While quite a far trip from the DC area, Seattle, Washington has become a hot spot for travelers looking to experience its eclectic food and music scene. Plus, with Amazon HQ2 coming our way, we think there will be even more DC – Seattle trips in the near future! We recently connected with our friend and Compass colleague Julian Michael Aguirre to get the low-down on all things Seattle. With Julian’s help, we’ve mapped out a handy guide on where you should stay, eat, and what local items you should be sure to check off of your bucket list for your visit to Seattle.
Where would you recommend people stay for a visit to Seattle?
If you’re staying just a couple of days, I recommend staying in the South Lake Union neighborhood so you’re in the middle of everywhere to go and you have direct access to the lake with many local restaurants and great bars nearby. If you have more than a few days, I’d recommend staying in a couple of places. Rent an Airbnb in West Seattle or Ballard where you’ll have a variety of Seattle cultures at your fingertips.
Any specific hotels or neighborhoods you recommend visitors stay in like stay in?
Depending on your budget and plans for your trip there are a variety of options. The Thompson and Four Seasons are downtown Seattle staples where you’ll be on First Avenue near Pike Place Market and the Westlake shopping district. There are a few neighborhoods worth checking out but I’d make sure to visit Madison Park, Greenlake, Fremont, Queen Anne, or Ballard on your next visit.
What are the can’t miss restaurants or dining experiences in Seattle?
There are too many to list but here are a few of my favorites in different neighborhoods:
Toulouse Petit in Lower Queen Anne near Climate Pledge Arena (home of the new NHL team, the Seattle Kraken) is a staple in the area where you love everything on their menu, fantastic wine list, and arguably the best cheese plate and clams in the city.
Canlis overlooking Lake Union is the best fine dining experience within the area. Known for its first-class service, this family-owned restaurant offers a great view in addition to inspiring cuisine and a superb wine list.
On the casual side check out Kizuki (ramen), Matador (Mexican), Ba Bar (phö), Pagliacci’s (pizza), or Taylor Shellfish (seafood) and you’ll be very happy you visited as all of these options are fantastic!
What are some of the things you recommend those visiting check out or do when visiting Seattle?
Aside from visiting the Pike Place Market, which can be a lot of fun, and of course, taking a ride on our big wheel down on our waterfront – after you’ve had some Ivar’s fish and chips – there are a few things I’d recommend.
If you have time to take a ferry over to Bainbridge Island it’s definitely worth the half-hour crossing to explore some local shops and a chill vibe. If you’re into the arts scene, the Seattle Art Museum (we call it the SAM) has a variety of shows worth looking into downtown on 1st Avenue.
What are some other fun or interesting things to do in the Seattle area that people may not think of?
Make sure to get out of downtown proper to experience some of the best food and scenes Seattle has to offer. For example, visit Capitol Hill where you’ll find a variety of cuisines and cultures. Or dip over to luscious Madison Park for a great view then dine at Cactus on the terrace. Take an Uber up to Green Lake and go for a walk or run and then grab brunch at Blue Star café after your first coffee. Or even visit eclectic West Seattle where you’ll vibe with all the shops like Easy Street Records and eateries such as iconic Talarico’s or Lady Jaye at ‘The Junction’.
Also, consider getting up into the mountains somewhere and going for a day hike past Issaquah or Squak Mountain and enjoying the beautiful Snoqualmie Falls after dinner at Salish Lodge.
What is something unique about your business?
I’ve lived, worked, and played all over the area and visit a variety of our communities weekly. Just like any other city, knowledge of the micro-markets and specific neighborhoods is super important to helping buyers and sellers and having an overall understanding of the Seattle market.