Seattle Insider's Guide: Where to Stay and Things to Do

Recommendations from a former Seattleite
AUTHOR
Wendy Diep
Travel Lover & Co-founder of Let's Jetty

Ready to explore Seattle like you're not just visiting? As a certified four-year Seattleite, I've got the lowdown on where to see, be seen, and indulge like the boss babe you are. Get ready to sip artisanal coffee, soak up artsy vibes, and slay your way through Seattle's hottest spots. Buckle up, babes – it's time for an epic urban adventure!

‍Where to Stay in Seattle

First things first, where to stay - avoid downtown. In every other city, downtown is where you'd probably want to be. In Seattle, it's definitely not where you'd stay. Seattle isn't a huge city, so if you're staying in Seattle proper, it's pretty easy to get around from anywhere via Uber or public transport. These are my two favorite areas of Seattle and where I'd recommend looking for a place to stay:

‍Capitol Hill

‍Get ready to unleash your inner trendsetter by staying in Capitol Hill, the beating heart of Seattle's cultural scene. This neighborhood is where the city's artsy vibes and culinary delights collide, making it the perfect home base for a fabulously fierce getaway. From boutique shops to vibrant nightlife, Capitol Hill has it all. Plus, its prime location near iconic landmarks like Volunteer Park and the Pike/Pine corridor means you'll never run out of Insta-worthy moments.

‍Ballard

‍For a chill yet chic vibe, look no further than Ballard. Nestled along the waterfront, this neighborhood seamlessly blends history with hipness, offering a laid-back escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown. With its trendy boutiques, lively Farmers Market, and scenic views, Ballard is where Seattle cool kids go to unwind and indulge. So grab your designer shades and get ready to soak up some serious Seattle style.

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Things To Do in Seattle

Given that you'll probably finding most of the "tourist-y" and popular recommendations for Seattle from other guides, most of my recommendations stay away from the traditional Space Needle, Kerry Park, Discovery Park, etc recommendations and will be real ways I spent time in Seattle with friends (and a couple of my favorite "tourist" attractions). ‍

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Spend a Morning at Pike Place Market

‍Wake up and smell the artisanal coffee, babes! Pike Place Market is the ultimate playground for foodies and fashionistas alike. Dive into a sea of fresh seafood, quirky shops, and Insta-worthy photo ops as you explore this iconic Seattle hotspot.

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Seattle's infamous gum wall, photo by Marc Newberry

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My recs for while you're there: Stop at Rachel's Ginger Beer and choose from one of many flavors of Moscow Mules (because really, why not start the day off with a drink?) Pick up a fresh bouquet of flowers because they're not only gorgeous, absolutely fresh, but totally affordable. Their selection of dried flowers are a great for decor and something you can even bring with you on your travels home. It's literally the best place to get flowers in Seattle. Check out the infamous gum wall; it's quite a site.

Website: https://www.pikeplacemarket.org/

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First Thursday Art Walk

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‍Ready to get your culture fix? The First Thursday Art Walk is where Seattle's artsy crowd comes out to play. Picture yourself strolling through Pioneer Square, wine glass in hand, as you soak up cutting-edge exhibits and live performances. It's the perfect opportunity to unleash your inner art critic and discover Seattle's vibrant creative scene.

Learn more & check out the calendar of events here.

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Paddle Boarding at Green Lake

‍Get ready to channel your inner mermaid, babes! Green Lake is the ultimate playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering crystal-clear waters and stunning views of the city skyline. Grab a paddleboard, strike a pose, and prepare to make waves – because in Seattle, adventure is always in fashion.‍

Check out Greenlake Boathouse for rentals

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

‍Step into a world of wonder at the Chihuly Garden and Glass, where vibrant glass sculptures come to life in a lush garden setting. Lose yourself in a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes as you explore this mesmerizing attraction, perfect for art-loving divas and selfie queens alike.

Plan your visit - their website

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Ballard Farmers Market

‍Immerse yourself in the vibrant local scene at the Ballard Farmers Market. This bustling market is a treasure trove of fresh produce, artisanal goods, and quirky finds, all nestled against the scenic backdrop of the Ballard neighborhood. Whether you're stocking up on farm-fresh veggies, sampling gourmet treats, or just soaking up the lively atmosphere, the Ballard Farmers Market is the perfect place to experience the heart and soul of Seattle's culinary scene.

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Visit Woodinville - "Seattle's Wine Country"

Just a short 30-minute drive from Seattle lies Woodinville, a charming escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. This quaint town is a haven for wine lovers, boasting a plethora of wineries and tasting rooms that showcase the best of Washington's wine country. Spend a leisurely day sampling award-winning wines, exploring picturesque vineyards, and soaking up the laid-back ambiance of this hidden gem. Whether you're a seasoned oenophile or just looking for a relaxing getaway, Woodinville promises a delightful escape that's right in Seattle's backyard.

Learn more about Visiting Woodinville Wine Country

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Catch a Sporting Game

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Seattle Mariners Game

‍‍Take me out to the ballgame, divas! Nothing says summer in Seattle like cheering on the Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Grab a hot dog, a cold drink, and get ready to root for the home team as they swing for the fences. It's a quintessential Seattle experience you won't want to miss.

Official Seattle Mariners website

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Seattle Sounders Soccer Game

No other city in America does Soccer like Seattle. On a random Wednesday, you'll see seats are packed. Get ready to show some team spirit, babes! Join the sea of green and blue at Lumen Field as you cheer on the Seattle Sounders. Whether you're a die-hard fan or just in it for the halftime show, a Sounders game is the ultimate way to experience Seattle's soccer fever.

Official Seattle Sounders website

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See the Cherry Blossoms at University of Washington

‍Springtime in Seattle means one thing: cherry blossom season! Head to the University of Washington campus to witness nature's most Instagram-worthy display in full bloom. Take a leisurely stroll beneath the pink petals, snap some envy-inducing pics for the 'gram, and revel in the fleeting beauty of this seasonal spectacle. It's the perfect way to add a pop of color to your Seattle adventure!

Check out the "Bloom Watch" on UW's website

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And boom, there you have it, my ultimate insider tips for taking on Seattle like you're not just visiting (though really you are). But hold up, babes, there's one thing I intentionally left out – Seattle's food and cocktail scene. Yeah, I can get a bit snobby when it comes to my grub, and while I'll forever swear by New York's culinary prowess, Seattle's food game is nothing to scoff at. Trust me, I've got a treasure trove of mouthwatering recommendations waiting to be unleashed. So keep those eyes peeled 'cause my next blog is gonna be serving up all the delectable details. Stay tuned!

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