I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love my hometown. It’s one of my favorite places on earth. Granted, I haven’t lived anywhere else (with the exception of the three months I lived in Salamanca, Spain), but the fact remains.
I mean, look at that and tell me what is not to love? / Image via UW’s Biochemistry Website
It’s not just our insane amount of coffee, our delectable seafood, or our fantastic music scene (can you honestly tell me you’re not into Macklemore even just a little bit?)—this city really does have a lot to make one happy. I know living here isn’t for everybody—you have to be able to live with gray skies and be willing to abandon everything when the sun comes out—but even if you couldn’t see yourself living here, there is a ton to do if you’re coming for a visit.
No, I’m not talking about the Space Needle or Pike Place Market—I’ve got something else in mind. (Fun fact: you can tell a non-local right away if they refer to “Pike’s Place.”) I have some recommendations for our guests that even we indulge in, and that is saying something for people who live here.
First up: chocolate.
If I’m going to recommend a touristy activity to our guests (and I am, and I’m recommending it to you, too) the first thing I’d suggest is Theo Chocolate Factory.
Image via Theo Chocolate
Theo is a fair trade and organic chocolate company. They produce their own chocolate and confections and they are DELICIOUS. For $6 you can tour the factory and see the bars and other things being made, and you can sample nearly everything they make. We’ve been on the tour three different times and we’d totally go again. I already told you that Theo is located nearish to our house, and we pop in quite often to buy chocolate, caramels, and truffles.
We also suggest Fran’s Chocolates (particularly their sea salt caramels), though they don’t have a fun factory to tour.
Next up: coffee.
Skip Starbucks. If you come to Seattle, you have to drink non-Starbucks coffee (it’s one of the 35 truths that Seattleites are aware of, after all). Some of my girlfriends did a great rundown on Seattle coffee shops to try. (I’d vote for Kakao, Milstead, or Herkimer—they are my favorites.)
I heard a question there: But Miss Campfire, I want to see the view! Isn’t the Space Needle the place to see it?
I mean, it’s a great view and all… / Image via Seattle Fun
Skip the Needle. Check out the Columbia Tower instead. You can actually look down on the Space Needle from there! (Bonus: it’s close to our guest hotels!)
Wave hello to the Space Needle! / Image via Seattle Rex
For the guests who will be in town a bit longer, I’d definitely recommend going to a Sounders game (if you’re into soccer) or a Mariners game (if you’re into food—I mean baseball—no, actually food). Just don’t go on our wedding day!
If a more “touristy Seattle” experience is what you (or our guests) are hoping for, then my suggestions would be as follows: the Underground Tour, Pike Place Market, or (*shudder*) the Ducks. Better yet? Take a ferry ride or check out the Garden and Glass.
We also have a new Ferris wheel. / Image via the Watch Dog
For the guest that likes to eat? Well, all they would need to do is just ask. Sparky and I are always happy to provide a list of restaurant recommendations. Our favorites right now are: Tilth, Revel/Quoin, Walrus and the Carpenter, and Delancey. We also have a weekly breakfast date (before I go to class on Mondays) that takes place at Eltana Bagels, so I would say that’s special to us, too.
Do you have places you plan to send your guests to? Are they the normal “tourist” activities or are they more off the beaten path?