24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Seattle Travel: One Short Day in the Emerald City

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I’ve talked a lot about how my favorite way to explore cities is through a local’s lens. I’m not really one for major tourist attractions—throngs of people? no thanks!—and I love using social media to crowd-source recommendations for each new place I visit to steer away from the masses.

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Embracing a local’s perspective is my favorite way to travel and precisely what draws me to companies like Hole in Wall, which curates the best bits of the indie side to a city into a subscription box format, and luckily, on our recent five-night jaunt to Washington state, SVV and I had our own personal local guides: Kent and Caanan of NVR Guys fame.

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

This pair of adventurers—and my long-time dear friends—could not be better ambassadors for this fair city; they’ve given me glimpses into their lives as Seattleites on my last two visits to the Pacific Northwest, but this time was different: SVV was with me and he’d seen very little of the Emerald City, and so we got the full on NVR treatment.

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City
24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City
24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

In case you’re heading to Seattle soon, here’s a rundown of how we spent our Saturday in the city before heading out to the coast for the remainder of our time in Washington.

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Exploring Seattle’s side sweet at Top Pot. After an emergency morning run to the Genius bar to repair my MacBook, our day finally started at the boys’ favorite breakfast spot where we weren’t shy in ordering a half-dozen variety pack. That egg nog doughnut was to die for, and I don’t regret this decision one bit.

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City
24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City
SVV and I like to live a balanced life of watching what we eat when we’re at home in Tennessee and indulging while we’re on the road. And I’m definitely glad we didn’t pass on Top Pot!
24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Doing yoga in the sculpture park. What, like I’d go somewhere and not bust out a handstand? Not a chance.

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

I’m glad my companions were also game for some photo shoot fun, too.

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City
24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Grabbing food-to-go from Paseo. Can it be considered a hole-in-the-wall if it’s Yelp’s most top-rated attraction? Well, this sandwich shop in Fremont is a hidden gem nonetheless—you would not stumble upon it if you didn’t know what you were looking for. We ordered Caribbean takeout and continued on our way.

Lunch at Paseo | 24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City
Lunch at Paseo | 24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Eating lunch at Kerry Park. Seriously, if you’re anywhere near Queen Anne Hill, make this viewpoint a priority.

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Wandering through the bustling Pike Place Market. OK, here’s where I make the first exception to the tourist claim: You can’t really go to Seattle and not visit Pike Place. Besides, every artisan and booth owner sells homemade and homegrown wares. So it is local at the end of the day.

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Sipping craft cocktails at Sun Liquor Distillery. I had my first taste of Sun Liquor vodka on the flight to Seattle and was pleased as punch (uh, rum punch, that is) when the boys took us to their headquarters in Lower Cap Hill for some quality mixed drinks.

Sun Liquor Distillery | 24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Sun Liquor Distillery | 24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City
Sun Liquor Distillery | 24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Stopping for a pick-me up at Espresso Vivace. Kent and Caanan raved about this tiny cup of potent caffeine, and with one sip of the Caffe Nico I could see why: an orange-infused double shot of espresso with traces of cinnamon—what’s not to love?

Vivace Espresso| 24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Wandering around Ballard. Last time I was in Seattle a year and a half ago, I stayed in this neighborhood north of downtown and fell in love with its artsy vibe. I knew I had to take SVV over there, even if just to stroll through the Ballard Farmers’ Market (every Sunday year round).

Ballard Farmers' Market | 24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Getting a nightcap at Montana. This wasn’t my first time at this Big Sky Country-themed bar, nor will it be my last. You can’t go to Seattle and not grab tortas from Tortas Condesa (SO GOOD) next door then devour them in the bar (yes, you can bring your food inside) with a Montana Mule to wash it all down. I just regret that we forgot to memorialize the night in the photo booth this time!

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Drinking alllll the coffee. No surprise, when in Seattle, you drink a lot of java—isn’t that just how it goes? We had our fair share—mainly because it was cooooold, y’all!—and Storyville Coffee Company was my favorite cafe of them all.

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

PSA: If you want your own piece of Seattle without leaving your home, you can still sign up to receive Hole in Wall’s box from the Emerald City. The box is available until Feb. 20 and will start shipping shortly thereafter.

On top of all the local spots, we also tackled one more major attraction: Starbucks Roastery & Tasting Room. Call us sellouts, but we had to stop at mecca. Sorry I’m not sorry! (It was really cool, guys, even though we didn’t buy a thing.)

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City
24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City
The funny thing is that I don’t even love Starbucks’ coffee, but man did they have some cool merchandise in their massive store. Again, when in Seattle, right?

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

Plenty more Washington footage to come, but for now, I put together a highlights reel of Seattle to give you a taste of our time there. SVV and I have been playing around with this new app Potion that’s currently in Beta—if you’d also like to give it a whirl, you can download it here.

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City
24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

24 Hours in Seattle: How to Spend the Perfect Day in the Emerald City

36 Hours in Seattle: Exploring the Local Side
COMMENTS
  • January 4, 2016
    Tony

    Glad you enjoyed my stomping grounds, particularly Paseo & Pike Place. Way to hit places that even a lifer like me hasn’t even seen – can’t wait to see how you felt about the coast in winter!

    • January 9, 2016

      Ahhh the coast was dreamy! And as always, I wish I’d had more time in Seattle other than a day on each end of our time in Copalis.

  • January 4, 2016
    Cassidy

    Your fringe looks great!

    • January 9, 2016

      Thanks, girl! I’m digging it =)

  • January 4, 2016

    Good call on Top Pot and Paseo! Got to check out the Starbucks Roastery & Tasting Room for the first time this summer and it was hard not to be impressed (especially the insane bathroom mirror).

    • January 9, 2016

      Right? It’s worth poking in even if you aren’t a coffee drinker! I didn’t even notice the bathroom the first time until Kent told me to go back in there and peek out the window, ha!

  • January 5, 2016

    Love that you hit so many of my old haunts. Paseo was across the street from my hair dresser. We’d watch the lines start before the doors even opened on weekends! They sell out quick for a reason. I also used to live near Kerry Park and walk over all the time. Everyone wants that postcard view, and Kerry Park is where you find it! Watched a lightening storm roll across the Cascades one night, which was one of the coolest moments in that park.

    • January 9, 2016

      We were lucky—no line at Paseo! The boys said that was a total anomaly.

  • January 5, 2016

    One of my favorite cities! You stopped at some really good spots. It’s not the best food city, but it has some gems. If you are into Korean food, there is a cool restaurant called Kitchen Tray that has amazing Korean Fried Chicken, congee and Korean seafood pancakes. For “fancy” dining I love Sitka & Spruce (although they can have off nights – the menu changes every day and they have a lot of foraged products and sometimes the combos just aren’t as successful). Love Seattle!

    • January 9, 2016

      Oooh now I want to go back and try all those spots! Hopefully, you’ll settle down there someday down the road, and I can come back for a visit 😉

  • January 5, 2016

    Well, this just looks delightful!

    xox

  • January 5, 2016

    man…. looks like every one is having fun… i loved being in Seattle last year with all 4 of my children… we had a blast!
    be sure to hit the REI store but make sure you feed the parking meter… it cost me chunk to pay that… live and learn.
    prayers for safe travels!

    • January 9, 2016

      I remember your trip there; you had warmer weather than we did 😉 And yes, we did stop in the REI store! It was cool, though overwhelming.

  • January 5, 2016

    I love Seattle so much – and am SO jealous you had the NVR guys as your guides. I’ll definitely have to book them for my next visit. 😉

    • January 9, 2016

      Ha, yes you will! Good luck catching them when they’re in town; I’m convinced they don’t actually live in Seattle, ha 😉

  • January 6, 2016
    Katie S.

    “…One short day, full of so much to do!” I’m so glad it wasn’t pouring rain the whole time you were visiting! I’ve lived within 20 miles of the Seattle city limits my whole life, and haven’t taken time to visit some of these places yet; thank you for the kick I needed! Love your photos =)

    • January 9, 2016

      It poured the second day so our wander through Ballard was very chilly and wet! But we were lucky the rain held off on our tourist day. Last time, I was in Seattle, it made a liar of me (“I could never live here; it’s too cold and rainy!”) and was 80 degrees and sunny the entire four days!

  • January 6, 2016

    The city looks beautiful! It sounds like a fun-filled day. Especially since it revolved mostly around food; my favourite thing in life, especially when paired with travel 😉

    • January 9, 2016

      Same! I love food walking tours of any city I visit—and am constantly planning 5 meals a day (minimum) when I’m traveling 😉

  • January 6, 2016

    Ah, Seattle..I lived there for 3 years, but it changes so quickly! I need a trip back! And yes, as a local, I walked over to Pike Place Market on most Sundays to shop and people watch 🙂

    I can’t wait to get my first Hole in the Wall box – I hope it’s the Seattle theme!

    • January 9, 2016

      Yes, I think you should be getting the Seattle box as your first! I also ordered one for me; can’t wait =) Glad to know that locals also go to Pike Place—it’s such a cool market!

  • January 11, 2016

    Interesting Blog! Good to find you people having fun. Thanks for sharing your memorable moments with us.

    Keep Updating..

  • January 11, 2016

    bummer. i have a veggie soup in the crockpot for dinner but now all i want to eat is tacos and donuts. 🙂

  • March 15, 2016

    Your photos are sooo gorgeous. We had a super similar day – Pike Place, Kerry Park and lots of coffee 🙂

  • May 6, 2016

    The last time I spent a day in Seattle (last summer), I didn’t hit any of these spots except the market. I’m saving this for my next trip–my dad lives across the sound from Seattle, so we’ll be going there at least once a year. I love that wall at the distillery!

    • May 6, 2016

      Such a fantastic city! I could go there every few months and never run out of new places to visit!

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