This summer, I happen to be living the life of my dreams. The kind of life that I wake up excited to wake up to. The kind of life that has made me forget about my Netflix account. I am in Seattle, Washington for the summer; living and working smack dab in the middle of downtown Seattle where I walk by Pike’s Market on the way to work and take excursions on my way home past the Gum Alley and the Ferris Wheel.
The story of how it all came to be is exactly the stuff your mind will leap to when I say that I scored the internship of my dreams. Sometime during the middle of February, or the most depressing month of the year, I had this seedling of an idea that I needed to get the Hell out of dodge (Montana) and do something different with my life when the semester was over. I applied to dozens of internships. I was convinced by May that none of them would work out and although I secured a house sitting gig, it seemed like the summer of my dreams belonged there. Fast forward just a few days into May and two weeks before the end of the summer, I had three phone interviews scheduled in a week and an internship offer within a week. It was the stuff of the movies.
A mind boggling two months after moving, I still can’t really believe my luck and I’ve learned a lot about my 21 year old self by uprooting myself and living in a city by myself. However, that’s not what I’m here to talk about today! I am here to share my 5 favorite things to do in Seattle and I can assure you, this was quite the task. I’m plagued with what my friend said her friend coined the “Fear of Missing Out”, or FOMO, and spend my every free moment exploring Seattle.
When you’re in the middle of it all every single day, it’s hard to rampage my tea drawer and put on the sweats to stay inside which is exactly what my last six months in Montana looked like. And so! This leads me to the list of the Five Best Things To Do In Seattle for the average adventurist. I have done both the most touristy of the touristy things and done the hole in the wall things no one has heard of so I can tell you assuredly this list is unfiltered and genuine. However, in full disclosure, I have yet to do any of the infamous tours (unpaid intern problems) and my list of things I still have to do is pretty long. But I promise, these five things to do are solid gold in my book.
Pegasus Coffee House // Open Fri to Mon 7am-7pm Tues and Thurs 7am-10pm
I am a big, big coffee lover. I have tried more than a dozen coffee shops in Seattle and by far, Pegasus Coffee wins. Now, if you are someone like me that doesn’t settle for “good” and aims for the BEST, you have to go to the Pegasus Coffee on Bainbridge Island to get the full experience. There’s one in Seattle but it’s not a fraction as cute and the experience in the city just doesn’t compare to the island one. It costs $7.70 to ride the ferry to the Island and the ferry terminal is just a ten minute walk from Pike’s. The coffee shop itself is a quaint brick building covered in vines and is nestled on the outskirts of downtown Bainbridge next to the water — out of the way, quiet, and where you’ll see the locals sipping their Americanos. Their coffee is seriously good and my $5.30 white chocolate mocha with 4 shots of caramel loving self has resorted to tall Americanos at Pegasus because the coffee itself is that rich and flavorful. Also, you can watch locals on the Island dock their yachts and boats just outside. It’s my favorite secret in the Seattle area.
Beechers // Open every day 9am-7pm
I need to let you in on another secret. My favorite food is Grilled Cheese followed by Mac & Cheese. I will eat every Grilled Cheese in a place to find its best and by golly I have found Seattle’s best Mac & Cheese AND Grilled Cheese in one spot. I was hesitant because, welp, everyone talks up the local cheese factory located within Pike’s Market but it really lived up to the hype. They use their own cheese made in the store (that you can watch being made from behind a glass window) and their cheese achieves just the perfect blend of creamy to spicy without being too much of each.
Uwajimaya // Open Mon-Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 9am-9pm
I came upon Uwajimaya completely by accident and not by my own will. Most of my adventures through Seattle I have hand picked destinations myself but sometimes I’m bad at playing tour guide to my friends that come visit me, because everything I plan on doing is closed. Whoops. If you’d told me about Uwajimaya I probably would have wondered why a Supersize Asian grocery store is worth a twenty minute walk through the sketchier parts of downtown Seattle but I am so glad I was coerced into going. The aisles of Top Ramen were something to behold and I camped out in front of the dessert aisle for a solid twenty minutes picking out varieties of shortbread covered in chocolate. This grocery store is just a massive dose of Asian culture (in the best way!) and I’ve gone back a handful of times on my own to explore.
Woodland Park Zoo // Open every day 9:30am – 6:30pm
Unfortunately in my life I started out my zoo hopping career the wrong way and by that I mean I started with the world famous San Diego Zoo once upon a time. Every zoo since that spectacular day has sort of been a massive let down. However, whether it was my low expectations or not, I had the best day at the Woodland Park Zoo. It’s big enough that even on the busiest day (i.e. a Saturday at 2pm on an 80 degree day), I never felt overcrowded by people around the exhibits. I might even say the people visiting the Woodland Park Zoo were MORE respectful than at any other zoo I’ve been to and I didn’t feel rushed to visit the giraffes, gorillas, baby lions, jaguars and penguins. Also, the entire zoo is coveted within Seattle’s lush green forest so it felt less zoo-ish than the average zoo while walking along dirt trails rather than the usual strictly concrete!
Bhy Kracke Park // Open every day 4am – 11:30pm
I was allowed to pick a place that is a personal personal favorite to me and I have to say that Bhy Kracke Park is that place for me. Just say it out loud because yes, it is pronounced how you think it is. I first heard of this park from a friend who lives in Seattle and it’s essentially the lesser known (but better!) Kerry Park. I’ve been to both and while they both provide spectacular eye level views of the Seattle sky line from Queen Anne, Bhy Kracke was completely empty when I passed through on my way back from a work event. I drove past Kerry Park spotting couples being cute right on to Bhy Kracke where I just sort of stared at the sky line in awe for a while by myself. Gas Works gives you the big picture of things regarding the sky line but from Bhy Kracke it’s like looking at Seattle in a bathroom mirror. However, I’ve never taken a picture here and I think I like it best that way. Some places are too good to take a picture of and they’re worth going to for the experience of it all. I like to think that, of all the places in Seattle I’ve been to so far, I saw the true Seattle in myself here.
All photos courtesy of the author except Bhy Kracke Park shot via
Maggie is a chai lover and clothes hoarder. Her Kindle and Jeffrey Campbell booties are her prized possessions and watching entire seasons of sitcoms in one sitting is her greatest talent. She will shamelessly talk up her home state of Idaho for hours if you let her and she lives on to-do lists. Currently, she’s studying biology and writing in Montana and enjoying life in her new apartment one day at a time.