Thanks to Klout and their #2daysinSeattle perk, and thanks to my love of tweeting about delicious food - I was chosen to visit the city of Seattle, and was asked to tweet my way through the trip. In exchange, I was given free accommodation, travel expenses to cover the gas, $500 prepaid visa card and many other little gift certificates and goodies.
The welcome letter that was left in my hotel ,room informed me that there were no expectations for me to promote or like what I saw. I did not even have to follow a set itinerary, or go anywhere specifically. After seeing all the trouble that Tourism Seattle and Klout had gone through to let me experience the city, I thought I should make the most of my 48 hours and cram in as many activities as I could.
I knew it was going to be a great weekend, but I had no idea just how amazing the city of Seattle actually was. It was like a bigger version of Vancouver, the city that I have come to love, and it was full of some of the friendliest people I've ever come across. Bf and I ate and drank and sight-see'd our way through the city, cameras in hand, and I wanted to share some of my favourite moments.
If you've never been, I hope this blog makes you want to book a weekend for yourself - because as I have come to learn, this city has an abundance of activities to do that will keep you entertained for hours on end.
|Hotel Andra is located in the downtown area of Seattle, and it's modern decor and amazing housekeeping skills made for an excellent place to stay during our visit. It was within walking distance of all major tourist attractions, and the staff were very helpful and accommodating. The bathrooms were spa like, and they had q-tips in the bathroom. Win win. You can also connect with them on Twitter, @HotelAndra.|
|This guy was just one of the many colourful sea life we encountered during our trip to the Seattle Aquarium. Home to a new baby otter, and an interactive exhibit that allows you to get hands on with some interesting sea creatures, made this a great first stop on our tour of the city. The aquarium is located on Pier 59, on the waterfront behind Pike Place Market, but is also within walking distance of many other attractions.|
|For our first dinner, we went with Lola's - the restaurant located in the lobby of Hotel Andra. Lola's is a Greek-Mediterranean restaurant, and if you visit as a couple, I would have to recommend sharing a selection of appetizers. The pitas with kalamata and fig spread, and their fresh oysters with mint cucumber were among my favourites. The wine we chose complimented the meal perfectly, and the service was top notch.|
|The Space Needle.|
Make your way 605 feet up to the SkyCity restaurant and enjoy a 3 course brunch for $46 per person. The food was incredible, the portions were insane, and the desserts (from the small amount we could eat) could be some of the best I've tried. I would recommend the chowder, and also the pumpkin loaf. But don't eat too much bread, because the place spins 360 degrees every 47 minutes for some breath-taking views of the city - and you don't want to lose your lunch!
|By far, my favourite part of the weekend was the Experience Music Project. This is a MUST VISIT for all music fans. This interactive, and incredibly designed building is home to some of the most memorable music artifacts of all time. The glove of MJ. The first record contract of Nirvana. A turn table that you can bust out your own DJ tracks too (even if they sound like nothing more then chicken scratch). In addition to the music, the building itself was designed to resemble one of Jimmy Hendrix guitars, smashed on stage.|
|By purchasing a CityPass booklet for $59, from any of the major tourist attractions in the city, gives you access to some of the best spots in the city for a tourist. We ventured to the Pacific Science Centre, where we watched a 3D Imax movie, walked among tropical butterflies, and stood with the world largest guitar.|
|From the Science Centre, we hopped on the Seattle Monorail to take us back into the heart of downtown. There are 2 stops on the monorail, which is the fastest monorail in the US and has been since it was first built. For $2.25, you can get from the Space Needle to Westlake Shopping Centre in a matter of minutes. For those who watch the Simpsons, it's a must ride.|
|Pike Place Market. |
Words cannot express how much fun this place is. This is Rachel the Pig, who sits in the entrance to the market. She is a staple for the locals, and even donned a sexy red dress just for our visit. Within the market, you will not find any major corporations, but just a lot of one-of-a-kind shops and eateries that I could have spent all day at. From the Russian Bakery Piroshki Piroshki, to the very first Starbucks - arrive on an empty stomach and plan to fill it with freshly baked cinnamon donuts and many more goodies. You can find Rachel the Pig and Pike Place on Twitter: @RachelthePig & @Pike_Place
Be sure to say hi to Rachel for me.
|If you can stand the 1.5 hour wait to get into The Crab Pot - you will NOT be disappointed.|
For $25.95 per person, you get a fancy (paper) bib, a hammer and a cutting board. What comes next would shock any civilized person, but since I'm not one of those, it was one of the greatest dinners I've had in a while. They literally dump buckets of seafood onto the table, hand you some butter and lemon - and the race is on. I'm still not sure what the veggies were for, because by the time you get to them, you can barely move. Delish!
|The infamous Seattle Gum Wall. It smells and looks as gross as it sounds, but from tourists to locals to celebrities - this wall has the pre chewed leftovers of people from all over the world. Get close. Take a sniff. But for health reasons, I don't recommend going in for a chew. However, if you like to dance and drink - The Alibi Room is located right across from the wall and is a great little bar for a night on the town.|
|I don't want to say much more then when in Seattle, you NEED to RIDE THE DUCK. Make sure your tour guide and captain is named Lou, and take note of the many hats and quacky jokes he shares during your 1.5 hour tour of the city. The vehicle turns into a boat and you get to take a ride around Union Lake and see a gorgeous view of the city skyline from the water.|
Also, make sure you dress warm if going in the winter months - and keep an eye out for everyone on the streets because the waving never ends. CAAAA-CHING!
|Our final stop was to visit Fran's. This chocolatier located at the bottom of the Four Seasons hotel, makes some of the best dark hot chocolate I've ever had. The truffles and individual pieces are so delicious and pretty to look at - that you'll have a hard time even opening the packaging.|
But trust me. You want to open, eat, and then eat some more.
All in all, I am already planning my trip back to the city so I can cross a few more touristy things off my to do list. 48 hours is the perfect amount of time to get a taste of what the city has to offer, but I am anxious to get back and see what else there is to do.
Thank you again to Klout and their #2daysinSeattle promotion for the opportunity to visit the city, and I hope that I have inspired at least one other person to take a trip, even for the weekend.
I promise you won't be disappointed.