Remember the Sleepless in Seattle movie starring Tom Hanks and Megan Ryan? I just know the movie title, but never actually seen it myself :P. Seattle is not usually on top of people’s mind when it comes to traveling within the US. It is the home of Amazon, Microsoft and Costco (and also Bruce Lee) though. The town has a modernized old school feel to it, and people here are casual and laid-back, so it’s a great place to visit if you want a relaxing, chilling, stress free and whiskey filled vacation.
I came with a group of friends because we all needed an excuse to take a vacation. With the round trip ticket priced at $140 (from John Wayne Airport), we couldn’t say no to that! Two full day will get you to see most of the town, but if you plan to hike, then you’ll need to add another day or two to your agenda. BTW, Seattle is also known as the raining city, so hiking would be best between July and early September.
Click on the restaurant names to get directed to either my Yelp review for the restaurant or its official Yelp site. I also Google tagged the places we visited to help you plan your route.
Day 1: We arrived early nighttime (7:00pm ish); thus, naturally, dinner was the first thing we wanted to do in Seattle. We picked SOI for dinner since it has great whiskey and scotch selections in addition to amazing food choices. After dinner, we couldn’t resist loading-up additional calories at Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice-Creme beccause the smell of the fresh made waffle cone were irresistible.
After some dessert, we went searching for some alcohol. First of the two stops, Unicorn. Unicorn was…humm… has an interesting colorful vibe. We took shot cheering to our Seattle trip and moved on to the next bar. We capped off the night at Tavern Law, which is a small whiskey bar with stiff drinks. One drink here will last you a good hour or so before you go hunting for another. There is a speakeasy located upstairs of Tavern’s Law called Needle and Thread. The reservation can be made Tuesday through Saturday between 3 – 5pm PST a week prior to the day you want to visit.
Day 2: We began our day with breakfast at Cafe Solstice (Capital Hill area). The breakfast entree is huge, so I would recommend sharing. Our first stop upon arriving downtown was the Pike Place Public Market, which is one of the must stop tourist sites. There are loads of fresh seafood restaurants inside and around Pike Place Market, so it’ll be a great place to stop for lunch. The first Starbucks store is also in the same area, which is another ‘attraction’ site. After you get your caffeine fixing, walk to the opposite end of the market place and down the stairs to get you to the gum wall. Don’t forget to grab a pack of gum or two to contribute to the wall. Looking at the wall gave me goose bumps and made me want to throw up because it was that gross. I would recommend planning an hour or two in the area.
After Pike Place, we head to see visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass and Space Needle (tickets are $29 each or $49 for both). There are a few museums and parks within 5 miles of each other in this area, so you can easily spend three to five hours here if you want to visit all of the museums and/or Space Needle. If you do plan to visit more than two museums + Space Needle, then I would recommend buying a Seattle CityPass to be most cost effective.
We opt out on visiting the Space Needle because we planned to go to Kerry Park to see the downtown view from afar. The Chihuly Garden and Glass is a must visit if you were to choose only one museum to visit. All of the artwork are made out of glass and it’s beautiful. The most famous piece of Dale Chihuly’s work is the one see below.
After the museum, we strolled around the park and slowly made our way to the Kerry Park. It is about a 45 minute walk from the museum. The view was well worth the hike up the steep hill. You get to see a panoramic view of the Seattle with the Space Needle tall in the center of the city.
For dinner, we stopped at How to Cook a Wolf. It offer small plates that are best for sharing (family style). The restaurant is really small with only one large table for parties of 5 or more. Be sure to make a reservation at least a week in advance. The food was incredible and I definitely have to say it’s one of the best meals I ever have.
After dinner, we went back to Capital Hills and hit-up a pie and cocktail bar called Pie Bar. The pie were delicious and the drinks were stiff; a perfect way to end our day.
Day 3: Alright, if you’re in Seattle, then you’ll need to grab some seafood! We chose Elliott’s Oyster House since it was right next to the shoreline and short distance from the Seattle Underground Tour. Take some time to stroll along the pier, visit the shops and buy some souvenirs. The shoreline is not as big as the ones you’ll see in San Francisco; nonetheless, it has cute charm to it.
After a quick stroll at the shoreline, we took a short 10 minutes to the Seattle Underground Tour. Be sure to check the time of the tour, so you can plan other activities around it. The tour is about 75 minutes and will cost $22.00 USD. We loved the tour because it gave us history to how Seattle all started. After our tour, We began our own Seattle whiskey/scotch tour! We started our whiskey tour night at Damn the Weather (no pun intended) which has tons of great whiskey cocktails. There are also many great tapas selections if you plan to eat here. We only got drinks and an order of chicken fat fried french fries!
After our drinks, we went back to the Capital Hills area grab dinner at Quinn’s. It was a restaurant recommended by our waiter at Damn The Weather (and one of the few that could accommodate us without reservation). The entree here is huge, so it’ll be great for sharing with a few appetizers. Also, upstair seating has the best view! From up top, you’ll be able to see the whole restaurant and look at to the streets through the large glass windows.
After our stuffed and happy tummy, we hit-up a brewery (Optimism Brewing Company) to enjoy some Seattle made beers. Optimism is a cool place to sit, chat, chill while staring at the pedestrians walking by. Up next was Smith. It was a bite of a hike (literally) to get to Smith. However, walking up the hills will get you anther opportunity to see the famous Space Needle. We capped our 3rd night at Canon. Canon is one of the top 5 whiskey/scotch bar in the world and it carries 32 pages of whiskey and scotch. If you’re extremely adventurous and heave the dough, then maybe you can try the $2000 whiskey it carries (no, the price doesn’t get you a bottle, it gets you a 4 oz shot).
Day 4: We started really late on our last day in Seattle since we stayed up all night catching-up. We grabbed Asian breakfast (a.k.a dim sum) at Jade Garden in Chinatown. I would recommend calling Jade ahead of time to get yourself on the waitlist before heading over.
After brunch, we went to Bruce Lee’s burial site. Chinatown and the burial site is about a 15 minute car ride. It’s a little difficult to get the burial site, so I would not advice public transportation. The final stop of our Seattle tour was the Gas Works Park. If you have the time and energy, then you can walk (approx. 20 – 30 minutes) from the burial site. The path to the park has a lot of up-and-down slops; hence, makes sure you’re wearing the proper shoes for the small hike. The view from the park of downtown Seattle was incredible! I was planning on lifting and taking the whole town back to California with me. We lucked out on the view too since the sun had just broke through when we arrived. A beautiful way to end our Seattle trip!Since Seattle is Bruce Lee’s home town, a question for ya’ all, “What’s Bruce Lee’s favorite drink?”
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* Dedicating the blog to my friend Peter H. who planed majority of our trip and put up with our indecisiveness every step of the way. Love ya Peter!
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