It started off as a kid’s dream and it ended up like a chapter out of Fifty Shades of Grey. Sort of. Well, not really. There was a helicopter involved though. But let’s start from the beginning.
Late last winter, I headed out west to Seattle – the city I’d dreamed about since I was a kid. I knew it was going to be cold, I knew it was going to be rainy and yet I was still beyond excited. I spent weeks planning the perfect trip with activities, restaurants and a detour even further north to Vancouver.
So if you’re looking into a trip to the Pacific Northwest (or if you just want to read about a really fun one I took), I’ve listed out a few helpful tips and things for you to do!
- Airbnb: Literally a life saver. With the cost of Airbnbs being so much cheaper than hotels, it was the only way I was able to make this trip happen on a part-time job budget. (Special shout out to Susan and Drew for their amazing listings. Susan’s “In the Heart of Seattle” listing can be found here and Drew’s “Trendy Downtown 1 Bdrm” listing can be found here. I highly recommend both! And you can sign up for Airbnb here.)
- The Original Starbucks: The Mecca for all coffee drinkers and Starbucks lovers. I truly felt blessed to have made it all the way here. So close to my next go-to spot, Pike Place, this Starbucks was like a home away from home to me. If you’re a coffee lover, this is a must.
- Pike Place: Flowers, food and pretty things to buy. Need I say more? Pike Place was such a cool collection of goods. It’s the perfect spot to walk around and enjoy that drink you just got from the OG Starbucks. But be sure to hand that drink off to a friend before trying to catch the flying fish.
- Biscuit Bitch: Hands down, this is going to be the best breakfast you have in Seattle. A small shop, you order at the counter and then wait as they cook the delicious, gravy-covered biscuits and load them up with your choice of toppings. I heard it was somewhere I had to go, and now I’m telling you – you have to go.
- Lyft/Uber: Being without a car is not something I like to do, but downloading Lyft and Uber got me through my carless week in Seattle. If you’re like me and hadn’t used either before, you may get lucky and score some sweet promotions like $5 off your first 10 rides like I did! Definitely make use of these apps when you travel, they’re cheap, easy and safe.
- The Seattle Great Wheel: Like the London Eye but a bit less terrifying, the Seattle Great Wheel is located on the Sound, giving you an amazing view of the city. You can take a peek at the Safeco and CenturyLink Fields (which you can tour by the way!) and see all the way across the Sound to Bainbridge Island. It’s right next to the Seattle Aquarium, so be sure to stop in and say hello to the sea otters before taking a trip on the wheel.
- Bainbridge Island: Paging Dr. Grey. Take the ferry to Bainbridge Island to live out your Grey’s Anatomy fantasy. (Sort of.) With a small fee, the ferry will take you to Bainbridge and back. It’s a great way to see the Sound and gives you a view of the Seattle skyline that you won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
- Helicopter Tour: Now this is a bit on the expensive side, but if you can manage I definitely recommend taking a helicopter tour. While I was slightly terrified before we took off, the whole experience was one that I would never have been able to imagine. It was like floating in a little bubble atop one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. With views of the city, the mountains and the Sound, your pilot/tour guide will give you a quick history while you try to snap a million pictures.
- Top Pot Doughnuts/Escala: Two things that are a necessity – doughnuts and visiting where Christian Grey is supposed to live. With 50 Shades of Grey being my guilty pleasure, this dual-stop was a no brainer for me. With a quick stop to pick up some of the best doughnuts I’ve ever eaten in my life, I walked down the street to Escala to snap a quick picture and pretend (for just one moment) that I was Anastasia. Which was pretty easy to do considering that I had just gotten done with my helicopter tour.
- The Space Needle: A Seattle classic, the Space Needle is something that I saved until the last day. With stellar views and a “Where I’m From” map where you pin your location, the Space Needle makes you realize just how insignificant you are in the grand scheme of things – in the best way possible. All the while making you feel on top of the world. If you’ve got some free time before or after your trip up the needle, there’s a really cool glass museum next door called the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. Check it out here!