A couple of weeks ago, Matt and I went on a spontaneous trip to Seattle! A friend of ours is staying there for a while for work and it’s been at the top of our list of places to travel so we figured now was the perfect time. We had the best time and absolutely fell in love with the city!
Since the trip was so spontaneous and last minute, we were only there for a weekend. We flew in on Friday evening and flew back out Sunday afternoon. I was worried that Saturday wouldn’t provide enough time for us to see all the sites we wanted to but it was a perfect amount of time to get introduced to the city!
Since we’re both fans of the show Twin Peaks, the first stop on our list was Salish Lodge out in Snoqualmie, aka The Great Northern hotel in the show. The drive to Snoqualmie was not bad at all and only took us half an hour or less from Bellvue where we were staying. Not to mention the drive was beautiful and scenic – as I’ve mentioned before, Fall is my favorite season by far and I miss out on the best parts by living in the swampland known as Houston. The trees on the way to Snoqualmie (and actually all throughout Seattle too) were all beautiful shades of red, orange, and purple. I was so happy to get to enjoy fall!
We got breakfast at the Salish Lodge and oh my goodness was it worth it. The food was incredible, and they have this tradition where they drip “honey from heaven” as they call it, where they hold honey up high and drip it down onto your biscuits. Pretty cool.
The Salish Lodge sits at the top of the Snoqualmie Falls and adjacent to a park to hike around the falls and get some good views. The views at the top of the falls are stunning and don’t require any hiking at all, it’s just a few steps from the Lodge itself.
We took the time to hike down to the base of the falls and it was a nice little hike. I was not dressed for hiking at all and I did relatively fine.
The views at the base of the falls are worth the time it takes to hike down there!
Eventually we had to pry ourselves away from the beautiful views and fresh air and head into the city. The first place we went to in the city was Pike Place Market.
Let me stop here to mention the one negative thing about Seattle – parking. It’s atrocious. Houston doesn’t have many upsides, but being laid out on hundreds of miles allows for ample parking everywhere and always. Seattle is the opposite. Since we were staying with our friend in Bellvue, we were driving around the city and having to park everywhere we wanted to go. Parking is either a) non-existent or b) expensive everywhere. I highly recommend just Ubering everywhere and avoiding the mess altogether.
Anyways – Pike Place Market. What an amazing place like no other place I’ve ever been! First of all, it’s way bigger than I expected. It’s actually multiple stories tall and also bleeds outdoors as well. Not only is it huge, but it’s so colorful! I couldn’t believe how bright every single display was.
I will say it was ridiculously crowded. Like, probably breaking some kind of fire code crowded. I tried to get a picture of the crowds but, being 5’2, I kept just getting pictures of the one person in front of me haha.
Outside of the market is a pretty good view of the Puget Sound and all the boats in the water. The weather was really enjoyable while we were there – in the 50’s all day with no rain – and I was so happy to be outside as much as possible.
From Pike Place Market, we walked down 1st Avenue for quite a few blocks. The architecture there was really interesting – a lot of older looking buildings mixed in with typical Pacific Northwest charm!
We decided after this that we needed to soak in more of the beautiful scenery of the area, so we headed up to Discovery Park on the north side of town. The drive to this park was cool because it went through a residential area with a lot of adorable houses. One thing I noticed about Seattle was how adorable the whole place was – we drove around a large portion of the city and every area and neighborhood was adorable in it’s own way. It was very charming.
Discovery Park was large but we didn’t stay long – we parked the car towards the north of the park and took in some good views of the water.
We drove down to the Fremont area to see the famed Fremont Troll. It’s not possible to get a good picture of the troll simply because of the dozens of people constantly climbing on it for their own photos.
But if you turn around and look behind you, you can actually get a really good picture of the Aurora Bridge while everyone is ignoring it 🙂
After we had finished doing all these touristy things, we decided we needed to experience Seattle more like a local. We hit up a local coffee shop we found near the troll and people watched for a while. One thing I love about Seattle is how dog friendly it is! Everybody seems to have a dog and they all are out walking them and actually taking them inside of coffee shops are restaurants. It made me wish I had my dogs with me on the trip! I also saw a lot of people bicycling around which makes sense since parking is such a nightmare. Houston is way too huge to bike anywhere realistically, but Seattle is such a good size for biking to your destination.
We caught the last of the sunlight at Kerry Park to get some really good views of the city.
We finished out the night in the Ballard area by hitting up several breweries and even made friends with some locals.
The next day we flew back to Houston but Seattle had a couple last gifts to give on the flight –
- Ease of access: It’s kind of far away from the entire rest of the country and there weren’t as many flights out of Houston as I expected… we didn’t really have our pick of arrival and departure times like we do for some other cities like NYC or DC. Still, once you arrive, everything is very close together and allows for some walking from sight to sight. Uber or some other taxi/ride share is highly recommended, as parking is at a premium in the city.
- Price – Not really cheap… the flights were a little more expensive than to some other cities. We were lucky that we stayed with a friend, but if you have to get a hotel that’ll drive the price up as well. Once you get there many of the attractions are actually free though (Pike Place Market if you don’t buy anything, Fremont Troll, all the parks), which makes it a lot more affordable.
- Clothes: I can only speak to the weather while I was there that was absolutely beautiful. I wore jeans and a light jacket and was fine. It didn’t rain while we were there either. I wore cute boots and then ended up trying to hike so that was a mistake – plan ahead and bring walking shoes if you plan to hike (even if you’re trying to limit yourself to a carry on like I was :P)
- Crowds: Varies. Pike Place Market? Insane crowds like never before seen. Discovery Park? Not so bad. It’s a big city so bars and restaurants get a little crowded, but no more so than any other large city.
- Recommend: I cannot recommend it enough. I can’t wait to go back for my next visit!
I must admit that I was very sad to leave Seattle, there’s something about the city that just makes you want to stay! But I feel confident I’ll be returning soon and frequently for more trips. Hopefully I can stay for longer next time and head out to Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park!
Thanks for reading! Do you have a favorite place to see in Seattle? Let us know about it in the comments!