In all honesty, I didn’t think I would like Seattle that much. Aside from rain, Tom Hanks, vampires, and how can I forget– Grey’s Anatomy, I didn’t really know what to expect.
“If it rains as much as Portland,” I told my friend, “I’m not sure if I’ll like it” because when I was in Portland, I walked around with soggy feet for days.
Luckily for me, July and August are Seattle’s driest months.
A Little Bit About Seattle
For those of you who aren’t from the U.S, Seattle is located in Washington State, the northernmost and westernmost part of the country (well, excluding Alaska). It is several hours away from Canada. It is also sometimes called the “rainy city” because it constantly drizzles there.
However, here’s a fun fact I learned from my Airbnb host: New York receives MORE rainfall per year than Seattle. Seattle just rains more frequently while New York rains more heavily (it’s storming outside as I write this.)
Hills, Hills, Hills
Seattle is quite scenic. The city is located on top of a hill, right by a harbor, so everywhere you look, you can see its ocean blue water. With its steep hills, it reminded me a lot of San Francisco, just cleaner, less foggy, and without all the trolleys. I also noticed less homeless people here than SF.
And since it’s a harbor city, you’ll find much of the hustle and bustle along the waterfront. For instance, Pike Place Market, one of the oldest farmers’ markets in the U.S is located right here and I spent a good 2 hours exploring all of its shops. There were plenty of restaurants to try out too with ocean view seating but they felt a bit too touristy to me.
If you head south to the ferry terminal, you can take a ferry across the sound to Bainbridge Island. I wasn’t too impressed with the island but the view on the way was worth it.
If you head north, you’ll hit Alaskan Way, a walkway and series of parks where you can ogle at interesting sculptures while enjoying the view. In between, there are also snippets of sand for you to dip your toes in.
Seattle is a seafood city but if you don’t eat meat like me, there are plenty of other options too. Restaurants range from classic American fine dining to hipster cafes.
Seattle also has a large Asian population, specifically from the Philippines, Vietnam, and Japan and where there are large ethnic groups, you can usually find some GOOD food.
The best meal I had there was a big bowl of veggie pho, which when I ordered, I asked the waiter, “If I can’t finish it, I can bring it home, right?” That was a lie. I didn’t leave a single thing behind.
If you get a chance, make sure you hit up Chinatown and go to the “Dough Zone.” Fresh, steaming, gooey dumplings await. Vegetarian-friendly too.
Seattle is a craft beer mecca. If you like beer, you’ll like Seattle. My favorite brewery was in Freemont called the Freemont Brewing Company. Good beer, chill vibes, and free pretzels, what more can I ask for?
Washington is surrounded by mountains so the question isn’t where to hike but which one to hike first?
My friend and I chose to go to Mount Rainier. It is a 2-hour drive from Seattle and the entrance fee was $30 per car for an entire week. If we had more time, we would’ve definitely stayed for an entire week but we didn’t so we only hiked for one day. How I wish I can go back though!
The entire time, I felt like I was walking in one of those nature-themed calendars. I seriously considered packing all my stuff and moving here.
But then, we got hungry, so we left.
I’m not sure I would’ve liked Seattle as much if it was raining the entire time but I would’ve still enjoyed the visit. The city was calming and friendly. The skies were open and the food was good. I can actually see myself living here given the chance.
This trip also made me realized how much I missed the airiness and openness of the west coast. And as I stare out my window right now in New York, listening to the heavy downpour, I think, “Maybe light drizzle wouldn’t be so bad.”