Growing up in the late 90s/early 00s, I was a grunge loving kid who always dreamed of trudging around in the Seattle mist. Obviously, that’s not me anymore, but I’ve still got that spirit and never lost my desire to visit the city. I finally made the trip with my friend Richard and it definitely lived up to the hype.
Staying in Capitol Hill is an absolute must. Aside from being the gayborhood, it’s adorable and walking distance to everything you could want. We stayed in an amazing apartment in the hood managed by a friendly New Zealander. It’s the only place I’ll ever want to stay in the city.
As I found in Portland, the northwest is at its best when it brunches. Seattle is no different. We had an excellent breakfast in the quaint and quiet Pettirosso. Looking for a livelier scene? Americana is in the heart of the gayborhood and most likely will have a wait that’s worth your while.
Seattle’s obviously a great place for coffee and there are plenty of cafes to stop into. While traipsing around the Fremont neighborhood, we ducked into Pie for an espresso and a slice of heavenly goodness. A short walk from our Capitol Hill apartment was Cafe Solstice, which we both loved so much we stopped in for lunch twice during our visit.
Like any good gay man, I’m obsessed with mid century modern design and that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Carlile Room. It’s perfect for Instagram and features a menu of craft cocktails and shareable plates of hearty late night bites. For two people, our waitress recommended choosing 2-3 dishes off the plants section of the menu and 1-2 proteins.
As most know, I love my dive bars and Seattle is packed with plenty of gritty drinking spots. I picked up my first Seattle drink at Linda’s Tavern, which grunge fans may know as the last place Kurt Cobain was seen. Some of my other favorite dives were Cha Cha Lounge with it’s fiesta decor and Unicorn dressed up in a circus theme. For fancier fare, Witness is a good option for Southern-influenced late night bites and craft cocktails.
I was impressed by the number of gay bars and the diverse scenes they represent. They’re all worth stopping into for a well-rounded experience. The three story R Place was my favorite with karaoke downstairs and and a hip hop dance party upstairs. We also checked out Purr for a low key cocktail lounge, Pony for dancing, and Cuff for that x-rated leather vibe.
Seattle has a great number of tourist attractions, museums, and outdoor activities. Be a good tourist and check out the Fremont Troll, statue of Lenin, Space Needle, and Pike Place Market. The Experience Music Project museum has actually been on my bucket list since I was a teenager and I was ecstatic to finally get to check it out. During our visit they had excellent exhibitions on sci fi and horror movies. I’d budget somewhere around 4 hours for your visit.
One morning, Richard and I rented a car and drove about an hour from the city to Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene. You’ll need a Northwest Forest Pass, which you can pick up from a coffee stand down the street from the trail. The coffee stand is actually next to an office built for the movie Harry and the Hendersons. This is definitely a strenuous hike up a rocky mountain path about 8 miles round trip but it’s very much worth the effort. The falls are impressive but Lake Serene is definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.
Seattle has easily become one of my favorite cities. If you haven’t made a visit, book a flight now!