Seattle Travel Guide

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Seattle: So Good You Can Actually Taste It at The Taste Washington Festival This Weekend

March 23, 2015 at 4:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you find yourself in Emerald City this weekend – and thirsty – hightail it to Taste Washington, the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event. There are a handful of fancy schmancy events, but the main attraction is The Grand Tasting, which takes place Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29.

The sip and bite extravaganza goes down at CenturyLink Field Event Center and features more than 200 wineries and 70 restaurants. Be sure to bring your A-game palate and wear your finest stretchy pants. Grand Tasting tickets range from $90-205, and include all food and wine samples. (Yay for no tickets or tokens!)

So, what are we most excited to check out? Walla Walla’s àMaurice Cellars, Yakima Valley’s Gilbert Cellars (we swoon for their rosé of Mourvedre, hello spring!) and Rotie Cellars’ Rhone varietals.

For foodstuffs, we’re looking forward to Jemil’s Big Easy, Purple Café and Wine Bar and Tulio from Hotel Vintage.

Sure, there are lots of fantastic small wine tasting rooms within the (206) city limits. But you won’t find this kind of variety unless you schlep two hours to Yakima or four hours to Walla Walla. And we can pinky swear promise, you won’t find these kind of food pairings if you make the trip. Gah.

[Photo: Taste Washington/Facebook]

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Eat, Drink and Socialize at Seattle's New Bar, Pennyroyal

Where: 2000 2nd Avenue [map], Seattle, Washington, United States, 98121
March 11, 2015 at 3:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you’re a frequent traveler, the hotel bar is a necessity. Some are truly great (HotelChatter knows a few); others suck. We’re looking at you, 99% of airport hotel bars.

Usually it's a great place for commiseration, and the bartenders always have the best stories and fellow guests can be a rich source for the local down-low. Besides, after a long day of travel, there’s no better place to grab a nightcap and stumble back to your room.

Still, generally speaking, the hotel bar is not a big draw for local demographics. Drinks may be stiff, but tend to be overpriced and not very sophisticated. Most kitchens avoid taking risks, instead relying on standard issue bar fare and the almighty FryDaddy. Décor often best resembles a dressed-up cafeteria. It fancies itself somewhat of a Little Black Dress, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, but lacks a distinct personality and serves none of these diners, at least aesthetically, all that well. Service varies greatly.

However, Kimpton Hotels have broken that stereotype (yet again) in the Seattle market with the opening of The Palladian, and its bar, Pennyroyal. (Pennyroyal is an old snake oil ingredient.) We were already huge fans of Kimpton’s bars at Hotel Monaco and Alexis Hotel, but Belltown’s brand new (albeit housed in a historic building) addition steps up the cool factor with Pennyroyal.

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The Art of Written Correspondence is Very Much Alive at This Seattle Restaurant

Where: 425 NW Market Street [map], Seattle, WA, United States, 98107
February 19, 2015 at 5:14 PM | by | Comments (0)

At Brimmer & Heeltap, a bistro-pub in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, they’ll mail their menu in postcard form to whomever you choose. Jot down a sweet nothing, fold it up and they’ll even pay for postage. Such a cool way to reclaim the lost art of letter-writing, right? (We live for handwritten correspondence.)

The neighborhood spot is a favorite for locals and foodies. Brimmer & Heeltap’s chef, Mike Whisenhunt hails from Revel, bringing a loyal following for his locally-sourced dishes with an Asian twist. Proprietress Jen Doak, has worked some of Seattle’s best dining rooms, and brings her warm sense of conviviality to the front of the house experience.

Jen also contributed menus collected from her travels to the restaurant’s “Wall of Menus.” It’s one of our favorite features of Brimmer & Heeltap (aside from Chef Mike’s pork shoulder with kimchi, natch). We caught up with Jen for a quick Q&A to talk food, travel and handwritten letters.

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6 Places That Self-Respecting Locals Would Eat at in SEA-TAC

February 4, 2015 at 6:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Nobody likes long layovers or flights delays. But if you’re hungry and have some time to kill, there are far worse places to get stuck than Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Even if you’re one of those super organized people that arrives at the airport with plenty of time to spare (WHO ARE YOU?!), it’s a mighty fine place to be.

Here, passengers can eat like a Seattleite at several locally-owned and operated establishments. Ready to nosh? Here are our favorite picks:

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
Where to find it: Concourse C
Don’t miss: Try Beecher’s famous “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese – it was one of Oprah’s ‘Favorite Things’ in 2010.

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Dry January? Whatever. Here are 4 Spots to Get Sauced in Seattle

January 22, 2015 at 4:48 PM | by | Comments (2)

New Year’s resolutions are BS. For a few days, maybe weeks, each January, well-intentioned folks buy into wishful “new year, new me” thinking. And who doesn’t like the promise of a clean slate full of possibility?

But making goals should be a year-round endeavor, because your job may suck, jeans not fit or you want to save money – at any given time. Besides, a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology reports that only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving their resolutions by the end of the year.

So what exactly do the temporary teetotalers of Dry January, or Drynuary, hope to accomplish? Create new habits, like drinking less? Atone for excesses committed during the holidays? The season is already riddled with enough guilt and stress. It hardly seems fair to reward those who survive with a month of alcohol abstinence.

And FWIW, a recent article in New Scientist cites, “Many people who drink alcohol choose to give up for short periods, but there is no scientific evidence that this has any health benefits.”

So in the, er, spirit of moderation, we've got a round-up of favorite places to get sauced at in Seattle.

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'Fifty Shades of Grey' Now Makes Wine, and Wants to Fly You to Seattle

November 14, 2014 at 2:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you can tear yourself away from watching the new Fifty Shades of Grey trailer on repeat today, you can enter to win a VIP fly away trip for two to Seattle from Fifty Shades of Grey Wine.

Yes, author E L James has also created her own wines, aptly named Red Satin and White Silk, and to celebrate the upcoming movie's release, the winery is giving away a trip to Seattle, where the books and movie are set.

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Quiet Bubbles and Virtual Reality: What You Missed at the 2014 Aircraft Interiors Expo

October 21, 2014 at 2:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, the airline industry descended upon Seattle for the North American side of the 2014 Aircraft Interiors Expo, a conference that focuses on the future of passenger experience and interior cabin design.

Not only are related issues discussed, but private companies present their products to the airlines, aimed at inventing and improving the future of air travel.

Here's some takeaways from the conference:

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Free Stuff Alert! Win Airfare and More with Alaska Airlines' Friday Scavenger Hunt

October 9, 2014 at 8:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

Have plans for tomorrow? If not, try to make your way out to Seattle, as Alaska Airlines is hosting a scavenger hunt in and around the city. We would probably play along just for some airline swag or a t-shirt, but what they’re handing out to the winner is even better. To celebrate their order of a whole bunch of brand new Boeing 737-900ERs they are offering up a chance to drive one—at least in the simulator.

The airline will be revealing clues on both Instagram and Twitter beginning at 6am—local time—this Friday. Your job will be to use the hints to find spots in and around Seattle, and if you’re the first to arrive at each location you might just score some time in the Boeing 737 flight simulator.

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Easy Day Trips from Seattle: A First-Time Tour to Mount Rainier

September 26, 2014 at 12:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

Seattleites love spending time outside. This week, contributor Lilit Marcus shows how even the most indoorsy city kid can enjoy Seattle's outdoor gems without having to go on the advanced hike.

Mt. Rainier is probably the most popular outdoorsy day-trip attraction for visitors to Seattle, and with good reason. For one, it’s relatively close to Seattle; about an hour’s drive, depending on traffic, will get you from downtown to the national park. For another, it offers a broad range of stuff to do for people of every ability level, from easy hikes to three-day peak climbs with ice axes and crampons.

The most popular and accessible entrance is the Nisqually Entrance. There, you can stop in at the Longmire Museum, which has exhibits on the flora and fauna in the area and gives some historical background on the Native Americans who lived there.

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Easy Day Trips from Seattle: The Tropical Butterfly Garden

September 25, 2014 at 12:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

Seattleites love spending time outside. This week, contributor Lilit Marcus shows how even the most indoorsy city kid can enjoy Seattle's outdoor gems without having to go on the advanced hike.

In Seattle, it’s always a good idea to have a rainy-day backup plan. If you want to see some nature but the weather’s not cooperating, stop by the Pacific Science Center and head straight for the Tropical Butterfly Garden. This name is no joke; even if it’s 20 degrees outside, it’ll be nice and balmy in the butterfly garden, since many of the species come from warm climates.

The Science Center is more expensive than some other Seattle museums—$19.50 for an adult ticket—so if you have a moldy student ID around somewhere now’s the time to grab it. For obvious reasons, there will also be lots of kids around, so try to survey the scene when you arrive and check out other exhibits if the butterfly garden is filled up with a school group. Our favorite way to kill time is to check out some of the undersea creatures in the fake tidal pool, even though the cold water starts to get to you after a while.

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Easy Day Trips from Seattle: The Woodland Park Rose Garden

September 23, 2014 at 12:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

Seattleites love spending time outside. This week, contributor Lilit Marcus shows how even the most indoorsy city kid can enjoy Seattle's outdoor gems without having to go on the advanced hike.

One of the best things about visiting Seattle is how much nature you can enjoy without ever leaving the city limits. There is, for example, the Woodland Park Rose Garden, located across the street from the entrance to the Woodland Hill Zoo. This lush location in the Green Lake or Wallingford neighborhoods (it depends who you ask) is completely free to the public and open from 7 AM until dusk every day, year round, rain or shine.

For an hour or half the day, the Rose Garden is an ideal spot for quiet time, reading, meeting up with friends, or just enjoying a nice day outside. There's also the added bonus of being among the first to spot new rose hybrids before they become publicly available, as the Woodland Park Rose Garden is one of the few certified Rose Test Gardens in the USA.

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Easy Day Trips from Seattle: A Total Beginner's Guide to Olympic National Park

September 22, 2014 at 10:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

Seattleites love spending time outside. This week, contributor Lilit Marcus shows how even the most indoorsy city kid can enjoy Seattle's outdoor gems without having to go on the advanced hike.

Olympic National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, which makes it an ideal spot for people crossing either national parks or UNESCO sites off of their to-do lists. Its size and distance from Seattle will make it just about impossible to visit without a car, so your best bet is to join up with a tour group.

The excellent but somewhat pricey Seattle-based EverGreenEscapes Tours (which I booked through Viator for $250 pp) will be happy to take you out for the day, an option which will free you from dealing with the logistics.

The adventure begins with a trip on the Bainbridge Island ferry, then a drive through Port Angeles to the park, with an arrival at the iconic Hurricane Ridge.

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