Seattle. The Emerald City. The gem of the Northwest (at least to me)! There are so many reasons to love this city, which more and and more people are finding out as they move here. These happen to be my favorites!
10. Dog Parks
So you’re probably thinking to yourself, “dog parks, really?”. Really! Dog parks in Seattle are serious business. Sascha and I visited all of them, and they were all SO different. You have large parks like Magnusson that has water access and a large play field attached by a long walkway. Woodland Park is completely covered, making it perfect for a rainy day. West Seattle Dog Park has a separate area just for small pups! After getting letting your dog get their play on, treat them to a meal at Norm’s, a dog-friendly bar in Fremont.
9. Discovery Park
Discovery Park is a 534 acre park in Magnolia, a neighborhood that sits on the Puget Sound. It makes my top ten favorite places for multiple reasons, the first and foremost being that it became my own private place of refuge when we moved here. I would spend hours walking the trails and sitting on the beach, with Sascha to keep me company. The park is built upon the historic grounds of Fort Lawton, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. People still live in some of the yellow houses that make up the area. Highlights of the park also include the lighthouse on West Point and Native American Cultural Center for Indians of All Tribes.
8. Golden Gardens Beach
Did you know that Seattle has a beach? It actually has quite a few. My favorite out of all of them is Golden Gardens. It’s located on the west side of the city, so not only is it convenient but it has some pretty epic sunsets in the summer. I’ve spent many a summer day just lounging in the sand, watching sailboats and listening to the waves. It’s also a great place to have a bonfire or play beach volleyball! Bring your blanket and shades when you visit and plan to stay for a while!
7. The Seattle Center
The Seattle Center’s most famous landmark is the Space Needle. Built for the 1962’s World’s Fair, you can take an elevator up 605 feet to an observation tower and see the entire city. But the Needle isn’t the only cool thing about the Seattle Center; there’s also the International Fountain, the Experience Music Project and the Chihuly Glass Museum are all excellent places to explore. If you stick around long enough the International Fountain has a great water show.
6. Coffee, coffee, coffee!
I was a barista for a very brief period of my life. I was a terrible, but I did end up learning how to appreciate a good cup of coffee or a sip of espresso. While Seattle is home to Starbucks, but they aren’t the only player in town. There are tons of really great coffee shops where you can find knowledgeable coffee experts who will make you the perfect cup of coffee, latte or Americano. I love Fremont’s Milstead Coffee, Slate Coffee’s Ballard Branch and Caffe D’Arte located downtown. If you see one that is interesting make sure you stop in.
5. Seattle Reign and the Seattle Sounders
Being a Pittsburgh girl through and through, I will never support a football/hockey/baseball team that doesn’t wear black and gold. But when it comes to soccer, Seattle is THE place to be. We went to our first Sounders game July of 2014, and it was the highlight of the summer. Ever since then, we’ve been hooked. When we discovered the Reign early in 2015 it was like Christmas came early. If you have the chance to go to a game, you must. The atmosphere is electric, the crowd is so energetic and the game itself is just pure fun.
4. Kerry Park
No words needed for this view.
You haven’t lived until you’ve had a West Coast IPA. It’s even better when you get one at the brewery where it’s made. I know, I know… IPAs are kind of an acquired taste. I get that. I too hated the taste of IPAs while we were back home. Even now, when we go home I rarely order an IPA unless I know the brewery is from Washington or Oregon. But they just so good. My favorite three breweries are Fremont Brewing (located in Fremont), Bad Jimmy’s and Peddler Brewing (both located in Ballard). The vibe is different at all three, but they all have really interesting beers and the friendliest owners and staff.
2. Pike Place Market
How could I not include the Market on any list of Seattle favorites? It was during our initial visit to Seattle that we went there for the first time. It was pretty late at night, so all of the stands were closed and it was virtually empty inside. We’ve explored it in the early morning and midday, but I will always remember the magic of seeing it that first time.
The market has been open since 1907, making it the country’s oldest continuously operating public market. You can buy all sorts of great produce and seafood here as well as souvenirs that are one-of-a-kind. Take a moment to watch the fish throwers, listen to the buskers or enjoy the view!
I fell in love with Fremont so much that I begged Ryan to let us move there (of course, it was a win-win situation for him, as he got a cool neighborhood and an easy five minute walk to work). Where else will you find a neighborhood that can boast a troll living under a bridge, a chocolate factory and hedges shaped like dinosaurs? Fremont is quite possibly the coolest neighborhood I’ve ever lived. It has a giant statue of Lenin in downtown as well as a troll holding a real VW Bug under the 99 bridge. It happens to be right on the water, so in the summer you can catch some rays at Gas Works Park or along the Burke Gilman Trail, which runs along the canal (just watch out for the runners and bikers). Theo Chocolate Factory perfumes the air and has delicious chocolate. Any trip to Fremont is best ended at the wall of chocolate, where you can taste everything!
Since I could have made this list much longer, here are some honorable mentions. The Seattle Public Library has amazing architecture. Ballard Locks is a surprisingly cool tourist attraction.The Capitol Hill neighborhood is vibrant and exciting, definitely worth checking out. Also check out the flagship REI store if you get a chance! It’s a really cool store even for those who don’t like the outdoors as much. And last but certainly not least, farmers markets are the most amazing shopping experience ever!
We have officially taken off now, so be on the lookout for adventures from the road!