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Travelzoo Experience: Adventures in Seattle

One of the most coveted perks at Travelzoo is the Travelzoo Experience, in which Deal Experts and other employees take advantage of the same travel, entertainment and local deals we publish to our subscribers and report back on their experience.

Seattle has been a destination in the Pacific Northwest that I always wanted to visit, but I never had a good reason to actually do it.  That changed when I was looking for a four-day family adventure for winter break and I came across an airfare deal in the Top 20.

All checked-in at the Westin in downtown Seattle, equipped with layers of clothes, thick socks, rain jackets, sturdy boots, and an appetite for Pacific North Western cuisine -- we were ready to explore Emerald City by foot and ferry.

Nature is a huge part of the Seattle experience, and it should not come as a surprise that the city is good at being green. We participated in the Westin’s energy-saving program and declined housekeeping.  As a reward, we were given a choice of either a $5 voucher or 500 Starwood points per night. We also liked the Westin Seattle’s Pack Light, Stay Fit program: to help you keep up with your fitness routine, they offer New Balance clothing and shoes for use during your stay.

All major attractions like the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, EMP Museum, Pike Place Market, the Waterfront, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Art Museum just to name a few, are in walking distance from the Westin.

We combed the city almost block by block, finding interesting architecture, little coffee shops and bakeries, friendly people, and unique artistic details everywhere, a yarnbomb attached to a rail next to the fish market, weathered illustrations on exposed brick walls, sculptures, totem poles, stenciled permanent works on cross walks, and the infamous bubblegum wall in Post Alley.

If you only have limited time, skip the Space Needle (and the crowds!) and take the Washington State ferry to Bainbridge Island. You will be rewarded with stunning views of Seattle and Puget Sound. And if you’re lucky, the clouds open up and give you a glimpse of the gorgeous snow covered mountains in the distance -- aaaaahs and ooooohs guaranteed.

We strolled around Pike Place Market and First Street and let the smell and taste of spices, tea, hot cinnamon bread, handmade cheese, piroshkies, seafood and other treats seduce us.  If you plan on going, consider downloading the Edibly Pike Place app. Yes, there is an app for that.

Coincidentally we had brunch in two (Etta’s and Lola) of the numerous restaurants owned by Tom Douglas, who is a fixture in the Seattle foodie scene. He battled Chef Morimoto in an episode of "Iron Chef America" -- and won. 

The food we consumed deserves its own chapter. We (a vegetable and seafood junkie, a meat eater, and a picky eater with a sweet tooth) voted for our favorites. Highlights were:

Breakfast & brunch

  • The Crumpet Shop (1503 First Ave.): The organic crumpets (sweet and savory) are heavenly. They also serve organic scones, and whole leave tea. Try the wild salmon crumpet with crème cheese and cucumber slices, and a chai soy latte.
  • Etta’s (2020 Western Ave.): Mouth-watering Dungeness crab eggs Benedict, or shrimp and grits for brunch are two of its signature dishes.
  • Lola (2000 4th Ave.): Our farewell brunch consisted of made-to-order doughnuts with apricot jam and vanilla mascarpone, and house-made granola topped with rich Greek yogurt and fresh fruit.

Dinner

  • Wild Ginger (1401 Third Ave.): Start with a salmon satay, and try locally grown Mediterranean mussels, rayong -- spicy Thai coconut curry sauce with galangal and pineapple -- served family style. Yes, you will be tempted to lick the plate.
  • Local 360 (First and Bell): A sustainable restaurant and food producer, with an emphasis on local sourcing, the majority of it falling within a 360 mile radius of Seattle. We tried almost all menu items during happy hour and they were outstanding. They even make the lemon soda themselves.

At the end of our four-day adventure, our feet were steaming and happy bellies were filled with scrumptious local food. And if all of that isn’t enough: on our flight home we were rewarded with a gorgeous farewell gift: a view of Mt. Rainier from above.

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Tips by
Petra

Deal Expert, Silicon Valley
Thursday, July 11, 2013
See more Tips from
Petra Goodman