3 Days Away– Pacific Northwest. Are you craving more adventure and excitement? Looking for a unique weekend getaway? A weekend trip is one of the best ways to rejuvenate yourself and feel more connected to your life. Maybe you can’t spring for a full week spa retreat, but if you are craving self-care, grab your favorite travel buddy and head to the Pacific Northwest: Seattle.
Seattle is the birthplace of Starbucks, home of the space needle and one of the wettest places on earth, with record rainfall every year. You won’t see locals carrying umbrellas. Surprisingly, the wet weather doesn’t keep anyone indoors. Seattle, in Washington State, is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest. Locals call it the Emerald City, the Jet City, the Rainy City, the Gateway to Alaska, the Queen city, the City of Flowers or, my personal favorite, the Coffee Capitol of the World.
This northwest hotspot is certainly comfortable in its roots. I ventured into the Seattle for a three-day getaway to peel back the layers and see what locals love about this wet, grunge-loving and beer-guzzling coffee capitol city.
As it turns out, Seattle is bustling with enthusiasm and local favorites.
To get a true sense of the city, I stayed at the W Seattle. Located on 4th and Seneca Street, this uber hip downtown Seattle hotel is in the heart of the financial, retail and entertainment districts. The inside of the W feels like a sophisticated nightclub. I felt more posh just stepping up to the front counter. A citrus aroma flows through the lobby with dim lights reflecting off the black walls, and black carpets that say Good Afternoon on them. An oversized disco ball Christmas tree sits in the welcome lodge. It’s sparkles with purple glow lights, which is a clear invitation to relax, sit back and party.
I arranged the Secrets in Seattle Package, which is a true insider experience into the best-kept secrets in the city. Tom Bell, the W insider, was my local expert. He crafted a customized itinerary unique to my interests.
The customizable Secrets in Seattle experience includes:
- Custom itinerary from our W insider firstname.lastname@example.org
- Complimentary upgrade to Spectacular room*
- $25 gift card from major credit card company
- Complimentary high-speed internet access
- 2 cool cocktails at Trace Bar
My unique take on Seattle, included the following:
Le Pichet for lunch. The sandwich en baguette with Paris ham or pâté and gruyère was exceptional.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in Smell-O-Vision at SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) Film Center. Insider Tip: free Wonkariffic goodie bags are distributed to attendees to enhance the experience. I was definitely the only tourist in the movie theater. Surrounded by howling locals and a cheerful child, I fit right in.
Willy Wonka played on that big screen as captains displays, the audience sang along and chewed chocolate and bubble gum pushed by on screen prompts. A bubble machine rolled in and flooded the theater with real bubbles in the scene with Charlie and his grandfather get stuck in the movie. This full immersion experience brings out the kid in me, one simple reminder I am in the Pacific Northwest, where locals thrive on simple pleasures.
After the movie, I walked three blocks to McMenamins Queen Anne pub and restaurant on 200 Roy St., #105 Seattle, WA 98109. McMenamins are famous in the Pacific Nortwhest, with more than 65 brewpubs. The chain is mostly in Portland metropolitan area. According to Brewers association, McMenamins is one of the top 50 craft breweries in the United States.
This cozy location, set beneath the Space Needle and just a block from the Seattle Center, McMenamins Queen Anne services the lower Queen Anne neighborhood. It seems this pub is never lonely. Inside, three hand-painted fermenting tanks guard the kitchen door in a back corner.
More McMenamins artwork adorns the walls of this comfortable spot, where friends and families gather on any given night. I see a lot of beards, flannel and unbrushed hair. Everyone is free to just be with one another in good company, nestled inside, cozy away from the rain.
I order their famous Cajun tator tots and the specialty brew on nitro. Kristmas Thunder Nitro Stout, a big, full-bodied chocolate oatmeal stout. This imperial ale, with that smooth nitro pour and rich roast finish, is arguable one of the best I’ve ever had.
I leave the restaurant and make my way back to the hotel. I could call a cab but choose to act like a local and walk in the rain. It is misty and refreshing. I walk 1.77 miles and am welcomed into the W with friendly smiles and a “Welcome back Miss Kaiser,” from the front desk.
I head straight to the ground level to Trace Restaurant and sit at the bar. I am eager to sip a cool cocktail, complementary of my Secrets in Seattle Package. I am traveling with my mom, one of my favorite travel buddies, and we clink our glasses to cheers our lavender langpour cocktails, made with Grey Goose, Domaine de Canton, ginger liquor, lavender dry soda and lemon juice.
I ask the bartender what he recommends for food and he brings out an Angry Crab Roll and Seattle Roll. The Angry Crab is hot lovers delight, with spicy crab, lettuce, tabiko and habanero sauce. There is not enough water to wash away the heat. Tears roll down my eyes, but I love every bite. Not for the faint of flavor heart. The Seattle roll, much more inviting, is made with salmon, cucumber avocado and tobiko. All ingredients are fresh, organic and local.
After dinner, I head up to the spectacular room on the fifteenth floor. I decide to call the W Seattle’s signature Whatever Whenever Service. With a push of a button, I tell the concierge service what I desire. More Bliss products please. Within minutes, they bring them to my room so I can soak in the bath tub with extra Bliss lemon and sage soapy suds body wash and bubble bath.
Some W Hotels have Bliss Spas, but the W Seattle has Penelope & the Beauty Bar, just as wonderful. She is the W Seattle’s go-to for in-room treatments.
The Massage Sanctuary on Capitol Hill offers a welcoming, low-key and relaxing environment for treatments as well.
The next morning, I wake up feeling grounded and ready for the new day. I start in the 24-hour fitness center at FIT. After a great workout, I walk a few blocks to Pikes Place Market to get a coffee from the first Starbucks in the world.
Starbucks opened its first store in 1971 in the Pikes Place Market in downtown Seattle. I am immediately back in time because the Market is a historic district with design guidelines, so the first store retains its original look.
I sip my latte, taking in the secrets in Seattle and realize how perfect this quick getaway is. I feel revived, balanced and happy. The W Seattle is in a perfect location to do and see everything in Seattle. It’s hip vibe is a really a high-rise retreat in downtown Seattle’s culture core.
I’ve had a glorious 24 hours in the heart of the city. Now it’s time to take this adventure girl into the woods.
Seattle is known for it’s outdoor enthusiasts. Ranked one of the fittest cities in the nation, nature lovers thrive here. I connect with my inner tree lover and head to TreeHouse point.
Just 30 minutes outside of the city, I am transported into a rustic retreat.
Peace and tranquility flood over me as soon as I arrive on this private property. Smack dab in the beautiful forest beside the Raging River, TreeHouse Point is the home base for Nelson Treehouse and Supply company, and a bed and breakfast with six one-of-a-kind treehouses available for overnight stays.
There is yoga available four times a week for a small additional fee. Due in large part to the success of the reality television show on Animal Planet, Treehouse Masters, which features their builder/owner Pete Nelson, it now takes months to book a treehouse of choice.
There is serene energy on the property. All the other treehouse guests smile and say hi in passing. Birds chirp overhead. The rushing water of the river flows down below. I make my way across the bridge that leads to The Burl.
The Burl is the newest treehouse. Its signature look stands tall as it curls around a magnificent fir tree. The Burl sits high above the forest floor and is accessed by an impressive bridge. The private balcony offers views of the Raging River below, and two beautiful leather chairs look out side. My mom keeps saying she feels like a hobbit, as if we have ascended into an enchanted forest and here in the Burl, all of our dreams will come true.
My mom and I head to the main lodge, where there is a plethora of reading material, an antique chess table, board and card games, crayons and complimentary Wi-Fi. My mom picks up the guitar and starts playing a tune. Although she has no previous training, at Treehouse Point, magic is in the air. She sounds great, in tune, and as though she has been performing for years.
We make it just in time for tea, homemade cookies and savory treats.
Upstairs in the loft, I crack the window to listen to the sounds of the river before falling asleep. The hand-hewn queen size bed is the most comfortable I have ever slept in.
I made a conscious effort to turn off my technology, so I could escape from everyday stress, which helped me feel rejuvenated and refreshed.
The next morning, we wake to a full self-serve continental breakfast. Fresh baked items, hard-boiled eggs or an egg-based dish, homemade granola, yogurt, milk, fresh fruit, coffee, tea and juice.
It is recommended to stay at least two nights in the treehouses. I wish I was staying for three or four. This rustic retreat is a great balance to the urban high res.
To plan your next trip get details here.
Want to Go:
6922 Preston Fall City Rd
Issaquah, WA 98027
1112 4th Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98101
She is best-selling author of three books about happiness, including Find Your Happy and Adventures for Your Soul. She appears regularly as a happiness expert on AM Northwest and Huff Post Live, and was named among the “Top 100 Women to Watch in Wellness” by the Mind Body Green. Shannon's the founder of Playwiththeworld.com, an award-winning self-help and personal development website. She's an author, international life coach, teacher, travel writer and inspirational speaker who left her job in advertising several years ago to follow her heart and become a writer.
Her work has been recognized in media outlets across the globe such as HuffPost Live, Health Magazine, Australian Vogue, Women’s Health, Spirituality & Health and Entrepreneur magazine. Everything Shannon does is to help you connect to your true self and unapologetically live your authentic purpose.
Connect on Facebook @ShannonKaiserWrites
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