I’m so happy to be adding another post to the travel section of my blog today! As you know, traveling is one of my greatest joys in life. Though I make a point to visit at least one international destination every year, I’m also trying to visit more cities throughout the United States. There’s simply too much to see!
Seattle has been on my radar for quite a while and it helped that I have close friends who now live there. Thanks to Kevin’s plethora of Delta miles, we finally decided to get our visit on the calendar and headed out for a long weekend.
When you think Seattle, you probably imagine the Space Needle, Starbucks Roastery, Pike Place Market, and the gum wall. Yes, be a tourist and go see them. After all, they are iconic to Seattle for a reason. But I don’t want to waste your time making you read about attractions with which you’re already familiar. Today I want to highlight some destinations you may never have heard of if you’ve never been to Seattle!
Disclaimer: I didn’t bring my fancy pants camera to Seattle so all the pictures you are going to see in this post are all iphone chic. Also, I am horrible at remembering to take pictures (remind me why I’m a blogger again?), so apologies if the visual representations of my writing are rather sparse. Experiencing these activities yourself is better than looking at my pictures anyway, right?!
Tip: click on any of the titles to go directly to the attraction website and find out more.
Did you know that there are underground tunnels beneath Seattle that were built in the 1800’s? (Look at me with my leading questions.) No? Me neither! The Underground Tour will bring you through the 200 year old tunnels that are literally underneath the sidewalks and modern day buildings. I won’t spoil the tour by explaining why the tunnels were built in the first place, but they were once the normal way for pedestrians to navigate the city. (Or if you want the spoiler, read this wikipedia article.) The tour guides were super knowledgeable and it was super intriguing learning about the history of the underground tunnels.
One of the coolest parts of the tour is going beneath the old glass skylights, which are also visible from the sidewalks above. After the tour, it was fun spotting old skylights scattered along the sidewalks as we were exploring the city.
WARNING: If you don’t like traveling in large tour groups and periodically stopping to listen to tour guides talk about history and make mediocre jokes, this is not the experience for you. I’ll admit that I’m not generally a tour-seeking kind of traveler. I like to blend in and generally avoid standing out as a tourist. My experience was definitely tainted by having to stay in our large tour group and take up entire sidewalks while locals muttered under their breaths and rolled their eyes trying to get through. However, there are no self guided tours, so buying a ticket to the Underground tour is the only way you’re going to get a chance to see the tunnels!
Thank you, Ryan the Seattle native (as of two months ago) for bringing us to this amazing mini golf and duffle board bar! If you don’t know what duffle board is, it’s because Flastick Pub made it up. It’s almost like a mini mini golf game on a table top where you use a pool cue instead of an actual golf club to try to get a golf ball into the hole. The holes get super intricate and creative as you go on. I wish I could have snagged some photos/videos of the coolest ones, but I guess I’ll have to leave them as a surprise to you!
Here’s Kevin doing pretty well and me hitting Ryan with my ball. (That happened like three more times at three different holes. Sorry for the bruises, Ryan.)
Boiling Point was recommended by my good friend who is an extreme foodie (you da bomb, Kathleen). It did not disappoint. This is a Taiwanese hotpot restaurant where you choose your own broth and ingredients for a personal hot pot. The boiling wok comes to you with the broth and all the ingredients already, so you don’t add them yourself. If, like me, you are in Seattle on a chilly rainy day (probability tells me you will be), Boiling Point is the perfect place to warm up, while having a bucket list hot pot experience!
I am literally drooling right now recalling the soul-warming deliciousness of my curry hot pot. The bubble tea here also get two thumbs up.
By the way, Boiling Point is located in the Chinatown/International District which is a super cool area. I wish I had more time to explore the shops and restaurants here. Boiling Point is likely going to have a bit of a wait to get seated – this is a great time to walk around and explore the International District!
The falls are a 30-40 minute drive from the city, but the visit is worth your time if you love scenic views and time in the outdoors. With its 240 drop, Snoqualmie Falls is Washington’s most famous waterfall and it is definitely a beautiful site to see. There’s a short nature trail (.7 miles) on location that leads down to the base of the waterfall. The trail isn’t incredibly impressive, but it’s one way to get another view of the falls! There is also a restaurant, lodge, and gift shop onsite, but honestly the main attraction here is gawking at the beauty of the waterfall on the observation deck. If you aren’t eating at the restaurant, I wouldn’t plan on spending more than 40 minutes here.
Tip: the main parking lot requires a fee, but if you drive further up, there are free parking lots that aren’t far from the falls at all! Yasss to free.
This was my absolute favorite part of our trip to Seattle, but it was also the farthest we had to travel away from the city. It’s a 2.5-3 hour drive east from Seattle. Nevertheless, I HIGHLY recommend it! The drive in itself is an important part of the total experience, as it involves winding through the mountains and beautiful forests.
The hike is 8 miles round trip – 4 miles to get to the lake, and then 4 miles back. The whole hike took us about 6 hours with one hour spent at Colchuck Lake eating lunch and enjoying the view. (For reference, I’d say we’re intermediate level hikers.) I’ve included a couple of tips for you below if you’re interested in this hike!
- Arrive early (before 8am) if you don’t want to park a mile away from the trailhead. The parking lot at the trailhead is quite small and fills up fast! The trails are also a lot less crowded in the early morning.
- Wear hiking boots if you have them – tennis shoes will suffice if you don’t.
- Bring toilet paper! There’s a composting toilet by the trailhead, but no toilet paper.
- Wear lots of layers. I got really cold in the shade, but got hot pretty quickly in the sun.
- On your way back to Seattle, stop at Leavenworth. It’s a cute little Bavarian themed town where literally EVERY building is built to resemble an old German house, even the Starbucks and other national chains. We stopped here after our hike to do a little exploring and enjoy hard-earned beers and pretzels.
Our visit to Seattle was nothing short of amazing. I love the culture of the city and it truly is a beautiful place. If you’re planning a visit soon, let me know if you have any questions about any of the places I listed!
On another note, I’m going to have another travel post on here soon because I’m leaving for Hawaii on Thanksgiving day! My family is all about non-traditional Thanksgivings (i.e. king crab legs as the main protein instead of turkey), but this year we’ll be taking it to the extreme by spending Thanksgiving with the best seafood, pineapples, and sunshine. Bon voyage!
Shout out to Amanda, Mike, Kathleen, and Vas for hosting Kevin and me. And a secondary shot out goes to my college friends Ryan, Kyle, and Bonko for randomly running into us at the airport and spending a day with us!
[Proof that I’m horrible at taking pictures: despite spending a full day together, my only picture of Ryan is him sitting on a keg at Flatstick.]