I arrived in Seattle after 31 hours of traveling back from Bali, Indonesia. I wanted to see the city and mostly walk, but not have to do too much walking considering I was exhausted, especially from the jet lag. Nevertheless I was excited to see the city and I had a whole day to do it. I usually book hostels through HostelWorld (which is a fun way to travel by yourself, they are a great way to meet other solo travelers and I assure you they are nothing like the horror movie Hostel! lol) but this time around, I chose an Airbnb so I could have plenty of restful sleep and not be too far from the airport for my 7am flight the next day. I slept for the night, got up bright and early and took the Link Light Rail into town to start my day! Below is my itinerary of a great day around downtown area and around the water. 🙂
1. Get Coffee at Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Right across the highway from downtown (about a 15 minute walk), you can head to basically a Starbucks on steroids. Here the feature some of their best coffee (Jamaican Blue Mountain, anyone?), all sorts of creations, pastries, and even local plants you can get a piece of! It was a beautiful, extravagant experience and if you’re going to buy coffee in Seattle, why not do it here? (I couldn’t help but buy a gold mug from the experience!)
2. Check Out Flowers and Fresh Seafood at Seattle’s Public Market
If you’re going to visit Seattle, take the time to enjoy yourself and stop and smell the roses (literally). Near the water downtown, there is Seattle’s Public Market Center that is home to several flower shops, seafood, fresh fruits & vegetables, LAVENDAR (it’s amazing and local, a little pouch can last 50 YEARS), and more. It’s a wonderful way to see the local produce and feel the energy of the city, (plus it’s right next to the ORIGINAL Starbucks and other wonderful cafes!)
I got there still fairly early in the morning, so the first thing I saw setting up were the flower booths. There were probably about six of them, with flower arrangements ranging from $10-20 dollars (I ended up buying a beautiful $10 one for my ‘spiritual’ grandma that lives nearby that I was going to have lunch with haha). You could also buy tulips buy the flower for $1-2 each and build yourself your own little bouquet. 🙂
Now, if you’re a seaflood lover like me, this place is a MECCA. It was so beautiful and fresh. The biggest lobster tails and crabs I had ever seen, with the crabs all stacked on top of each other just ready for the taking!
Not to mention, if you’re into ‘finer dining’ that’s a little experimental, they had their own local truffles!
The locals in the market were so friendly and charming. Fresh fruit being offered to sample everwhere you look (seriously some of the BEST plums and apples I’ve ever tasted!) This guy below who was working with the fish was playfully toying with the kids with that scary looking monkey fish (cool looking, right? haha) and photo bombing people’s photos.
Maybe if you’re smart and renting an Airbnb (never tried it? Basically it’s like renting a local’s room/house and really feeling the comforts of home! Sign up here for $40 credit!) you could take home one these beautiful sea creatures and have yourself a fresh seafood meal. 🙂 The market had multiple levels with other shops and restaurants underneath. You could also have yourself a seaside lunch while you’re there.
3. Take Photos in front of Seattle’s Famous Gum Wall
Next, right underneath the market in Post Alley is Seattle’s famous ‘Gum Wall’. It’s a local landmark starting in the 1990’s when locals would put their gum on the wall when entering Post Alley’s Market Theater, and has just grown ever since. Albeit being gross, I couldn’t not go see it! (Just don’t touch it and you’ll be okay! lol). It’s kind of hidden, but if go to the front of the market and look for a road going underneath it, the sign will say “Post Alley” above it, just follow it down less than 100ft! (Or you could ask a local).
4. Take a Ferry to Bainbridge Island
The whole kitten kaboodle only costs $8.75 (the cost there, return trip is free!) and takes 30 minutes each way. A great way to see more of Seattle’s oceanfront and the neighboring communities. They serve beer and snacks on the ferry (along with multiple outlets! A lifesaver for my navigation of the city, and a perfect amount of time to get a quick charge) so you’ll have plenty to do on the short journey.
5. Eat lunch at Harbour Public House
Go grab some fried oysters or clam chowder and beers or bloody marys or whatever your little heart desires at this quaint and lively pub right on the marina. A great view of the water and boats, plus some delicious grub and a friendly, light atmosphere.
6. Take a Whiff at Have a Heart Belltown Dispensary
Once you return back to the mainland, go check out Have a Heart Belltown dispensary. Now, I am living in Colorado, so I am no stranger to marijuana and dispensaries. That being said, I have NEVER seen a dispensary this big and this well put together! They had more selection of strains that I ever seen, from flower and pre-rolls to edibles and vaping. It was quite the store, even included a chandelier (!?) and some awesome lighting. It’s a cool experience, even if you’re just there to look.
7. Visit ‘Ye Olde Curiosity Shop’ (with REAL shrunken heads!)
Right by the ferris wheel (we’ll get there), along one of the storefronts on the water, right behind a Harley Davidson shop, is a place called Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. A store you REALLY do not want to miss! I was curious, obviously, so I went in lol. Little did I know what I would find! It is a store and museum, with all sorts of carved objects, butterfly wall hangings, and unbeknownst to me, the world’s largest collection of authentic shrunken heads! Be sure to get there before 6pm though, when they officially close. Lots of unique and interesting things and displays to look through for an hour or two.
8. Stroll on Seattle’s Boardwalk and/or Ride the Ferris Wheel
Of course Seattle’s got some gorgeous waterfront, where you could catch a ride on the ferris wheel, visit the aquarium, catch a ferry, divulge on some oysters or just get a coney all in one place. Sunrise and sunset are the most magical times to go, of course, especially if you want to take some photography upon the ferris wheel!
9. Eat dinner at Elliott’s Oyster House
Lastly, end your day with some well deserved fine food from the depths. I’ve had oysters more than a handful of times in the last year, and I can honestly say I was delighted by the tastes of the ones I got to eat at Elliott’s Oyster House. It’s right by the pier with the ferris wheel, so you can go around sunset to watch over the water, then head straight into your feast.
Needless to say, I was a happy camper. I rode the link light rail home to my Airbnb and passed out fulfilled and happy. There was just something so delicious about each of these oysters, I couldn’t help but order a second round. I don’t know how to describe oysters if you’re not familiar, they are quite the unique experience but you need to try it ONLY when you are seaside and in a beautiful place like this! Otherwise, you won’t have a beautiful memory like this one to go back to once you take a magical bite in the future. 😉 Thank you Seattle, I shall be back!
If you’re still in the planning phases of visiting Seattle, check out booking an Airbnb if you’re a couple or family, or a Hostel if you’re a solo traveler. You could also look into getting one of these credit cards for a $11.20 round-trip domestic flight there!