As I was already up in the northeast coast visiting Portland, it just made sense to visit its more popular and richer big brother as well. So I slipped on my choker and swiped on some black lipstick before hopping on a bus to the birthplace of grunge.
My friend and I booked a roundtrip bus ticket from Portland to Seattle for the weekend. We arrived there Saturday afternoon and left Sunday evening.
We finally made it to Seattle after a long 4-hour bus ride. Since we were both on a budget, we decided to go the Couchsurfing route. We stayed with a guy who lived in downtown Seattle, just down the street from the Pike Place market. It was an interesting experience, to say the least. Our host was concurrently hosting a German couple that same weekend. It was like a sleepover with the four of us sprawled out in his living room.
Our host led the four of us to the famous Pike Place market. We walked around a bit together before deciding to split up and meet again later. My friend and I were getting slightly “hangry” (hungry+angry) by that point, so we decided to get some food before exploring the market any further.
I saw that the Pike Place Chowder restaurant was very popular on Yelp and suggested we try it out. Although the line for the chowder was long, the wait was worth it. I ordered the New England Clam Chowder, and it was amazing! I liked it more than the clam chowder I had at Legal Sea Foods in Boston.
After devouring our chowder, we headed to the original Starbucks store that opened in 1971. Yet again, another long line…It’s really only worth waiting in line if you want to buy souvenirs from there. You can get Starbucks mugs and other stuff that you can’t get anywhere else. Otherwise, you could save yourself some time by just going to another Starbucks for your coffee fix.
We wandered around the market for another hour or so, dropping into various stores and restaurants. Later that day, we reunited with the Couchsurfing crew again for dinner at a Japanese restaurant nearby. After dinner, my friend and I went out to experience some Seattle nightlife. We spent the rest of our night dancing to EDM and dodging away from way-too-touchy guys at the Foundation Nightclub.
After a couple hours of sleep, we woke up to learn that the hot water at our host’s place wasn’t working (or ran out? not sure…). So we ended up taking cold showers to start off our day. I had taken cold showers before, but I had forgotten how cold a cold shower. And it was cold. I felt like I was splashing ice water onto my skin. On the bright side, I was definitely awake afterward.
Following another Couchsurfer’s recommendation, we decided to visit the hipster neighborhood of Fremont in Seattle. It was about a 15 minute Uber ride from downtown Seattle. Our first stop in Fremont was the Fremont troll. After snapping a few photos with it, we headed to the Fremont Sunday Street Market. The market wasn’t as glorious as the Pike Place market, but it was still pretty neat to visit. There were many vendors there selling antiques, handcrafted items and food. We wandered around the market for a little over an hour before heading out to Revel, a Korean fusion restaurant, for brunch.
My friend’s stomach was feeling a bit upset that day, so we didn’t wander around the neighborhood as much as I originally wanted to. It looked like it had some cute shops and cafes, though.
Not long after brunch, we headed back to downtown Seattle. After searching on Google for the best spots to see the Seattle skyline, we took an Uber to Kerry Park. When we arrived, we saw a lot of tourists there snapping photos. Of course, we joined in.
We spent the last bit of our time in Seattle wandering around the Pike Place Market (again) and chilling at Seattle Coffee Works.
Oh, as you may have noticed, I didn’t mention the Space Needle or the Underground Tour. Our Couchsurfing host advised us against going to those because they were “tourist traps.” We mostly decided against going because we were on a budget.
If I were to visit Seattle again, I would like to visit Bruce Lee’s grave site in the Capitol Hill district and stroll around the Washington Park Arboretum.
So that was how we spent 28 hours in Seattle.
- Pike Place Chowder– Must go if you love chowder! Both the New England Clam Chowder and the Smoked Salmon Chowder were delicious. Expect a long line.
- Piroshky Piroshky– This is a Russian bakery located in the Pike Place Market. I got the Beef & Cheese Piroshky since it was the most popular, and it was really good. Expect a long line.
- The Crumpet Shop– I had my very first (savory) crumpet there. They also have sweet crumpets as well.
- The Confectional– A great spot at the Pike Place Market to satisfy your sweet tooth (if you like cheesecake).
- Nijo Sushi Bar & Grill– Decent sushi restaurant close to my host’s place. Japonessa might be a better choice if you’re wanting sushi though. It has loads of great reviews on Yelp.
- Revel– Korean fusion restaurant in Fremont. I ordered the Tonkatsu from the brunch menu and wasn’t too crazy about it…It has good reviews on Yelp though, so maybe the regular menu is better.
- Paseo– I bookmarked this Caribbean/Cuban sandwich place on Yelp but didn’t have time to visit. It has more than 4300 reviews…so I’m guessing it’s probably pretty good. Located in Fremont.
- Starbucks– If you’re a Starbucks lover, then you’ll probably want to visit the original one! Expect a long line.
- Seattle Coffee Works– If Starbucks is too mainstream for you, then grab your cup of joe here instead! I’m not much of a coffee person, but I really liked the mocha I ordered.
- Wander around the Pike Place Market – free
- THE GUM WALL!
- Snap some photos at Kerry Park – free
- Climb on The Fremont Troll – free
- Stroll around the Fremont Sunday Street Market– free
- Visit the Washington Park Arboretum– free
- Visit Bruce Lee’s Grave– free
- Go on the Space Needle– $22 for adults
- Visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass– $27 for adults
- If you’re visiting the Space Needle as well, just buy a combined admission for $36.
- Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour– $19 for adults/$16 with student ID
- Foundation Nightclub– $15 cover on a Saturday night. EDM music.
- Astor Manor– This was our second choice for a nightclub. We decided to go to Foundation because our Couchsurfing host said that Astor Manor only takes cash for the cover.
- I think Seattle has a good public transportation system. However, we just used Uber to get around because we didn’t want to wait around for the public transportation.
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