We just got back from a lovely trip to Seattle, Washington. The trip was a combination of work, play, and celebration, and it was just what we needed! Jeremy has been traveling for work almost non-stop for over a month, and we really needed some time together. We celebrated our six-year wedding anniversary (post about that here), and also called this a bit of a "baby moon" before little baby Quarles makes his appearance. The cooler temps and beautiful scenery of the Pacific Northwest greeted us like a welcome Summertime friend. We didn't miss the 100+ heat index of Nashville one bit and layered our sweaters and jackets with pleasure.
I don't know about you, but I always enjoy reading other people's travel experiences and travel guides! We are certainly not experts on Seattle, but we did our research in choosing things to see and places to eat, so I thought I would share some of our favorites from the trip!
Where We Stayed
The first four nights of our trip, we stayed just north of town in a little neighborhood called North Beach (just north of charming Ballard). We stayed in this Airbnb. It was small but charming, and it had everything we needed. We liked staying a little outside of the city and it made for an easy drive downtown and also North to the suburbs where I visited some clients (I'll share more about that later!)
On our final night, we stayed in a beautiful boutique hotel in Downtown Seattle called the Hotel Vintage. One night in the city was just perfect for a walk to Pike's Place, a delicious Sushi dinner, and a morning walk for some great coffee. We really lived up our stay in a large room at a nice hotel by heading back to the room by 6pm, donning our robes, and watching Netflix for the rest of the night.
Our Favorite Neighborhood
We saw a lot of different Seattle neighborhoods, and we both agree that we were the most charmed by Ballard. The restaurants and shops that line NW Ballard Way are absolutely precious! We agreed that we could have tried a new restaurant every day for a month and not run out of places that we wanted to try!
We spent a wonderful date night eating Thai food and gelato, shopping at Buffalo Exchange, and roaming through one of the best furniture consignment shops I've ever seen! Then we went back to Ballard the next morning for the Sunday Farmer's Market and a long shopping trip at the Filson store (one of Jeremy's favorite brands). We then went BACK to Ballard a third time just to enjoy the streets in the quiet early morning hours.
Restaurants We Loved
We ate at so many wonderful restaurants on the trip! Here were a few of our favorites:
- General Porpoise Donuts - I had been itching to try these donuts since seeing them on other blogs, and they didn't disappoint! The Chai Latte was the perfect blend of sweet and spicy, and their coffee selection was really great. They had a good bean selection and a good pouroverl! (If a coffee shop doesn't offer a pour over, we tend to write it off as second tier ;-)) The vibes are also great in this spot!
- Oddfellows Cafe - We ate brunch here, and the baked eggs were some of the best eggs I've ever had! The whole atmosphere was perfect for brunch, and the smell of freshly baked bread and coffee makes the whole experience delightful.
- Pestle Rock - Our Airbnb host recommended this Thai restaurant in Ballard. The Kao Soi was easily the best Curry dish I've ever tasted (and Curry is one of my favorite foods ever!) The vibes were great and the menu was very authentic (from what I understand). No American-ized Pad Thai here!
- Anchorhead Coffee - We are particular about our coffee shops (we actually tried one in Ballard which shall remain nameless and were so disappointed that we tossed the coffee within minutes and found another place), and Anchorhead is another that we would definitely visit again! Also, we had their breakfast sandwich and the Quaffle (cinnamon roll croissant that has been pressed into a waffle) and oh my gosh--my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
- Japonessa - This was a great place for delicious sushi! It's just a couple blocks from Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. I ate so much that Jeremy practically had to roll me back to the hotel. I wish I had gotten photos; it was delicious! And we visited at Happy Hour (they have a great Happy Hour menu), so we were able to get four fancy sushi rolls for less than $50!
- Preserve and Gather - Yet ANOTHER coffee shop north of town that made the list for good vibes, a great breakfast sandwich, and decent coffee.
A Beautiful Day Trip
On the day of our Anniversary, we decided to make the day extra special and booked a Whale Watching Cruise through the San Juan Islands. I highly recommend the experience! We booked the trip through Island Adventures and left out of Anacortes. It was only an hour-and-a-half drive up from our Airbnb. We made the trip a little more scenic by routing through the waterfront town of La Conner and then stopping off at Deception Pass State Park for a walk across the Deception Pass Bridge and some beautiful views.
The Whale Watching trip was such a fun adventure doing something we hadn't done before! We were on a beautiful boat for four full hours. We saw a humpback whale, at least seven orca whales, and a host of other beautiful wildlife. We ate a picnic on the boat as we watched the sun coming down over the water. After several months of a busy schedule and barely any time for each other, the quality time together looking out over the ocean was so refreshing.
There are SO many beautiful places to visit around Seattle (we didn't even scratch the surface of places I wanted to see), and I highly recommend the San Juan Islands being on the top of your list.
A Few Other Highlights
- Mariner's Game - even though we weren't particular fans of either team playing that night (Go Braves), the energy in the stadium was great! And this pregnant girl was thrilled by the garlic fries from Kidd Valley.
- Walks along the Puget Sound. I just don't get tired of beautiful water views. We stayed a block from beach access, and I absolutely loved taking walks along the sound.
- Kerry Park. Every guidebook will probably mention Kerry Park. It's a great, easy stop for some beautiful photos of downtown Seattle. And the Queen Anne district is just so incredibly charming!
- Filson Factory Store. If you like outdoorsy clothes, the Filson Factory downtown has a gorgeous flagship store. Jeremy loves Filson clothing, and I was in heaven admiring the design of the space. It's such a beautifully appointed retail location!
- Snoqualmie Falls. We didn't make it out there on this trip, but previous times in Seattle have shown me what a gorgeous spot this is for a day drive! While you're out that direction, take a hike at Rattlesnake Ridge!