As one of the fastest growing cities in the country, visitors are drawn to Seattle for good food, abundant culture, and year-round attractions. A mecca for outdoorsy folk that have a soft spot for the arts, sciences and culinary exploits; Seattle is quickly becoming a favorite weekend getaway for the girls or guys. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite hotspots by neighborhood (that are really recommended for everyone) so you can plan the perfect trip for whoever you’re with.
While it’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, Capitol Hill is actually a mishmash of historic and eclectic charm. The area is trendy and LGBT-friendly — overflowing with indie fashion, artisan coffee, craft spirits, contemporary cuisine, and an array of live music. To put it simply: it’s a happening spot you simply cannot miss.
Stop by Freeman to pick up some hip outerwear and footwear so you blend into the cool Pacific Northwest style. Grab a bite at Big Mario’s Pizza followed by an excursion to Neumos for an intimate, inexpensive live music and trivia outing.
Start the day at Mimosas Cabaret, an exciting drag queen brunch and end it with Dance Nights at Barboza. You can enjoy sushi and craft cocktails at Liberty or visit Bakery Nouveau for amazing French pastries. For a quiet afternoon, enjoy the greenery of Volunteer Park before picking up a sweet treat from Molly Moon’s ice cream parlor or donuts at General Porpoise.
Belltown & Pike Place Market
Belltown and Pike Place Market are gentrified historic districts home to trendy eateries and upscale boutiques. The Market is iconic and the heart and soul of the area, making it a great place to try local vendors and produce. Make sure to get a java fix with a cup of coffee from the original Starbucks, too.
Start at Mama’s Cantina for tequila and tacos before heading to The Crocodile for live music. This iconic venue is viewed as Seattle’s living room and has hosted big name performers such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., and Cheap Trick.
Head to Umi Sake House for a sushi splurge, followed by a bit of revelry at Can Can Cabaret. When you’re ready to refuel, The Pink Door offers dining with a twist in Pike Place Market. Nightly performers include trapeze artists, tarot readers, jazz ensembles, and even a tap-dancing saxophonist.
The maritime history of Seattle was founded in the port area of Ballard. The waterfront neighborhood is bursting with character and Scandinavian heritage and is home to many of the area’s best craft breweries, restaurants, and hole-in-the-walls. Hang out at Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to watch the boats pass by or get out on the water for an active adventure.
Swing by local gem Handsome Menswear to step up your wardrobe game. Another unique spot to check out is Card Kingdom, which sells board games, card games, Legos, and toys. When you’re in need of a bite, the Mexican fare at El Camion simply can’t be beat.
Ballard Farmers Market is a perfect place to start your Sunday, which offers local artisan crafts, gourmet foods, and freshly caught seafood. For a proper brunch with the girls, Toast Ballard will fill you up with waffles and mimosas. Hop on a SUP board with Surf Ballard to work off the calories before heading to gastropub Brimmer and Heeltap for a nightcap.
Home to Fremont Brewery and a host of other microbreweries, Fremont is the self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe.” The artsiest neighborhood in Seattle sits on the north shore of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and oozes boho chic. Don’t miss the quirky super sized troll who resides under the Aurora Bridge.
Start your day with a hip-hop brunch at RockCreek (the last Sunday of every month) before heading to Fremont Brewing Company for libations. Channel your inner Bon Jovi with a moving karaoke performance at High Dive before heading to UNEEDA Burger for American comfort food.
Show Pony Boutique is the place to embrace your inner Seattleite and grab some trendy garb, while Portage Bay Goods is a goofy local shop perfect for picking up souvenirs. Agrodolce can fuel the adventure with bottomless mimosas followed by a jaunt around Fremont Sunday Market. Homegrown is a great option for a locally-sourced light lunch.
SoDo & Georgetown
Industrial chic warehouse conversions and lofts define SoDo and Georgetown (think rail yards, antique shops, and refurbished buildings intent on infusing creativity into the city). It’s hipster, yet approachable, with a bunch of hidden gems to discover.
Visit the Georgetown Liquor Company for vegan comfort food or treat yourself to a meal at The Corson Building prepared by celebrity chef Matt Dillon. Visit the Filson flagship store to suit up in classic Pacific Northwest attire. Spend the afternoon at Museum of Flight, which has everything from Air Force One to a space shuttle trainer on display.
The Georgetown Trailer Park Mall is a vintage shopper’s dream with goods displayed in a series of Airstreams. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, have a Mexican fiesta at Fonda La Catrina, before heading to the Westland Distillery for a whiskey tasting.
Pioneer Square is the historic city center where Seattle was originally founded. You can tour the area to explore once-hidden sunken streets, narrow alleys, and regal brick architecture. In Seattle’s oldest neighborhood, modern restaurants and bars provide an interesting contrast to the quaint shops and kitschy knick-knack stores.
Attend a Seahawks, Sounders, or Mariners game or root for the home team at Quality Athletics, a popular local sports bar. Feast on Mexican at Casco Antiguo before heading to Altstadt for boots of beer and brats.
Don’t miss sipping and swirling at The Estates Wine Room or brunch at the super charming The London Plane. You can reunite with the boys to closeout a great weekend at the ironically named Damn the Weather.