Oh hi! Issss me! I'm back to pop in and say hellerrrr. You guys- I know I say this legit every time I post on here but wow has it been a crazy few months (like.... half a year. shit). Since August, We almost and I mean ALMOST moved to Seattle. We had an apartment lined up with a view of the Cascades and the Space Needle *sigh*, job offers we were ready to accept and all we had to figure out was when we were throwing our good bye party. And then it all came crashing down FAST. We had to take a major step back and say okay... what the actual fuck are we going to do? So Hayes and I started applying and interviewing all around the country- Dallas, Denver, Boulder, Portland, DC...... but our hearts were still firmly set on Seattle. And our lives are here so we decided to stay. Sure the other options were cool and all but why move somewhere you aren't crazy about when your heart is one place and your happy lives are another? And then one day, I shit you not, Hayes and I BOTH got invites from two of our dream companies here in OC to come and interview. So Hayes scored a job with a company he loves and I left my favorite job ever with a heavy heart but a high head to go work for Chanel. And Chanel was AMAZING. The people, the culture, the handbags... oh mah gawwww the handbags *infinite heart eyes*. But as much as I loved Chanel, and seriously, I mean l o v e d, I missed the creative aspect of my old job in styling. So I called up my boss from Elyse Walker, met with her for coffee and cried a few tears and by February I was back at Elyse Walker.
PHEWWWWW okay so now you're caught up on the absolute tornado that was the end of 2018 beginning of 2019 for us.
Why am I telling you all of this? Isn't this supposed to be a guide on Seattle? Why yes, yes it is. Just thought I'd update y'all. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled program. It should be pretty clear to y'all that this amazing city has a very special place in our hearts. Everybody loves Charleston and San Francisco and Miami and whatever but have those people been to Seattle? The answer is probably no because if they had, they would love Seattle more. Hayes and I first visited Seattle back over NYE of 2017-2018 and as we were walking around we said hoooooooly shit, I think we're in love with this absolutely perfect place. Let's move here one day. It's safe to say we're big fans of Seattle. So I'm going to break down the best places to eat, play, and stay from the viewpoint of a person who loves the authentic side of this one of a kind city.
The Fairmont Olympic
photo credit: Forbes Travel
Hayes and I stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Olympic during our first stay and it did not disappoint in the slightest. The lobby looks very old school fancy with tall ceilings and wrap around balconies and big beautiful chandeliers. They also have two of my favorite restaurants in Seattle- the Georgian which has a kickass breakfast and Shuckers a super cozy upscale eatery with the most monstrous bloody marys you've ever seen and, not pictured, they even come with oyster shooters and a mini crab cake sandwich on the side. Frickin' nuts. Somehow I always get caught up on the food aspect, but the rooms were just as gorgeous. We had a beautiful suite that overlooked downtown Seattle and we had a view of the water. The bath products in hotels are Le Labo so you knooooow I was feelin' this place.
photo credit: Booking.com
Okay so I have very strong mixed feelings about this place. On the positive side, this hotel is insanely gorgeous with modern Scandinavian decor mixed with a cozy Pacific Northwest feel. They have a trendy lobby with a killer bar and a very central location, you can walk to Pike Place Market in less than 10 minutes and you're smack dab in the middle of downtown. On the downside, the rooms aren't anything to write home about and here's the kicker... I got the worst food poisoning of my life eating breakfast there. Like wasn't allowed to board the plane home and had to stay in an airport hotel throwing up every 15 minutes for 12 hours kind of food poisoning. Honestly, I'd probably stay here but would just avoid the smoked salmon this time around. So if you want a nice hotel for sleeping that has a central location and are using it for literally nothing else besides maybe a cute insta pic, this is the place.
11th Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast
When I was going up to Seattle to look for apartments, go to an interview, and see Hayes during the last part of his hike of the Pacific Crest Trail I found this super cute little b&b. It was really low cost, I think like $90 a night during peak season and it is in my favorite part of the city called Capitol Hill which is known for their parks, record shops, quirky boutiques, and LGBTQ+ friendly bars. Capitol Hill is soooo trendy and cool with little coffee shops and string lights on every corner, rainbow cross walks, and everybody has cool ass style and owns a dog. It's basically heaven. I just loved this quite little inn because its in an old historic home in a residential neighborhood less than three blocks from Pike Street and Pine Street, the two coolest and most famous corridors in all of Seattle that run through the heart of Capitol Hill. This inn isn't exactly swanky but I felt very much at home the second I walked in. Instead of spending my down time in my room, I read my book in the living room or had tea with the chef and owner (husband and wife, v cute and nice) in the kitchen. Very cozy and good for people who are looking to travel and see the city more than vacation. You're also walking distance to all the cool bars in the area so major plus.
EAT + DRINK
Lost Lake Lounge and Cafe
photo credit: Lost Lake Lounge and Cafe
Hayes and I spotted this place while we were looking for an apartment and I knew we had to pop in. We got some breakfast here and we just loved the vibe. It is also in Capitol Hill and right near one of the best parks and a very famous bookshop in the area. I got the biscuits and gravy and as somebody who lived in Mississippi for a few years, I have very high standards when it comes to a good sausage gravy and let me just say that they did not disappoint. Also, we were treated to some of Seattle's famous coffee and I don't think I'll ever have coffee that good again. The whole vibe was comfy, casual, and authentic.
Staple + Fancy
photo credit: Ethan Stowell Restaurants
Hayes and I rang in 2018 at this super cute and high end restaurant called Staple + Fancy in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard. Ballard is a very trendy up and coming neighborhood, mostly residential and on the water. I wouldn't say that it's a big tourist destination but during the summer, Ballard has great farmers markets and outdoor arts festivals and block parties. Anywho, Hayes and I really enjoyed Staple + Fancy's chef tasting menu. We tried foie gras, ate tons of delicious smoked salmon, and gnocchi, a good amount of oysters and so much more. If you don't mind taking a 20+ minute uber outside of the city center for a really delicious, authentic, and locally sourced meal this spot would make a romantic date night for your vacay.
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar
photo credit: arlisna-vra.org
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar is a great place in downtown Seattle to grab a few appetizers and a bottle of wine either while taking a stroll through the city or ducking out of those frequent Pacific Northwest misty rain showers. We've had countless glasses of wine and pints of beer here but for some reason I specifically remember how good the tomato soup was and finishing it off our time there with amazing creme brûlée. Cruise in for happy hour from 2pm-5pm and enjoy some cocktails, crispy calamari, and baked brie as you watch the rain and wind whip around outside the tall lofty windows. One of our must dos while we're in the city.
photo credit: Zagat
If there is a bar that wins the first impression award, it goes to Bar Melusine. We chose to have pre-dinner drinks and oysters here and I was blown away by the decor, the knowledgeable and friendly staff, and the extensive and intricately designed cocktail and wine list. We tried a few oysters from all different parts of the Pacific Northwest as our bar tender walked us through each flavor profile. We were definitely wow'd by the presentation and the friendly staff made our experience extra special.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Okay so when I was asking for recommendations for our first trip to Seattle about two years ago, I got a flood of DMs saying to check out Chihuly Garden + Glass. We honestly kind of forgot about it because TBH it didn't sound, like... really interesting (so sorry) to us. But while we were checking out MoPop (more on that later) we realized that the Space Needle and Chihuly all happen to be literally in a cluster right next to each other. It was about to rain so we were like ehhhh... why not? And you guys... it was AMAZING!!! We are so glad we did it. If you check out my SEATTLE highlight on my Instagram stories you can see some videos I posted of all the amazing glass sculptures and stained glass exhibits. By far the best one is at the end when you enter this massive glass half dome-ish thing and this huge brilliant orange and yellow sculpture of flowers hangs overhead with the Space Needle in the background. When we went, it was gloomy but I heard when its sunny, the light throws the shades of orange all around the dome for a spectacular light show.
photo credit: do206.com
The Museum of Pop Culture or more commonly referred to as MoPop was one of my favorite things we did while visiting. We visited during one of our first days there and honestly just kind of stumbled upon it as we were walking toward the Space Needle which is literally right next to MoPop and Chihuly. The Space Needle line was like a mile long (not really) and I was cold af and wanted to get inside. This was pre-discovering Chihuly so we kind of just shrugged our shoulders and went in and we were blown away with these exhibits. It is quite literally a mecca for those who are into major pop culture such as music, movies, and television. While we were there we got to see the Jimi Hendrix exhibit where we get up close and personal with his personal diary, see his passport and other legendary artifacts. My personal favorite exhibits were the film and television exhibits which were broken up into genres such as fantasy, sci fi, horror, and more. Each of these had pieces of the set and costume design from iconic films such as The Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, Friday the 13th, Avatar, The Walking Dead, Star Trek, Star Wars, and more. It was SO COOL getting up close and personal with Dorothy's iconic blue check dress and Jason's mask from Friday the 13th. 10/10 would recommend this to anybody and everybody.
Pike Place Market
photo credit: Papercity Magazine
Last and certainly not least, the legendary Pike Place Market. People always kind of roll their eyes and laugh when I tell them to come here because it seems like the ultimate tourist trap. Which to be fair, it can be on a Saturday morning. But if you're cruising around on a Monday afternoon, this place is so cool. It's filled with fish mongers, artisanal bakeries, flower shops, fresh fruit and veggie stands, homemade beaded jewelry and artwork. It is truly what farmers market dreams are made of. One touristy thing you have to do is watch the guys throw the fish- it actually is incredibly entertaining. But there are more than just tourists here, you will see locals picking up flowers or fresh fish here and thats what I really love- that the locals still appreciate this historic landmark in one of the greatest US cities.