On a recent work trip to Seattle, Matthew and I were able to squeeze in an extra day of travel for sightseeing. Here is a quick re-cap of the things we were able to do with one full day in Seattle.
Gum Wall & Pikes Place
We arrived in Seattle early in the morning & took our bags straight to our hotel for them to hold for us. We choose Hotel 1000 because of its proximity to main tourist attractions. Because it was close to Pike’s Place we were able to start our journey on foot. Our route toward Pike’s Place Market took us through Post Alley which is most famous for the colorful gum lined walls. We will admit, this wasn’t a planned stop; seeing chewed gum first thing in the morning was not exactly our goal. But we were happy to stumble upon a known landmark and start our day feeling like we already checked something off our list.
Once at the market, we watched as the different vendors set up for the day. For breakfast we filled up at Piroshky Pirosky & then walked around with some coffee, enjoying the market stalls, flowers and fresh fish. We skipped the original Starbucks but if you are interested in buying some coffee from the first Starbucks location we suggest heading there EARLY. The line was around the block before they opened.
Space Needle & Sculpture Garden
We continued our day with a trip to the Space Needle. It was a 20 minute walk from the market (with a low grade incline). We bought tickets that included admission to both the top of the Space Needle and the sculpture garden area at the base of the Space Needle.
The Space Needle itself is everything you would expect from an observatory: crowded, pretty views, expensive gift shop etc. This is not to say we did not thoroughly enjoy our time, but setting realistic expectations is a must. It was really cool to visit the iconic landmark in person and get a cliche feel for being in Seattle.
After spending some time enjoying the views and taking pictures from up top we went down to enjoy the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit. This was the highlight of our afternoon as we really enjoyed all of the larger than life glass sculptures. The artwork really resonated with us as Dale Chihuly designed the chandeliers on all the Disney cruise ships. Seeing his work up close was fascinating.
Wine Lunch & Hotel Check In
By this point in the afternoon we were ready for lunch and made our way back toward our hotel. We stopped at Purple Cafe which was recommended by a friend. Washington state is known for great wines but as we had only one day to explore, this wine bar featuring local pours was the perfect substitute for a full wine tasting trip.
After lunch we were able to check into our hotel room, change our clothes and strategize for the rest of the day.
After already having seen so much of the touristy icons, we decided to go all in and wrap up our day with a trip to the Starbucks Reserve & Roastery. As expected, this location was also crowded & expensive but we thoroughly enjoyed the caffeine boost and iconic environment. It is not the kind of place you go to sit and enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee but you can get some interesting drinks that are unavailable elsewhere & if you are a fan of coffee you’ll enjoy seeing the machinery that roasts and brews your favorite drink.
Dinner in Ballard
After our long day hitting all the highlights, we contemplated staying in, but the extra caffeine from our Starbucks trip gave us the boost we needed for one last adventure. We did a little google searching and decided to take an Uber to the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle because of its high concentration of bars and restaurants. We had a feeling this area would be a good place to find dinner and were right! We stumbled upon the Ballard SeafooodFest and were able to enjoy some local beer and live music. Afterward we had dinner at Skal Beer Hall which was a fun nod to the neighborhoods Scandinavian roots.
Another notable restaurant in the area: The Walrus & Carpenter. We had the pleasure of returning to the Ballard neighborhood later on our trip and enjoyed an amazing dinner at this restaurant with a magical nightcap at the Splintered Wand.
If you would prefer to stay closer to the tourist hub for the evening we highly recommend dinner at Damn the Weather just off of Pioneer Square, or a drink at Cannon which boasts the largest spirit collection in the US. Wherever you choose to dine, we hope you enjoy your trip!
Want to see more of our day in Seattle? Check it out here!