Welcome to Part II of my little Seattle guide, with things to do and places to stay. If you missed Part I you can read it here for all kinds of great places to eat!
Pike Place Market
No visit to Seattle would be complete without a stroll through the public market. Amazingly fresh seafood, bites of all kinds (see! told you more food!), beautiful flower stalls, and the original Starbucks location await you here. Grab a salmon pâté piroshky from Piroshky Piroshky, walk down to pick up some smoked salmon from Pure Food Fish Market, and then wander as you munch. You can duck upstairs to Storyville Coffee to escape the bustle for a few minutes if you like. Oh, and I highly recommend a stop at Le Panier before you leave — this boulangerie and patisserie offers the best pain au chocolat I’ve had since Paris.
Seattle Art Museum
With an excellent permanent collection and innovative exhibitions, SAM is well worth a visit. The museum “contains nearly 25,000 works of art from around the world. Dating from antiquity to the present, the permanent collection represents a wide range of global cultures and historical perspectives.” The current temporary exhibit, Double Exposure, is worth a look even on its own; it is a satisfyingly nuanced look at portrayals of Pacific Northwest native peoples over the last 150 years.
The Elliott Bay Book Company
This bookstore in the Capital Hill neighborhood has been serving Seattle for over four decades, and is a delight in every way. Highlighted local authors and subjects, quirky giftware for the bibliophile, and an on-site cafe make for a lovely afternoon. Despite the likelihood of an overly-heavy suitcase, I had to bring three books home with me.
Melrose Market is like the teeny tiny well-curated cousin of Pike Place. Meats, liquor, shellfish, homewares — all can be found in this little urban refuge. Sitka and Spruce is located here, as it the most excellent homeware store Butter Home. I wanted one of everything! Their art prints and jewelry in particular caught my eye, but their are tons of other fun things to be had in this lovely little shop. Visit if you can, and then grab a cocktail at Still Liquor.
Segway Tours of Seattle
Perhaps a little cheesy and touristy, but so much fun! We spent a morning touring the city center by Segway, and got to see so many great spots. The Space Needle, Lake Union, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center, and the Museum of Pop Culture were highlights, but the running commentary from our excellent guide was no less interesting. We actually walked back to the Gates Foundation Discovery Center for a closer look later in the afternoon, which proved to be both fascinating and inspiring.
Seattle is the city where Nordstrom was founded, so you can visit their original store location for kicks (and excellent shopping). And the Chihuly Garden and Glass is definitely on my list for next time.
Seattle is full of both excellent hotels and great AirBnB choices. This visit we stayed at the Ballard Jungalow and had a delightful stay. The host is kind, and her home is just the kind of serene escape I was craving.
If I you prefer a hotel, I have heard nothing but good things about the ever-hip Ace Hotel Seattle. Reasonable prices, great vibes, and a great central location make this one a great pick.
Thank you for such a lovely week, Seattle! We had so much fun and can’t wait to return!