It’s not hard to see why travelers flock to Seattle, Washington. This beautiful city in the Pacific Northwest features abundant bodies of water, snow-capped mountains, a lively food scene, the famous Pike Place Market, and the best cup of coffee in the country. When it comes to exploring, guidebooks will direct you to all the popular tourist attractions, but some visitors prefer to uncover the Emerald City’s hidden gems. Here’s how to explore Seattle like a local.
Get Off to a Good Start
Nothing starts the day off right like a hearty breakfast. Located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, The Wandering Goose features a welcoming, bistro-style atmosphere and scrumptious Southern-inspired dishes. With fried oysters, cured pork belly, and poached eggs served in a cast-iron skillet, the Hangtown Fry makes an oft-ordered breakfast favorite. The city’s Madrona neighborhood plays home to Hi Spot Cafe, a charming home-turned-diner serving up delicious dishes like chorizo scramble, a smoked-salmon omelet, and fluffy buttermilk pancakes.
Find Unique Treasures and Collectibles
With an abundance of local shops, it’s not hard to find unique treasures in Seattle. On the corner of 2nd Avenue and Union Street downtown, Paper Hammer offers an array of colorful paper products like cards, gift tags, coasters, posters, and notebooks. For children of all ages, FarWest Toys, Games, & Hobbies on Elliot Avenue features fun, kitschy goods you didn’t know you needed, from matchbox cars and model planes to Betty Boop collectibles. The Belfry, in Pioneer Square, takes the term “curiosity shop” to a whole new level with oddities like human and animal bones, weird taxidermy mounts, strange posters, and random vintage photographs.
Explore Subterranean Seattle
While some travelers relish soaring to new heights at the Space Needle, Columbia Center, or Smith Tower, others prefer to journey deep beneath the city on the Seattle Underground Tunnels Tour. Following the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, workers built over the burned remains of Pioneer Square, Seattle’s first neighborhood. Preserved below are original passageways and storefronts bursting with colorful stories and urban legends. The walking tour packs plenty of history and humor into an enjoyable 75 minutes.
Sit Down to a Delightful Dinner
Certain restaurants make dinner an event. The Bizzarro Italian Cafe in Wallingford welcomes diners with a colorful mural, quirky animal busts, and hanging floral arrangements. Inside, the walls and shelves feature a mish-mosh of gilded artwork, string lights, chandeliers, and candlesticks. From the ceiling hang unexpected pieces, from a topsy-turvy table to an upside-down buggy with a skeleton driver. While the folks at Bizzarro believe in a fun and festive atmosphere, they get deadly serious about their food. Favorite dishes from their menu include The Forest Floor Frenzy — pappardelle pasta with wild mushrooms, walnuts, and a cream sherry sauce — and the Sunday Night Meatball with spaghetti and world-famous marinara.
Are you ready to explore Seattle like a local? Visit one or all of the places above, and share your fun with us on Twitter.