This post was originally written in July 2019 and updated in August 2022
If you, like me, watch Grey’s Anatomy, the award-winning ABC TV series that showcases everyday life in a hospital, you’ve probably wished to visit Seattle at some point, the city where the series takes place. Am I right? I haven’t watched all the seasons available yet (I started to watch the show about two years ago), but it did not take many seasons to make me want to visit the city. So, we had this conference in Boise, Idaho, and no direct flight from NYC, we saw the opportunity to visit Seattle. And, I confess: although I wanted to visit the city, I did not create many expectations – but, in the end, everything was a pleasant surprise. Seattle, in my point of view, is like a mix of San Francisco and Chicago. A beautiful, charming city. We spent two days there (which was not enough, I confess, I wish I could stay one more night!) and today I will tell you what we did there.
Flight + hotel
Seattle is in the state of Washington (do not confuse Washington with Washington DC!), on the West Coast, that is, in the opposite direction of New York City. From NYC, a flight takes about 5:30 to get there – it’s not too long, but it’s not short either. We left New York on Wednesday at 6:15 am and arrived around 9:30 am. We left Seattle on Friday, around 3 pm.
We stayed at the Belltown Inn, which is in the Belltown neighborhood, close to Downtown, and also within easy access to the city’s most famous attractions. Lodging in Seattle is expensive overall – but you can find rooms on Airbnb for cheaper prices. The hotel was good, we have nothing to complain about – we were able to get our room at 1 pm, which was great. They do not serve breakfast – but that’s pretty much all over the United States hotels.
Leaving the airport
If you are staying in Belltown or Downtown, it may be an excellent alternative to use public transportation. Link Light Rail costs only $ 2.75 and is an option for those who do not want to spend too much. It’s about 45 minutes to Downtown, and you can see the details on Google Maps. We were tired and decided to take an Uber! And it is very important to know that in the case of the ride apps or even taxis, the meeting point is on the third floor of the parking lot, connected to the airport terminal.
- After leaving the luggage at the hotel, we had lunch at Dahlia Lounge, a recommendation from a friend who told us to go there just for dessert. This restaurant has a more natural food menu, and I chose a salad with falafel and Thiago chose a salad with tomato soup (one of the house specialties). Prices are, on average, $15 to $20. The famous dessert is the Coconut Cream Pie, popular in the city and simply delicious! Seriously, I just wanted a piece of it now. Oh, one thing worth remembering: if you want to try the pie you can buy it from the side of the restaurant at Dahlia Bakery.
- The restaurant was a 5-minute walk from the hotel – so we went back to the hotel, we were able to check-in and rested! We woke up at 4am in the morning to catch the flight to Seattle and we were pretty tired and this nap was extremely necessary!
- After the nap, we were ready to explore the city! Our first stop was the Pike Place Market Historical District, which is around the public market, the Pike Place Market. We spent a lot of time walking around, since the public market is simply huge and I do not know about you, but I love public markets. Fruits, vegetables, flowers, seafood (tons of seafood!). It is in the same area that there is also the oldest Starbucks in the US (which, it seems, always has a line).
- We stop by Piroshki Piroshki, a Russian bakery specializing in piroshki. No lines! The bad thing is that there is no place to sit, but the attendant recommended us a coffee at the market, the Sound View Cafe. Arriving there, we asked the waitress if there was a problem to consume what we brought from the bakery and she was very friendly and said that it was ok. We ordered two coffees, obviously. This cafe has a very good view of the bay.
- After walking through the public market, we walked to Westlake Station to take the Monorail ($ 2.25 each ticket). Destination? Space Needle, one of the symbols of the city – is an observatory. We bought the tickets ($32.50 each) without lines. By this time, it was already the end of the day, which I consider perfect for this type of program. The experience at the Space Needle is fantastic, from the elevator, which has glass walls, to the observatory itself, which has a breathtaking view of the city. It has an enclosed area and an open area – and this open area has glass protection, which provides a wonderful panoramic view! We loved it!
- But our experience in Seattle would not be complete without enjoying the city skyline! And for that, we took a Uber and went to Kerry Park, which, as I researched, has one of the most beautiful views in the city. It is nothing more than a gazebo, let’s say, that is in a super charming residential neighborhood. The view from there is simply breathtaking and, with the light was especially wonderful. Do not forget to walk to the end of the street and check out the Parsons Gardens, a small and super charming garden.
- It was almost dinner time and, before this, on the way to the park, we asked our drive about seafood restaurants. I just love advice from locals! We went (Uber again) to Rock Creek, a wonderful restaurant, specializing in fish and seafood. On the menu, there are several small dishes to share as well as a variety of fish (many served whole). We ordered the Oysters ‘Brock-a-Fella, which are oysters au gratin, topped with bacon ($17), just fantastic! We also ordered Barbecued Spanish Octopus, delicious ($20), and Whole Roasted Grecian Branzino ($ 30), a roasted whole fish. Also, the house bread, with seasoned butter, is delicious. It was a wonderful experience!
- We started the day with breakfast at Biscuit Bitch Belltown, which literally next to our hotel. This place specializes in Biscuit. They serve assorted biscuit with toppings – I ordered one with bacon and cheddar and Thiago ordered one with sausage and eggs. The price is between $7 and $12. It is a very popular place. Oh, and they have two more locations in the city. From there, we walked to the Seattle Public Library, whose building has a fantastic architecture! We also walked into the library to take a look. We left the library heading to the Waterfront, which I would explain as a pier. It is super charming, with restaurants overlooking the bay and shops. That’s where the Ferris wheel is. We sat there and watched the bay – and the iconic ferry that always appears in Grey’s Anatomy, which departs from this area.
- The idea, after that, was to visit Lake Union Park, a park that overlooks Lake Union. For this, we rented a Lime bike. This bicycle system is different from the CitiBike – no docks, you can leave the bike wherever you want. You unlock the bike by the app and they are electrical, which makes it much easier to ride! We loved the experience. When we got to the park, unfortunately, it started to rain (and I also had to work out some things). So, we expect the rain to pass in the Flatstick Pub, a bar with games, lots of beer and pizza! I confess that we lost a lot of time that day because of the rain and also because, after the weather improved, we were looking for Lime bikes and all we found were broken.
- It was late in the day and we decided to have lunch/dinner and, as we were in Seattle, we wanted more seafood. We took a long walk to the Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar, which is close to the Space Needle (you could see that we were crazy and did not plan our trip a lot, right?). This was, without a doubt, the best restaurant of the trip. We sat at the bar, which gave us a different experience because we saw the kitchen show happening in front of us. We ordered oysters, clam chowder, mussels, and shishito peppers. Prices range from $10 to $20. Do yourself a favor and go to this restaurant when you’re in Seattle!
- From there, we took a Uber and headed back to the Waterfront to catch a ferry (Water Taxi) to West Seattle. The idea was to see the city from the water and also from Aiki Beach. Well, the plans did not go as we expected, because we arrived after the last ferry. Check the times on the website. In spite of that, we did not give up on going to Aiki Beach and we requested an Uber to go there. There, we took a bike and rode to the other end, Luna Park, to enjoy the Seattle skyline. It was close to sunset time so the view of the city was like a gift. It will probably be one of the most beautiful memories I will have from Seattle! It’s magic. Oh, and Aiki Beach also has a Statue of Liberty.
- Our last day in Seattle started with packing and a delicious breakfast at Macrina Bakery, very close to our hotel. This cafe/bakery has several sweet and savory pastries options and the prices are great. We loved it!
- Before going to the airport, we had time for one more thing and Thiago was crazy to go to the Museum of Flight. It is the largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world. It has more than 175 aircraft and spaceships, tens of thousands of artifacts, millions of rare photographs, dozens of exhibits and experiments and a world-class library. The ticket costs $25. We took an Uber to go there and it is close to the airport, so I recommend doing this on your arrival or on your return, for logistical reasons. The museum is amazing!
In July 2022, we got back to Seattle for a wedding. We spent three full days there – while day 3 was reserved for the wedding, we had 2 full days to explore Seattle freely. As we checked the main attractions last time we visited the city, at this time we spent a lot of time just walking around and… eating!
This time we stayed at Hotel Max and we loved it! The location is excellent, the surroundings are quiet, and the room is very comfortable and spacious. We enjoyed this hotel much more than the one we stayed in when we first visited Seattle.
Coffee shops & restaurants
We took advantage of the stay to explore Seattle aimlessly and… eat! It’s one of the things that Thiago and I love to do when we travel, and this time we ate very well. Here are my recommendations:
Ver essa foto no Instagram
Mr. West Cafe Bar – as our hotel didn’t offer breakfast, we needed to go out for that meal – and hey, Seattle has A LOT of cafes! Maybe there are more cafes per square foot than in New York. This one was very close to the hotel, and we liked it so much that we returned another day. Everything is exceptionally well done – and the highlight is the avocado toast, with sourdough bread and lots and lots of avocado! Add bacon, and you have a complete meal. Trust me: you won’t be hungry for a while.
Ver essa foto no Instagram
Elliott’s Oyster House – is a Seattle classic and is located on Pier 56, a short walk from Pine Market. An excellent choice for seafood lovers – we had oysters and I have to say, the oysters I had in Seattle were the best I’ve ever had! They are very fresh and full of flavor. Also, I ordered a seafood risotto, and it was the best seafood risotto I have ever had. Everything was delicious, with great service, and delicious drinks! Not to mention it has a beautiful view.
Ver essa foto no Instagram
Rione XIII – We were craving pizza and went to this restaurant and what a pleasant surprise. A pizza unlike any we’ve ever tasted, with a very thin crust. We had the funghi with garlic and hey, the amount of garlic did not disappoint lol. From what we noticed from the Uber on our way there, the region is very alternative and full of bars and restaurants.
Ver essa foto no Instagram
Optimism Brewing Company – I love breweries! This one is huge, it features a closed and open area and a wide variety of beers – which are made right there. Just remember that the menu only has beers, no food.
Ver essa foto no Instagram
Old Stove Brewing – is was probably one of my favorite places from this trip! It’s a brewery overlooking the bay, with such a cool vibe – we were there at the end of the day to see the sunset and it was so beautiful! In addition to the variety of beers, the food menu is super complete – the burger and fish & chips are my tips, delicious!
Ver essa foto no Instagram
Salt & Straw – I wanted to have good ice cream and, at Pine Market, I asked a barista if he had some tips and he recommended this place to me – which later ended up being recommended by many followers. Guys, what wonderful ice cream! They have some unusual flavors, you know? I really loved it!
Did you like my tips? What are the other tips you can share about Seattle?
Content creator and journalist in New York City. Here, I share lifestyle, beauty, NYC tips, thoughts, and the struggles about living in the most amazing city in the world! I’m not gonna pretend to be another person: I’m a Brazilian immigrant and I think this is my soul, it is part of who I am. I hope you enjoy my content! Follow me on Instagram!