A weekend in Seattle


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Seattle is an easy weekend getaway for anyone looking for a relaxing break from their busy lives. It is a beautiful city - the skyline, comfortable weather, and diverse food scene are just some of the many things Seattle has to offer. The city will remind you of San Francisco with its many hills and lush green areas, but it still feels very Seattle.


Seattle has always been a place of magic for my wife. She is fascinated by the city and everything it's ever seen on TV or in movies, especially Grey's Anatomy and Frasier. A few years back, she went to Seattle for work and fell so deeply in love with this vibrant town that at every chance since then, she begs me to take her there again- I finally agreed we could go!

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We flew into Seattle from San Diego on a late morning flight on a Friday, which gave us at least half a day to explore. The train ride from the airport to downtown was only half an hour, and the train station was very close to our hotel - the Charter Hotel Seattle, Curio Collection by Hilton. We wanted to stay close by the Pike Place Market so that it was convenient for exploring the area! After dumping our bags in the hotel room, we started our trip at Pike Place market. It was late in the evening, and most of the public market vendors had closed up shop for the night. The mood was relaxed and mellow as locals passed by casually chatting with one another about this thing or that from earlier in the day! I wanted a cup of coffee. My wife suggested Storyville, which is located at the corner of the Pike Place Market. But by that time, it was closed, so I had to go with what felt like cliché, Starbucks instead! Seattle being its birthplace made this one very different, though. We decided to go to the Starbucks reserve located in the capitol hill neighborhood. Their menu is very different from the regular Starbucks shops, so it's perfect for those looking to expand their taste buds and try something new! I had a Mandarin Espresso Dolce- the most delicious cup of beverage I've tasted in a long time!

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Starbucks opened up these "Starbucks Reserve Roasteries" to create an immersive multisensory experience that brings coffee craft to the next level. Capitol Hill "Starbucks Reserve Roastery" is a 20,000 square feet facility - 5 times as large as any other location! The warehouse features interactive displays showcasing how each individual type of bean transforms over time through meticulous processes like hand sorting and inspecting roasted green coffees before it's turned into a delicious cup of java! It invites guests of all ages where you can enjoy your favorite drink while learning about what goes on behind-the-scenes from roasting beans in small batches with expert baristas there at every step of the process.


It was Friday night, and we didn't have any dinner reservations. We were looking for something nearby that is not too busy when I found an interesting Indian restaurant only two blocks away – Zaika. Zaika is the perfect Indian restaurant for those who like to mix up their cuisine every now and then. Their menus offer both classic Indian favorites with inventive tweaks. You'll find some of your old standards, such as butter chicken, alongside more experimental options. So, there's something here everyone will love whether they're in it just for comfort food or looking to try out new flavors. Our favorite was "cottage-on-the-pond."

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We began the second day with a quick breakfast at Piroshky Piroshky. It is a small shop filled with delightful hand pies and other Eastern European treats. Piroshky is an Eastern European hand pie made by wrapping up any kind of filling in bread dough or pastry - either savory or sweet, depending on your preference! There were many varieties available for us to choose from, but we decided on veggie chipotle, which was delicious! Storyville coffee was open this time, so before heading out toward our next destination, we grabbed some cappuccino as well.

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The morning began with a stroll through Gasworks Park, which is on the site of an old gasification plant. It offers a beautiful panoramic view of the Lake Union and Seattle's downtown skyline. Among locals, it's a popular spot for community gatherings like sunsets or picnics with friends. Once, it served almost 50,000 people at its peak, but by 1956 Seattle had moved to alternative energy sources, and production ceased entirely. In 2013, it was listed in the national register for historic places because of its importance to the city's history. The ruins of Gasworks Park are a testament not only to how far our society has come but also an illustration of where we were at one point—a waypoint between then and today.

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From Gasworks Park, we took an Uber to the other side of the Lake Union – Kerry Park. Seattle's skyline is one of the most iconic in the world. Google told me that Kerry Park is one of their favorite spots to take photos, and it was an excellent place for viewing! We visited during midday but heard other people say that sunset or sunrise times are particularly gorgeous. Also, it's where you'll get your best chance at taking some great shots with Mt Rainier in the background, too, if you're lucky enough on a clear day. At the park's center lies a steel sculpture, "changing form," created by Doris Chase. I could not resist using it as a frame.

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Our next destination was the space needle, an iconic landmark in Seattle. The Space Needle is a web of steel and glass that soars above the city. This 605 feel tall observation tower has been around since 1962 and offers a 360-degree view of Seattle from its rotating floor below the top deck. The observatory has an open-air design with wire mesh walls for protection against high winds while still offering panoramic visibility. I reached for my camera to capture it from every angle. Due to COVID-related restrictions, the restaurant at the terrace was closed. The entry tickets are timed now; they're trying to reduce congestion on deck by not allowing people in for longer than necessary periods of time. It's also a rule that you cannot talk while inside an elevator!!!!

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While purchasing my ticket for Space Needle, they suggested buying the combo ticket, which would take me across right next door where Chihuly Garden & Glass awaits. It was a good thing we decided to go for the combo ticket. The Chihuly glass exhibits were unique and felt like an otherworldly experience with their colors, shapes, textures, and lights. The glass sculptures were all so beautiful and colorful; you could spend hours just walking around looking at them from every angle. Dale Chihuly is celebrated for his blown glassworks. Glassblowing is a technique where molten glass is expanded into a bubble with the aid of a blowpipe. His creations are truly magnificent. It "blew" my mind how he created these enormous structures and put them together! Seattle's Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibits are some of the best things I've ever seen!

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It was midday, and we were famished. Walking back to Pike Place Market, we found ourselves looking for some restaurants not too busy with brunch in mind instead of lunchtime crowds because that's what we prefer over anything else. We walked past Bacco Café and saw a sign saying that they are closing down in fifteen minutes, so it seemed like perfect timing! The food was good but nothing extraordinary; however, their juice selection is heavenly, especially Genova – a mixture of pineapple, orange, and pear. As soon as I tasted it, my taste buds tingled like they had never before because of how refreshingly natural yet bold this drink is made without any added sugars or chemicals.

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With all the food in our stomachs, we have energized again for our next destination. Shopping at Amazon Go looked like an interesting idea since it is a new technology that offered no lines and checkout with grab-and-go convenience! Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, they had closed down. On our way to Amazon go, we saw three large spheres. The Amazon spheres are the most recognizable structure in their Seattle headquarters campus. Amazon knows how to take care of its employees!


After a long day in one of their many buildings that fill up this massive complex, they can retreat into these beautiful glass domes for some much-needed rest or downtime with colleagues. It's not just any ordinary space either; there are 40,000 plants from 30 countries growing inside, and you're surrounded by natural light from all angles! These glass domes provide a place for employees to be refreshed and rejuvenated with plants, trees, water features, as well as space to work on projects--all while feeling like you are walking through an enchanted forest or exploring exotic rainforests around the world. After a long day of walking around and looking at all the touristy sites in downtown Seattle, we had to plan our evening. We went back to the Starbucks Reserve for one last pour-over for the day. After an hour or so resting up in our hotel room recovering from what seemed like miles upon mile walked today, it was time to go grab some dinner! I suggested going casual with pizza. Serious Pie on 4th street looked pretty promising! They were "serious" about their pies. Whenever I think of their pizza pie with its crispy crust and creamy cheese filling, I can't help but smile as if they were in front of me right now, ready for another bite!

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Sunday, our last day in Seattle. Our flight leaves at 2:00 PM, so we have half a day to see the remaining attractions of this city. Pike Place Market is one of the top tourist destinations and, according to Travel Leisure's 2015 article, was ranked as number 33 on their list for most visited places across the world! Pike Street Market is one of the oldest continuously operated markets in America, a true gem. I was surprised to notice how many different shops were located within this small micro-neighborhood - from the fish market and flower stands all around! The fresh produce stalls are an absolute must for any foodie or culinary enthusiast who's keen on sampling some local flavors while they're in Seattle. It's also a great place to pick up some fresh flowers. I noticed many young couples buying tulip bouquets at Pike St., so next time you need a gift for your loved ones or just want to do something special for yourself, make sure not to miss this famous market!

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One of the most iconic and loved brands in America, Starbucks has made its mark on this neighborhood. From 1971 onward, there have been many stores popping up all over - it's practically impossible to go more than a few yards without seeing one! Top of the list is obviously their first store which opened back then - easy to find by looking for the longest queue!

Another quirky site to check out in the pike place market area is the "gum wall." A local landmark, the tradition of adding chewing gum on the market theater wall started around 1993. In 2015, city authorities did a total scrub down. But in the last six years, gum enthusiasts stuck thousands of gums on the wall again. Fun fact - marketplace gum wall landed on 2nd position in the top 5 "germiest" tourist spots list compiled by trip advisor editors.

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Next, we headed to Seattle's deep-water harbor at Elliott Bay waterfront. It was quite beautiful in this early morning light, with people milling about on their way into weekend fun or out for breakfast. I can imagine later in the day it would be bustling with tourists, enjoying seafood, and exploring shops. The great wheel at pier 57 offers a fantastic view overlooking Elliott Bay and its breathtaking height, making it one-of-a-kind, among other things offered by the waterfront area, such as boat tours or even fishing trips! It's one of the few Ferris wheels around the world, which is built over the water.

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Our last stop was Skalka, where they make Khachapuri. It's a traditional Georgian dish. The bread is leavened and allowed to rise, making it light and fluffy like no other type of dough I've tasted before. It's then shaped in various ways, usually containing cheese filling that can be ripped off into individual pieces for dipping or eating from hand-to-mouth style--a more common method across Georgia than using silverware as we Americans are accustomed to doing! Skalka was not only a new experience for me but also one I would want to revisit because it tasted so good! The small slice of crust used for ripping away at our Khachapuri was stuffed full of melted butter, so when pulled apart, there were little pockets filled with creamy goodness ready for us to eat up faster than you could say "yum!"


Seattle is one of those cities with something for everyone and is perfect as a gateway destination to explore more on this side of the country. There are so many excellent restaurants and coffee shops that you could spend days exploring them all. If you want some specific recommendations about where to go while there, send me an e-mail found in my bio! We can't tell you if it will be the best weekend of your life, but we sure had a good time.

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