Where to Stay!
For us, this is quite honestly one of the most important parts of our trip. While we don’t tend to spend a ton of time in the room, we still don’t really care for lower end accommodations. BUT we also like to stick within budget.
There aren’t enough nice things in the world to say about the CitizenM Hotel in South Lake Union. It has to be one of our favorite hotels we’ve ever stayed in. The rooms are cute and cozy with an amazing bed and view. And the staff is welcoming and full of recommendations.
CitizenM is a small boutique hotel chain that started in Amsterdam and now has properties worldwide. Every room is equipped with XL king beds against a huge window with a view, along with ipad controlled mood lighting, curtains, and TV! It is literally perfect for couples or singles looking for an affordable getaway.
The South Lake Union area in Seattle seemed to be a new area just a mile away from Pike’s Place Market and Westlake Shopping area. It was super easy to find parking, and a quick drive or walk to most of the areas we ended up frequenting while staying in Seattle.
Parking can be a little bit of a headache. Luckily, in March the city wasn’t very busy so we didn’t have too much trouble finding spaces.
I would suggest only parking in the parallel spots because the lots can be about double or triple the price per hour. The parallel spots are $1 per hour and free from 6pm-8am. Be careful about the overnight parking… if you don’t pay in the morning by 8am you run the risk of getting a ticket.
Here are some tips for paying: On the street you are technically only allowed to park for 2h maximum. We found a way around it that can give you 4h… but outside of that you’ll need to move your car to a new space. When you first pull in to the spot, pay at the meter with a credit card. Remember your license plate number and take a look at the sign just above the parking meter, it will tell you the location to use when paying with the app. After your two hours is up, download the paybyphone app. Since you paid using two different methods, this will allow you to sneak in 4h rather than just the 2.
You will also need to be careful about where you park. Spots aren’t fully labeled, so pay attention to which spots are for loading, commercial vehicles, and blocked for fire hydrants. Not sure what the cost would be for a ticket in one of those spots… but it’s not worth finding out.
The hardest place to park is at Pike’s Place Market. Honestly, on a rainy day you shouldn’t have too hard of a time but on a sunny day you might be driving for a bit. There is a parking garage but it is $4-$8/hr, up to you if you want to pay for convenience.
Although parking can be a bit of a bitch, we definitely recommend still renting a car. Seattle was way too hilly for us to want to walk.
Pike’s Place Market
Obviously, this is a stable in Seattle. You absolutely must go. You have to go. We would even suggest going multiple days in a row because there were a couple of things we missed the first go around.
The views for lunch are spectacular, the fruit and fish look fresh and highly prized, and the people are welcoming and helpful. Unfortunately, due to covid, we heard that some things had changed for safety precautions. There aren’t samples being passed out or fish being thrown like their used to be, but we still had an amazing time.
Most important to note is the food there is to be tasted while in the market. Y’all should head on over to check out our food blog for the pacific northwest.
The Space Needle and Chihuly Gardens
We bought a last minute package to visit the space needle and chihuly gardens and it was well worth it. It was completely freezing, so definitely dress warm, like really warm.
The set up for getting in to the space needle was a little strange but definitely covid friendly. There was a very long line that we had to wait in in order to get to the elevators (I’m sure it would have been longer had we gone in the summer) but it moved pretty quickly. The line was to go through a UV light xray looking machine… I know, not a great description but it’s what it was. Essentially if you rotate around in the UV light for 20 seconds it supposedly kills all germs on the surface of the skin and clothes.
The elevator ride will take you all the way to the top where you can take a look over the edge at the amazing view of the city and mountains in the backdrop. If you are afraid of heights… this may or may not be for you. The edge definitely freaked Asia out. But the view was amazing. It is beyond windy at the top, so be weary of bring a tripod… there’s not telling whether it will hold up.
Then you can take the stairs down to the revolving floor to get a full 360 view!
After checking out the space needle, we quickly walked through the chihuly gardens which was beautiful. We did it quickly because we were freezing.. but the chihuly garden is full of glass blown sculptures that look absolutely stunning. If you have time, save some money and book both of these adventures at the same time!
A Day Trip to Snoqualmie Falls
A day trip to Snoqualmie is something you absolutely have to do. The falls are about 35min outside of Seattle and a quick trip through some gorgeous scenery. We made another last minute decision to go on this little adventure based on the weather.
Once you get into town, there are several free parking lots you can use and tons of signage for where to go to see the falls. There are several lookout points at the top of the falls to get a good look and some even better pictures. Also, theres a 1/2mi hike that you can partake in. Let us warn you… if you do enjoy a little hike, and you’d like to see the bottom of the falls… come prepared. Wear some decent shoes and comfortable pants because the hike is completely downhill on the way down which means it’s completely uphill on the way up. It wasn’t overly tough, but tough in jeans and vans.
I will say though… the view is basically the same at the base as it is at the top. Don’t feel like you’ll miss out if you don’t do the hike.
If this waterfall alone doesn’t tickle your fancy as far as scenery and mountains go, you can also take a day trip to the cascade mountains for a little more adventure!