Seattle is an astounding city of unique neighborhoods that ooze character. Each has gems to explore, from cultural institutions to outdoor activities to dining. Take a spin through these areas for a taste of the city.
Seattle is known as the “Emerald City” for a reason! It prides itself on endless outdoor activities that capture the true Northwest. The trendy hilltop neighborhood Capitol Hill alone offers an array of fresh air fun. Go for a bike ride on one of the many paths, including the Burke Gilman Trail or the Magnolia Bluff. Take a hike or a run in southeast Seattle’s 300-acre Seward Park, or stroll through the Washington Park Arboretum in the University District’s Madison Park.
For music fans, there’s no place like the Experience Music Project Museum (EMP). Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen founded this non-profit contemporary pop culture museum on the Seattle Center campus, right across the street from the Space Needle. Learn where Jimi Hendrix grew up and the roots of the garage band scene, and dive deep into specific exhibits with interactive technologies and amazing collections of music memorabilia.
It wouldn’t be a visit to the Seattle without a stop at Pike Place Market, one of the oldest farmers market in the country that has served small farmers, craftspeople, merchants and the Seattle community since 1907. Grab a pre-cracked Dungeness crab and head down to the Elliott Bay waterfront for a simple and locally-sourced lunch. Just blocks away is the historic Pioneer Square where the multidimensional The London Plane, which is part café, part specialty foods grocer, and part floral workshop, sits. Stop in for a morning coffee and a handmade croissant, or a market fresh salad, hazelnut & cherry tart, or daily plate. Up the bay in Fremont is Korean-fusion restaurant Revel, which offers family-style modern Korean food in an ultra-hip open-air dining room. There’s always a surprise cooking at the grill shack out back and plenty of amazing dishes that mix cold and hot, spicy and mild, and creamy and crunchy.
Just down the street is Le Petit Cochon, which has a weekly changing menu by chef Derek Ronspies that brings nose-to-tail whole beast dining to the next level for the adventurous palate. The charming Queen Anne neighborhood sits atop the hill above Elliott Bay, home to the acclaimed Ethan Stowell Italian-Mediterranean restaurant How to Cook a Wolf. The uncomplicated rustic Italian fare on the ever-changing menu features dishes like beet salad with lemon yogurt, pistachios and peaches, and exceptionally grilled baby octopus topped with mustard seed aioli. To satisfy a sweet tooth, walk over to the Capitol Hill location of Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery for to-die-for treats like the grilled chocolate sandwich and butter beer.
While it may not look like Napa Valley, the area around Seattle, stretching all the way east to Walla Walla, Washington is dotted with wine regions. Woodinville is closest to the city, nestled in the beautiful Sammamish River Valley just 30 minutes northeast of Seattle. It’s home to over 100 wineries but also offers tasting rooms representing every appellation across the state. A few wineries worth the trip to Woodinville include boutique Mark Ryan Winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle for food and wine pairings and top-ranked DeLille Cellars.
Aside from wine, craft beer and micro-distilleries also abound. While in Woodinville, stop into Woodinville Whiskey Company for an array of award-winning whiskeys and vodka, made in small batches. Back in Capitol Hill is the beer emporium The Pine Box, serving dozens of small craft beers on tap.
To stay close to the chic Belltown neighborhood shops, restaurants and market, reserve a room at the Hotel Andra. The 1920’s classic brick and terracotta building has an old world charm with modern updates, and it’s a 15-minute walk from the Space Needle. It boasts the outstanding Tom Douglas Greek restaurant, Lola, and it’s a short walk to the magnificent Macrina bakery. For a more posh stay, consider Hotel Bellevue, which has just over 60 rooms with garden views and views of Mt. Rainier. The Bellevue neighborhood is yet another of Seattle’s hidden treasures, situated just a bit outside of downtown.
For those looking for Seattle’s famous “hipster experience,” book a room at Hotel Max and enjoy its daily craft beer happy hour and complimentary Queen Anne Caffe Vita Roasting Company coffee each morning.