Wanderlust – 48 Hours in Seattle
By Megan MacNee (Guest Blogger)
Flying around California always seems like a piece of cake, but there is something that stops me from jumping on a plane for just a weekend if I’m crossing state borders. There are a variety of cities worth the visiting that are barely farther than flying to San Diego, so I’m determined to change that.
One of these spots is Seattle, Washington. While we have a lot of folks around Sacramento who hail from the Evergreen State, I know I’m not the only one who hadn’t visited Seattle before. I recently had a free weekend and a Southwest sale popped up. So I booked my ticket and took my first solo trip in a while.
I hopped on a plane Friday after work to explore many of the tourist spots, eat delicious food, and try out the coffee and beer scenes. Overall, I can’t even guess at the calories I consumed but walking over 20 miles in 48 hours evened it all out. My trip only scratched the surface and left me wanting to plan my next visit.
Where to stay
Just a few blocks from Pike Place Market, and in the center of downtown, you find The Palladian Hotel. I’ve always enjoyed Kimpton Hotels, but this might be my favorite. The lobby has artwork of royals and knights until you take a closer look and recognize Russell Crowe and Dave Matthews’s faces. The rooms are modern with all the amenities, including your own Jambox. To top it all off my room had a view of the Space Needle. You can often find rooms for only $140-$200 a night.
There are some tourist spots worth visiting in Seattle. It’s worth a visit to see the view from the top of the Space Needle, explore the music and sci-fi history at the EMP museum, take a harbor cruise or wander the Chihuly Garden & Glass. A great way to hit all these places without breaking the bank is grabbing a CityPASS. For just $69 you have access to all these activities and more. If three of the activities listed are of interest to you, it is likely worth the purchase.
You can’t skip exploring Pike Place Market. You’ll find producers who’ve been there since it started in 1907. Take the time to slowly wander and explore. Hitting the market before 9 am means you’ll get to avoid crowds and get to see the market while it’s setting up. Wandering around yourself is a must, but if you really want to get to know the market and taste the best of the best, it is worth taking the Savor Seattle tour. Your guide will introduce you to the producers and share the history of the market and many of their vendors. All while you pig out on samples from mac & cheese, to donuts, to clam chowder. Their Pike Place Market tour was my favorite thing from my trip.
Where to eat & drink
For breakfast stop by Lowell’s, a diner in Pike Place Market. You’ll have a view of the bay while enjoying delicious breakfast tacos or Eggs Benedict. Follow up with coffee over at Storyville, a local roaster that’s mission goes well beyond coffee as they support efforts to fight human trafficking.
For dinner, you can’t miss The Pink Door, a kitschy Italian restaurant tucked in an alley above Pike Place Market. Make a reservation or ask to be seated in their lounge. You can enjoy all their homemade pasta while listening to live music in the background. If you run around too late and need a late night snack stop by Rocco’s where you can get delicious pizza by the slice.
In Pike Place Market there are so many vendors to choose from, but a couple that shouldn’t be missed are Beecher’s Homemade Cheese, The Confectional for mini-cheesecakes and drinking chocolate, and Pike Place Fish Market for their smoked salmon and flying fish.
As the sun sets and you’re looking for a drink, you’ll find some unique spots to try out new flavors. Rachel’s Ginger Beer has a variety of flavors I’ve never seen and Moscow Mules to go with each. Von’s GustroBistro produces homemade Gin, Tequila, and Vodka that will bring any cocktail up a notch. If you’re looking for interesting beer, head to Outlander Brewery & Pub. This small batch brewery has experimental but refreshing flavors, my favorite was the basil beer.
What it costs
Seattle is filled with opportunities to dig in and get to know its history and locals. From its food to coffee to history, Seattle wants to show you who it is. It was easy to explore, overindulge a little and have a great time on a solo trip.
Overall, the trip ran $550 for the weekend for one. That didn’t include airfare since I’ve been racking up Southwest points. I fit in just about everything I could adding another tour or another meal. If you were looking to take it slow it would be easy to cut out $100 or so.
- Airfare – Runs as low as $120 round-trip (or save up those Southwest points)
- Public transit pass for two days – $16 (light rail and buses that get you to and from the airport, plus around town)
- Two Nights at the Palladian Hotel – $300
- Dinner at the Pink Door – $35
- Breakfast at Lowell’s – $20
- CityPASS – $69
- Coffee break at Storyville – $4
- Beer & Cocktails – $25
- Late night slice at Rossco’s – $6
- Breakfast at Spear & Shaker – $20
- Savor Seattle Pike Place Market Tour – $49
- Chowder at Steelhead Diner – $12
- Souvenir at Sub-Pop – $12
On your way home don’t forget to explore the airport, especially the Sub-Pop store. This is the record label where Nirvana and a variety of other Seattle artists started on.
This scratches the surface of the great places to explore around the city. I can’t wait to get back to Seattle and explore a new layer of the city on my next visit. Let me know if I missed out on some of your favorites.