City Guide | Seattle, Washington

Greetings from my office in southern, California! I'm back home from a very full and wonderful fall #EverydayWatercolor book tour to bring you another city guide post from one of my tour stops! I kicked off the tour with Portland, Oregon where I spent a few days (make sure to check out that city guide post here). After classes and an amazing time in Portland, we drove ourselves up to Seattle. This city completely blew me away right from the beginning. We got there in mid-afternoon and went straight to Gas Works Park. OH MY GOSH!! As I said in the Portland post, the timing of our trip to the PNW was perfect for seeing color in the trees, but Seattle took it to the next level. We pulled up to the park and were welcomed by a parking lot covered in trees that had turned a deep red. All of them. Then made our way up the hill overlooking the bay and the skyline to yellow, and orange, and sea planes, and boats, and it was all too beautiful! I couldn't believe it. 

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From here we went to Ballard, a verrrry hip, waterfront neighborhood in Seattle close to Gas Works Park. This area has so much to offer. Coffee shops, bars, restaurants, cuteness. It's too good. We had a friend who lives in Seattle showing us around at this point, so she took us to Barnacle Bar, where we had a couple drinks and appetizers (amazing Negronis!), while we waited for our table (it was a Friday night - quite busy) at The Walrus and the Carpenter to open up. Such a well designed bar with real good beverages and snacks. Both of these places were incredible and I had oysters for the first time at The Walrus and the Carpenter! They were amazing, the whole experience at both of these spots was on point. Must go.

We stayed at The Roosevelt in downtown Seattle, which is very central to most everything. We had a car, so we would drive to other neighborhoods like Ballard, which made it super easy. We snagged some pretty amazing deals through my VIP Platinum Status membership on Orbitz for both the car and hotel room. So to stay at The Roosevelt, it can be quite pricey, but when you sign up for the VIP status through Orbitz, they give you access to crazy discounts on rooms, cars, flights, etc. Otherwise we'd be grabbing a Lyft of public transit around the city. After having quite a bit of travel under my belt, and living in Chicago for 7 years, the real taste and heart of the city isn't the downtown or touristy spots, it's in the neighborhoods! So, if you ever travel to Seattle, it's the same. I try to see at least 1 "touristy thing" per day in every new city I go to because...they're touristy for a reason! But beyond that, I like to explore the local haunts, bars, cafes, restaurants and scenic walks, etc. So, for our next day in the city, we made our way to Vif for breakfast. THIS PLACE. It's up in Fremont, which is near the Ballard side of things, and it's the most perfect, cozy, Scandinavian inspired food spot. I had an egg grain bowl with kraut and other fermented things with coffee and it was divine. We couldn't get over this place!

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Below are some more snaps from our day through the city!

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If you visit Seattle, it's incredibly touristy, but you MUST go to Pike Place Market! It's massive. You walk up to a stone road and a huge, mostly indoor market place on the water. Produce, fish and fish throwers, flowers, hot cider and cocoa (for the fall and winter), it's perfect. We walked through the entire place just to take in all the sights and sounds and smells. Definitely worth it with a coffee or beverage in hand!

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I had SO much fun teaching #monvoirworkshops in Seattle! We rented out a space in the Industrial District of Seattle called Within Sodo, and it was perfect! Had great natural light, and all the fun touches of being in an industrial, warehouse type space!

Some more restaurants and places we went to while we were in Seattle that are DEFINITELY worth checking out:

Essex: came here for drinks before eating pizza at the place next door (below). GREAT drinks and a really cute bar in Ballard.

Delancey: said pizza place right next door to Essex. THE PIZZA! I normally don't eat gluten or dairy (ha!), but you gotta live right? It was the right place and the right time too. Their pizza is amazing!

Frankie & Jo's: plant based ice cream that tastes like the real deal. 'Nuff said.

Capital Hill: verrry quaint and adorable neighborhood in Seattle that is definitely worth walking around in. Stop by the Starbucks Reserve Roastery just to see it, then walk around the corner to find better coffee. ha! It's cool inside though, but I am not a fan of Starbucks coffee. Also, Stateside in this 'hood is supposed to be a real good place to eat. We unfortunately didn't have time to hit this spot.

There's so much more that I would like to explore in this incredible city. We left after 3.5 days of exploring and eating the best food and I was already planning my next trip out! Can't wait to come back here! If you are a Seattle local or have been to some awesome spots in the city, comment below with your recommendations! I'm definitely going back and would love to hear what's good!