I mentioned a couple weeks back that I love the "36 Hours" travel column in the NY Times...well here is an attempt at my very own 36 hours list for our hometown, Seattle. Selfishly, half the reason I want to do this post is to get other great ideas from you all, so let me know what I got right, wrong and what I missed!
To start things off, those who are coming from out of town should take note that the best time to visit Seattle is July-September. End of story. If you want to see the real, rainy, depressing Seattle feel free to come during the rest of the year.
Start off the weekend at Pier 56 to hit up one of the best happy hours in Seattle at Elliott's Oyster House. Enjoy views of the Puget Sound and the new Ferris wheel while feasting on delicious local oysters ($.75 from 3-4pm, $1.25 4-5, and $1.75 from 5-6, a steal).
From there make your way down the waterfront to one of Seattle's most famous attractions, Pike Place Market. Be sure to catch the fish tossing, original Starbucks coffee shop, Beecher's cheese (mac'n cheese is highly recommended), La Panier bakery, and buy some local flowers or produce from the vendors. The gum wall is also an interesting attraction underneath the Market.
If you've worked up an appetite, pop into the Pink Door in Post Alley and take in amazing views from their rooftop deck or a cabaret show downstairs while enjoying delicious Italian-American fare. To end the night head over to the newly developed South Lake Union neighborhood and down some some local brews (Manny's, Mac & Jacks and Boundary Bay are favorites) and giant pretzels at Tom Douglas' Brave Horse Tavern.
Grab a cup of coffee and some breakfast at one of Seattle's famous local coffee shops; we all have our own favorite but some notables include Cafe Vita, Cafe Fiore, Bauhaus, and Zoka. If you are here in the summer kick-start your Saturday morning at a free yoga class with 100 other Seattleites at the uniquely NW Sculpture Park downtown.
From there head to one of Seattle's most treasured neighborhoods, Ballard, to see boats and ships make their way through the "locks" from the seawater of the Puget Sound into Lake Union. Make your way down Ballard Avenue and check out the local boutique shops, pubs and restaurants (if you go on a Sunday this street hosts the fabulous weekly Ballard Farmer's Market). Avoid long lines at one of Seattle's best restaurants (our favorite right now!) by grabbing an early bite and drink at The Walrus and the Carpenter.
From there head up to Seattle's eclectic and hipster-filled Capitol Hill to stroll Broadway and browse the Melrose Market. Settle in for dinner at Sitka and Spruce, where the unique and tasty food comes from local farms and producers. Finally, head over to Linda's Tavern to mingle with the local hipsters or crawl through a few of Capitol Hill's best pubs.
Start off your leisurely Sunday morning with a drive through the beautiful University of Washington campus (go Dawgs!) and then brunch at Portage Bay Cafe in the University District (don't miss their fabulous fresh fruit and toppings buffet!).
Make your way a few blocks over to the Agua Verde Cafe & Paddle Club to rent a kayak or paddle board and meander through the marshes and waterways of Lake Washington and Union Bay. If you've worked up an appetite, enjoy a Sunday afternoon margarita and some fresh Baja-inspired food at the cafe.
(Photos: Oysters, Yoga, Linda's, Agua Verde)