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How to Spend a Weekend in Seattle

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December 30, 2020

By: ANDREW HOGE

With 2020 nearly in the rearview mirror it’s not surprising that individual reflection and goal setting for the year ahead is top of mind. Fortunately, the Pacific Northwest offers the perfect environment for true reflection and adventure that can be found here with our unique proximity to nature. Whether you are enchanted by the picturesque hills of the San Juan Islands or the innovative spirit of local business owners and makers, there is nothing like a weekend around Seattle.

Pedal to the metal

Our fair city has seemingly endless trails for those who want to hop on a bicycle, clear their mind, and take in the scenery. If you are in and around downtown Seattle, take advantage of the protected bike lanes on Second and Fourth Avenues and head to South Lake Union where you can soak up  the views at Lake Union Park, adjacent to the Museum of History and Industry. Further north you will find a charming 3.5-mile ride around Green Lake with pockets of coffee shops, restaurants, and lawnscape to stop for a selfie. Of course, the crème de la crème of Seattle’s biking scene is the Burke-Gilman Trail that crisscrosses a 27 mile route from the Golden Gardens in Ballard to Bothell. 

Pro tip: Plan on stopping midway at the Magnuson Cafe & Brewery for refreshments on their outdoor patio. If you forgot a tire pump, there is one nearby at the Cascade Bicycle Club headquarters. And if you find yourself without a set of wheels, head on over to Pedal Anywhere for rental options.

A photo of Andrew Hoge with a bike
Andrew bicycling at Magnuson Park // Photo credit: Andrew Hoge

Cast the net wide

Whether you are biking, shopping, or exploring the sights, finding a place to nosh is inevitable. And the seafood creations coming out of the area’s celebrated food scene will make you take the bait.

First up: make plans to visit Local Tide*. I mean really — set a reminder otherwise you might regret it. Located in the Fremont neighborhood, adjacent to Aslan Brewing, the delicious fish sandwiches, sides, and chips are worthy of your attention. Not to be missed: their crab roll is the talk of the town — but get there earlier in the day before they are all gone. 

For a dining experience that is as authentic as it is delicious, be sure to order dim sum to-go from one of the purveyors in the Chinatown-International District such as Purple Dot, Harbor City, or Jade Garden. (Jade Garden makes their chili sauce in-house).

Meanwhile, whether you are dining in or picking up (pandemic precautions pending), the scallops at Shuckers Oyster Bar (at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel), fish and chips at Chinook’s at Salmon Bay, and the Linguine con Gamberi e Anice at Pomodoro in Eastlake should not be missed.

Local Tide in Seattle
Local Tide in Seattle // Photo credit: Andrew Hoge

Good threads

The idea of discovering fashion in Seattle might be surprising to some but, if you know where to look, you can find trendsetting pieces that will help put your best foot forward in the new year. The sartorial gentleman could spend hours exploring the shops leading the local menswear scene. This includes the footwear at Brick and Mortar and Likelihood in addition to wardrobe essentials found at Asher Goods, Hammer + Awl, Jack Straw, Blue Owl Workshop, and Division Road.

And ladies, whether you are searching for something casual or dreaming of dressed up nights ahead, there are many local boutiques and designers to shop. Stop into Smith and Main, Prism, and Standard Goods to find stylish separates, bags, and accessories. Meanwhile, more formal wears can be found at posh boutiques such as Luly Yang, Mario’s, the Nordstrom flagship, and The Shops at The Bravern in nearby Bellevue.

Should you prefer the convenience of shopping online you can check out the lines from a talented cohort of local designers including The Oula Company, Nuciano, Prairie Underground, Maiden Noir, Boma Jewelry, Feller, A.Oei Studio, and Schai.

Division Road in Seattle
Division Road in Seattle // Photo credit: Andrew Hoge

Sound proof

The charm and natural beauty of Seattle proper is undeniable, but a day or overnight trip to one of the nearby islands takes the unique juxtaposition of town and country to a whole new level. 

Drive (or ride) onto a ferry headed to one of the many nearby islands to discover the charming downtowns and spectacular landscapes the islands are known for. Should you dock on Vashon Island, venture out to Point Robinson Park followed by a meal to-go from The Hardware Store or May Kitchen. Bainbridge Island’s downtown is a five-minute walk from the ferry terminal and there you can explore the multitude of charming restaurants, wineries, and mercantile stores along the main drag. Both islands have a plethora of Airbnb and rental options to choose from. 

Photo of Bainbridge Island
Day trip to Bainbridge Island // Photo credit: Andrew Hoge

 For a truly unique experience, plan a day trip to Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island, located 100 miles north of Seattle. While it’s possible to put your car on the ferry, scheduling a private flight with Seattle Seaplanes shaves two hours off each way while offering  spectacular vistas of the Puget Sound. Once you land, spend the afternoon exploring the charming (and walkable) downtown and follow it up with lunch at Downriggers that boasts views of the water. And if you plan ahead to stay overnight, reserve one of 24 guest rooms at the Friday Harbor House that overlooks the marina. 

From high fashion to quaint downtowns and food enthusiasts to avid cyclers, the Seattle area has something to offer you for your next Pacific Northwest visit or staycation.

Many of us are battling cabin fever and missing the joys of planning travel adventures. But we’re adjusting to living and traveling in a new normal. In the meantime, Pacific Northwesterners are adventuring outside and safely exploring on nearby staycations. Read our blog for more travel inspiration with some of our favorite Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) travel and outdoors influencers in the Pacific Northwest, including Andrew. 

Andrew Hoge is a branding expert, designer, and writer who covers the Pacific Northwest’s style and beauty scene for various publications, including 425 Magazine and formerly Seattle magazine. You may have spotted Andrew sharing his lifestyle expertise with KING 5, The Seattle Times, Q13, and KOMO 4. His portfolio is available to view at andrewhoge.com. He shares his perspective on Instagram at @andrewhoge.

Photo of Andrew Hoge
Andrew Hoge 

*Disclosure: Local Tide is owned by Victor Steinbrueck, nephew of Port Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck. 

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