Outdoor Adventure: Seattle

Seattle is amazing! Maybe it was the fantastic weather we had (a sunny 70s and 80s everyday with NO rain), my travel companion (go DAD!), or the fact that Seattle has so much to offer, but I loved this trip. So much so, that I even started looking at jobs out there! (Don’t worry, Mom, I’m not leaving anytime soon…)

Day 1

Unlike most of my travels, we had a rental car, so it was easy to get to Snoqualmie Falls from the airport. We parked at the top of the falls and walked the trail down to the bottom. It is quite steep, so we wore our tennies not knowing there was a the parking lot at the bottom.

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While outside of Seattle, we stopped by Snoqualmie Brewery and Tap Room. We committed a cardinal sin of a brewery and didn’t drink, but my favorite meal of the entire trip was here (Bacon and Avocado sandwich, in case you’re wondering).

Not only were we lucky with the weather, we were in Seattle in May, so all of the rhododendron were out in full force at the Kubota Garden. Outside the city center, this free park boasts a Japanese-influenced 20 acres.

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We weren’t wholly impressed with the International District (a mix of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese neighborhoods), though we did have yummy dim sum at Jade Garden. A Chinese food snob thanks to my years in Asia, I give it my stamp of approval.

Day 2

On my travels, I always try to find the free walking tours. This time, we took two tours through Seattle Free Walking Tours. One of Pike Place Market and another called Seattle 101. Going to Pike Place is a necessity in Seattle and the tour offered some interesting insight into the market. The Seattle 101 tour lasted 2 hours and focused on the history of the city.

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Since we were already in Pike Place after the tours, we stopped for lunch in Post Alley. We ate at a nondescript Irish place, but there are plenty of options here. Stop in anywhere for a taste of Seattle, including restaurants dedicated to chowder, ginger beer bars and stalls selling seafood and sweets. Oh, and of course, Starbucks!

A definite highlight of our trip was Chihuly Garden and Glass. Rated #1 on Trip Advisor, we could see why with its stunning display of blown glass in various arrays. The pictures don’t do it justice, so just trust me, don’t miss this!

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Yes, that’s all hand-blown GLASS!

We were torn between views of the Space Needle from the Sky View Observatory and actually going up into the needle. In the end, we chose the Space Needle since it was right next to Chihuly and they offer a discount if you do both. In almost every major city I visit, I look for the tallest building and ride that elevator for the 360 views.

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For dinner, we drove to Olympia Pizza and Pasta since it was near our day’s final destination (see below). The pizza was fantastic (my dad’s fave meal of the trip) and they had an outdoor patio.

For views of downtown Seattle, including the Space Needle, and Mount Rainier, we made sure Kerry Park was on our itinerary. Our suggestion is to get there just before sunset for both day and night views of the city. The sun sets behind you, so there aren’t true sunset photos, though.

Day 3

Both my dad and I like to hike, so Discovery Park was on our agenda. We walked the Loop Trail which was 2.8 miles, plus a bonus trail down to the beach and lighthouse. I love when cities are surrounded by nature so you can get the best of both worlds.

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A suggestion from a high school friend, we had lunch Portage Bay Cafe, an all-organic, all-natural place for which the Pacific Northwest is famous. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but your insides are filled with great tasting food with great-for-your ingredients. There are multiple locations of this restaurant; we chose the one closest to the Locks which also has a garden nearby.

Housed on the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company, Gas Works Park is an urban oasis. It’s located on Lake Union and has space for a picnic or kite-flying. We sat and drank in the views of the city skyline.

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Because we were in the area, we drove past the Fremont Troll, an art installation under a bridge in the Fremont neighborhood. We were surprised at how big it really was.

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Day 3 ended with a few beers at Fremont Brewery where we met a friend of mine from college (shoutout to Chris for meeting us!). It has great views of the marina and a huge outdoor space.

Bonus: Bellevue Botanical Garden! Our hotel was in the neighboring suburb of Bellevue, so on our final morning we stopped by the free gardens here which were really lovely. It was a perfect way to cap off our outdoor adventure in Seattle!

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