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Trip Report A Week in Seattle & the Pacific NW

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I was in Seattle on vacation from August 11-15. I had received a lot of really helpful tips and information on this forum, so I wanted to share my experience as well.

Flew Southwest from NYC to Seattle. Quick stop in St. Louis, but didn't have to change planes. Waited at the Seattle airport for my friend's flight to get in about an hour after mine. We shared a cab to our hotel in downtown Seattle. Came to $45 with tip. We checked into our hotel - Sheraton Seattle downtown. I thought it was a very nice hotel. Really great location, helpful concierge, nice room, nice fitness center overlooking Seattle. Surrounded by your typical retail stores - a big Banana Republic, H&M, etc. I think it is more of a business area as everything closes down pretty early, even the ice cream and gelato place.

We got settled, went down to the Concierge to grab a map, then walker over to the ferry station to take the ferry to Bainbridge Island. It was a really nice weather day. Had about 30 minutes to wait for the ferry, so we sat outside and had a glass of wine from the wine bar at the ferry station. Took the ferry over. Beautiful views. We could see a faint outline of Mt. Rainier. It was neat to watch all the bikers, then the motorcycles, then the cars drive off the ferry.

I think a lot of things in Bainbridge are closed on Monday, but it was a beautiful evening, so it was still really nice to walk around. We walked to Doc's Grill, thanks to a recommendation I got here. It was about a 15 minute walk and definitely doable to walk it from the ferry station. Really pretty walk too. Doc's was perfect. We sat outside in the covered patio area. Beautiful view and ambiance with all the boats and lake and trees. We shared the steamed clams and penn cove mussels, which were amazing. Maybe the best ever.

I had my hair blown out at Bocz Salon which opens at 8am and was like a block from the hotel. It is a really nice salon. Kince did an amazing job and also wrote down a bunch of restaurants or places to try for coffee or happy hours.

We went out to Renton for the last day that Seahawks training camp was open to the public. Now that was very cool. The practice field is literally right on Lake Washington. Like you could punt the football into the lake. It is an awesome location. They even have their own dock! People can take their boats or ride their jet skis into work! Or a seaplane can land in bring in players! We got to the facility at 10am, watched some of practice out by the lake, and then a friend who works for the team brought us inside and gave us a tour of the facility. It is just gorgeous. Also got to see the new Super Bowl ring that was on display in the lobby. Very fun day at camp and neat experience.

We left camp at 1pm and went out to Snoqualmie Falls, maybe a 20 minute drive from the Seahawks. Snoqualmie is the sweetest town and we probably could have spent more time there. We had massage appointments at Salish Lodge & Spa at 4pm, so we checked into the spa when we got there and were able to put our things in a locker. We changed into SNEAKERS, thanks to the tip I read here, and went out to see the waterfall and walk down the trail. Thank you for telling me this was not a flip flops walk!

The walk down was fine…very pretty. It was a beautiful day and very cool to see the waterfall from the bottom. Only problem is you have to go back up, haha! It is doable, but it is STEEP! Not like dangerous or scary steep, but just exertion. It was a workout! So much for my hair blowout, ha! I have no idea how the people carrying babies did the return trip up. I expected the top to be the toughest part to get back up, but that actually was not so bad. It was the part at the bottom - just uphill! You can do it, just bring WATER.

Since we did not, the first thing I did upon returning to Salish Lodge was hit the gift shop and buy a bottle of water! From there, we went back to the spa locker room, rinsed off a bit, then changed into swimsuits to use the soaking tubs and sauna. You get 2 hours access before/after your spa appointment. We were the only ones in the spa and it was very relaxing. We changed into our robes and spent some time in the relaxation room before our massages. Totally worth it! We both thought they were excellent. One of the best massages I have ever had and reasonable pricing for such a beautiful location and spa.

We grabbed dinner in the Attic, which is the more casual dining room. Don't need reservations. It is a really pretty room that overlooks the falls. Wood fired pizza ovens, relaxed, casual ambiance, it was not pretentious at all. I had the grilled harissa prawns which were really, really good and then my friend and I spilt the heirloom tomato pizza. That pizza was amazing. So, so good. I had a Washington riesling wine, which the reislings are really good out there. We split the Creme Brûlée, which had honey from the hives on Salish Lodge's property. It was very good. And a Snoqualmie Coffee which was heaven. It was raining when we were at dinner, which was pretty cool to watch from the windows overlooking the waterfall. I loved Salish Lodge & Spa and would definitely go back.

This was our Seattle touristy day. We walked from our hotel over to Pike Place Market and started off our day at the first Starbucks. (After looking like idiots trying to take a picture at the Starbucks on the corner, in which two different people noticed us and quietly pointed out that wasn't the first Starbucks. Ha ha.) Most places were not open yet, so we started walking over toward the Space Needle. It started raining and there were a lot of hills! I was surprised by all the hills in Seattle. I knew San Francisco was like that, but didn't expect it here!

It was a bit of a hike to walk from Pike Place Market to the Space Needle, but not bad. The rain cleared up which helped. I am petrified of heights and hated going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower, so I was hesitant about doing this, but my friend really wanted to, so I went along. Honestly, it was not bad at all. I didn't feel scared or anxious once I was up there. The views of the water are really pretty.

After that, we took the Monorail from the Space Needle to as far as it goes. It was only one stop. It didn't get us much closer to anything. From there, we walked to Pioneer Square, which was still a decent walk. The sun was out at this point. We passed by a good spot where we could view the stadium where the Seahawks play. It was about 11:55 a.m. We went to go by tickets to the walking Underground Tour, but they were already sold out for the 12:30. So we bought tickets for the 1:00 p.m., then sat at the bar. Apparently you get "priority seating" if you buy something at the bar, but it's really not a big deal if you have that or not.

There's about a 15 minute little history lesson they give, before the tour starts. So you just get seated on benches in front, but there's really nothing to see. It was funny enough, bad jokes and humor, learn a few interesting things about the history of Seattle. Our tour guide was funny and very engaging. Mostly you are just standing around dark, musty basements that at one time were ground level in Seattle. Took about an hour and a half.

From there, we walked over to Pike's Place Market (again) and met my parents who had just flown in that morning. They were leaving for Vancouver for their Alaska cruise in the morning. We went with them to Pike Place Chowder. The line was semi-long but I think it always is. It moved quickly enough. We were lucky enough to grab a table at the right time. There is not much seating. Seafood bisque was really good.

After that, we walked back to our hotel, grabbed a glass of Washington wines from the hotel bar to take back up to our room, and relaxed a little before getting ready for dinner. We took a cab over to my parents' hotel. About a month before the trip, we had made reservations at Salty's in Alki Beach in West Seattle. There were supposed to be ten of us, but it ended up just being six for dinner. They will send a limo to various hotels to pick you up. I thought it would just be a van, but it actually is a limo! So that was fun.

Salty's is really nice. They gave us a perfect corner table in the dining room, with picture perfect views of the Seattle skyline. We watched it go from a sunny day with the boats out on the water, to sunset, to the night city lights. Very cool. Relaxed, vibrant vibe, nice music, but you could also hear. The food was awesome. I had the crab cakes, their seafood chowder which was incredible - better than the one at Pike Place Chowder, and…the best truffle fries ever. If you like truffle fries, these are the ones to get. I had a Coffee Alki after dinner which was another fantastic after dinner drink. Yum.

I think the limo is only supposed to bring you to Salty's and you can take the ferry back, but our driver said he would drive us back. He dropped my parents and their friends off at their hotel, then graciously dropped my friend and I off at the Sheraton.

We had booked a Woodinville wine tour through Bon Vivant that was $95. The coach picked us up at our hotel at 10:30 a.m. We picked up two couples at other local hotels so there were 6 of us. One of them from my hometown oddly enough. The first place we visited was the famous Chateau Ste Michele. There was about a 20 minute tour, then three tastings included. After that, you could pick 5 more wines to taste for $10.

After Chateau Ste. Michele we went to Purple Cafe in Woodinville. It had a real nice ambiance and good menu. I had the spicy prawns and shoestring fries which was incredibly good. Sticking with my Washington rieslings, I had the Ponum Riesling which was really good, not too sweet. They handed out separate checks and then we went to visit four small local wineries. I think every place had a $10 tasting fee, or $5 or free if you bought a bottle of wine. My friend and I started sharing them. My favorite of the local wineries was Airfield Estates. They had some good reds. The tour was somewhat flexible in that the guide would ask what types of wines we wanted to taste or if we wanted to stop at another one, or go back to the hotel, etc. Hit some traffic going back into Seattle.

We got back to the hotel around 6:30 I think. Too tired to do much, we just stopped in the Fountain Wine Bar at the Sheraton. We had the crab cake BLT sliders and steakhouse salad. Everything was good, but your typical overpriced hotel bar food. We were supposed to meet up with a friend and go see live music at the Crocodile, but we were pretty tired from all our walking the day before and wine tasting all day, and still not quite on west coast time, so we ended up just turning in early and going to sleep.

My friend left at 11 a.m. for her flight. Mine was not until 9:20 at night. From a friend's recommendation, I went to Kerry Park which is halfway up Queen Anne Hill. It is "the view" and really pretty. I went to Cafe Fiore for coffee in Upper QA, by Trader Joe's, at 4th and Galer. I met up with a friend who was also in town for dinner at Wild Ginger which everyone had told me to try.

Took a cab from the Sheraton to the airport, I think it was $36 before tip. Had a direct flight home on Jet Blue.

Really awesome trip to the Pacific NW - a little bit of everything. August was such a nice time to visit. If I had more time, I would have liked to have gone to Mt. Rainier. Maybe have gone to Alki Beach during the day to walk or ride bikes along the beach park. We ate inside and so didn't ever get to go on the beach or by the water. Maybe check out some other neighborhoods or nightlife? We didn't really "go out" at night, but I really enjoyed the things we did. I would also like to go to Seahawks game for a regular season game at some point and be inside the stadium.

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