Raised in California, I moved to the Pacific Northwest eight years ago when I got married and I’ve enjoyed playing tourist in my own town ever since. I like to think of myself as a city girl at heart, so Seattle outings are a regular occurrence for me. Some people go to the mountains or the ocean to find serenity, but for me, there is a certain calmness that I find in the city; nestled in a cozy coffee shop, watching people hurry by. There is so much life and energy in the city that it somehow makes me feel more grounded. It gives me perspective– all of a sudden my problems don’t seem as big.
After a very busy and stressful week for me at home, a trip to Seattle was a must! A couple close girlfriends of mine and I decided to book an overnight stay in downtown to do a little shopping, exploring, and unwind.
Here is what we did and our tips for doing it right.
If you have the opportunity to plan your trip in advance, you can save some money by searching for good deals on groupon, living social, amazon local, etc. You can find deals for just about anything; activities, restaurants, salons, and hotels. We bought groupons for an amazing restaurant right in our hotel and saved $27 off of a $50 bill. We also bought groupons for pedicures and only paid $23 for a 45 minute deluxe pedicure with massage in a nice salon right in downtown. It felt so amazing to sit back and relax after an afternoon of walking around the city.
Share a hotel room.
If there has been a nice hotel that you’ve been wanting to stay at, this is the best opportunity to stay there. We stayed at Hotel 1000 which can cost as much as $600/night. But we booked in advance during a great sale, used rewards points, and split the cost four ways, and ended up paying only $60/pp. That is an amazing deal! We would highly recommend this hotel to anyone. The service was exceptional, the rooms were really clean, decorated well, and the beds were very comfortable. If you are looking for an even better deal, Check out Groupon. We found a downtown hotel deal that cost $20/pp (split four ways) on a previous trip. Talk about a great deal! The view from our room at 1am. The streets were so quiet and empty at this hour!
Leave your car.
This saves SO much time and money on parking fees. We left our car at the hotel as we arrived and didn’t use it the entire time. Even though it was a rainy weekend, we bundled up and powered through the rain with our umbrellas. If you’re in the city, might as well enjoy walking through it!
If you MUST drive, take an Uber. We did the math, and even with getting a ride several times, it was still much cheaper than paying for parking in Seattle. Not to mention way more convenient than driving around looking for parking on a busy night. If you’re staying in the city, and not going far, splitting the fare four ways with friends makes it really cheap. Also, if you are new to Uber, when you download the app and create your account, the first ride (of up to $15) is free! (Just enter this code: YULIYAS127UE)
We learned this the hard way. Sunday brunch in Seattle turned out to be a lot busier than we thought. All the downtown restaurnts we wanted to eat at had over a two hour wait! We got some coffee across the street from our hotel at Stroyville then took an Uber to a small bakery (a little farther from downtown) and had a scrumptious breakfast without the long wait.
Try the happy hour.
If you are okay with having an earlier dinner (or a late dinner), Happy Hour is a fantastic option! Especially for restaurants that are more pricy; happy hour is a great chance to score food and drinks for upwards of 50% off regular menu price. But happy hour isn’t limited to bars and restaurants, we actually went to happy hour at a Karaoke studio and scored a great deal. Rockbox is a fun Karaoke place where you can rent a private, soundproof room- great for those of us who would never have the courage to sing in front of an audience. This turned out to be a highlight of our trip. We had such a great time singing our hearts out to classics like Celine Dion, Backstreet Boys, Avril Lavigne, Lana del Ray, The Killers, and Eminem. Make sure you make reservations in advance for this place because they get booked solid for the weekends.
Do an in-room movie night.
This is a great way to make use of the nice hotel and save some money! Bring your favorite snacks and a movie to enjoy in the comfort of your own room. You can rent a new movie from redox for $1 or bring a favorite classic to watch again. Much more affordable than buying an in-room movie for $15.
This was another highlight for us. We stopped by Lush cosmetics while we were out shopping and picked out a mask and a few other face products. It was a perfect way to end the night when we got back from dinner. We got into our PJ’s and pampered ourselves with a fresh citrus almond mask and lavender moisturizing treatment. We felt refreshed and relaxed, and the next morning our skin looked great! Plus, it made for a great photo opportunity! (You can even bring your own masks, or pick them up at Target or another drug store in the area.)
Favorite Seattle Restaurants to try:
This is my favorite coffee shop by far. Never had a bad cup of coffee here. The 1st street location is a lot less busy than Pike Place, so if you are trying to avoid the tourist crowds, I would go here instead. It’s about a ten minute walk from the market.
Macrina is a little more north of the main downtown attractions so it is a lot less crowded, making it feel like a hidden gem. We scored a table for four at 11am on a Sunday without a wait! The coffee here is not my favorite but food is delicious.The salmon egg bialy and french toast with cranberry compote. Both outstanding.
Located inside of Pike Place Market. You would think this place would always be crowded, but to our surprise, we were seated right away without a wait. There are three floors of seating available. The first and third floor are cafeteria style where you order at the counter and find your own table. The second floor offers table service and is a bit more formal. If you are visiting from out of town, I would recommend holding out for a window seat as the views of the Puget Sound here are amazing. The food was spectacular and coffee was very fresh and strong!My King Salmon Eggs Benedict with Herb Hollandaise and hash browns. Delicious.
This is such a hot spot for tourists, especially since it is located right in Pike Place Market a few stores away from the very first Starbucks. But it is so worth the line! I stop by here everytime I am in downtown to get my favorite Piroshky. (The smoked salmon for savory and white chocolate cherry for a sweet treat.)
We love to make memories and capture as many experiences as possible with photos. Here are a few from this weekend!
Hope you get a chance to go out and enjoy the city life near you. Whether it be a girls’ weekend in Seattle, day trip, or even date night, there is so much to experience and love about the city!