The Ultimate Travel Guide for Seattle, Washington
Seattle may be one the rainiest cities in the country, but when the sun comes out, it’s gotta be the happiest place on the planet. The clouds lift from June to September, so do as the locals do and take to the water with an island sail or kayak--and that Pacific Northwest breeze at your back.
Where to Stay
A boutique hotel directly inside the city’s most iconic market
Inn at the Market
This 76-room hotel already had the ultimate location on the Seattle waterfront (directly inside the iconic Pike Place Market), but its recent renovation makes it even more appealing. Wake up in your Sferra sheets and look out the floor-to-ceiling windows at Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Then head down to the market for a bite at Café Campagne or any of the 200-plus vendors in this foodie paradise.
What to Eat
The best bites across the waterfront
This über-trendy Lake Union eatery combines the best of the PacWest and Mediterranean--from style to cuisine. Order your Salty Sailor martini and Dungeness Crab tartine from the bar (it’s in the hull of a ship), then score an Adirondack chair on the lakeside patio. Come by car or kayak…they have parking for both.
An upscale seafood restaurant with roots as a 1930s boathouse, Ray’s keeps it real with its 1950s neon sign, ocean-to-mountain vistas and sustainable fish sourced from the Puget Sound. Belly up to the panoramic bar and indulge in some PacWest delicacies like singing scallops or house-smoked sablefish.
What to Do
Save those museums for the rainy season
Seattle has a slew of charming little island communities, but Bainbridge has us looking into real estate. Take the 35-minute ferry from downtown, then hike the Waterfront Trail, shop the farmers' market and don’t miss the zen gardens of Bloedel Reserve.
Kayak Ballard Locks
Kayak from Shilshole Bay, passing sea lions and great herons, to reach Seattle’s iconic locks, connecting Puget Sound to Lake Union. Once the gates close behind you, you’ll find yourself smack in the middle of the stunning lake. Continue past the jealous tourists on the bridge to the shipping canal, where you can take a selfie with the boat from Deadliest Catch.
What to Skip
Not one for duck-bill whistles and slapstick tour guides?
Dodge the Ducks of Seattle and hit the water with the big dogs. Neptune’s Car is a sailboat that was built for Pan-Pacific racing (it still competes), and it will zip you around the sound like a champ. Daytime and sunset sails are available with BYOBP. (By which we mean, a boozy picnic.)
What to Pack
We promise, it’s for all those kayaking and sailing trips. Seattle is a sporty crowd so go for Gortex with sealed zippers in a sunny color.
Part Parisian, part Puget, thick stripes are perfect for any seaside outing. Make it three-quarter length with a boatneck and you can wear it into the evening.