When you live in a popular tourist destination like Seattle, it’s easy to find yourself repeating the usual pattern of tourist places when visitors come into town. Since I recently moved back to Seattle after living in Minneapolis for five years, I’ve been lucky enough to have a few friends visit me in my hometown, and of course, I want to show them the best of everything. However, I have never found anything about Seattle boring or overdone, especially after being removed for a few years.
I didn’t discover the monorail until adulthood—probably after I’d gotten the hang of using public transportation in general. A couple stories above the city, it’s an inexpensive and unique way to observe the fishbowl that is downtown Seattle. With sights of the city’s most impressive skyscrapers and nature’s impressive ocean coastline, you can’t go wrong on this eight-minute ride from shopping center paradise to the Space Needle.
Washington State Ferries are generally intended for commuting, but to me, taking a ferry ride is an iconic Seattle activity. Its large and lumbering fleet of white and green boats constantly dots the horizon just outside Elliot Bay. It costs about $8 for a walk-on, round-trip ride to Bainbridge Island, and for that, you get almost an hour of beautiful views and wildlife spotting. There are indoor and outdoor spaces available on-board, as well as coffee and basic conveniences. It’s a great break from a day spent pounding the city streets.
You haven’t had macaroni and cheese until you’ve had Beecher’s. Not only does it use two kinds of its award-winning cheese, but the dish is uniquely seasoned with a hint of chipotle and garlic, which takes it to the next level. Beecher’s is always bustling, but the line goes quickly because everyone’s there for the same thing. Come for the macaroni, stay for the intoxicating and warm scent of hot, melted, perfect cheese!
If you’re looking for a stunning view of the Seattle skyline, look no further than Gas Works Park. As the site of an old coal and oil plant on the north shore of Lake Union, it was re-imagined as a city park that opened in 1975, and has since been an infinitely popular place for locals and tourists alike. With seaplanes flying over your head, duck boats crossing the lake, and the sun setting past the Space Needle, there’s no better place to end a summer day.
I’ve been around the world, and I’ve tried many fish and chips. I keep coming back to Chinook’s as the best I’ve ever had! Part of the well-loved family of Anthony’s Restaurants, it doesn’t get more northwest than dining on the marina and the freshest seafood you can find. Every dish I’ve had has always been served at perfect quality and perfect temperature—whenever I bring guests into town, I know it’s a place that won’t disappoint. Kick off your meal with popcorn shrimp and a local brew before the pièce de résistance.
I often consider myself an eternal tourist of Seattle. I love to explore my city and see who’s around and what’s going on at any given time. One thing I love about popping into the exciting and iconic tourist areas is that any number of people around could be locals. We live here and we love it, and as Seattleites, we embrace our surroundings. With this much natural beauty and quirky charm surrounding us, it’s a pretty easy thing to do.
In our ongoing mission to connect people and make memories that matter, our Sun Country Explorers program engages travelers and their stories. Local influencers and Instagram gurus are jet-setting with us and bringing home travel tidbits, local finds, and stories they’re excited to share with our community.