48 Hours in Seattle

I had the loveliest sendoff for this trip. My awesome friend J offered to drive me and since she's a mom of three gorgeous daughters, they tagged along too. When we got to the airport, the middle child started crying as I got out of the car insisting on a hug and a kiss; I've never felt more loved in my life. She'd been given a pacifier to appease her in the car when she was getting fussy, so when J unbuckled her, she got up, put her arms around my neck, and started pecking my face with the binkie.
Because I'm still funemployed, I didn't care about when my flights were because I wasn't effected by maximizing my vacation days and worrying about having to go back to work when I got home. That meant, I just picked flights that were cheap and convenient and that meant taking off on a Tuesday afternoon which also meant the airport was basically empty and I got through security in about three seconds. Even if I didn't have TSA Precheck, it would've taken maybe three minutes.

I packed a mix of summer clothes and cozy hiking clothes, which worked out well because it was really chilly in the mountains and both Seattle and Portland in the evenings were rather crisp.

Here's what I actually packed:
I took the light link rail from the airport into downtown Seattle. It was just $3 and took about 45 minutes. Taking a cab would've been faster but much, much more expensive.
I stayed at the Palihotel, which is adjacent to Pike Place Market, and I loved it. It was a little bit pricey because for whatever reason, one of the nights had an inflated rate (I think maybe there was something special happening and availability was low), but I also only booked about 3 weeks out so I think that's all on me. It's a lovely hotel in a premium location with decent amenities, super instagrammable decor, and great staff so I can't recommend this place enough, if it's in your budget. Seems like the average rate is about $200 a night, which isn't insane but you can certainly find cheaper places.

The bed was cushy and though the room was a bit tight on space (which is how all of the hotels in downtown are, I suspect), the layout made it pretty cozy and comfortable.
Because of the proximity of the hotel to Pike Place, I took a bunch of sunset photos before heading to dinner.
I was craving something light and fresh for dinner after having spent a third of my day flying so I decided I wanted a vermicelli bowl. I found this Vietnamese joint near my hotel and it had great reviews so I headed over.

I started with a lychee and coconut water mocktail. It was bright and juicy and so good. The coconut water was so hydrating and perfect for me since I became a sad, dried out raisin on the plane.
I got the chili tofu vermicelli bowl, which was fantastic. The tofu was tender and flavorful, the noodles were soft and plentiful, and there were plenty of crunchy cucumbers and carrots and cabbage to satisfy my craving for fresh vegetables.
After dinner, I prompty fell asleep thanks to the time difference and then I woke up super bright and early.
I met a friend (who lives in Seattle) for breakfast and he suggested Biscuit Bitch, which worked out perfectly because it was on my list of places to try. I ended up getting a bitchwich with bacon and an iced chai latte. The biscuit was crisp on the exterior, tender and fluffy on the interior, and slathered with butter all over. This meal was incredibly satisfying.
After breakfast, I decided to walk along the water. The weather was absolutely gorgeous.
This is obviously one of the most iconic sites of Seattle, which meant it could've been overrun with tourists, but I got there around 10 and the crowds were totally tolerable. Half of the market is food but the other half is full of local vendors selling jewelry, ceramics, art, and other fun knickknacks.
I got to the Pike Place Fish Co. just on time to watch them toss a few fish, which was fun. I got some crappy video footage, but it was just exciting to be there. They toss the fish when a customer is buying fish so it's not a scheduled event. If you're really keen on watching them toss, why not buy something? Next time I visit Seattle, I think I'll stay in an Airbnb with a decent kitchen and buy a fish to cook up. Not only did it look super fresh, it was so cheap.
I'd bookmarked this place as a fun shopping venue but I just happened to stumble into it as I was leaving Pike Place.
This is definitely one of the nastiest places I've ever visited but it's so iconic, I couldn't not go. I didn't participate, because I think it's gross and I didn't want to touch anything, but I stuck around just long enough to take a few photos and selfies.
It was my goal to just take advantage of free things to do in Seattle and on my first day I was trying to just stick to things within walking distance so I ended up at this sculpture park. It wasn't a super exciting site, but it was charming and with the weather being so great, I had fun walking through.
Plus, I managed to get a pretty decent view of the Space Needle, and since I had zero intention of visiting that thing, it was my only way of getting a photo of that icon of the city.
By the time I'd finished up with the sculptures, I was getting hungry but I was also parched so I headed back towards my hotel and stopped in at RGB for a drink. I ended up with the white peach ginger beer. It was sweet and spicy and so refreshing.
For lunch, I went to Din Tai Fung. I'd heard awesome things about this place from my cousin so it was on my PNW food bucket list.
We got the sweet and sour ribs, cold cucumber salad, and the pork soup dumplings. Everything was fantastic. The ribs were so tender and the sauce was sticky and gingery. The cucumbers were fresh and crunchy and had a lovely acidic dressing that helped to offset the heaviness of the ribs. But the soup dumplings were the star of the meal. First of all, they're smaller than the average soup dumpling; they're the perfect single bite and they're amazing. The wrapper was so thin and delicate and chewy, the filling was wonderfully savory and tender, and together they made the ultimate perfect bite.
I was stuffed after lunch but I wanted to get dessert so I walked a mile east to digest and burn some calories and make room. I'd read such amazing things about Kurt Farm Shop so I had to get a taste.
I got the Flora's cheese ice cream, which was their Jersey cream base with bits of Flora's cheese mixed in. The lovely lady running the scoops told me that Flora's cheese was a light, crumbly, salty cheese and I thought that it sounded so unique so I gave it a go. It was the best decision. The cheese was so lovely and creamy, you wouldn't notice it texturally, except that it had a slight chew but that little bit of saltiness added such a delicious bite to the ice cream whenever I encountered it. On top of that, the freshly made waffle cone was so light and crisp and buttery. I would go back to Seattle in a heartbeat just for another one of these.
I'm not really a coffee person so I only popped into this roastery just for the fanfare. I basically just walked through, snapped a few photos, and left. It seemed like there were multiple areas where you could either do a coffee tasting, get your normal Starbucks order, or get bakery goods. I liked the industrial aesthetic.
I did a little bit of window shopping before heading back to my hotel to relax a little. I'd walked all around town all day so I was pretty tired.

For dinner, I hit up happy hour at T&T. I got a Pike Peach IPA, which was sweet and summery.
I got a couple of oysters, which were fresh and delightful.
And for my main, I had the fish and chips, which really hit the spot.
After dinner, I walked around a little bit, but I was so exhausted from the day and still fighting a bit of my internal clock's allegiance to east coast time so I ended up going back to the hotel to veg out and watch some bad TV before falling asleep.

In the morning, I was up bright and early and made a beeline for this adorable little eatery. There's a window where you can watch the workers making the crumpets, which is so fun.
They have loose leaf teas, which I love, so I ended up getting the darjeeling and fortifying it with loads of local honey and some milk. I got one savory crumpet and one sweet crumpet. The savory was pesto, tomato and parmesan and the sweet had fresh ricotta and house-made strawberry preserves.
The crumpets were so light and fluffy and buttery and I absolutely fell in love with this meal. I'm itching to try and make crumpets at home but I think I need to buy some ring molds to be able to do them justice.
I bought a transit day pass for $8, which meant I could use it on a bunch of different types of transit all day and considering that one ride was $3, I knew I could justify that $8 easily. I used my pass immediately to take me way up north to Discovery Park to get some morning exercise.
This park is huge and beautiful and everyone had their dogs with them which made me miss mine.
You get some amazing views of Puget Sound along the trail that leads you to the lighthouse, which was my ultimate goal.
Of course, the second I left the lighthouse area, the skies totally cleared up.
It was an easy walk from the park to the Chittenden Locks and Fish Ladder.
Unfortunately the fish ladder was completely empty. There was a gentleman working at the locks who said that this was the worst year for the fish ever and he surmises it's all due to climate change, which made me so depressed.
I, along with a bunch of other tourists, waited to see a bunch of boats and a kayaker come up the locks. My love for civil engineering and nerdiness really came out while I was here.
I hopped on another bus to the Fremont neighborhood and my first stop was Theo Chocolate. I bought a bar of chocolate with toffee bits and a dark chocolate and coconut bar. Both were delicious.
We didn't want to stick around long enough to queue up to climb this thing, so I just snapped a selfie, managed to get a shot of the troll in between climbers, and then another wave of people showed up so we left.
Just a few blocks over from the troll is this cute biergarden so we stopped in for some libations.
I got the summer pale ale and it wasn't the best pale ale I've had (I think I prefer Sam Adam's summer ale to this one) but it was refreshing on such a hot day and hit the spot.
After all that hiking and walking, I was pretty hungry so I hopped on another bus in search of fish. I decided I had to get some seafood to offset the fact that I didn't buy any at Pike Place.
Seattle Fish Guys is known for its poke and with good reason.
I was so hungry I went for the dish of two pokes and got the spicy salmon and the shoyu tuna with seaweed salad. The poke was delicious; not as good as the authentic stuff you'll eat in Hawaii but much better than any of the poke I've had on the mainland.
And you know I had to get some dessert afterwards. I took another bus to head back towards my hotel but got off two stops after the one for my hotel so that I could pop into Lady Yum for a small snack.
I got the nutty mermaid, which was a coconutty macaron, and the salted caramel. Not only were the macarons gorgeous to look at, the two that I tried were delicious and satisfied my sweet tooth. The macarons had a crisp exterior, chewy interior, and the classic almond nuttiness.
I completely bypassed the Starbucks next door (which is the first Starbucks ever) to go to Piroshky Piroshky to pick up some snacks that I could have on my day trip to Mount Rainier. I'd considered getting a sandwich but I think these pastries were much better. I got a curry chicken & rice and a hazelnut cream.
And on my way back to the hotel, I popped back in to RGB for a dole whip float. The last time I had one of these (other than the homemade version I attempted to make) was back in 2010 when I visited my cousin in LA and we went to Disney Land. But this version was so much better because I got a spicy pineapple ginger beer which was such a nice contrast to the super creamy pineapple soft serve.
I relaxed at my hotel for a bit before changing into a dress for dinner.
I'd made a reservation weeks in advance, which is what you need to get a seat in this place, and even then, we could only manage a seat on the patio.
I had a watermelon mocktail to start, since I didn't want to get any alcohol prior to my big hiking day at Mount Rainier. We were brought bread and garlic oil with our drinks.
For my main, I had the linguine with clams, which was so good. The clams were tiny and tender and the pasta was cooked perfectly to al dente.
And because I didn't want just a salad but I wanted something vegetal to accompany my meal, I got the pole beans, which were cooked simply with a bit of olive oil and garlic. They were crispy and yummy.
After dinner, I walked along the water to digest a bit, took a few nighttime shots of the market, and then got into bed. I think I had a really productive couple of days in Seattle; it was so much fun and I know it's a place I'd love to revisit.

Here's my map: