When you’re caffeinated and strategic (and when your best friend is a local) – it’s easy to get the full Seattle experience in just 36 hours.
When we traveled back to San Diego from Philadelphia this summer, Chad and I were stuck in the middle of the Southwest disaster. Remember that? Yep, that was our day. I’m exhausted and cranky just thinking about it.
One silver lining made all of the jet lag worth it, though – we scored some craaaaazy discounted flight vouchers, and as a result – we planned a weekend getaway on a whim to Seattle, Washington! We’re saving up all of our vacation time to use when we travel back East again for the holidays…but we knew that if we woke up early enough and did it right, we could squeeze in the perfect winter trip.
I’m a big believer that time should never hold you back from an adventure – and so we set out for the challenge. If you find yourself with just a day or two to spend in the beautiful PNW – don’t rule it out just because you’re tight on time! Keep reading for a quick glimpse of Seattle’s best.
WHERE WE STAYED: The Bacon Mansion
Chad and I are B&B people, through and through. When visiting somewhere new, we much prefer to stay with locals and other travelers to get the inside scoop and a little extra touch of cozy hospitality. We chose The Bacon Mansion first for its proximity (it’s nestled in the adorable, walkable, close-to-everything Capitol Hill neighborhood), and of course – for the breakfast spread. 🙂 Though we were there just long enough to rest our heads and grab some coffee, it did not disappoint – and I’d highly recommend checking it out for your stay in the city.
WHAT WE EXPLORED: Pike Place Market and The Space Needle
Pike Place Market – an absolute iconic must. Though it’s a total tourist trap, just walking the aisles, people watching, and sampling from delicious vendors was so much fun. We had baklava, cookies, coffee, beer, muffins, croissants, cheese, fancy yogurt, sandwiches…it was indulgence at it’s finest. If you’ve got an hour or so to spend in Pike Place, be sure not to miss the first ever Starbucks store for coffee (and you wondered why they call it the Pike Place blend!), Pike Brewing for lunch (try the Space Needle Golden IPA), and Ellenos yogurt for dessert. Oh! And don’t pass the bubble gum wall. Yes, it’s gross and crowded – but it’s legendary and super fun.
Highlights of our time spent at Pike Place Market: running into Jeffrey Lurie, the owner of the Eagles (he was so, so nice!) and reuniting with one of our best pals/Maid of Honor, Mary Kathleen.
The Space Needle – if you’re passing through Seattle and don’t take a trip to the top of the Space Needle, you are seriously missing out! Though tickets are a bit steep at $30/person, the views and the history are worth every penny. We loved getting MK to tag along to the Observation Deck with us – she pointed out all of the noteworthy sights.
On a clear day, you can see Mount Rainier from the Space Needle. Unfortunately, we had no such luck during our trip. I hope to see it if and when we go back someday – my mom & step dad climbed it years ago which is quite an accomplishment. Its weather conditions are INSANE and it’s also the tallest mountain in the continental U.S.!
OUR FAVORITE BITES: Le Petit Cochon, Fremont Brewing, and Pyramid Brewing
(I promise we didn’t just drink beer the whole time – but breweries abound in Seattle!)
Gettin’ Piggy With It – Our Saturday date night was a sweet, romantic highlight – though certainly unexpected! After the restaurant that we had planned on dining at was disappointing and not what we had expected when we arrived, we decided to walk down the street to Fremont Brewing to grab a drink (so good!) and find a new spot.
We then walked back up the street (Fremont is incredibly walkable, and so cute), and stumbled upon Le Petit Cochon – a teeny tiny dimly lit, super romantic, swanky restaurant in the basement of an apartment building. It was perfect! It was packed late at night – clearly a popular spot – but we were lucky to snag some seats at the bar where we were charmed by the bartender and ate the best dinner that we had had in a long, long time.
I had a pamplemousse + champagne cocktail (YUM) with mushroom truffle risotto, and Chad dared to finish the revered menu item, an 18 oz. pork chop. We practically had to roll him out of there, but he totally did finish it all – and we managed to find room for gelato at Fainting Goat afterwards. 🙂
Pyramid Brewing: Just your average stadium sports bar, but we had a not so average experience here. Oh, my gosh, you guys – I nearly cried from joy at this place. We had met some strangers (now friends – Hi, Pam!) at the Space Needle the day before, who were diehard Eagles fans from South Jersey. They invited us to a tailgate at Pyramids before the game on Sunday, so of course we couldn’t say no.
The experience was nothing short of magical. For two homesick Philadelphia fans like us, it was amazing to be surrounded by hundreds (literally, hundreds!) of people in green singing Fly Eagles Fly, Dallas Sucks chants, and Rocky references. Mary Kathleen joined us again, and we were even lucky enough to meet up with one of my best college friends, Bill – who just happened to be visiting Seattle from NYC. Even though the Eagles lost, we had so much fun with this gang – definitely just what we needed to get us through the remaining weeks until our next trip home. Go Birds!
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: Our Sunday morning walk through Volunteer Park, a visit to Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and the ride from the airport to the city on the Link Light Rail.
(I was just so happy to see LEAVES and RAIN again!)
In just a day and a half, we fell head-over-heels for Seattle…but there is so much more to see! I hope that we’ll get to visit at least once more, and I’d love to go in the summer to hit the trails and see Bainbridge Island. Fingers crossed. 🙂
Have you ever been to Seattle? What were your favorite sights, and what do you recommend as must-sees? I’d love to read your thoughts and tips in the comments! XO