The Best of Seattle – Where to Go, Stay & Dine

Seattle “the Emerald City” is surrounded by evergreen forests, lakes, mountains and the Puget Sound.  It’s the largest city in Washington State and the Gateway to the Pacific Northwest.

There are many landmarks to visit including the Space Needle from the 1962 World’s Fair, a myriad of museums, and the iconic century old Pike Place Market.  Adventurers love to explore this region – hiking, cycling, kayaking, boating and more.

Sharing our list of recommendations with Top Places to stay, dine & spa and what to see & do in Seattle!

Please note:  Please refer to local, regional and state travel advisories during the covid-19 crisis.  We were impressed with the safety precautions and protocol our hotels provided to ensure guests feel safe from check-in to room service to check out.  Some activities mentioned in this article took place pre-covid, so please check if the venue is open and their hours.


1. Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

Dale Chihuly is a world famous local glass artist and his creations are showcased at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum and its’ gardens.  After you visit the museum, stop at the Collections Café.  Chihuly’s collection is on display at the cafe from 82-of 500-accordions, bottle openers, fishing tackle, rod iron dogs, carnival chalkware, radios, cameras, and shaving brushes to tin toys.  And to top it off, the fresh, local, healthy menu –watermelon salad, salmon, scallops – so flavorful. Located at Seattle Center adjacent to the Space Needle.

2. Duck Bus

Ride the Duck Bus—a land/sea bus giving a full, unique tour of old and new Seattle.  Our driver was excellent:  part singer, part comedian with fun and interesting facts about this great Port City.  Highlights were driving into Lake Union and back out again–the Seahawks and Mariners Stadium, and the story of the 1829 fire that burned 29 blocks of downtown Seattle and how the people took 20 years to rebuild.

3. Space Needle

Seattle’s Space Needle is a must!  Built for the World’s Fair in 1962, this structure towers over the city offering spectacular 360 degree views of the Olympic Mountain Range, Queen Anne neighborhood, Lake Union and Lake Washington as well as the Puget Sound.

4. SAM Sculpture Park

Along the Puget Sound waterfront, the Seattle Art Museum has a beautiful outdoor Sculpture Park and we enjoyed the views from the park, sitting in the orange chairs and observing the collection of sculptures.  Enjoy a walk along the waterfront where you can look for eagles, seals and an occasional whale!

5. Amazon Spheres

Visit The Spheres, Amazon’s three connected glass-domed green spaces — home to 40,000 plants from the cloud forest regions of over 30 countries.

It’s incredible to see this unique architectural structure filled with thousands of plants, from orchids and passion flowers, to spike moss to fan-leaved aloe curated with the help of botanical gardens and universities world-wide.  Open to the public two Saturdays per month.  Book your tour 30 days in advance – click here!

6.  Pike Place Market

Seattle’s iconic marketplace is located in the heart of downtown near the waterfront.  Pike Place Market has been here for over 100 years where locals find the freshest produce, flowers and visitors come to shop for souvenirs and to see street bands and entertainment.

Some local favorites – Maximilian for French food, the Pink Door (Italian food with burlesque and trapeze entertainment – check schedule), or Matt’s in the Market and Rachel’s Ginger Beer.

7.  Shop at Nordstrom Flagship Store

Shop at the original Nordstrom store downtown, where designer pop-ups rotate every season.

8.  Benaroya Hall

Check the schedule at Benaroya Hall and buy tickets to a symphony performance or a National Geographic Lecture.

9.  Queen Anne Neighborhood

Just a couple miles from downtown, visit the Queen Anne Neighborhood and shop at boutique stores, sit down and relax at a sidewalk cafe.

10.  Paddleboard or Kayak South Lake Union

Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore South Lake Union on the water – close to downtown.  Click here to find out more.


Sharing our favorites in downtown Seattle and the surrounding area.


Thompson Hotel: Located across from the iconic Pike Place Market and near the Puget Sound waterfront, this luxury boutique hotel offers spacious rooms and suites and rooftop bar, The Nest.  Condé Nast Traveler named it the #1 hotel in the PNW from its 2019 and 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards.  The sleek contemporary design with its glass façade was conceived by local award-winning Olson Kundig Architects.

Our Corner Suite had expansive views of the Sound and downtown, along with a comfortable bed with the finest linens and top of the line amenities.

Don’t Miss!  The Nest Supper Club, the iconic rooftop bar and lounge that overlooks the market, waterfront and city.



Located just minutes from SeaTac is an urban oasis — Cedarbrook Lodge is a Pacific Northwest sanctuary.  We absolutely love Cedarbrook Lodge!

It’s the perfect place to start your vacation and stay for a night before flying out on a trip from SeaTac.  Or a relaxing way to end a vacation and stay for a night returning from a long journey.  It’s also ideal for a “staycation” or a great venue for a corporate retreat.

We indulged ourselves and got pampered at the award winning Spa and afterward dined on the terrace at Copperleaf Restaurant.

Copperleaf Restaurant is located in a beautiful high-ceiling lodge with a large stone fireplace and outdoor views.  The menu offers a range of Northwest farm-to-table dining.  The Chef selects seasonal produce from the Lodge’s onsite garden.  Our dinner included the summer salad with peaches and burrata, followed by a risotto with english peas and our shared entree of fresh wild salmon – delish!

The Cedarbrook Spa is a haven for the body, mind and soul.  Even though my treatment was only for 1 hour, I felt totally relaxed and wanted to stay longer.  My therapist used natural botanicals and herbal fusions from ethical companies focused on sustainability with brands like Éminence, Farmaesthetics, and FarmHouse Fresh.

Click here to find a list of treatments. I loved my petrified wood & river stones massage.  My therapist shares, “the smooth, heated pieces of petrified wood on your back, this is must do. The energy of the earth is a calming, soothing antidote for any worries on your mind.”


Please check back as we will add more restaurants post-covid to this article.

Check out more PNW vacations below!


We’d like to thank those mentioned above for hosting us.


One Comment

  • Nels and Kathy Hansen says:

    So glad you were able to have such a great day in Seattle! We love it there when the sun is shining 🙂 Only a 2 1/2 hr drive for us!

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