmy's Vege House (closed when we went, but it looked amazing) and then head up to the some of the beautiful beaches/hiking trails on the Island - this local resort has some great suggestions: Eagle Harbor Inn.
After hiking and exploring, come back to the main strip in the city - we had such a fun time waiting for our dinner reservation while shopping for rugs at Tasdemir - Murat, the owner was so fun to just speak with, listen to stories and dig through his gorgeous stash of rugs from all over the world. The best rugs are hidden, don't even browse the website just go in. His wife also owns the boutique across the street - it's also a hidden gem of typical boutique items and worldly goods.
Dinner at Hitchcock. Oh EM GEE. One of the best dinners I have ever had in my entire life - I am not exaggerating. I will put this in top five at least, maybe top two ever. I would for sure make reservations, because this place is amazing but also small. If you can't stay for dinner, grab a sandwich from their deli on your way back to the ferry but if you can make it for dinner please save your appetite. Missy and I got these lovely 'Arancia Spritz' drinks that were so light and effervescent but not too sweet...just perfection. I got the Carbonara which was so much more luxurious and flavorful than the menu even led on. My mouth is watering just thinking about it again. Missy did oysters and gnocchi and also raved. I was literally sopping up the sauce from my dinner with the free bread because I couldn't stop myself.
Hop the Ferry back and have a night on the town or like we did, went straight to bed at our hotel.
Option Three: Tourist Day
Okay, okay I have to admit I super loved going to the Pike Place Market and I would call it a must see if you go to Seattle. I was fully expecting to have to wake up at 6am and get down there early to avoid the crowds (especially on a weekend when it was so incredibly nice out) but truly, we got there around 9 and people were still setting up! Apparently, they have to do role call before they can load in. The fish market does start early in the morning, but we just wanted to see some fish get thrown around and we were still able to see that coming later in the morning.
Before you head in and meander around, I'd grab a breakfast snack at either The Original Starbucks, Piroshky Bakery or Le Panier - they are all right outside the main entrance to the market. The lines look long, but they move quickly so as long as the weather is fine - which is was great for us - you'll be fine. We grabbed a pistachio macaron and croissant for snacking on later, and ate "FEUILLETÉS" while we were there that were yummy yummy yummy. It's a french bakery, so think cafe au lait and hot chocolate and not more fluffy drinks like Starbucks might serve.
My favorite things at the market to grab were art prints ($10-30 dollars a pop), the fruit from the fresh produce stands, the leather bags by Brown Bags (the website isn't telling of how soft and beautiful these are in person) and then we also came across the cutest shop called Marnin Saylor. Graphic designer couple who have created the most adorable little fantasy world of stuffed character pastries and stories to go with everything - one of the owners, Thomas, was there and couldn't have been more "in character" as the shop owner. He told adorable stories, packaged all products with pastry tongs into little branded donut style bags and even showed me how much love and thought went into their little totes (there's a pocket for your pastry pal to ride along inside) and the coloring book. I was sucked in, I grabbed some coloring books and stickers for my girls!
Head out from the market and take a ride on the Ferris Wheel or check out the local shops if you haven't had enough and then get refreshed for dinner.
Dinner suggestion on Tourist Day: Salty's , of course! Even if the food was bad, which it absolutely wasn't, Salty's is a great place to watch the sun set on the city and grab a few drinks - if it's nice outside, enjoy the patio.
A few other favorites to check out:
On your way back to the hotel any night, grab a snack and experience the AmazonGo store next to the Seattle Sphere's! You'll need to download the app and connect to your Amazon account at the AmazonGo store (which connects to your payment method saved there). Simple steps: Swipe in, grab what you need, walk out. Done. Such a fun concept and the store was full of great grab and go options, even meal service dinner packages! Check out my stories www.instagram.com/chantel.alyssa to watch the process (Under "Seattle").
If you have time to spend around the Space Needle and arts center (Seattle Center), the Chihuly exhibit is really beautiful. There's a huge building that's set up like a giant food court over there too, so something for everyone.
And if you have great weather, time to drive or hike I'd like to go back and do a hike at Mt Rainer, hit up some national parks, maybe do an underground or air tour and a drive to Deception Pass.
Also - Biscuit Bitch was kind of awesome too!
I totally forgot to go see the Gum Wall - I'm coming back, Seattle!
Thanks for stopping by!