We’re going on vacation!!! Its our first trip as a family of four (although Max was technically present last time in my 29 weeks pregnant belly) and we are all looking forward to getting away together. Our last trip as a family was in August. We spent 10 days in the Pacific Northwest. It was really special because we looooooOOVe the Pacific Northwest. I moved out there as a travel nurse and was immediately smitten with the region. My husband and I were introduced in Seattle and spent much of our dating relationship in and around the city. So its a special place, that we hold extra dear and it was very cool to be visiting as a family where it all began. We spent the first three and a half days of our PacNW trip in Seattle. They were a really solid three days, so I wanted to share our itinerary.
Day 1: arrive in Portland, drive up to Seattle (if you’re doing the full PacNW tour like we did). Stop in Olympia for lunch at King Solomon’s Reef. Order the Patty Melt, or the Reuben, or anything really you can’t go wrong. Just close your eyes and don’t think about the calories. When you get to Seattle, take in the views of the Puget Sound and the city from your Airbnb in Queen Anne. Queen Anne is a central neighborhood that has much to offer in itself, but also makes getting out to explore and back quickly for nap time a breeze. Open the windows and breath that fresh salty air right in to your soul. After settling in and setting up the pack-n-play, head back out for a walk around Green Lake to stretch your legs after your long day of sitting in airplanes and automobiles. Grab groceries from a nearby store, or ask Yelp where to do a quick easy dinner. You’re likely still full from lunch and the kiddo will need to go to bed early. It’s been a big day.
Day 2: Get out before the crowds and head to Pike Place early. You’re up anyway, with the time difference and the toddler. Wander slowly through the market as the stalls and shops open, visit the gum wall and find a place for breakfast. We enjoyed an awesome meal at Bacco Cafe, a highlight of which were their fresh juice blends and salmon hash. Give me all the salmon when I’m in Seattle. If you’d like a more casual first meal- Piroshky Piroshky and Le Panier in the market are excellent grab and go options (you can have a picnic in the park across the way, you’ll see it and know what I’m talking about). After breakfast, continue your wanderings until the Seattle Aquarium (located just below the market) opens. Walk down to get there at opening time. This is key because you will again, beat the crowd and enjoy the rest of the morning looking at the fishies sans the throngs! We especially liked the Puget Sound exhibit featuring the region’s sea life. The octopi are my favorite. Stop for coffee at Caffe Vita on your way back. This is Seattle, after all.
Intermission: Nap time! Back at the Airbnb for lunch and a siesta.
Resume activities in the afternoon. Go over to Golden Gardens Park. Depending on the weather, you can soak in the sun, gaze at the Olympic Mountain range across the Sound, play volleyball, throw rocks in the water and run around on the playground. From there, hop over to Ballard and have happy hour at one of the many breweries. We did run in to one that was not kid friendly, so check first. Take dinner to go and head to Gas Works or Kerry Park to picnic with skyline views and to shake out the last of the wiggles. Everyone will sleep well tonight.
Day 3: In the morning, walk or run the Elliot Bay Trail. Afterwards, head up to Capitol Hill to reward your exercise with brunch at Coastal Kitchen. When you’re done, go over to Volunteer Park and depending on time and weather, play at the playground or the splash pond there. Or, wander through the conservatory and climb the old water tower.
Intermission: Nap time! Back at the Airbnb for siesta and snack.
After your rest, go to the Seattle Terminal ferry dock. Take a late afternoon/early evening ferry to Bainbridge Island. Sit out on the deck, soak up the Seattle sun because its August and it never rains in Seattle in August. Love your life so much in that moment. When you get there, go to Bainbridge Brewing, play pinball and share a flight. After that, head back to the cute little downtown, put your name on the list at the restaurant of your choosing and stroll the docks while you wait. There is so much life in and on the water here, you’ll have plenty to see. We ate on the patio at the family friendly Doc’s Marina Grill that night. Take the ferry back after dinner and enjoy the sunset over the Olympics, Mount Rainier in all her glory and the skyline view as the sky darkens and the city lights up for the night. Pinch yourself to make sure its real.
In the morning, head back down to Portland to continue on your PacNW adventures. Hope you enjoyed your time in Seattle! We certainly did.