From Coffee to Seaplanes: Exploring the Best of Seattle, Washington

Advisor - Scott Paulis
Curated By

Scott Paulis

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  • Seattle

  • Washington

  • USA

  • City Travel

  • Couples Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Solo Travel

  • Downtown

  • Greatest Hits

  • Kid-friendly

view of a city on the water from inside a seaplane
Curator’s statement

As a lifelong east coast resident, Seattle has always held a special allure for me. There's something about the crisp autumn air that fills the city, no matter the time of year. Even in the heart of the city, you can feel the pull of the mountains in the distance and the shimmering waters of Puget Sound just a stone's throw away. Seattle is a city of contrasts, where the urban jungle meets the great outdoors, and it's a place that truly captures the essence of the Pacific Northwest.

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay in Seattle, Washington

Grand Hyatt Seattle

Luxury high-rise hotel located near Seattle's iconic downtown landmarks.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in whenever possible.

Lotte Hotel Seattle

Spacious suites and contemporary dining experiences with high-touch service.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in whenever possible.

Renaissance Seattle Hotel

A sophisticated Marriott hotel with views of Puget Sound with spacious, pet-friendly rooms. 

Advisor - Scott Paulis

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Things to do in Seattle, Washington

outside a covered food market on a clear blue day
  • Kerry Park - If you’ve ever seen a picture of Seattle, it was probably taken here. I recommend coming at sunset for an even more magical view. If you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan, there’s also a filming location very close by.

  • Original Starbucks Location - Stop by the very first location of the iconic coffee chain at 1912 Pike Place, to see where it all began. All the drinks are made by hand (not with the superautomatic espresso machines you’ll find at the other stores).

  • Starbucks Reserve Roastery - I’ve been to roastery locations in other cities as well, but there is something special about the experience in the birthplace of Starbucks... Experience the art, science, and smells of roasting coffee, and try out one of the many coffee flights available. You can also experience the best espresso martini of your life.

  • Storyville Coffee - Yes, a third coffee shop, but you’re in Seattle! Also located in Pike Place market, this cozy coffee shop has a fireplace, comfy furniture, and quite possibly the best coffee I’ve ever had.

  • Pike Place Market - A visit to Seattle isn’t complete without checking out Pike Place. Pike Place is one of the oldest continuously operating public markets in the United States and it is super fun to explore. Make sure you grab some (surprisingly affordable) flowers on your way out, to liven up your hotel room.

  • Ferry to Bainbridge Island - The public ferry is much cheaper than the tourist boat tours, and the panoramic views of the Seattle skyline and Puget Sound are equally impressive. Once you get to Bainbridge Island, you can hop back on the ferry the other way. If you have time, you can stay a couple hours and explore the hiking trails, wineries, or cute little town.

  • Westland Distillery - Most people don’t think of Seattle when they think of whiskey. This little distillery is a little off the beaten path, but was worth the visit if you like whiskey.

  • Seaplane Tour - The 30 minutes I spent on this seaplane were probably the highlight of my year. You’ll get to soar over the city and surrounding landscape, and will conclude with an epic bank around the space needle before landing back on the water.

  • Space Needle & Chihuly Garden - I didn’t feel the need to climb the space needle after my seaplane flight, but if you do, you’ll be greeted with 360 views of the city. There’s even a bar up there! Just make sure you make reservations ahead of time. Even if you don’t want to climb, it’s still worth a visit to get up close and explore the surrounding park.

Day Trips

Olympic National Park - If you have the time, take a day trip to this natural wonderland. The combination of mountains, forest, and water views is magnetic for an east-coaster like myself.

Places to eat & drink in Seattle, Washington

a flight of three frothy espresso cocktails in martini glasses
  • The Pink Door - This instagram famous speakeasy behind Pike Place does not disappoint. Behind an unmarked pink door, you’ll find an authentic Italian restaurant with top notch food, a delightful atmosphere, friendly staff, burlesque and aerial performances, and live music. Reservations open a month in advance and book up quickly.

  • The Tasting Room - This cozy and down-to-earth wine bar is right across from The Pink Door. The wine is affordable but delicious, and the staff is quite knowledgeable. There’s outdoor seating if the weather is nice or you can cozy up inside. The bar feels like a rustic wine cellar with its warm and cozy atmosphere, and well loved wood furniture. It’s a great spot to grab a drink before dinner, or cozy up with a book on one of those iconic rainy Seattle days.

  • Old Stove Brewing - This waterfront brewery spills out onto a terrace when the weather is nice and has an unbeatable atmosphere for a summer day in Seattle. Take in panoramic views of the bay and ferris wheel while grabbing a beer with friends.
    Canlis - This one is a splurge, but it’s an experience for sure. In addition to featuring gorgeous views of Lake Union and the Seattle Skyline, they’ll treat you to a multi-course tasting menu with a twist; you pick three of the courses and they’ll surprise you with the rest.

  • Pike Place Market - There are so many food vendors in Pike Place, be sure to reserve lunch one day to just wander the market and sample what looks good. My favorite is the savory pastries.

Need to Know

For more Seattle travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Lizz Callaway's guide, Foodie's Guide to the Best Restaurants in Seattle.

Advisor - Scott Paulis

Travel Advisor

Scott Paulis

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