The irony of the title is that on our first night we didn’t listen to our own individually researched Seattle tips, we were sleepless in Seattle. Unlike the 90s rom-com movie, there was no romantic reason for this, we’d stupidly booked a dorm room based on location and were roomed with an overweight older man who snored like a freight train! Funnily enough, one of the distinct external noises of Seattle is passing locomotives, but I find their toots therapeutic. At midnight we decided enough was enough, I complained and we were re-roomed with no issues, our two days in Seattle were about to improve vastly.
Bustling Belltown, Seattle
The area we chose to stay in on our first night was the up and coming Belltown. The reason? It was less than a ten-minute walk to one of Seattle’s gems, Pike Place Market.
Savor Seattle Pike Place Market Food Tour
Our day began at 10am in a building dripping in bubble gum, affectionately known as ‘The Gum Wall’ by locals and internationally known as the second germiest location in the world! The Gum Wall can be found at The Market Theater. This is where we met with our guide, Warren, from Savor Seattle, and the rest of our group – we all had one thing in common: we were ready to eat our way around Pike Place Market.
First food stop was at the Economy Market to try some sugary delights – Daily Dozen Doughnuts but not before we hand sanitised as we had just been in close proximity to thousands of other people’s spit! Continuing with a sweet spell, we tested not one but two different types of Ellenos yoghurt, across from the famous Pike Place Market sign (which has been lit up since 1937!)
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As the morning progressed, we made our way through the different sections of the market, following Warren and his pink umbrella. There was a variety of culinary delights – Martha Stewart endorsed cheese from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Chukar’s coated cherries and a first for us – (award-winning) chowder! A vendor even threw in some free hot cider, purely out of kindness.
Pike Place Market has been built on this kind of behaviour. From the beginning, it has encouraged a sense of community amongst sellers and locals alike. The market we know today was set up to give immigrant farmers a decent wage, removing the power from the big bad businessmen who were abusing it, and to give locals quality food, hence the market’s slogan ‘meet the producer’ – putting the market in the heart of the community.
Warren shared lots of examples of this community support; one that has stuck with me is the story of the shop that stood in Piroshky Piroshky’s place.
The original owners of the Russian pastry shop had migrated to Seattle and decided like many other producers to set up shop at Pike Place Market. Media savvy, the family had contacted the local press and asked them to help advertise their opening day, to which the press obliged. As the day grew closer the family managed to forget about two important ingredients for success – butter and flour! In a blind panic, they called all channels in the hope that they could reschedule their grand opening, alas the papers said no, and the owners were destined for failure. The day before the opening a surprise envelope full of money found it’s way to the family! Who would be the likely candidate of this kind gesture? A journalist? A politician? No, a fellow Russian vendor who was so thrilled to have another Russian shop at Pike Place Market!
Another endearing fact about Piroshky Piroshky is that they donate leftover food to the local food bank. Although, honestly I cannot imagine there being much leftover, the shop was queued out, but we got a queue jump for our tasters which is the beauty of being part of the Savor Seattle Pike Place Food Tour!
Food your thing? Check out more top things to do in Seattle, heaps of food tips.
Website: Savor Seattle
Times: 9:30am, 10:00am, 10:30am, 11:00am, 2:00pm, 2:30pm, 3:00pm, and 3:30pm
Meeting Point: Near 1st Ave. & Pike St.
Price: Monday – Thursday $41.00 USD / Friday – Sunday $43.99 USD
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Little Red Day Spa
When I was researching things to do in Seattle, I was keen to find a spa since we were visiting just after New Year’s Eve and let’s face it, none of us feel our best after so much turkey and tipples over the festive period. Never one to leave Craig out of the fun, I stumbled across the Little Red Day Spa which offers couple spa sessions!
The name of the spa is actually misconceiving because, very uniquely, you can stay overnight at the spa on Airport Way South. The cool thing about this overnight stay is that we were the only guests in the spa that evening and once all of the customers had left, we had full access to the spa – bath, hot tub, scrubs, mud, showers, toiletries!
The Moroccan Suite
You can imagine our delight when we were introduced to our suite for the evening after the restless night’s stay in Seattle the night before…
The Moroccan Suite was extremely comfortable with a massive bed, cosy chair, TV with Netflix, IPod docking station, Wi-Fi, wardrobe, lanterns, artwork, and so much space! We were asked to use the bottom floor bathroom until the guests had left making the second floor (Sky Suite) available.
The Art Suite
The art suite of the Little Red Day Spa is where the magic happens! This room has extremely high ceilings, walls swallowed up by impressive artwork and dim lights which create a very sensual vibe. This is where the mud, bath salts, shower and hot tub live! The Art Suite can be booked for day sessions too, overnight stays are not mandatory! We used the facilities the next morning as the room was booked until 23:30.
Mind Blowing Massages in Seattle
We were greeted by our therapists, Stevie and Angie who asked us what our needs were (you won’t be surprised to hear that my focus was neck and shoulders after the physiotherapy visits in Vancouver). Craig also has a sore back, nature of his profession as a tradesman. The therapists left us in privacy to get ready, we rang the bell once we were decent and lying down. They then worked their powers via a full body massage. Angie dug right into my sore spots – kneading, pressing, pushing, stretching, and smoothing out. It honestly felt euphoric. I need to find a way to take her on this trip with me! Craig’s first ever ‘proper’ massage (he has had a ‘dry’ massage performed by a female prisoner in Thailand), left him feeling 6″10! The staff were very attentive, skipping over Craig’s broken fingers (!) during the hand massages. The spa also offers a range of services such as facials and bridal packages!
Little Red Day Spa Directions
The 124 bus from Cedar & 3rd in Belltown (then stops along Downtown) will drop you off outside of the spa. The spa is situated next to the bright red and orange Old Rainier Brewery. This journey costs $2.50 off peak and you can use your ticket for up to two hours (I love North American transport systems!)
- Week Days (Tuesday – Thursday): $150 CAD / £75
- Weekend (Friday – Sunday): $200 / £100
- (60) minute couples $ 120 regular rate $ 190
- (90) minute couples $ 160 regular rate $ 230
On our last day we took the 124 all the way to the Center (3rd and Broad Street) to visit the Space Needle and the EMP Museum. We had a CityPASS, which gives tourists discounted rates to Seattle’s top attractions. Unfortunately it was too hazy to see anything from the needle but the EMP museum was a lot of fun for big kids like us! Friends recommended the Jimi Hendrix exhibition, and I found the Nirvana area interesting but the best part was the top floor jamming sessions! So many booths with a variety of instruments, microphones, decks, and mixers – I can now see myself as a drummer!
Website: EMP Museum
Address: 325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Price: $16 – $25 (buy online for discount) or CityPASS: $69 adult / $49 children
Getting to Seattle
We used Bolt Bus from Vancouver ($53.50 CAD / £26.75 for 2) + border control fee $6 USD / £4 which was waived as card machines were broken. The journey to the border took approximately 50 minutes, 30 minutes going through border control (which wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be), then a further two hours to Seattle. Drop off point was at 5th Avenue and S King Street. A taxi to Belltown cost $11.
Seattle to Portland
Next stop: Stumptown aka Portland! We used Bolt Bus again (£35.97 for 2 tickets), this bus had functioning Wi-Fi which meant I could do some work! The drop-off point was SW Salmon Street between 5th and 6th Avenue (downtown). Alternatively, travel to warmer climates (sometimes!) in San Fransisco. Here’s our guide to California’s Golden City.
Storing Luggage in Seattle
I thought I’d add this practical advice because the Google results are disappointing and outdated. We wanted to avoid taking our large backpacks across town so we left them in storage at the Edgewater Hotel and this cost $5 per bag. The concierge stored them overnight and gave us a ticket. There don’t appear to be any lockers at the bus or train station, which used to be an option.
Portland! Check out our video of the Pacific Northwest trip.
Many thanks to Visit Seattle, Savor Seattle, and Little Red Day Spa for their generosity. This is an honest review, as always!
Have you been to Seattle? Would you like to go?