Looking for the hottest spots to check out in Seattle? Here are some places you won’t want to miss:
A trendy haven for design aficionados and the aesthetically attune, Hotel Andra (2000 Fourth Avenue; 877/448-8600; doubles from $229) in Seattle’s Belltown district brims with sleek Scandinavian design. Don’t miss the hotel’s inventive restaurant, Lola, which serves up creative combinations of Greek and North African cuisine.
Alternatively, enjoy a complimentary wine hour each evening at Hotel Monaco (1101 Fourth Avenue; 800/715-6513; doubles from $179), plus your very own pet fish for the duration of your stay! Plush guest rooms are outfitted in colorful combinations, and the hotel is centrally located in the heart of downtown.
In a town known for fresh seafood, a visit to Elliott’s Oyster House (1201 Alaskan Way, Pier 56; 206/623-4340; dinner entrees $15-$40) is a must. Located on Pier 56 along Seattle’s charming waterfront, Elliott’s offers 30 varieties of oysters which can be enjoyed along with views of the bay.
For culinary artistry inspired by Southern French cuisine, hop over to Campagne Restaurant (86 Pine Street; 206/728-2800; dinner entrees $25-$50) nestled alongside Pike Place Market, with dishes prepared using the freshest of ingredients. For a less expensive alternative, try Cafe Campagne, (1600 Post Alley at Pine; 206/728-2233; dinner entrees $15-$23, prix-fixe 3-course menu $32/per person) the restaurant’s equally delicious cafe counterpart.
In search of great Asian fusion fare? At Wild Ginger (1401 Third Avenue; 206/623-4450; Satay Skewers $3.50-$6.50, dinner entrees $9-$19.50) you’ll discover a menu filled with Eastern Pacific Rim specialities like grilled satay skewers and coconut-based classics from Malaysia, Vietnam, China, and Indonesia.
If it’s your first time to Seattle, you simply must swing by the Space Needle (Seattle Center, 400 Broad Street; 206/623-4340) and ride the elevator up 605 feet to the top for a 360 degree view of the city.
For return visitors, a less touristy alternative is Olympic Sculpture Park (2901 Western Avenue; 206/654-3100; free). Here you can stroll among works of art with a backdrop of the Space Needle and Elliott Bay stretching out in front of you.
At Kubota Garden, (9817 55th Avenue S.; 206/684-4584; free) the most impressive of Seattle’s Japanese gardens, you can stroll 20 stunning acres of hills and valleys featuring waterfalls, serene ponds, red moon bridges, and rock footpaths. This stunning showcase of Japanese aesthetics was designed by self-taught garden designer Fujitaro Kubota.
Arguably the country’s most architecturally stunning public library, the Seattle Central Library (1000 Fourth Avenue; 206/386-4636; free) is a haven of glass and natural light. Resembling precariously stacked glass boxes from outside, inside it’s filled with unique gems: cutting-edge art installations, an entire floor painted completely red, and spongy chairs.
Finally be sure not to miss the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) (1300 First Avenue; 206/654-3100). With a rich sprinkling of modern art, glass art, African art and Asian art, SAM also showcases an impressive collection of Oceanic and Australian Aboriginal art, as well as a substantial treasure trove of Pacific Northwest art.
For individually crafted jewelry, unusual toys, art books, designer housewares, and museum-inspired gifts, be sure to stop by SAM Shop (1300 First Avenue; 206/654-3120).
Only in Seattle would food be an attraction. Pike Place Market (corner of First Avenue and Pike Street) is a foodie’s paradise, brimming with local vendors selling goodies like cherry truffles, honeycombs, cheese, and other gourmet snacks, in addition to flowers, handmade soap, jewelry, and more.
With its plentiful art collections, stylish shops, and upscale establishments, Seattle will leave you feeling culturally satisfied.