Hey Vancouver, ready to leave the Lower Mainland just for a bit? Your lush green scenery, mountains and abundance of cultural activities may have gotten lost in the rain when looking around town. We have the solution: Escape South to Seattle with a handy list of things to do on a Seattle weekend.
Why a Seattle Weekend?
We’ve all had the temptation of a cross-border shopping trip. But push a little further south of Bellingham and rediscover Seattle on a weekend away. With an emphasis on local sourcing in restaurants and smaller operations in retail, there’s always something fresh to discover in the Emerald City.
And if you must, there are of course plenty of shopping opportunities in-town at Pacific Place, University Place and the Premium Outlets on your way back through Everett.
What to Do
Start the morning off with a coffee in true Seattle-style. Head to Stumptown Coffee at 616 East Pine Street, revered across the US as one of the finest grinds. Grab a couch and watch the people flock in and out. Feeling peckish? It’s only a five-minute walk to Oddfellows Cafe & Bar for their delectable brunch and the possibility of grabbing a Stumptown coffee right there. Their Homemade Biscuit & Egg Scramble is the talk of the town.
Pop Goes The World
Following brunch, head to the Experience Music Project Museum. This mecca for pop-culture lovers was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and the building was designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. Their exhibits, which are so amazing they are frequently toured internationally, cover everything from pop culture, horror and fantasy cinema and video games to costumes. Everyone will get excited about something within these walls!
Take Me Out to the Ball Game[caption id="attachment_25762" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Take someone out to a Mariner’s ball game. Photo by Chase N. CC BY[/caption]
Catch the Seattle Mariners at one of their home games. While they’ve never won a World Series, their fans enthusiasm is contagious. Come out and show your support for at least one game! One more thing: it’s not a baseball game if you don’t buy a hot dog, so in a true celebration of all things Seattle, make it a Seattle Dog (with cream cheese for those who aren’t native Seattleites).
Drinks on the Loser[caption id="attachment_25764" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Craft liquor distilled in the heart of Seattle. Photo courtesy of the Sun Liquor Facebook[/caption]
You might have screamed yourself hoarse, but regardless of whether you’re celebrating the Mariner’s win or lamenting their loss, head to the Sun Liquor Bar and Distillery at 512 East Pike Street. This craft distillery makes their own rum, vodka and gin and then employ them to make the tastiest cocktails imaginable.
trivago Budget Hotel Pick
Ace Hotel Seattle
Without a doubt, you’re going to need somewhere to come home to on your Seattle weekend away, booking a hotel room makes the adventure even more fun. The Ace Hotel, in all of its fun-loving swagger, comes with a surprisingly affordable price point. Forgo the chain hotel off the Interstate and stay at this cultural embassy on 1st Avenue.
What to Do
Good Morning[caption id="attachment_25768" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Live the energy of Pike Place Market. Photo by K.G.23 CC BY[/caption]
No visit, whether your first or your tenth to Seattle would be complete without a trip to Pike Place. Grab a coffee at Seattle Coffee Works up the road at 107 Pike Street before heading in. Bring a big reusable bag and stock up on delicious local organic produce at the Alvarez Farm stand, some jerky at Linds Custom Meats and enjoy the delighted faces of those discovering the market for the first time. Avoid the fish throwing guys and grab some sweet and savoury Russian bites for breakfast at Piroshky-Piroskhy — get it to-go and wander over to Seacrest Park for a picnic.
Across the Harbor[caption id="attachment_25770" align="aligncenter" width="551"] Take a step back and admire the Seattle view. Photo by Ryan CC BY[/caption]
After you’ve devoured all your Pike Place treats at Seacrest Park, catch the West Seattle Water Taxi for an epic view of the Emerald City. Treat it like a harbour cruise and take loads of photos! There’s no shame in going into full-on “tourist mode” here, your Snapchat story and Instagram feed will thank you.
All the Fishies in the Sea[caption id="attachment_25772" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Befriend the octopus at the Seattle Aquarium. Photo by Benjamin Hollis CC BY[/caption]
Now it’s time to ogle through goggles at the Seattle Aquarium. The aquarium is dedicated to the conservation of the area’s species and education on how to minimize human impact on the surrounding marine landscape. In the “Window on Washington Waters” you’ll see a glimpse of what’s happening in the waters nearby. There’s also a jellyfish exhibit, some ocean oddities and a Marine Mammals exhibit with particularly cute otters. If they don’t put a smile on your face, your heart must be made of stone!
The Best Sandwiches in Town[caption id="attachment_22372" align="aligncenter" width="551"] The infamous sandwiches at Honey Hole. Photo courtesy of the Honey Hole Facebook page[/caption]
The finest sandwiches in Seattle can be found at the Honey Hole at 703 East Pike Street. This hole-in-the-wall serves us fresh slabs of bread and stuffs them with incredible ingredients. The vegetarian sandwiches are mouth-watering for even the most devout carnivores. Work off that sandwich by walking over to the Seattle Central Library.
Kickin’ It at the Library[caption id="attachment_22388" align="aligncenter" width="551"] A perfect rainy day escape. Photo by Ming-yen Hsu CC BY[/caption]
The awe-inspiring and architecturally magnificent Seattle Central Library is the perfect place to relax and get out of the rain for a couple of hours. With a formidable collection of books and magazines (coming in somewhere over 1.45 million pieces!), grab a hefty pile before flopping down in the Living Room under the wall of windows.
Pinball Wizard[caption id="attachment_22398" align="aligncenter" width="524"] Try your pinball wizard skills out. Photo by J. Nathan Matias CC BY[/caption]
Kids of all ages will appreciate the Seattle Pinball Museum with over 50 machines on free play (admission to get in) and two floors of working vintage pinball machines. The location is a random storefront in the International District at 508 Maynard Ave South but this slightly secret location is worth pulling up that Google map for.
Dinner Pho Sho[caption id="attachment_25774" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] This dinner is good Pho-sho. Photo by +Russ CC BY[/caption]
Seattle has a ridiculous amount of Vietnamese restaurants – you should consider yourselves lucky! The local chain Than Brothers serves up some of the best bowls of pho to be had with convenient locations nearby wherever you may have wandered.Their menu is short and sweet, making it easy to pick something mouth-wateringly delicious.
trivago Hotel Pick
[button text="View the Thompson" href="http://www.trivago.ca/?iGeoDistanceItem=5180578"]
Making it a three-day long weekend? Why not shake things up with another night out-of-the-house at the Thompson Seattle. Considered the new kid on the block (that would be 1st Avenue between Stewart and Virginia), the hotly anticipated luxury outpost of the Thompson group is now open and quickly becoming a landmark around Pike Place.
With an “aviation-inspired DNA” in the building’s design, be treated to soaring views of the Sound and the Market from your room. High threadcount sheets, rainshowers and a chef-curated honour bar spell out “luxury”. If you’re due home before bedtime, why not end your weekend across the border up on The Nest for a rooftop espresso and a small nibble before hitting the road.