You can't visit Seattle without visiting the hipster neighborhood itself, Capitol Hill. Grungy, vintage, off-center, this is the home of music and the world’s greatest coffee. Grab a cup from one of the many small cafes and make your way uphill to the favorite local spot to walk, run and picnic, Volunteer Park. Visit the lush conservatory, wander through the towering trees and climb the old water tower for 360 degree views of the city. Stop by Renee Erickson's new restaurant, Bar Melusine, for smart cocktails and pillowy pork in a teal and Moroccan-tile setting. Chef de Cuisine Jay Guerrero (formerly of Prune, Boat Street, The Walrus and The Carpenter), whips up playful and delicious culinary perfections, working hard to give diners a one-of-a-kind experience.
Here we take whatever we can and move it outside. Framed against the backdrop of an alpine slope or a cool, blue ocean, the experience is elevated. Opportunities for outdoor recreation are endless. Situated between two mountain ranges, the Puget Sound and numerous ocean and alpine lakes, you can rest assured you'll find something waiting for you whenever you turn.
Grab a cup of that world-class coffee and head east to the I-90 corridor, a section of the Cascades (known as the “American Alps”), full of mountains, lakes and rocks, popular for backpacking, rock climbing, swimming, trail running and mountain biking. Approaching exit 52, you'll enter Snoqualmie Pass and the Summit at Snoqualmie ski resort. Pick from one of the resort's four parks for a day spent sailing down powdered mountains, surrounded by rugged views of unforgiving peaks. Whip through thick-bodied trees under a sky of interwoven branches and slide down Washington's steepest run (if you’re brave enough), at Alpental. Wind down the day with a hot cup of cocoa or toasty alcoholic beverage in the cleverly designed Commonwealth Cafe and Pub. Better yet, rent one of the many cabins available surrounding the summit for ski-to-door convenience and maximum time spent on the slopes.
Should you be in the mood for a milder route, hike one of the many trails lining both sides of the I-90 corridor. Choices abound from short and easy (4.0 mile, 1,160 feet), to longer and more vigorous (8.6 miles, 3,800 feet). Whatever route you take, be prepared to pass numerous alpine lakes and break through trees into sweeping panoramic views, no doubt showcasing at least one of the states five scenic volcanoes.
Fine coffee, fresh seafood, and stunning nature. It's true, all of these things can be found in this city and the area that surrounds it, and people here are very proud of it. From the fishermen rigging the lines at the docks to the oyster man shucking shells at the bar, to that breath of fresh air you get topping out on the summit, people here love what they have, and they are proud to share it.