One of the things that keeps us inspired and thinking creatively is traveling - the seeing, smelling and exploring that comes along with it - and today we've got Seattle on the mind. The skies may be gray and the vibe may feel toned down but this city is vibrant and filled with color. A few of the city's nicknames are 'Rainy City,' the 'Gateway to Alaska,' and of course 'The Emerald City' and with many names comes much to offer. Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and it has a neighborhood for everybody. Whether you're eclectic, urban, outdoorsy, artsy, posh, or gritty the quirky character of Seattle offers a lot of variety.
You need more than a weekend to get the full scope of Seattle, but if a weekend is all you have then here are some tips on what top spots to visit.
PIKE PLACE MARKET
This famed Seattle tourist destination was one of the first permanent farmer's markets in America. Shops start setup early around 6AM and buzz well into the evening. Browse the fish at the world-famous fish market- they'll be practically thrown into your hands, freshly caught and delivered. The market is an easy transit ride (or nice walk) to the Seattle Art Museum and other Downtown sights.
In 2005 CNN named Bainbridge Island the second best place to live in the United States, and we don't think much has changed since then. From the heart of downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island is a quaint community just a 30 minute ferry ride away. Check out the walkable harbor area with a public boardwalk and small shops and restaurants. Another draw is the island's main street dotted with excellent art and book shops, and yummy eats like Blackbird Bakery (their toast is a must try!).
Just up the hill from downtown, Volunteer Park is one of the oldest, and grandest parks in the city. Situated in the heart of the historic, ritzy, and eclectic Capitol Hill neighborhood, Volunteer Park offers an easy escape from the nearby buzz of city life, as well as some incredible views. Be sure to climb the narrow staircase of the old water tower - it's worth the climb to see the 360-degree views of the skyline, space needle, Olympic and Cascade Mountains, and the waters of Lake Washington and the Puget Sound. The Asian Art Museum and Conservatory are also located in the park.
Seattle Center was first built in 1962 for the World's Fair and contains a wide range of facilities from restaurants, parks, and several museums. During Labor Day weekend, Seattle Center hosts the annual Bumbershoot Music Festival, celebrating art, music, and culture in the Emerald City. Enjoy live music and excellent eats among Seattle's top museums like the Chijuly Glass Museum, and bask in the Northwest sunshine underneath the Space Needle.
A smaller version of Pike Place, also located on Capitol Hill, is Melrose Market which offers world-class dining and a variety of Northwest-inspired eateries. Melrose Market has become an alternative to the always crowded Pike Place for residents. The market is on a unique triangular block with historic automotive buildings constructed in 1919 and 1926 - all adding to the quintessential Seattle charm. Be sure to hit Homegrown for sandwiches and salads, or Taylor's Shellfish Farms to fill your seafood cravings. Starbucks fanatics can visit the new Roastery building just next door as well!