Rock + rain: Seattle travel guide

Okay, so we all know that Starbucks hails from Seattle (if you didn’t know that, you know it now), but did you also know that the city is also the birthplace of Amazon, Nordstrom, and Boeing, among many others, as well as where grunge got its start? Okay, I have to admit, I’m not that familiar with the music of Nirvana, Sound Garden, Jimi Hendrix, and Macklemore, but it’s super impressive that there are so many things (and people!) that started here in Seattle.

My coworker and I are currently in Vancouver for work, but we decided to fly out early and check out the Emerald City for the first time since we’ve been to Vancouver often (don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Van, but we’re here for awhile and wanted to check out somewhere new).

We flew into YVR International Airport and then rented a car to make the three-hour (ish) drive down in the dark and rain (happy I wasn’t driving), however, when we got into Seattle we were met with the most beautiful skyline that had us both so excited to explore the city.

W Hotel Seattle Living Room W Seattle Living Room W Seattle Living Room

We stayed at the W Seattle, located at 1112 4th Avenue, right downtown and near Pike Place Market and tons of shopping (the flagship Nordstrom store is a few blocks away). Fun fact, the W Seattle was actually established in 1999 (the building was formerly a different hotel), and was the third-ever W Hotel location in the world. We checked into our guestroom on the 18th floor with views of downtown and filled with all the fabulous W amenities that keep me coming back to the trendy hotel brand.

In addition to many guest rooms, there is also a restaurant on location (Trace), and a Seattle-themed Living Room (a lounge/lobby), featuring a jaw-dropping giant fireplace in the centre with nature and Indigenous-inspired detailing, as well as a whole wallpapered wall of records in homage to the city’s music history. This location also has a Sound Suite, an in-house recording studio that you can book to lay down some beats. Since we aren’t musicians, we didn’t actually record anything, but the hotel was gracious enough to take us in there to check it out.

After waking up from a comfortable night sleep (I love their beds!) and a great shower (their Bliss body products are always a highlight), we hit up downtown the first day, visiting Mr. West Café Bar, located at 720 Olive Way Seattle, about a 10-minute walk from the hotel. We brunched on grilled cheese, their brussel sprout Caesar salad, and drip coffee among a totally hip space. In addition to the food being excellent, the restaurant itself was totally Instaworthy, which although I wanted to go there to take some cool pics, the food also was totally bomb too.

W Seattle side table in room W Seattle hotel room W Seattle hotel room

After getting some grub, we walked to Pike Place Market to check out the local vendors (lots of flowers, fish, and fresh produce), and also find the original Starbucks. Located at 1912 Pike Place, this particular Starbucks is different looking from the ones we all know and love. Since it was a Saturday, there was a line to get in (and even longer to get our drinks), but it was totally worth it. They had merchandise exclusive to that location, as well as an espresso that you can only get there as well (we got some skinny vanilla lattes with it, but honestly it tasted the same).

After Starbucks, we headed to Target, which was located a block away. After an hour of buying stuff we totally didn’t need, we walked to Westlake Center Seattle to go to Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, and Zara. We also made sure to visit Free People (101 Stewart Street) and then headed to dinner at The Pink Door. Since the spot is so popular, there was an hour wait, so we walked around some more before heading back to the restaurant for dinner. We had awful service there but the food was yummy and it is one of the top-rated restaurants in Seattle (which we didn’t know, the lady at Free People recommend it). Since we were walking around for nine hours by that point, we headed back to the W Seattle to wash off our makeup, lounge around in those cozy robes, and watch TV.

Flowers at Pike Place Market in Seattle Mr. West Cafe and Bar brunch menu Original Starbucks at Pike Place Market Seattle Public Market Sign

Walking in Pike Place Market Inside Pike Place Market

MoPop, as it’s affectionately called, is located right near the Space Needle and houses some really cool exhibits focused on science fiction, horror films, Jimi Hendrix (who was born in Seattle), David Bowie, music, and more. We ended up buying the tickets online since it was a few dollars cheaper and paid for two hours of parking (no free parking unfortunately), however, we found that the two hours was more than enough. Each exhibit was really cool and well done, however, since I’m not that into SciFi, or familiar with David Bowie or Jimi Hendrix, it wasn’t the most interesting museum for me, but I’m still glad we visited, as the production value in the exhibits was top notch.

After the museum, we decided it was probably time to get the show on the road, but first we wanted to take some skyline pics of the city. We ended up going up to Kerry Park to snap some photos of the Seattle skyline, then made our way to Pier 66’s observation deck, to get a few more, this time with the ferris wheel. Since it started to rain by that point, we made our trek out of the city and started the three hours back to Vancouver.

I had never really been interested in visiting Seattle. I was happy to go if the opportunity came up, but I never really felt that it was a place I would go out of my way to visit. Although we only spent about two days in city, I definitely want to go back and visit a few more places since we only cracked the surface of what the city has to offer. You can tell there is so much culture in the Seattle, and since it’s so close to Vancouver, I definitely would make the drive down again. Plus, we totally loved all the hip dining spots the city has to offer. We kept saying how we wished that Winnipeg had spots like they do there.

Seattle view from Pier 66 Tallulah's cafe in Seattle Overlooking Seattle skyline

Have you been to Seattle? What are your top recommends?

Please note, W Seattle provided me with a media rate for my stay.

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