City Guide: Seattle

Compensation for this post was provided by Discover card via AOL Media.
Photography and opinions are my own and not indicative of the opinions or positions of Discover card or AOL.

what to do in Seattle

Seattle is my home, and I love my city! The city is laid-back, the people are down-to-earth, and the seafood is oh-so-fresh. While Seattle is urban enough to keep you busy, its proximity to the mountains and water keeps you refreshed and grounded. I get asked all the time about “what to do in Seattle” so I finally created this city guide!



Caffe Vita Seattle

You’re in Seattle, so you have to start the day off with coffee! While Starbucks originated from this city (the original one is in Pike Place Market), there are plenty of delicious, local coffee roasters and cafes to visit.

Espresso Vivace
227 Yale Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
Caffé Vita
1005 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122
Analog Coffee
235 Summit Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
London Plane
lemon ricotta pancake Tallulahs
Westward Seattle

Seattleites love brunch — who doesn’t?! But here, brunch is an art. We’re talking fresh-out-of-the-oven warm biscuits with crème fraîche and seasonal preserve… a lemon ricotta pancake the size of your face… Dungeness crab eggs benny… Good morning, indeed.

The London Plane
300 Occidental Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
Tallulah’s (post here)
550 19th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112
Westward (post here)
2501 N Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103


Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market
Pike Place fish market
Rachels Ginger Beer
Seattle gum wall

Though touristy, Pike Place Market is a historic part of Seattle that is still fun and bustling today. Stroll through, watch guys throw fish, try fresh local fruit, and stop by the flower stands for an Instagram shot. For a disgustingly fascinating experience, you can swing by the Gum Wall, an alleyway so covered in gum you can smell the mixture of tutti frutti and mint upon approaching.

Since all the walking may work up an appetite, snack around! Sample the creamiest Greek yogurt (marionberry pie is my favorite), slurp up a bowl of tomato bisque filled with cheese curds, and finish off with an ice-cold Moscow Mule.

Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt
1500 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
1600 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101
Rachel’s Ginger Beer
1530 Post Alley
Seattle, WA 98101

Totokaelo Seattle

Beyond Nordstrom, which is native to Seattle, there are quite a few beautifully curated concept stores in the area. From high-end (Margiela, Rick Owens, Acne) to Northwest chic to US-made goods in a shop/bar, you can buy yourself a slightly more elevated souvenir than a Space Needle magnet.

1523 10th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
Glasswing Shop
1525 Melrose Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
E. Smith Mercantile
208 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104


Walrus and the Carpenter oysters
Molly Moons ice cream Seattle
Tavern Law Seattle cocktails

The food + drinks game in Seattle is strong. You can feast in plenty of places in the city, but you’ve got to start with a platter of local oysters: Kumamoto, Olympia, Pacific, and Shigoku are some of my faves. After dinner, enjoy a scoop or two of locally-made ice cream in a fresh waffle cone. Then, end the trip at a Prohibition-era themed bar/speakeasy, sip craft cocktails (earl grey martini is my go-to), and hypothesize about how much bacteria is on the Gum Wall.

The Walrus and the Carpenter (post here)
4739 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
917 E Pine St
Seattle, WA 98122
Tavern Law (post here)
1406 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
I hope this Seattle guide helps you in planning your adventure to this beautiful city! Visit my Travel page for more city guides.


  1. September 14, 2015 / 4:54 pm

    This is such a fun post! I love weekend trips to Seattle since it's just a short drive away. Will have to check out some of your recommendations next time I'm up there!

    xo, alison*elle

  2. September 14, 2015 / 5:14 pm

    I've heard nothing but amazing things about Seattle. Always dying to visit. This guide is filled with so many beautiful photos and great recommendations. Thanks for sharing!


  3. September 14, 2015 / 5:39 pm

    Love this city guide Carolyn! Great job! 🙂 Turns out more than half is what I sent to that blogger who's coming to visit. haha… great minds think alike! 😀

    xo – Sheila

  4. September 14, 2015 / 6:44 pm

    Seattle is amazing. I blame it on Grey's Anatomy but I have been wanting to visit it for years.

  5. September 14, 2015 / 7:41 pm

    Love this post! Seattle is seriously the best!

  6. September 15, 2015 / 12:56 am

    i went to seattle this summer and i completely loved it!!! i totally need to return there and try even more of these lunch and dinner spots!!! 😀

    Have a great week!
    Animated Confessions

  7. September 15, 2015 / 3:05 am

    I have totally bookmarked this post for when I finally do get to go to Seattle! It's been on my list for a looong time. I visited when I was a child and have always wanted to go back! Thanks for the tips!

    be the plebeian

  8. September 15, 2015 / 4:12 am

    I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog! Your images are fantastic and you're so adorable! Hello, new favorite 🙂

    xo Annie

  9. September 15, 2015 / 9:49 am

    Oh this post is awesome Carolyn! Love all your images and how fun they are. Awesome guide! Need your tips for HK because I'm heading there next month!!

    Hope you'll check out my page and let me know your thoughts!

    Helen xx

  10. September 15, 2015 / 3:33 pm

    Lovely post! Thanks for this. Your photos are so beautiful♥♥

  11. September 15, 2015 / 7:38 pm

    Ah! Seattle looks amazing! I am putting this gorgeous city on my must visit list stat!

  12. September 16, 2015 / 10:51 pm

    Love this guide! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  13. September 19, 2015 / 5:14 am

    One of the best guides to Seattle right here! 🙂

  14. September 28, 2015 / 7:32 pm

    Omg, I've been to Seattle several times and how did I not know about the disgustingly pretty gum wall?! lol!

    • September 29, 2015 / 3:00 am

      Hi Huong! haha Next time you visit, you can check out the gum wall and get super grossed out/intrigued by it. 😉

  15. July 28, 2016 / 11:59 pm

    Ooh, what a great little guide! I have never been to Seattle, but have heard great things and want to move there soon! I'm curious to know, what is the city like for young professionals!?


    • July 29, 2016 / 2:31 am

      Hi Lisa! I'm biased but I think Seattle is an AMAZING city for young professionals. People are so active, community-driven, and down-to-earth. There is a range of activities for all sorts of hobbies: people love to bike, rock-climb, hike, shop, drink, drink coffee, garden, cook, etc. I'm never bored here. Yet Seattle is also so chill that it never feels too busy in a bad way. If you do move here, I wish you the best and let me know if you want any recommendations!

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