Sea(ttle) La Vie
Seattle, the land of coffee, punk, tech, and waterproof gear. It's home to Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft, Nordstrom, and REI. No matter where you go, you can't escape nature and her trees, lakes, and hills. Especially at this time of year, the cherry blossoms bloom and the sun shines. This is a city worth visiting.
Hooked and not sure what exactly to do in Seattle? Here are 10 of my favorite spots to help guide your next adventure.
One // University of Washington Campus
Aboard the link and make a stop at UW (pronounced U-Dub) because it is literally one of the most breathtaking campuses you will ever witness in your provincial life. Behold the king of all ponds, Drumheller Fountain, a magnificent watering hole with an amazing view (on a good cloudless day) of Mount Rainer.
Past Drumheller, you'll find yourself in the Red Square housing the famous Suzzallo Library. Prepare your Floo Powder because you're about to enter Hogwarts. Up the stone stairs lies a reading room that would make Hermoine's heart flutter. You can't help, but be inspired to explore the literary side of yourself and crack open a JRR Tolkien.
And my favorite spot of all campus is the Quad where you're surrounded by dozens of cherry blossom trees. Right during my visit, millions of these tiny little flowers bloomed creating a fantastic and surreal moment walking through. And if the winds sweep through the Quad during your visit, these delicate flowers whimsically snow down like a freakin' Hallmark movie. Pure magic. Definitely recommend visiting mid-March/April for a chance to see these trees in action.
Two // Space Needle
A Seattle icon from the 60s, you gotta check this bad boy out. Part of the City Pass for $79 is a ticket to the top of the Space Needle. Try going in the morning (opens at 10AM) on a sunny/partly cloudy day for a wonderful view of the city. You could also go in the evening for a nighttime watch, but I hear the lines are longer so just be cautious. What I didn't know until I left is that you can actually eat up in the Space Needle. The restaurant is called SkyCity and it slowwwwwly rotates for 360° dining experience, you can make reservations here.
Three // Pike Place Market
What does a pig, hairy fishermen, chocolate pasta, and tulips have in common? They all live at Pike Place Market. Always busy and primarily overwhelming, the Market is well, a market. Buy a bouquet of flowers for $10-15, eat the spiciest plate of Pad Thai at Jasmine Thai, sample fresh fruit while being pushed by a momma with a stroller. This is a place not for the faint of heart. Notable places to see: the first Starbucks, the Gum Wall, and Pike Place Fish Market (for fish throwing!).
Four // Unicorn
Only went once and you bet your bottom dollar that I'll be back again! Eccentric, bright, audacious in the best sense of the word. A carnival themed bar in the Capital Hill neighborhood, you'll be mesmerized by the fun ambiance and drink names, i.e. Unicorn Tears. And they also have a pretty colorful website too!
Five // Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream
I. Love. Ice. Cream. An unofficial family tradition is that whenever a Tutia vacations, he or she will indulge in a scoop of the sweet dairy concoction. Or two. Maybe three. Just coming from Gelato Heaven AKA Italy, I knew I was spoiled. But then, I took one single life changing lick of Molly Moon's, and I peaked. This is the best ice cream ever. Done. Finito. There's this smooth thickness filled with delightful authentic flavor (vanilla bean on my part) that I find myself salivating for the 100th time. Lucky you, there are a handful of locations throughout the city. They have a pretty lovely website to drool at too in the meantime.
Six // Rachel's Ginger Beer
Only a week or so before had I ever tried a ginger beer (it's non-alcoholic), I nodded and shrugged a "It's alright." BUT MAN. Walking through the midst of Pike Place chaos, I noticed a line in a cute quirky shop and joined in. Must be good, right? The beerista (I totally made that up) cheerfully explained the favorites, took my order of a POG (passion fruit, orange, and guava) ginger beer, and filled up my life's elixir of joy. Compared to the prior boring ginger beer I had, this one summoned a fresh and sassy sensation. Perfect if you want something light and fizzy. Zooey Deschanel would approve. You can even order and have it shipped ($20 flat rate for a 4 pack) to your home.
Seven // Nordstrom Rack
This ain't your typical Nordstrom Rack. With the Nordstrom Flagship Store in Seattle, some of the best clothes and deals are found right across the street. Behold rows and rows of designer clothes marked down down down, but still a week's worth of salary. #crying Browsing through the racks, I found the most beautiful Diane Von Furstenberg blush coat priced at $190 from $598. Unfortunately, I'm about to be a poor grad student and need to properly budget my finances so I didn't buy it. I live with this regret daily.
Eight // Citizen
If you're all about brunch, Citizen is your place. On not rainy days, the restaurant holds spacious outdoor sitting perfect for Sunday Funday. A variety of crepes, sandwiches, tacos, soups, and breakfast staples like their Breakfast Sandwich, a "homemade savory biscuit with an egg, white cheddar cheese, arugula, tomato, creme fraiche & your choice of ham, bacon, turkey or a veggie patty". Is your mouth watering yet?
Nine // Ivar's Fish Bar
Normally, I hate cooked fish. Ask my parents, old roommates, friends. I HATE IT. But I love sushi. But we ain't talking sushi right now. People, allow me the honor of introducing to you: Ivar's, a Seattle staple, a beloved institution of what was known my worst enemy. This is the only place known to conscious society where I have declared my love to cooked fish. Specifically their Alaskan Halibut. Get their fish 'n chips. You're welcome. For the full experience, go to the location on the pier near the Seattle Aquarium (1001 Alaskan Way), and feed the birds yo fries. They love dem fries.
Ten // Frye Art Museum
My favorite spot in all of Seattle. The entire room from ceiling to floor is laid out with paintings adorned with golden frames. While they have a book with descriptions of each painting, I decided to imagine what the artists' purpose, background, dreams were as I wandered from story to story. Before heading out, I plopped myself on a seat and read "You are a Badass" by Jen Sincero for a good hour. Admission is free, but donating is worth it. Learn more about the Museum and the other exhibits here.
Obviously, there is so much to do like kayaking on Lake Union with Agua Verde or watching the Seattle Seahawks win a game at CenturyLink Field. Whatever you plan to do in Seattle, I hope this little post has helped you in experiencing America's coolest city.