A few days ago, we returned from the first trip we’ve taken since the pandemic hit back in March of last year. Both of us have fortunately been vaccinated for a few months now, and with half of the U.S. population having received at least one shot now, we felt comfortable planning for this first domestic trip.
We had actually planned for a New York City trip way back during Spring Break of last year, but instead of choosing NYC as our destination this time around, we opted for the East Coast: Seattle, because I had never been before and one of my best friends would be joining us for a few days, then Portland, to visit our old stomping grounds from back in 2019, and finally San Francisco, to visit another best friend doing school in the area.
Here, we wanted to share some of the fun things we did during our four days in the beautiful Emerald City. Seattle in May is absolutely gorgeous, and the weather was an incredible reprieve from the Texas heat. The highest ranged around mid-60s, and we didn’t get stuck with any gloom or rain either.
We flew in mid-day, and immediately headed over to Pike Place Market. Pike Place is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets, and is home to a number of restaurants, food and craft stalls, collectible and antique shops, and many many more. There’s a really fun collectibles store called Golden Age Collectables if you’re a fan of comic books, games and action figures (or Funko Pops, like my brother). I’d suggest to avoid coming here on a weekend if possible; there were probably ten times as many people as when we got there on Saturday than when we went again on Tuesday. It was much easier to navigate as well, in addition to actually being able to look around at all the stalls and the views along the coast too!
If you’d like to avoid the big city crowds, I’d definitely recommend heading out to Discovery Park. It’s only about a ten or fifteen minute drive from downtown, but you’ll find yourself in a nature wonderland. Discovery Park is technically a city park, but it’s the largest in Seattle at around 530 acres. There are a number of trails that you can embark on with varying levels of difficulties. We packed a light lunch and spent almost half a day just walking around, looking at the wildlife. If you’re interested in learning about the plants and flowers, there’s a great free app called PictureThis where you can snap a photo of any plant, and it will give you a little description of that plant! If you walk alongside the beach, it can get super windy, so keep that in mind! You’ll find a cute lighthouse at the end though, and on the other side, you can sit on the beach and enjoy the views.
Now, we usually are big museum people, but this time around we didn’t actively go seek out any museums to avoid staying in an indoors location for too long. But we did stop by the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a beautiful museum that showcases the glasswork of Dale Chihuly. The glass structures are absolutely beautiful, and their centerpiece is definitely the glasshouse, from which you can also see the Space Needle. You can purchase a pass for just the museum, or one for both the museum and the space needle if you’d like to go up that as well. Since the museum is self-paced, you may find yourself staying anywhere between 1 to 2 hours. They also have people performing live demonstrations and Q&A sessions if you’re interested in how they create these beautiful places. But all in all, while tickets are certainly are on the pricier side, I’d recommend stopping by for an afternoon and marveling in the beauty and talent here.
Last but not least, is to make the most of your trip by just walking through downtown. There were so many places we visited by just walking around and finding cool little gems hidden around the city. The UPS Waterfall Garden, for example, is a wonderful garden hidden in the middle of the city with a waterfall! It also is right next to the original UPS, if you’re interested in that little bit of history. There were a bunch of cute bookstores we visited too, including Arundel Books, located in a beautiful and historic building, and of course stopped by Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore chain known for its gifts, stationery and of course, East-Asian music and books. Otherwise, just walking around is perfect for walking off all the food and coffee you’ll inevitably consume (blog posts for those coming very soon!) and seeing beautiful views!