Thursday, August 16, 2012


Top 5 Reasons to Visit Seattle, Washington

Join us this summer as we take a little virtual road trip, visiting some fun spots across the great USA!

I love Washington. Actually lived there for several years as a child and I can't say anything negative about it....even the weather.  It is so stunningly beautiful and there is so much to do all over the state.  One of my traveling buddies, Keryn, lives in Seattle and I love hearing all about her Pacific Northwest adventures.  I was thrilled when she offered to tell us the top 5 reasons we should all come to visit Seattle! 
I’ve lived in quite a few places. The sweltering south, the chilly northeast and the frozen land that we like to called Chicago (except in the summer when you just melt into the pavement), but the one place that finally felt like home was Seattle. Six years ago we moved here based on one visit. We weren’t sure how long we would stay. Apparently it would be a while. Two kids later and we are still here and loving it. Why do we stay? Here’s a quick look at our top five. 
The Weather Don’t laugh. No really. Stop laughing. As much as everyone, including me, complains about the weather, it’s actually gorgeous out here. Our winters are mild and so are our summers. Yes, it gets grey and rains a bit in the winter, but the summer months, particularly August and September, boast some of the most spectacular days you will ever see. While the rest of the country has been baking in 100+ degree weather, I’ve been sitting pretty at a mild 75. There is a reason we travel all year except the summer months. Why would we leave when it is finally getting good? As for all that rain, if you are into winter sports just remember, if it’s raining in the city, it’s snowing up on the mountain. And we don’t have to make our own powder out here. It’s that good.

Golden Gardens Park in Seattle- just another family favorite
  The Food Portland may have us beat for food carts, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a number of our own tasty experiences. Delicious Mexican even a Texan would love (we have friends from the Lone Star State that can attest to this), Italian, more Vietnamese Pho shops than you could ever need, spectacular Thai, Chinese, Sushi, Japanese, Puerto Rican, burgers that made me want to eat hamburger meat again after a 14 year hiatus, salmon in every way, shape and form, and of course good old fashioned fish and chips. And this doesn’t even cover breakfast! (Hint: head to West Seattle to sample the twice-baked almond croissant or a crumpet from the crumpet shop in Pike Place Market. You won’t be sorry!) My favorite dessert spots include Molly Moon’s ice cream, Cupcake Royale (those are fighting words around these parts if you are a Trophy Cupcake fan) and Hot Cakes, my latest delicious obsession.

Salmon Steak Robata Yaki at Issian Japanese Stone Grill
  The Green Spaces Seattle is called the Emerald City for a reason. It’s really, really green out here. We have gorgeous parks that are easy to explore year round. The mountains are just a 45-minute drive away, ready to hike or ski down whenever you like. We have so many favorite parks it’s hard to choose just one, so I won’t.
  • Discovery Park is the perfect escape in the city with its meadows, and steps through a forest leading down to a sandy shoreline filled with driftwood and an old lighthouse.
  • Kubota Garden puts my mind at ease with its quiet Japanese inspired design that incorporates water, bridges, stunning maples and beautiful cherry blossoms. No matter what time of year you visit you will always see something new. Even better, kids are welcome to explore every nook and cranny they find.
  • Washington Arboretum is home to several paths that lead you through showing off brilliant Japanese maples in the fall, and saturated oranges, yellows and reds on Azalea Way. The Arboretum is free, but if you want a real treat head to the Japanese Garden to see a true masterpiece in landscape design.
Seattle Japanese Garden
  The World Class Artists and Museums Seattle is home to more museums than I care to count. Want to check out the interior of a plane? Head over to the Museum of Flight; Boeing is based here after all. We do know our planes. Leaning more towards the classics? The Seattle Art Museum hosts exhibits from around the world in a scale that is easy to manage, with a permanent collection that is impressive in its own right.
Need more reasons to seek out visual stimulation?
  • Glass artist Dale Chihuly has made Seattle his home and the city finally opened a museum, Chihuly Garden and Glass, dedicated to his work this past spring.
  • The Pacific Science Center is home to a beautiful butterfly house and is hosting the last stop on the King Tut exhibit in the USA.
  • The Olympic Sculpture Park is free and open to the public all day. Walk along side massive sculptures by renowned artists Richard Serra and Alexander Calder. You will never feel so small. 
The Proximity to More Amazing Places Seattle is an amazing city in it’s own right, but you can easily escape to do a little camping in the mountains, splash around in some beach towns, or just leave the country in under 3 hours drive. Our favorite escapes include Portland and Cannon Beach in Oregon. We love to head north to Vancouver and Whistler a few times a year, or hop on a ferry to Victoria, BC to breathe in the fragrant scent of Butchart Gardens and a little afternoon tea (yes, even with a toddler) at the Fairmont Empress.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
 Seattle has been called the gateway to the Pacific Northwest and I can certainly see why. We stay for the gorgeous landscape, great food and access to easy adventures all within an short drive, important when you have two kids under 3 years old.

   Mom and active blogger, Keryn Means left the publishing world in 2011 to take care of her growing family and follow her passion for travel. A native of Philadelphia, she spends her days exploring her new home in Seattle with her toddler and newborn sons. When her kids are asleep you can find her editing photos and writing away on Walkingon Travels. Keryn follows the mantra that just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to put your travel dreams aside, if anything they just get bigger and more exciting. Follow Keryn’s latest escapades on Facebook and Twitter as she takes her boys to Europe for 5 weeks this fall. It's sure to be an unforgettable adventure. (All photos courtesy Keryn Means) written by Keryn Means


Hilarye said...

I'm sold! Thanks Keryn! I am in love with the pacific northwest. It's gorgeous- even the weather (especially the weather, escape the nasty heat!). So beautiful!

Auburn Football Schedule 2012 said...

An attraction that has become synonymous with Seattle's rebound is Pike Place Market. The Market has been around since 1907 but pretty much died in the 1960's.
Auburn Football Schedule 2012

Tonya @ The Traveling Praters said...

I would live in Seattle. We flew out last year to hop on a ship and catch a cruise to Alaska and the minute I got off the plane and felt the lack of humidity in August, I was sold.

I'd also shop at the Public Market downtown- the one with the fish mongers. Although maybe it's too touristy for the locals?

Zoe French said...

I've heard so many great things about Seattle--this post included--and can't wait to finally make it there one day! Regardless of the weather!