Seattle Vacation Recap

Last week, Clay and I vacationed in Seattle, Washington. It was a trip full of firsts- our first visit to Seattle, our first time on the West Coast, and our first cross-country flight.

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Clay and I chose to vacation in Seattle for a few obvious reasons. Since I run and Clay does MMA/BJJ, August worked out really well for our work and workout schedules. Clay went to the NAGA grappling tournament in Myrtle Beach a few weeks ago, and I was far enough out from my Fall races to take a few days off and not feel too guilty. Both of us work in software development, but neither of us had impending releases at work.

Once we figured out a great weekend to vacation, we had to decide where to go. We love cruises, but with summer vacationers and hot weather in Charleston, we wanted to visit a cooler destination. Alaska Airlines began offering nonstop flights from Charleston to Seattle last year, so Seattle was a no-brainer.

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Since we were on vacation, we were glorified tourists in Seattle. We visited Pike’s Place Market the EMP museum, and the Woodland Park Zoo. We rode the monorail, SeaTrak lightrail, and used LYFT to get around.

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With our AirBNB’s convenient location off Pike Street, we walked all over downtown. I didn’t run in Seattle, but we walked 8-11 miles each day, so I logged even more steps than usual. Unlike Charleston, Seattle has legitimate hills, so our quads and shins felt all the steps.

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With all the walking, we worked up an appetite and ate lots of delicious food. Clay and I are both Yelp Elites so we use Yelp to find the best hidden gems anywhere we visit. The Seattle food was cheaper than Charleston, and we had a great experience at each restaurant. I feel like I’m carb-loaded for the next few weeks as my pants are now tighter…

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The highlight of our trip was our first NFL preseason game, the Seattle Seahawks vs. the Minnesota Vikings. Even though it’s only preseason, the entire city of Seattle seemed excited for the game and we saw people wearing Seahawks gear everywhere. I’m sure that’s just part of having an NFL team in your city or even state. South Carolina is NFL-less and the Carolina Panthers are really based in Charlotte, NC…

Although we don’t have a favorite NFL team, one of Clay’s high school classmates plays for the Seahawks, so we follow them closely. We’ve been to tons of South Carolina Gamecocks football games, but the atmosphere at an NFL game is so much different! CenturyLink field gets *loud* and all the fans are so excited to be there. We wish the outcome was different (Seattle lost at the end), but we loved the game!

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The weather was gorgeous in Seattle, and the morning temperatures were so cool, it basically felt like Thanksgiving. When we left Friday morning, I wanted to bottle up the temperatures and bring them home with me, but no such luck. I guess it was a nice hint of how November will feel in Charleston.

We had an amazing vacation but are grateful to be home and back to life, work, MMA/BJJ, and running. Until the next vacation…

Places we visited:

  • Pike Place Market – If you visit Seattle, you must visit Pike Place Market. Touristy, yes, but you can’t skip it. It’s right on the water, so take a jacket if you might get chilly.
  • Pacific Place Mall – Upscale mall with a movie theatre and lots of high-end stores.
  • The EMP Museum – This museum has exhibits on Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Star Trek, and the Seahawks. Take the monorail from downtown.
  • Woodland Park Zoo – Very nice zoo with a lot of animals I’d never seen before that are native to the Pacific Northwest. We took a bus from downtown, but the bus stopped conveniently right in front of the zoo.
  • CenturyLink Field – Home of the Seattle Seahawks! Take the LightRail to the International District stop, which is conveniently located around the corner from the stadium.

Restaurants where we ate:

  • HoneyHole Sandwiches– Great hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop by our AirBNB. They serve sandwiches late in the night, which is helpful when your plane gets in late and it feels like 1 AM to your East Coast stomach.
  • Market Diner– The Dungeness crab and avocado omelet was delicious. It was my first time having Dungeness crab as opposed to east-coast crab.
  • Piroshky Piroshky– These stuffed pastries make a great snack at Pike’s Place Market. The line was long but moved quickly and was worth the wait.
  • Italian Family Pizzeria– This is a hole-in-the-wall pizza place in First Hill. Someone on Reddit’s Advanced Running forum recommended it, and it didn’t disappoint. Delicious NY style, thin-crust pizza.
  • Evolution Fresh Salad– Part of the Starbucks family. They customized salads made in front of you as well as wraps and juices. A great light lunch.
  • Molly Moon’s Ice Cream– Best ice cream we had in Seattle! The vanilla was rich but not super heavy. The salted caramel was a little *too* caramel and salty for me, but the vanilla cut the flavor well.
  • Cherry Street Coffee Shop– Great bagels and coffee. I had a tomato, basil, egg, and cheese on a pizza bagel, and if we’d stayed longer, we would’ve gone back for breakfast.
  • Taco Chuki’s– Hole-in-the-wall taco shop with delicious tacos. The line is long but the wait is worth it. It was my first time trying nopales (cactus) tacos and they were delicious!
  • Lost Lake Diner– Delicious and cheap breakfast happy hour. Slow service, though.
  • Harbor City Restaurant – Dim Sum/Chinese restaurant in the International District, close to CenturyLink Field. Dim Sum is basically a collection of appetizers, but you can easily fill up on them without emptying your wallet.
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15 Responses to Seattle Vacation Recap

  1. Liz says:

    Seattle was surprisingly hilly! Our friends moved out there a few years ago (the ones we visited in Italy awhile back and who also lived in Charleston before!) and I want to make it out to see them! It’s a long flight though! I actually really preferred Portland over Seattle and I think I was just having a terrible day when I went to Seattle, but I’d like to go back! And go up to Vancouver. Food out there is fairly cheap! It’s nice. And good!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It was very hilly- there were a few steep hills but the whole Pike/Pine area seemed to be a gradual uphill or downhill depending on which way we walked.

      I felt like all the food prices in Seattle were fairly cheap. Our meals there were much cheaper than here in Charleston- Charleston food is outrageous. This is a hipster, foodie city…

  2. I love Seattle! I’ve only been twice. Once the weather was warm and lovely and once it was rainy. I ran along the waterfront (FLAT) 😉 Pike’s Market is so amazing. I wish I could get beautiful flowers so inexpensively in Chicago. Glad you had fun! (Next up, Chicago??)

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I think running along the waterfront would be the safest place to run there, if I had run. I saw a lot of runners there.

      We have direct flights from here to Chicago and I’ve never been. Might be a fun trip!

  3. ksquared says:

    Seems like a fantastic vacation. Those tacos look so good!!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      They were! They are from Taco Chuki’s, which is located in Capital Hill. Also, we got 5 tacos for under $12 after tip. They were small tacos but it was neat to try so many for a cheap price.

  4. I am glad you had a great vacation! My parents visited Seattle a year or two ago and had the best time. Paul and I would really like to go. If we are flying all the way out there, we would probably do some stops in Oregon as well since that is another state we would like to visit! Very cool the airline does nonstop to Seattle. This past summer when we went to CO, we splurged and did a nonstop flight. Best decision ever since I am very scared of flying, so the shorter the process, the better!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I think CHS will get nonstops to Colorado soon… I do hope so. I’d love to visit there and maybe take in another NFL game and see the stadium.

      I think visiting Oregon might be fun too. The plane rides weren’t terrible except for getting sick on the ride back.

  5. laurenweiner says:

    I want to go to Seattle one day! Def on my bucket list. Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun 🙂

  6. Pam says:

    We spent time in Seattle a few years ago for a wedding weekend and it is indeed a wonderful place to visit. Isn’t Pikes Place Market fun? I’m surprised you did not spend any time running, but you certainly did tons of walking. We visited the Chihuilly Art Museum and that was a highlight for us. The city has a great vibe and you certainly took advantage of a lot of great things. Seeing a preseason NFL game in that wonderful stadium must have been great fun too!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I really liked the market- they had tons of unique shops and comic shops and nerdy stuff. The area near the market seems like a good place to run, but I would have had to run a mile to get there (and a mile back) from where we were staying… and I would not be comfortable with that because I feel like if I turned on the wrong side street, I could end up in a rough part of town. I was totally okay with NOT running in Seattle though- vacations are for vacationing for me.

  7. Seattle is on my bucket list!

  8. Ahhh, I am so jealous you and Clay got to visit Seattle! It sounds and looks like you guys had a great time and really liked it there! How amazing that you were able to take a nonstop flight, too. That is just great!

    Seattle is next on my list of dream places to visit, so I am totally going to look back on this post so I can see where to visit and eat!

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