fieldtrip to seattle, washington
STAY - I suggest lodging in Ballard or Capitol Hill. We stayed at an Airbnb in Ballard with JJ & Lauren and loved them! It made the trip to Seattle completely authentic. Seattle’s public transportation system makes the city completely walkable.
DAY 1 (Friday)
Arrive around 1 p.m. and drop off the bags at your accommodations and freshen up before heading out.
LUNCH - Head over to Cafe Besalu for coffee to rejuvenate you and their famous croissants and pain au chocolat. (We went back here three times during our stay—it's that good!)
EXPLORE - After lunch, walk along the waterfront until you hit Ballard Locks and Botanical Garden. At 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. there is a free guided tour to learn about the history and how it works. Our tour guide was so enthusiastic and engaging! Also be sure to check out the fish ladder to see salmon swimming up to their spawning grounds.
DINNER - To satisfy your foodie cravings, grab a bite to eat at Paseo. They have the most delicious Carribean sandwiches! It's best to go at an odd hour otherwise the lines can be a bit outrageous. Head to bed a little early for a busy day exploring downtown!
DAY 2 (Saturday)
BREAKFAST - To make the most of your weekend trip awaken early, around 8 a.m. and catch the bus downtown to the famous Pike Place market. Start off your morning with the original Starbucks, we did it first thing to avoid too long a line. Stop by Piroshky Piroshky next door for an authentic Russian beef and cheese piroshky before going on your tour of the market.
EXPLORE - Experience Pike Place to its fullest through a free walking tour. Register for a Seattle Free Walking Tour offered every day of the week at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. You'll get the inside scoop on Pike Place Fish, Rachel the Piggy Bank, and the Post Alley Gum Wall. (Don't forget to bring bubble gum!) If the skies are clear take a ride on The Seattle Great Wheel for a beautiful view of the cityscape from the water.
LUNCH - For lunch there's Pike Place Clam Chowder for clam chowder and bread that will give Boudin's a run for its money. Or if you're a pasta person, head to Beecher's Handmade Cheese for some 'World Famous' Mac & Cheese. (Personally I liked their Mariachi Mac n' Cheese more.) Don't forget Rachel's Ginger Beer to wash down your lunch! Before you leave Pike Place, grab some Ellenos Greek Yogurt to eat for a snack. It's the most creamy, heavenly greek yogurt I've ever had!
EXPLORE - After lunch make a quick tour of the flagship Nordstrom—they still have a piano player! Then board the Monorail to get a view of the city from above to the Seattle Center. Chihuly Garden and Glass is a must see featuring the art of Dale Chihuly. If it's a sunny day, it's worth doing Chihuly Garden and the Space Needle. You can save a little by doing both ($21 for one, $36 for both).
DINNER - The much acclaimed Serious Pie is as serious as they say. I especially enjoyed the mushroom truffle pizza. Eat your fill, then catch the bus back to Ballard for a night out on the town.
Drinks - After freshening up, make your first stop of the night at Percy's & Co. for some cocktails. Their signature drink, which was delicious, is called The Awakened One—lemongrass infused vodka, lillet blanc, fresh pineapple juice, lime, ginger, & cilantro. Yum! For a variety of local beers on tap, there is King's Hardware. I liked a Seattle brew called Manny's Pale Ale that was recommended to us by a Seattlite. Make your final stop at Shelter Lounge to dance the last few hours of the night away!
DAY 3 (Sunday)
BREAKFAST - The best place to eat on Sunday's in Ballard is the Ballard Farmers Market. With the freshest produce and hot out of the oven bakery goods there is something for everyone.
EXPLORE - After walking around Ballard Farmers Market, be sure to check out the local mom and pop coffee shops along Market and Ballard Ave. There are also many one-of-a-kind boutiques and consignment stores like Trouve and LUCCA.
LUNCH - For some authentic Puerto Rican food, La Isla Cuisine is the place to go. I'm a sucker for plantains.
EXPLORE - Across Ballard Locks is Discovery Park, a local favorite full of running trails and scenic beaches. Pick up a map near the visitor center and meander around the trails for hours! My favorite spot was at South Beach to the light house. I took home a few pieces of driftwood to make things out of later—free souvenirs!
DINNER - Once you've worked up a nice appetite wandering around the many trails and beaches, walk back to Ballard for some local artisan food at 8 oz. Burger & Co. I loved their garlic fries and beer battered onion rings and next time I want to try their short rib poutine.
DESSERT - For your final taste of Seattle, treat yourself to a chocolate lava cake at Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, as if the name wasn't enough to make you drool. (PSA: The milk is $5 a pop for a tiny glass, not sure what that's worth to you, but just thought you should know...maybe BYOM)
Hope you come home loving Seattle as much as I did. If you're a native Seattleite with any suggestions, I'd love to hear for when I go back one day!
xo from catie