To celebrate two years of marriage, Stevie and I packed our bags and flew across the country to visit some sweet friends of ours in Seattle, Washington. I assumed the Pacific Northwest would feel a lot like California; after all, it was the only state I had explored along the West Coast up to this point.
But I was so wrong.
Sand and surf were replaced by emerald evergreens. California cool traded in for Northwest quirk. A hipster's/sports lover's/outdoorsman's dream all wrapped up into one shining city on the sea.
Here are a few of the highlights from our adventures in and around the "Emerald City." Click your heels, Dorothy, 'cause here we go...
Capitol Hill & Rattlesnake Ledge
We started our adventure in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood and grabbed a bite to eat at Trove. (Look for the food truck built into the entrance!) It was a great, local noodle bar and—most importantly—walking distance to The Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room.
Even if you're not a coffee connoisseur, the Roastery is worth a trip. Baristas don leather aprons and handlebar mustaches and tell you stories of the farmers who cultivated your coffee beans as you sip from your handmade, ceramic espresso cup.
Once we were sufficiently (over)caffeinated, we set out for Rattlesnake Ledge and soaked in stunning views of the evergreen dreaminess of the PNW.
We caught the sunset as we took the ferry back to their home on Bainbridge Island. Also, how adorable is their little island townhome? I'm in love!
Pike Place Market
Of all the touristy spots in Seattle, we knew we had to face the crowds to experience the iconic Pike Place Market. We dodged the flying fish, browsed aging vinyl, and picked up a fresh bouquet (peonies, of course!) to bring back to our friends.
Mount Storm King
The next day, we dragged our aching bones out of bed and set off for another hike. We drove to Lake Crescent and tackled Mount Storm King, which was no joke. I mean, seriously, with its ever-elevating switchbacks and multiple rope assists, it's both a mind game and a grueling physical test. Check out Stevie's perspective on our trek over on his blog. (You might spy a few familiar pictures!)
But—in the end—we were rewarded with stunning views and had the mountain's peak all to ourselves. Not a bad spot for an anniversary lunch, if you ask me!
In many ways, Seattle has stolen my heart. Its quirky, fiercely-loyal neighborhoods make up one vibrant city, and the endless trails, mountains, and crisp, blue lakes that surround it make it an explorer's paradise. There's so much left to see in Seattle and beyond, and I know the Pacific Northwest will call us back one day. More candid moments, traveler's tips—and a heavy dose of wanderlust—hitting the blog again soon. Check back for our adventures around Bainbridge Island and Portland next time!
What are your favorite spots in the PNW?