Immaculate lawns, fresh air, and coffee to keep us up for a million of these posts (don’t worry, not all at once!)—who could say no?
The notorious state that is home to the Seahawks, the founding state of Nordstrom, and the Amazon.com headquarters also boasts some incredibly stunning sights. On a side note, Cupcake Royale has delectably moist-but-not-overly-heavy cupcakes that will change the way you look at these baked goodies forevermore.
Alki Beach is no Laguna Beach or Venice Beach. Instead, it is calm and not obnoxious. Families, sunbathers, and beach volleyball players share the space comfortably while paddleboards, kayakers and windsurfers decorate the water.
Ample small stores and food/drink establishments that run along the coast make it easy to spend an entire day at the beach to soaking up all the sun. Of course, patios are a non-negotiable, and ice cream is almost in excess… Almost.
Intimate and quiet in the Queen Anne area, Kerry Park offers nice views of the Seattle sky line, save for the cranes that can be spotted throughout downtown. The hilly topography of the city really lends itself well for great views in many neighbourhoods!
Probably one of my favourite places to visit in the Seattle area, this Japanese-inspired garden was a delight to get lost in on a bright afternoon. The greenery was lush and refreshing, the air was easy to breathe and filled only with sounds of birds.
The New York Botanical Garden Conservatory Ball hosted more than a handful of beautiful Chihuly glass arrangements on June 1st , but I was fortunate enough to visit the stunning Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit in person, across the country in Seattle.
Right next to Chihuly are the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project (AKA Museum of Pop Culture). Admittedly, I opted out of the Space Needle because, well, CN Tower. The Museum of Pop Culture, however, offers great exhibits on contemporary fashion, musical culture, and the exterior is designed by Canada’s very own Frank Gehry using aluminum and stainless steel, giving it an additionally unique appearance.
Let’s not forget the shopping…
Pike Place is a market filled with artisanal booths, people, and chowder. Not unlike St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, Pike Place has bakeries, small stores selling random knick-knacks, and a wonderful view of the water.
A not-that-far alternative for Pike Place Chowder, Pacific Place also houses a Din Tai Fung for food alternative. A Tiffany & Company, J. Crew, and Club Monaco are also in the building, giving Pacific Place the office-lunch feeling. An enormous Nordstrom (okay, probably not enormous, but it looked big!) is staple in the downtown core, with our blog-worthy Zara and Forever 21 nearby. Macy’s is just down the street, and in the summer you can catch food trucks and outdoor games (table tennis, hoops, and something that looks like skeeball,) within designated seating areas. Southcenter, Bellevue Square, University Village are other shopping destinations, but don’t expect much of the luxury brands outside of what Nordstrom may offer.
Capitol Hill provides the trendy and eclectic feel, home to charismatic entrepreneurial businesses such as cafes and vintage clothing/accessories stores. Totokaelo stands out, touting fashion-forward brand name apparel and accessories with a level each for men’s and women’s fashion.
When talking about coffee and Seattle, it is rather obligatory to mention the original Starbucks, isn’t it? The Pike Place Starbucks (famously the first location), on the other hand? It’s just like any other Starbucks on any other street corner, in a disappointing discovery. Their menu is the exact same, and the décor is reminiscent of dimly lit 90’s Starbucks. While it is petite and quite cozy, the constant comings and goings of tourists lining up (sometimes only to snap a picture) combined with the buzzing of the market sufficiently ward off students and table-stayers that so often make coffee shops a second home. Starbucks Reserve locations throughout the city is the place to go for exclusive brews and drinks if you’re looking for novelty.
If I were not already a bit of a coffee addict, Seattle definitely would have turned me into one. Not a huge fan of Starbucks to begin with? Not a problem! Magnolia’s Uptown Espresso, Bellevue’s Woods, Queen Anne’s Le Rêve whip up some of the most amazing mochas I have ever tasted.
Thanks to @crapitscathan for the photos!