Travel Guides

Seattle City Guide

Maybe after reading about my trip, you’re thinking a little bit about going to Seattle yourself. It always happens to me. A blogger or friend will post pictures of a trip and I start daydreaming about hopping on a plane too.

And I know when I start researching a new destination I always try to consult my favorite blogs, travel sites, and review sites. So I thought I’d put together a little city guide for Seattle in case you were daydreaming too.


Blue (Do) 1. Pike Place Market 2. Space Needle 3. Chihuly Garden & Glass 4. Underground Tour 5. Ferry to Bainbridge Island Black (Eat) 6. Oddfellows Cafe & Bar 7. Skillet Diner 8. Honeyhole 9. Serious pie 10. Rockcreek Seafood & Spirits 11. Etta’s 12. Japonessa 13. Pink Door 14. Yellow Leaf Cupcake Green (Drink) 15. Quinn’s 16. The Harbour Public House 17. Bathtub Gin & Co. 18. Pike’s Brewery 19. Elysian Brewery

seattle city guide | observant nomad

Where to Stay

In Seattle there are a few places to stay if you’re going the hotel route. I’d say if you’re only going for a short period of time stay at a hotel in the downtown area. Most of the tourist destinations are downtown. I recommend: the Four Seasons Seattle, Hotel 1000, or the Ace Hotel Seattle

If mainstream isn’t your scene, try a neighborhood like Capitol Hill, which was where we stayed. It and had plenty of bars, restaurants, and up and coming hot spots. The neighborhood was about a 20-30 minute walk from Capitol Hill to downtown, and since the layout of the city is pretty simple, we never got lost. Try Airbnb.

See more after the jump…

Getting Around

Seattle is a very easy city to visit without a car. It has a great public transportation system and its easy to walk places as well. A bus ride will cost about $2 one way and runs pretty consistently. There is also a light rail that runs from downtown through the major neighborhoods and to the airport. One way is about $2.50 and is a great option to get somewhere on the cheap.

We relied on taxis and mobile car services quite a bit while we were there, and there are plenty around. We especially loved Lyft, which is an on-demand ride share service. The mobile app is very reliable, easy to use, and we never had to wait long at all. It auto charges a card and there’s no pressure to tip. While the drivers are very friendly and give great local advice on where to go and what to check out.

seattle city guide | observant nomad

What To Do

When you visit Seattle there are some obvious things to check out. The Space Needle is an iconic Seattle landmark and the view from the top is pretty special on a clear day. My favorite tourist destination was Chihuly Garden & Glass. The artwork was gorgeous and so impressive!

Pike Place Market is also a must see when you visit Seattle. If not for the great food and fresh seafood, but also because there are so many places nearby that are worth a gander. Make sure to try the Chukar Cherries and the Beecher’s Handmade Cheese when you’re there. We also stopped into the Pike’s Brewery Co. (get the Pike Kilt Lifter Red Ale) which is covered in beer knick-knacks and is a great way to spend an afternoon.

We didn’t get an opportunity to check out the Underground Tour, but several locals and past visitors told us it was really worth seeing. Another spot we didn’t get to check out was the Pink Door. The Pink Door is an eclectic Italian place that features trapeze shows and more!

Where to Go

Seattle is lucky to have several natural resources around the city. From hiking Mt Olympus and surrounding parks, to sailing in the Pacific ocean, there’s always somewhere to explore. Seattle also has several islands on all sides to choose from. We decided to go to Bainbridge Island which was only 30 minutes away by ferry and a great place to take a day trip.

If you do visit Bainbridge try to go early in the day and make sure to visit The Harbour Public House. It has a great view of the marina and such a cozy welcoming feel. Great place to catch rays on a good day of weather. The rest of downtown Bainbridge felt a little more touristy so we were glad we stayed there.

seattle city guide | observant nomad

Let’s Eat

Morning : Seattle has plenty of great coffee shops to visit and choose from. You should just literally go around the corner and you’ll find some great stuff. As for brunch – I thoroughly enjoyed Oddfellows Cafe & Bar which was cozy, modern, and had a great vibe. Skillet Diner was also a great local find for breakfast. The portions were huge, the staff infectious, and I wish I could’ve saved some room for those griddle cakes!

Noon : Sandwiches rule the roost when it comes to lunch in Seattle. We ate at HoneyHole which was really great. Laid-back, good beer selection a and community feel. We really wish we could’ve made the trek to Paseo, people couldn’t stop talking about it! Or if pizza’s your thing, try Serious Pie. It’s so tasty – their margarita pizza was one of the best I’ve ever had.

Night : As for dinner the options are endless. I suggest Etta’s for a traditional seafood experience in downtown, that is classy and delicious. If you’re looking for Asian cuisine try Japonessa‘s happy hour or Nishino, both for sushi. But my hands down favorite dinner of the trip had to be RockCreek Seafood & Spirits. The whole dinner was laid-back yet intimate and the food was amazing! The fish was so fresh and every course was memorable.

Ok now I want to go back!

What do you think?

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This is SO COOL!!!



Wow, this makes me want to book a trip right away. I’ve honestly never considered Seattle as a travel destination until this post… so nice to have a city guide with such a well-curated mix of things to experience.

I’m going to Seattle next week – I’m so happy I found this. And that map is beautiful! Thank you.


So glad it can come in handy! Let me know what you think, if you end up stopping at any of these spots.