Destination Guide: Seattle
Seattle, located on the west coast of the United States, is one of the fastest growing cities thanks to Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other technology companies making the city its home. The city itself is located on the Puget Sound and Lake Union and has a number of unique neighborhoods to explore.
Things to Do:
Take a Tour of Amazon – Amazon allows you to book guided walking tours with them. This gives you access to go into the new Amazon Spheres and the Amazon offices. If the guided tour is sold out (it normally is 6 months in advance), you can take a self-guided tour. Just stop by the offices to pick up a map. Don’t forget to pop into the Amazon Go store to check out the store of the future!
Visit the Ballard Locks – The Ballard Locks are located where the Pacific Ocean meets Lake Union and Salmon Bay. It’s an engineering marvel to see boats come into and out of the area. The boats coming into the Lake Union have to be lifted to the waterline of the lake and vice versa when going out. There is also a salmon ladder if you are there during salmon mating season.
Go Kayaking in Lake Union – Although we didn’t get to do this, there are a number of organizations that rent kayaks by the day or hour to kayak in Lake Union. Some even let you take the kayak through the Ballard Locks (please check beforehand).
Take a Foodie Tour of Pike Place Market – Pike Place Market is normally very crowded, so if you want an up close view of the market, check out one of the food tours. If you don’t want to do an organized tour, their website offers a self-guided tour. Places you want to see: the fish market, Best times to go: very early (before 9) or later in the afternoon (around 3).
Go on a Brewery Crawl – We created our own brewery crawl through Ballard and Fremont one day. There is an area with 5-6 breweries all within walking distance. Just make sure to know when they open and close and plan accordingly. Pro tip: instead of buying an entire beer at each place, order a few samples or flights and share with your traveling companion! This way you won’t be drunk after the third brewery.
Places to Eat:
Honey Hole – Located in Capital Hill, this place has the most amazing sandwiches. Try the Waverider, The Dude or The Bandit. Oh, and we didn’t get French fries, but everyone else in the place had them, so they must be delicious.
Un Bien – Located in Ballard (and up a mighty high hill), Un Bien has a variety of Caribbean sandwiches to choose from. We split the Caribbean Roast and it was one of the best fall apart sandwiches ever! It’s messy though, so make sure you grab a bunch of napkins!
Pike Place Market – There are a ton of options here, but we picked the Anthenian for the water views, but there are tons of options, so maybe walk around for a bit. The Pink Door and Virginia Inn are both high on lists!
Wandering Goose – Oh, if I could eat here every day I would! This is a tiny brunch spot (it gets crazy busy on Saturday and Sunday, so try and go during the week) that serves up southern cooking. They also have a special Friday night fried chicken dinner that looks amazing.
Amazon Go Store – This is a bit of a stretch, but if you need a quick snack and want to see how the store works, swing by! You first have to download the Amazon Go app, then use the QR code to scan yourself (and any of your guests) into the store. After that, whenever you pick up an item, it automatically gets put in your virtual cart. If you leave the store with it, it is then purchased and your card on file will get charged. Way cool.
Places to Drink:
Top of Smith Tower – This one’s a two-fer. You can buy tickets to go up the legendary Smith Tower for breath-taking views of downtown Seattle, Mt. Rainier and the Space Needle and also imbibe in a cocktail or two at the bar.
Rueben’s Brews – Located in Ballard, it’s in the middle of an industrial section of town. They have a great covered patio, a rockin’ indoors area and plenty of beer on tap!
Peddler Brewing – This is a husband and wife owned brewery (who also happen to be from Ohio) between Ballard and Fremont. They have a huge back patio with rotating food trucks and if you happen to be an OSU fan, they play the football games.
Cloudburst – Near Pike Place Market in Belltown, this quirky brewery serves hop-forward beers. The front portion has a large garage door that is open on nice days. There are no kiddos or babies allowed, so plan accordingly!
Have you been to Seattle? What are some of your favorite hot spots or hidden gems?