Whether it’s to see some friends, take in a ball game, do some shopping or eat at some great restaurants, a trip south to Seattle is an integral part of every Alaskan’s travel itinerary. I love this photo by Jason Hoover (above). The place is so big–too big to ignore. I always have fun. You can, too. Here’s how:
a. Find a nice place to stay. We picked the Four Seasons Seattle. It’s not the Olympic–that’s now a “Fairmont” property. They built a brand-new 149-room luxury hostelry at the foot of the Pike Place Market. It’s got a great water view–and it’s across the street from the Seattle Art Museum. In addition to the big bay windows that look over Elliott Bay, we loved the luxurious sheets, the friendly staff and especially the fun restaurant, “Art”. Celebrity chef Kerry Sear, most recently of “Cascadia” restaurant, oversees an incredible tapas bar and cheese table. The theme? Fun, fresh and local. Look for artisan cheeses from Oregon and Washington–and an abundance of small plates loaded up with local seafood and shellfish. They have a killer Happy Hour each evening starting at 5:00pm. Don’t miss it.
b. Get a good cup of coffee. Hard to miss here in the birthplace of Starbucks. While Top Pot Doughnuts remains at the top of the heap in our book, we found a new spot, “Fonte”, right around the corner from the Four Seasons on First Ave. Suh-weet. In fact, if you’re staying at the Four Seasons, they have a free self-service espresso bar (before 8 a.m.), featuring Fonte’s beans.
c. Explore the Pike Place Market. We asked Michael Rogers of Seattle Food Tours to give us the classic walking tour of the market, including bites and tastes from the best vendors. Start with a tea vendor right across from the Four Seasons, move on to Pike Brewing Company, then to deLaurenti’s specialty food and wine market and over to the fishmongers. Oh, don’t miss Beecher’s artisan cheese. Jeez–there is an endless stream of wonderful tastes and treats in the “Soul of Seattle”. If you have a copy of the Seattle Toursaver, there is a 2-for-1 coupon for Michael’s great tour. Don’t miss it.
d.Pizza, please. One of Seattle’s favorite sons is Tom Douglas. He’s started several restaurants in the Emerald City, including Lola, Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen, Etta’s ….and Serious Pie. I stopped in at Serious Pie to check out Douglas’s hand-crafted, wood-fired pizza. I picked the Cherry Bomb Pepper and Sausage pizza. Wow. Pick one. You won’t be disappointed.
e. Explore, explore, explore. Get a copy of the Seattle TourSaver (I publish it!). It’s a 2-for-1 book with the stuff we think is the best-of-the-best in Seattle. Kayak tours. Flightseeing with Kenmore Air. Ferry service on Victoria Clipper up to Victoria, BC. Harbor cruises with Argosy Cruises. Accommodations in Olympic National Park. Lots and lots of great stuff–and everything’s 2-for-1.
f. Fly right. That’s Alaska Airlines. I flew with them. You should, too.
We’ll talk more about Seattle. Truth is we just can’t shut up about it. But this is a place to start!
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