The Best of Seattle – Where to Go, Stay & Dine

The Best of Seattle – Where to Go, Stay & Dine

Seattle “the Emerald City” is surrounded by evergreen forests, lakes, mountains and the Puget Sound.  It’s the largest city in Washington State and the Gateway to the Pacific Northwest.

There are many landmarks to visit including the Space Needle from the 1962 World’s Fair, a myriad of museums, and the iconic century old Pike Place Market.  Adventurers love to explore this region – hiking, cycling, kayaking, boating and more!

Sharing our list of recommendations with Top Places to stay, dine & spa and what to see & do in Seattle!

Please note:  Please refer to local, regional and state travel advisories during the covid-19 crisis.  We were impressed with the safety precautions and protocol our hotels provided to ensure guests feel safe from check-in to room service to check out.  Some activities mentioned in this article took place pre-covid, so please check if the venue is open and their hours.


1. Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

Dale Chihuly is a world famous local glass artist and his creations are showcased at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum and its’ gardens.  After you visit the museum, stop at the Collections Café.  Chihuly’s collection is on display at the cafe from 82-of 500-accordions, bottle openers, fishing tackle, rod iron dogs, carnival chalkware, radios, cameras, and shaving brushes to tin toys.  And to top it off, the fresh, local, healthy menu –watermelon salad, salmon, scallops – so flavorful. Located at Seattle Center adjacent to the Space Needle.

2. Duck Bus

Ride the Duck Bus—a land/sea bus giving a full, unique tour of old and new Seattle.  Our driver was excellent:  part singer, part comedian with fun and interesting facts about this great Port City.  Highlights were driving into Lake Union and back out again–the Seahawks and Mariners Stadium, and the story of the 1829 fire that burned 29 blocks of downtown Seattle and how the people took 20 years to rebuild.

3. The Bullitt Center – Green Building of the Future

The Bullitt Center is the greenest commercial building in the world, and demonstrates accurately how the modern workplace can be transformed into a living building using the principles of sustainability.  Tours of this living building are offered twice weekly to the public.

See how the Living Building Challenge requirements coupled with the concept of a closed loop system is embedded into the fibers, systems and washrooms of the Bullitt Center.

4. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

A meaningful highlight on our list of Seattle Things to do was a visit to the visitor’s center at the Bill and Melinda Gates FoundationIts buildings are shaped like boomerangs signifying that what we give to our world comes right back to us.  Each participant is invited to “Enter Curious” and “Leave Inspired.”  Our boys learned how it feels to carry water, build a shelter, and think about how to solve problems of hunger, needed vaccinations, and education.   Daniel was surprised “the buckets are so heavy, and it’s hard to believe that people carry these every day over long distances”.  A great center to visit and learn how you can help to make a difference in the world.

5. Space Needle

Seattle’s Space Needle is a must!  Built for the World’s Fair in 1962, this structure towers over the city offering spectacular 360 degree views of the Olympic Mountain Range, Queen Anne neighborhood, Lake Union and Lake Washington as well as the Puget Sound.

6. SAM Sculpture Park

Along the Puget Sound waterfront, the Seattle Art Museum has a beautiful outdoor Sculpture Park and we enjoyed some shadow play, as well as interacting with the latest installation by local artist Heather Hart’s “Western Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off the Mother”.

7. Amazon Spheres

Visit The Spheres, Amazon’s three connected glass-domed green spaces — home to 40,000 plants from the cloud forest regions of over 30 countries.

It’s incredible to see this unique architectural structure filled with thousands of plants, from orchids and passion flowers, to spike moss to fan-leaved aloe curated with the help of botanical gardens and universities world-wide.  Open to the public two Saturdays per month.  Book your tour 30 days in advance – click here!

8.  Pike Place Market

Seattle’s iconic marketplace is located in the heart of downtown near the waterfront.  Pike Place Market has been here for over 100 years where locals find the freshest produce, flowers and visitors come to shop for souvenirs and to see street bands and entertainment.


Sharing our favorites in downtown Seattle and the surrounding area.


The Alexis Royal Sonesta Hotel:  The Alexis Royal Sonesta Hotel is located in a historic 1901 hotel in the West Edge Neighborhood of Seattle.  It has been luxuriously updated with a mid-century modern style.

The hotel has locally curated art displayed throughout the lobby, hallways and rooms & suites.  Our suite was spacious with a hallway that led to a bedroom, large bathroom and separate living room with stunning city views and convenient walks to local attractions including the Waterfront, Pioneer Square, and Pike Place Market.

Photo courtesy of The Alexis Royal Sonesta Hotel

Don’t Miss!  Gaze at the stars from your telescope – available in the suites.

Thompson Hotel: Located across from the iconic Pike Place Market and near the Puget Sound waterfront, this luxury boutique hotel offers spacious rooms and suites and rooftop bar, The Nest.  Condé Nast Traveler named it the #1 hotel in the PNW from its 2019 and 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards.  The sleek contemporary design with its glass façade was conceived by local award-winning Olson Kundig Architects.

photo courtesy of Thompson Seattle

Our suite had expansive views of the Sound, a comfortable bed with the finest linens and top of the line amenities.

photo courtesy of Thompson Seattle

Don’t Miss!  The Nest, the iconic rooftop bar and lounge that overlooks the market, waterfront and city.



Located just minutes from SeaTac is an urban oasis — Cedarbrook Lodge is a Pacific Northwest sanctuary.  We absolutely love Cedarbrook Lodge!

It’s the perfect place to start your vacation and stay for a night before flying out on a trip from SeaTac.  Or a relaxing way to end a vacation and stay for a night returning from a long journey.  It’s also ideal for a “staycation” or a great venue for a corporate retreat.

We indulged ourselves and got pampered at the award winning Spa and afterward dined on the terrace at Copperleaf Restaurant.

Copperleaf Restaurant is located in a beautiful high-ceiling lodge with a large stone fireplace and outdoor views.  The menu offers a range of Northwest farm-to-table dining.  The Chef selects seasonal produce from the Lodge’s onsite garden.  Our dinner included the summer salad with peaches and burrata, followed by a risotto with english peas and our shared entree of fresh wild salmon – delish!

The Cedarbrook Spa is a haven for the body, mind and soul.  Even though my treatment was only for 1 hour, I felt totally relaxed and wanted to stay longer.  My therapist used natural botanicals and herbal fusions from ethical companies focused on sustainability with brands like Éminence, Farmaesthetics, and FarmHouse Fresh.

Click here to find a list of treatments. I loved my petrified wood & river stones massage.  My therapist shares, “the smooth, heated pieces of petrified wood on your back, this is must do. The energy of the earth is a calming, soothing antidote for any worries on your mind.”


Please check back as we will add more restaurants post-covid to this article.

Check out more PNW vacations below!


We’d like to thank those mentioned above for hosting us.