Friday, April 12, 2013

Inspired by the Rangers Road Trip to Seattle? Here are Great Places to Eat, Stay, Play and More!

It is one of the most beautiful, delectable and exciting U.S. cities you can visit.  If you have the chance to visit Seattle, do it.  It's a trip you will always recall fondly.  Plus, if you're a Gen-X Pearl Jam lover like me, it will help you re-live your early 90's grunge spirit.

View of Pike Place from Matt's in the Market

I have been there twice for Rangers baseball coverage, twice for Cowboys games, twice on my own for vacation and once as a pit stop en route to the beautiful San Juan Islands.

Driftwood on Orcas Island
If you're heading that way for a baseball or football game, stay downtown.  Both Safeco Field and Century Link Field are within walking distance of most downtown hotels.  You could easily take a cab if it's too far for you.  It shouldn't cost more than 10 bucks.

Here are some of my recommended spots and activities gathered over a decade of visits.

Seattle Waterfront Marriott lobby
  • Waterfront Marriott - probably my favorite Marriott experience.  Great location on the waterfront, featuring gorgeous Chihuly-inspired art work. 
  • Grand Hyatt - a typical chain hotel but more luxe than your average Hyatt.  Wonderfully comfortable rooms.  It is located next to the Phiten store where you might see a number of professional athletes picking up items.
  • Alexis Hotel - this is a stylish pet friendly hotel operated by Kimpton.  I took my dog, Birdie to Seattle with me and needed a hotel that would accommodate her.  The staff there was wonderful.  The hotel is close to Pike Place Market.  Here is my review on pet friendly hotels that included Alexis Hotel.
  • Four Seasons Hotel  - perfect location, on the water with amazing views of Elliott Bay and Puget Sound.  Close to everything.

Yes, I keep menus
This is a city in which you need to arrive hungry.  If you eat a bad meal here, it's your fault.  There is way too much good food to consume.  I could write a book on Seattle restaurants.  These are just a few of my faves:
Matt's in the Market menu
  • Matt's in the Market - I always come back to this restaurant overlooking Pike Place Market after I discovered it during a Cowboys road trip in the early 2000's.  It features fresh seafood and produce from the market as well as regional wines.  Trust me on this: you must eat here for lunch
  • Etta's - a Tom Douglas restaurant.  You really can't go wrong with any of his offerings (and there are a lot of them).  This one might be my favorite.  It's expensive but you get what you pay for: fresh, locally sourced food that's outstanding.  He also has a great bakery/sandwich shop near Pike Place Market called Dahlia Bakery.

Lark menu
  • Lark - claims to be one of "the Pacific Northwest’s premier, artisan-focused restaurants."  I just remember it being one of the best meals I ever had despite the three bottles of wine that went along with it.  *This is the only thing on the list that might be a bit too far to walk.  Take a cab*

Pike Place Market
  • Pike Place Market - this falls under the "Eat" & "Play" category.  Walk to the market.  Stroll the aisles.  Eat seafood.  Buy flowers.  Kiss a fish (really). Grab a bag of apples.  Repeat.  You can't go wrong.  Evan Grant and I did some serious damage here when I was pregnant.
  • Lagniappe - Check out Beecher's Handmade Cheese shop and Piroshly Piroshky Bakery across the street from Pike Place. 

Definitely visit Safeco field.  It's a great place to see a game.  Here are some other fun options:

Experience Music Project
  • Experience Music Projectthank you, Paul Allen.   This is a shrine to music in a gorgeous Frank Ghery-designed building.
  • The Original Starbucks - yes, you must do it simply to say you did it.
  • The Space Needle - touristy but fun.  The views are absolutely breathtaking. 
  • Move your feet - seriously.  Just start walking.  It's a great city and downtown area to explore.

And finally......
You can relive in your inner Gen-X 90's heyday with a tour of locations featured in the movie that spoke to my generation, "Singles".  I won't bore you with the details but here is a tipsheet with spots you should visit from Cameron Crowe's genius film.
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