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The City Guide to Seattle, Washington

photo: Chris Sumida
Known for being sleepless, caffeinated and rainy, Seattle has a lot more to offer the modern traveler beyond clichés from the 90’s. Seattle is filled with vibrant neighborhoods with distinct personalities, a burgeoning brewery scene and some of the best food the west coast has to offer. Our Senior Editor, Heather Ash, went to try out some of Seattle’s best to report back to you on. No shockers here: oysters were a hit and the surprising lack of rain was… surprising.  

We’re exploring what to see, where to stay, and above all, where to eat and drink. From hidden wine bars in alleys to one of America’s best oyster bars, here’s your verified guide to America’s rainiest city.
Photo: Heather Ash
1 / 19
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Bar Melusine

Capitol Hill, Seattle
You may have first spotted Bar Melusine in your social feed, and it’s easy to see why. Minty fresh paint, tiled floors and a marble waterfall bar set the scene for the fresh and inventive menu. Inside tip: This spot is only open for dinner on weekdays so go for weekend brunch to take it all in during daylight.
Photo: Heather Ash
2 / 19
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Ace Hotel Seattle

Belltown, Seattle
The one that started it all – Ace Hotel Seattle is the original installment of the cool-kid approved brand. Paired down surroundings, a minimal number of rooms and a single door entrance give the hotel a dorm like feel – which we’re all about. A homey retreat after a long day, this spot is a must stay.
Photo: Heather Ash
3 / 19
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The London Plane

Pioneer Square, Seattle
A wonderful surprise to come across in Pioneer Square, The London Plane is a flower shop, bakery, small goods store, wine bar and restaurant all in one. The amazing architecture adds to the charm of the whole experience so be sure to stay a while. What to order: Rosé and a slice gateau basque with preserves.
Photo: Heather Ash
4 / 19
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Prism

Ballard, Seattle
An expertly curated boutique in Ballard, Prism has something for literally everyone. Scents for him and her, jewelry, tchotchkes and, of course, clothing makes this a tastemaker dream. You may just find yourself forgetting about finding a souvenir in favor for something prettier.
Photo: Heather Ash
5 / 19
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The Palm Room

Ballard, Seattle
This plant shop is just ray of sunshine (literally and figuratively). Plants hang from the ceiling, spill over shelves and occupy every corner as the afternoon sun streams in. If you have room in your carry on, it’s highly advised to stow an air plant or two. 
Photo: Heather Ash
6 / 19
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Chihuly Glass Gardens & Museum

Seattle Center, Seattle
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum is in the Seattle Center showcasing the studio glass of Dale Chihuly. Here you'll find larger than life glass sculptures, interactive exhibits and most of all, color around every corner. Head into the final, grand room and take in the floating floral exhibition that’s truly amazing.
Photo: Heather Ash
7 / 19
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Elliott's Oyster House

Downtown Seattle
Down by the water, aquarium and other attractions is Elliott’s Oyster House. Undeniably one of the more touristy spots on this list, Elliott’s is a perfect mid day stop-in after going on the the Great Wheel for chowder and oysters. Inside tip: Make a reservation (even for apps), this place gets busy.
Photo: Heather Ash
8 / 19
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Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square, Seattle
Walkable from Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square is filled with brick paved roads, mature trees and charming storefronts. A beautiful and historic part of town to wander through, pop in any of the shops and restaurants for a delightful afternoon.
Photo: Heather Ash
9 / 19
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The Walrus and The Carpenter

Ballard, Seattle
The Walrus and The Carpenter has been called the best oyster bar in America and we’re not going to disagree, in the slightest. Try a dozen of the local, impossibly fresh oysters alongside some fresh baked bread and butter. Inside tip: Get there early! They don’t take reservations and the line forms an hour before opening.
Photo: Heather Ash
10 / 19
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Little Tin Goods & Apothecary Cabinet

Ballard, Seattle
The perfect place to stumble in while walking through the picturesque streets of Ballard, this bar and cafe is an indoor secret garden that seems to be made exclusively of cozy corners. What to order: Spam musubi and mezcal cocktails.
Photo: Chris Sumida
11 / 19
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Slate Coffee Roasters

Pioneer Square, Seattle
Minimal, modern and filled with one-of-a-kind art for sale, Slate Coffee Roasters has a few locations to bring seriously delicious coffee to the coffee capital. The Pioneer Square location is a cool hang, for an anytime coffee. What to order: The drip coffee tastes so good, you may just order two. We did.
Photo: Delancey
12 / 19
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Delancey

Ballard, Seattle
Another spot that appears on every Seattle guide available, Delancey is a small pizza joint in Ballard that lives up to the hype. The low key atmosphere, friendly staff and really, really good pizza make for a relaxing night in a warm setting. What to order: Brussels sprouts to start, a margherita pizza (you can’t go wrong) and Meyer lemon budino for dessert.
Photo: Heather Ash
13 / 19
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Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market, Seattle
Touristy, yes. Obligatory, also yes. Pike Place Market is obviously a huge tourist trap, but that’s what makes it fun, right? Cruise by the first Starbucks but, dare we say, don’t go in (you can get it literally anywhere) and walk through the fish markets and abundant bakeries. Snap a photo in front of the sign and you’re off.
Photo: Chris Sumida
14 / 19
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Gum Wall

Pike Place Market, Seattle
Another touristy bucket list item to check off – the gum wall. The thousands… millions… of pieces of gum smell eerily minty (how??) and are a fun photo opp. While you’re down there, grab an espresso from Ghost Alley Espresso, a hole-in-the-wall joint serving hot and caffeinated drinks to warm you up and get you buzzed.
Photo: Stateside
15 / 19
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Stateside

Capitol Hill, Seattle
This tropical inspired Vietnamese restaurant in Capitol Hill is a definite must-try. You’ll be drawn in by the well-designed interiors and blown away by the food (Vietnamese food lovers, rejoice). What to order: If nothing else, the crispy duck fresh rolls – they. are. insane.
Photo: Chris Sumida
16 / 19
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Elysian Brewery

Capitol Hill, Seattle
For any beer aficionado, Elysian is a household name. From Day Glow to Space Dust, Elysian is known for strong brews and colorful, wacky labels. The first brewery and tasting room to the Elysian brand is in Capitol Hill and provides a laidback departure from their branding. Inside tip: Order a flight to try all the seasonal beers.
Photo: Nelson Young
17 / 19
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The Nest

Downtown Seattle
Time for what is probably the biggest “scene” on this list, The Nest at Thompson Seattle. Living up to its reputation of having one of the best views in Seattle, The Nest is sleek, sexy and the place to be on the weekend. Inside tip: It’s packed leading up to the sunset, so plan to wait a half hour before getting up there.
Photo: Heather Ash
18 / 19
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The Tasting Room

Pike Place Market, Seattle
Stop in The Tasting Room after grabbing dinner at The Pink Door (just across the street) and order a bottle of wine while you catch some local live music. A perfect cozy hideaway from the rain, grab a board game, sit back and sip away.
19 / 19
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Pennyroyal Bar

Downtown Seattle
Pennyroyal is the non-hotel lobby bar, lobby bar worth a visit. Equal parts modern and old-world, find brass fixtures, oil burning lanterns and handlebar mustache adorned bartenders. What to order: Something from the extensive liquor menu that benefits a good cause such as snow leopard rehabilitation (seriously).

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Happy favoriting!