Local tips for Seattle visitors from Alexis:
Where are the best areas for shopping?
Ballard and Fremont have a variety of vintage and upscale boutiques that are great to wander into after checking out either of the neighborhoods’ Sunday markets. If you’re looking for department stores, the Westlake Center area has everything from the flagship Nordstrom to Marbles: the Brain Store to Lush Cosmetics — and everything in between.
Where are nice places to hike?
Discovery Park and Washington Park Arboretum have well-groomed trails and visitor centers that make them great for families and those who are looking for a nice walk rather than an actual hike. Bridal Veil Falls and Rattlesnake Ledge are farther out from the city and are better suited for intermediate to advanced hikers. The view from Rattlesnake Ledge is guaranteed to leave you speechless.
What are the best live music venues nearby?
It all depends on what type of show you are seeing. The Nectar Lounge is fantastic and often has local artists in their outdoor patio area. Much like Neumos, the venue is very intimate and showcases quite a few local and older bands. Moore Theatre, The Crocodile and The Showbox near Pike Place Market are staples of the Seattle music scene and are always worth checking out. They feature some pretty big names for reasonable prices. Benaroya Hall is another great venue to listen to the Seattle Symphony. (Bonus: It’s only a few blocks from the hotel.)
Which neighborhood is best for bar hopping?
Capitol Hill is great for the younger crowd, whereas Pioneer Square and Belltown cater to all ages. Pioneer Square has had a long history of not being a great area, but the Pioneer Square Alliance has done a tremendous job of cleaning up the area, which has allowed for some great up-and-coming bars and restaurants to move in.
What’s the best brewery?
Optimism Brewing up in Capitol Hill features Seattle food trucks and is very family friendly. They host pop-up events fairly regularly and offer yoga on some weekends. The brewery does not accept tips and only takes debit or credit cards as a form of payment. Fremont Brewing is both kid and dog friendly and has a lovely patio perfect for summer days and nights. Cloudburst Brewing is walking distance from the hotel and has an intimate and homey vibe.
Any advice for wine tasting in or out of the city?
Always remember to bring cash for gratuity and tastings. Woodinville has some amazing tasting rooms that are best explored via a wine tour, whereas SODO and the downtown Seattle area can be explored on one’s own.
What’s one thing I should not miss out on while I am in Seattle?
Pike Place Market! Chances are it’s going to be crowded, but don’t let that scare you off. Take your time walking through and be sure to explore the lower levels — you won’t be sorry you did. The MarketFront expansion opened this June, so there is now even more to explore!
Where should I walk my dog?
There is a small park up on Spring and 6th that is perfect for a quick little jaunt. You can always head over to the Olympic Sculpture Park with your furry friend or up to Golden Gardens for a day of beach fetch.
What’s the best kept secret in Seattle?
You’ll have to swing by and ask me…
On a rainy day, what are the best things to do?
Visiting any of the city’s art museums is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. If you have kids with you, taking a tour of the Boeing Factory or Theo Chocolate Factory is always a nice option. Uwajimaya over in the International District is also a fun place to explore and try some unique food.
What’s the best happy hour in the city?
The best happy hour of all happens from 5 to 6 pm every day in the hotel lobby!
Where’s the best place to rent a bike?
We actually offer bikes free of charge for all guests to use at the hotel. Riding along the pier over to the Olympic Sculpture Park is beautiful, but it’s definitely a challenging ride on the way back to the hotel. If you’re planning on visiting any of the Seattle islands, many offer bike tours or rentals very close to the ferry terminals. Bainbridge Island has great walking and biking trails, and you can always take a ride over to Bloedel Reserve to spend part of the day before heading back into the city.
What should I know for Seahawks game day?
What you can and can’t bring into sports games has drastically changed in the past year. It is no fun at all to have to throw out an expensive bag or water bottle to get through security. Our team has a set of guidelines for the stadiums that we are always happy to share with you.
What’s the best coffee in Seattle?
I could go on forever about this question. Feel free to come pick my brain a bit about a few of my favorites. If you’re feeling daring, I’ll even pass off a “Café Crawl” map your way.
What advice do you have for cruise passengers?
Most hotels in the Seattle area have check-in times around 3 pm, which is often quite a few hours after cruise ships dock. It’s always a good idea to have plans when you first arrive in Seattle just in case the hotel is not able to accommodate an early check-in. We can always store your bags for you and get you pre-registered when you get in. Tours Northwest also offers a terrific Cruise Transport Tour that includes pick-up from the port, luggage handling, hotel transfer, and, best of all, their incredible 3-Hour City Tour. Another great resource to check out prior to a cruise is the Port of Seattle’s Port Valet program.
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