For any of you less than familiar with the geography of Vancouver, you may not know that Emerald City (or Seattle) is less than far away from the city – in fact, just a few hours’ drive and a border crossing away. I was absolutely delighted to have my friend of many years, Alice, over to stay with me for a couple of weeks, and as her first visit to Canada and indeed the West Coast, thought she’d kinda like Seattle too. So we booked in for a one night stay at the very beautiful and opulent Art Deco Hotel Theodore.
Whilst catching the 6am BoltBus (a version of the Greyhound) after a night out and just a couple of hours’ sleep plus a last minute pack wasn’t quite so fun, we were able to sleep for a while before an aggressive grilling and quite the lineup at the US border. Nothing the thought of a decent brunch couldn’t pull us through!
Our first stop was the beautiful view from Kerry Park, which may look familiar from my last stay in Seattle.
Once we’d finished lusting over the view and stretching out after our brunch, we went for a walk down from the Queen Anne district to the Olympic Sculpture Park.
Whilst it does remind me a little of Vancouver, I really love walking along the beaches of Puget Sound.
Of course, as Alice’s first time in Seattle, we had to head to Pike Place Market.
We could have spent ages just walking around all the quirky vintage shops and flea markets.
Having already worked up quite the appetite on our walk, we stopped in at Lowell’s in the market for some fresh seafood with a view. We each had some local chowder which was delicious, as well as a seafood platter, which was equally divine.
After taking as many food samples as physically possible and wandering each of the many delicious food outlets at Pike Place Market, we stumbled across a rather mysterious and seductive looking bar called CanCan, which appeared to be part of Seattle’s underground city. A cabaret bar known for its cocktails and burlesque shows, we pulled up a stool and made some new friends.
A few hours and a couple of fuzzy heads later, we headed back to our beautiful hotel to get ready for the night ahead and Alice’s birthday celebrations.
We caught an Uber over to the wonderful Capitol Hill area of the city – packed with bar after bar and neon lights. The nightlife really is awesome in this area. Our first stop was Poquitos for some delicious tacos and margaritas.
Conveniently located next door is Havana’s, a dance bar and club for when you’re ready to dance. Although when we first arrived it was pretty empty, it didn’t take long to get completely packed out.
After a great time ringing in Alice’s birthday in Havana’s, we set off in search of a club and went to Neighbours, which was a complete sensory overload but a great time!
We met our new friends, ordered the strongest Bloody Mary’s you’ll get for miles around, and settled up against the jukebox, where 90s grunge was blaring.
The breakfasts are extremely hearty at this fun diner – perfect with plenty of hot sauce and an ass-kickingly strong drink!
Our next port of call was Seattle’s iconic Museum of Popular Culture (or the MoPop) – a particularly appropriate museum for the city, given the amount of incredible artists, musicians, and actors that hail from the PNW city.
Located conveniently right next to the city’s landmark Space Needle, we set of first in search of the Pearl Jam exhibition – packed with artefacts, videos, and handwritten lyrics from the iconic band.
As big fans of their music, it was really worthwhile a visit and one of the best sections of the museum.
Dedication to great music is spread out across the museum.
There’s also a ton of cool spaces dedicated to the art of the video game, and a very famous exhibition on the wonderful native band, Nirvana.
Here, you’ll find tons of handwritten musings and lyrics by Kurt Cobain himself, as well as private photographs, videos, and intriguing letters.
With a little time left to kill, we went back to the market in search of a bite to eat before our bus back to Vancouver. What are your thoughts on this car?
One thing I love about Seattle is the cool street art you just pass walking around the city.
We stumbled upon a vintage shop where Alice’s bought a unique T-shirt you certainly wouldn’t find anywhere else on the planet!
Of course, we had to see the famous Gum Wall.
Fascinating or downright disgusting – what do you think?
And there we have it – a round up to an awesome weekend to celebrate Alice’s birthday. Just a 4 hour bus ride later until we could recover at home.
What do you like to do in Seattle?