SLIDER

Seattle: Eat, See, Sleep

Today's post is a little bit different because I'm trying my hand at travel blogging!

At the end of last month I took a trip to Vancouver and Seattle! I've never been to the Pacific Northwest before and quickly fell in love with the area.

I'm not going to pretend I'm some super professional travel influencer extraordinaire because I'm pretty much the exact opposite. I would like to think I'm a "modern tourist." If that sounds like a bunch of hooey to you, it's probably cause it is-- I just made it up the term right now ๐Ÿ˜‚

But what I mean is I like doing touristy things, but also like partaking in not as traditional stereotypical touristy things-- like local parks, local eats, local shops, etc. I refuse to eat at a chain restaurant while on vacation. Unless it's In N' Out. Or I'm out of the country and the fast food menu is drastically different than the American menu and I must try it out for the sake of science.

Because I can be a bit bossy and my family is too lazy to do the research, I'm always in charge of our travel itineraries. While I like getting inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest, the bulk of my research comes from travel books! They're usually concise and you have all the info you need in your hands-- addresses, prices, hours, highlights, etc. They're extra handy if you're traveling to a foreign country and don't have internet access.

I bought/ borrowed about a dozen books before my trip but my favorites were Frommer's EasyGuide to Seattle, Portland and the Oregon Coast and Fodor's Seattle.

I also got a ton of recommendations from people on instagram! Shout out to Julia (@juj.ski) and Lauren (@mytwopence) for their amazing food recs ๐Ÿค—

seattle travel diary, seattle where to eat, seattle where to sleep, seattle what to see, seattle citypass review, seattle citypass is it worth it

Eat

I didn't eat nearly enough food in Seattle and my stomach still regrets it-- partly because we had simple meals of fresh bread + salad a few days and partly because our hotel had a free breakfast buffet ๐Ÿ™ˆ

Of course, I must start off with the food mecca: Pike Place Market. It was so good we went there every single day! It puts places like NYC Chelsea Market and LA's Grand Central Market to shame probably cause it's the OG American food hall. Literally. It opened in 1907 and is the oldest public market in the US! If you're a bit nerdy like me, you might also enjoy reading more about the history of the market. The place is absolutely massive and filled with all types of vendors! But of course, it was the food that interested me the most ๐Ÿ˜

Because I'm a basic ass millennial, I was constantly browsing through Yelp while at the marketplace and it brought me to some real gems-- Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt (so creamy, so good), Pike Place Chowder, and Rachel's Ginger Beer (delicious enough that I'm considering spending $100 to ship some out to me in New Jersey) were definitely gems worthy of all the rave reviews. But that doesn't mean I didn't let my nose lead the way sometimes too. It's impossible to browse the marketplace and not be tempted to try something from every other stall, shop, and booth and I did just that! There are so many local vendors of fresh vegetables, fruits, candies, seafood, pasta, jams, jellies, nuts, you name it, they got it! Not really food related but they also had so many beautiful florists with really, really affordable bouquets!

Being a born and bred New Jerseyian means that I'm a de facto pizza snob. If it isn't NJ/ NYC pizza, it doesn't deserve to be called pizza most of the time (exception is Italy because those people know how to make fucking pizzas.) Buuuuut Hot Mama's Pizza had decent pizza! Was it the best pizza I ever had? Not by a long shot. Was it the best pizza I ever had on the West Coast? Yessiree. Also the place had a really cool rock n' roll inspired interior which I liked ๐Ÿค˜

No trip to Seattle is complete without grabbing a cup of coffee. While I'm a pizza snob, I'm not a coffee snob. We walked by the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market but didn't think waiting in the ridiculously long line and paying more than usual for our drinks would constitute a good time. Thankfully there are a hundred other coffee shops throughout the city! I did manage to sneak in two leisurely morning strolls to the Caffe Vita in Queen Anne since it was so close to my hotel. The coffee was good but what I really loved was the vibe of the place. It was exactly what you would think a stereotypical, hipstery, Northwest coffee shop would look like and I loved it! They have a bunch of other locations scattered through the city and as I later realized, a shop in the LES as well! I'm not one to really splurge on coffee beans but I appreciate that they work directly with farmers and focus on sustainable growing techniques, so in the end, the price is worth it to me.

Last but not least, dessert. And by dessert, I mean ice cream because what other dessert is there on a hot summer night? We tried a bunch of different flavors at Molly Moon's and I don't think I disliked any of them! Their flavors weren't the craziest but they were very concentrated and rich. You didn't have to guess which flavor you were eating-- you knew.

See

We ended up purchasing the Seattle City Passes which tbh wasn't my idea, but my dad's. In the end, I do think it was worth purchasing as first-time visitors. But when I go back it's not something I would purchase again.

If you aren't familiar with City Passes, it's basically a pass that includes admission to multiple attractions in major cities. Seattle's City Pass retails for $79.00 and includes admission to 5 of Seattle's top attractions-- the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, a 1-hour harbor tour with Argosy Cruises, Museum of Pop Culture or Woodland Park Zoo, and Chihuly Garden and Glass or Pacific Specific Science Center.

While the Space Needle is pretty iconic, I didn't find it to be particularly exciting. Yes, it has an interesting history and a somewhat nice view. But even at the off-peak times, the lines are still quite long. On the other hand, I don't think my first-time visit to Seattle would have been complete without a visit to the Space Needle.

The Seattle Aquarium had a bunch of cute critters as well as a fun touch exhibit but tbh it's another attraction that wasn't super exciting. It's not something I would work into my next visit.

According to one of the travel books I was reading, the Museum of Pop Culture is quite a bore if you're not a hardcore music fan. And nobody in my family is a hardcore music fan so we skipped the museum and opted to go to the Woodland Park Zoo instead. Again, nothing terribly exciting. It's a zoo and a zoo is a zoo. 95% of the reason we went here is because of the CityPass.

Now onto the two attractions that I thought were the most exciting! First up-- the Argosy Cruises harbor tour. We were lucky enough to grab a spot during their sunset cruise and the views were absolutely beautiful. In addition to stunning views of the coastline, I actually learned a lot! Like that Nordstrom was founded as a shoe company in 1901. They originally sold shoes to people flooding the area as part of the gold rush!

The other attraction I really loved was the Chihuly Garden and Glass. It's an indoor and outdoor exhibit of the works of Dale Chihuly. His works are so intricate, colorful, and larger than life. It's hard to believe that someone made all the glass sculptures by hand. I don't think my words could even do justice to how beautiful the collection was. If you're visiting Seattle, this is definitely worth a visit!

Most of our time was spent eating, walking around downtown, and visiting the attractions on the Seattle CityPass. But my parents really wanted to see some salmon in the wild so we headed to Ballard to the Hiram M Chittenden Locks. In addition to seeing salmon swimming around in the water, we also saw some really adorable otters.

After visiting the locks we visited Ballard's Sunday Farmer's Market. One thing I miss most about living in LA is the farmer's markets. NYC has some but they are nowhere near as large or exciting (if you have any recs, I would love to hear 'em!) Ballard's Farmer's Market was very similar to the markets of LA and features fresh produce and meat and seafood from local vendors, as well as good eats, artisan goods, and all that jazz that you'll find at your quintessential farmer's markets. Like at Pike Place Market, there were also really affordable florists!

Now I wouldn't be me if I didn't mention beauty shopping ๐Ÿ˜ I didn't go out of my way to go shopping but on our last day, our flight was rescheduled so we had a few hours to kill. In an effort to get away from the sun we killed some time at the Westlake Center. If you're unfamiliar with Daiso it's basically a Japanese dollar store, except instead of $1, everything costs $1.50. You can find everything from beauty to home goods to stationery to food there. I bought some silicone sheet mask covers amongst other things.

Last but not least, Mount Rainier! While it's not technically part of Seattle (it's about a 2-hour drive away) it's definitely worth mentioning and visiting. Even though I do live in an area with some mountain-y parts, it's nothing in comparison to Mount Rainier National Park! The views all throughout the park were absolutely stunning. If you're planning on going be aware that driving through the actual park takes a long time because the roads are winding and steep. I know many people like to "wing" travel but I think in order to maximize your visit, it's really worth planning out a route and spots to stop at and wander around/ hike.

Sleep

Because my parents are Hyatt Rewards members we stayed at the Hyatt House in Downtown Seattle and it pretty much had it all!

In addition to the bedroom, there was a spacious bedroom, a living area, and a small kitchen complete with microwave, stove top, and dishwasher plus a small island to sit at. They had a complimentary breakfast every morning and they had a nice variety of dishes every morning-- I even tried grits for the first time ever. Throughout the day, you could grab a complimentary cup of coffee or tea in their downstairs sitting area. And they had free wi-fi (although most places do these days.) Pluuuus they had HBO which was perfect since we were there when the season finale of Game of Thrones aired!

Location wise it was right across the street from the Space Needle and walking distance from Pike Place + the waterfront. We did still rent a car and drove around to other parts of the city. Seattle is not a compact city by any means so I don't think it would be reasonable to walk everywhere. We didn't take any public transportation but it did seem like they had a decent network of buses and lines and what not.

It's not hammer time, it's photo time

As usual, I played the part of "crazy tourist armed with camera" while on vacation. I took a looooot of photos but these were my favorites ๐Ÿ˜‰




























Bye

And that's the end of my Seattle trip! If you managed to read through all my rambling even though it's not beauty related, thank so much ๐Ÿค— Hopefully I'll be back with a beauty post later this week!

ALSO, I'm running a fundraiser giveaway to raise donations for Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico for the next week! For every $5 you donate, you will gain one entry to the giveaway!

Here's the prize and you can enter the giveaway here!


A post shared by Sharmili (@sharmtoaster) on


If you'd like to keep up with my posts, follow along on bloglovin' | instagram | pinterest | twitter | google +

No comments

Post a Comment

© sharmtoaster • Theme by Maira G.