Where to Stay
On a Budget:
- Green Tortoise: Confession: This is where I met my husband. It’s cheap, great atmosphere, they provider dinner a few nights a week and are located right next to the market.
- The American Hotel: Located really close to Amtrak Station in Pioneer Square, the light rail station. It is close to several bars, Safeco Field, and the International District. Downside: After dark this becomes a really sketchy area of town. Upside: If there is a big game going on you will be in the heart of the celebration.
- The Edgewood was build for the 1962 World’s Fair and there is even a photo floating around of the Beatles fishing out of one of the windows overlooking the harbor. The hotel has a rustic feel, with amazing views if you would like to sit by a fire and gaze out at the water.
- The Fairmont Olympic The hotel maintains the elegance of a bygone era and is located in the heart of downtown.
- The Residence Inn is located on South Lake Union close enough to downtown attractions and extremely close to bus stops. You can get single rooms or ones with small kitchens so that you can seat on your balcony looking over the lake.
- Watertown Hotel is eco-freindly, dog friendly, and family friendly. They offer a free shuttle to nearby attractions, free bikes to check out, and access to pool at a sister hotel.
Where to Eat
On a Budget:
- Uwajimaya: It’s a huge Asian grocery store in the International District. It’s worth a stop even if you aren’t hungry. Just outside the store is a huge food court with foods from all over Asia. Cheap and delicious.
- Piroshky Piroshky: Pike Place Market food stalls are a great place to eat on the cheap, but Piroshky Piroshky is unforgettable. Lines wrap around the block for these meat and veggie filled buns.
- Dick’s: It’s a burger chain in Seattle and it is amazing. Don’t try to customize your order (it wont happen), the menu is limited (for efficiency that is why they are cheap), and bring cash (some have installed ATM’s). Yes, that seems like a lot of rules, but it is a small matter for these delicious burgers.
- Metropolitan Grill: It’s a steakhouse where the waiters wear tuxedo’s and know their wine. Great food and service that is beyond exceptional.
- Palisade: It’s hard to tell what is better the food, the decor, or the view. The food is delicious, but the view is amazing. Situated in the Elliot Bay Marina on a clear day you can see the city and Mount Rainer.
- Twirl Cafe in Queen Anne is the perfect place for the little ones to run around while the adults can sit around and relax. There is a gated off play area with seating outside for parents. Good coffee and a large menu for both kids and adults.
- Ridge Pizza: You can’t go wrong with pizza plus there are a ton of things for kids to do to keep them busy while you wait for food.
Things to Do
On a Budget:
- Hike the trails in the city parks. They are near by, easy to get to, and don’t cost a dime. Check out Discovery Park with over miles of hike able trails and dramatic views of the sound. Carkeek park has more then 200 acres of forest and to explore and beach access. Golden Gardens is one of my favorite. You can hike, hang out on the beach with a bonfire, or participate in some kite surfing.
- Check out the museums on first Thursday of each month for free entry.
- Skip the tours and take the ferry. Get the same views if not better and an opportunity to a not so touristy spot of Seattle. The only down side is that you don’t get the same history that you would on a tour, but you can find most of it in any tour guide.
- Take a helicopter ride over the city. Imagine seeing the emerald city from above or circling around the Space Needle. It’s worth the photo op alone.
- If you are a bit of a thrill seek check out The Point Defiance Zoo where you can either suit up and dive or cage dive with sharks.
- The International fountain is like the sprinklers in your back yard times a million. This huge fountain shoots water to music with the intention to soak anyone nearby. Bring a bathing suit and a change of clothing.
- Did you know that there is an 110 year old zoo that covers 92 acres in Seattle? Woodland Park Zoo is fun for everyone. Walk the trails, feed birds, watch a show, ride the carousel, or left the kids run at Zoomazuim.
- Aberdeen, WA: If you want to get your Teen Spirit on or are itching to break out your flannel shirts and take a road trip to Kurt Cobain’s home town. There is a beautiful memorial at the Morrison Riverfront Parkwalk where Kurt would practice under the bridge. The town is tiny, but it is also a great jumping off point to Olympic National Park or a detour on your way to the coast.
- Vancouver, B.C.: Go skiing in the morning and spend the afternoon on a beach. This is truly an exciting city with much to offer. You could spend a whole day wandering around Stanley park walking the Seawall, getting lost in a forest or looking for monuments such as the First Nation totems that are sprinkled around the park. Vancouver is also home to one of the largest Chinatowns in North America. Be sure to make time to check out Dr. Sun Yet-Sen’s Classical Chinese Garden.
Getting Around Town:
Bike: On a warm day most people will skip busing or driving to work and take their bike. There are tons of places to rent bikes for the day. Try heading out on the Burk-Gilman Trail for some sightseeing.
Bus: It’s cheap, it’s easy, and the bus drivers are great. My first trip to Seattle they were the ones who helped me find my way and in return I got a lot of great stories.
Uber: Download the app, call for a car, and the closest one will be there in minutes. Best of all you don’t need cash to pay.
Walk: Seattle is a small area with most of the cities attractions in a short distance from one another. Plus you can work off all the food you ate.
Amtrak: Portland, Bellingham, and Vancouver are all within a few hours outside of Seattle. Amtrak is one of the quickest way to travel. The best part is that the views are astounding views of the ocean you get.
Bolt Bus: For as low as $1 (depending on when you book) you can travel to either Portland or Vancouver by bus.
Clipper: If island hopping is your thing check out the Clipper. They provide ferry travel between Seattle, Victoria, and San Juan Islands.