The Space Needle and EMP Museum

How can you come to Seattle without visiting the Space Needle?!

Well, we almost did just that! Wandering around Queen Anne the previous day, we decided we simply had to check out the Space Needle during our trip. This observation tower was built for the 1962 World Fair and is synonymous with the city. It marries two design ideas of a balloon tethered to the ground, and a flying saucer.

There are many ticket options when visiting the Space Needle; tourists can visit using CityPass, buy a joint ticket that grants admission to Chihuly Glass and Garden, or with a day/night pass for two visits (this would be cool)!. Since our visit was planned last minute, we simply paid general admission ($18) to visit the observation deck. 

There are phenomenal views of the city, and it’s pretty cool to just observe everything from 600+ feet! 

Another last minute decision was to visit the EMP Museum, a contemporary pop culture spot with an exhibit for everyone! 

From fear to fantasy, movies to music, there was loads to explore and tons of photo ops! 

It’s fascinating to see original costumes and pieces from iconic films. EMP also has a bit of fun; note the famous Harry Potter invisibility clock below…

Meg was in sports heaven with an exhibit on the Seattle Seahawks. 

But the main event was “Star Wars and the Power of Costume”! 

The exhibit spans 2 floors and covers all the iconic looks from the Star Wars films. I was in nerd heaven! 

The exhibit is extremely informative, with behind the scenes video and photos, intriguing costume tidbits and more! 

The EMP is such a cool museum. It reminds me of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Anyone can have a great time visiting!

The EMP Museum is also on CityPass; general admission to include the Star Wars exhibit is $30. 


Food Touring: Seattle

Yup. We took a food tour in Seattle. And it was fantastic. Take a look at our journey and tons of foodie recommendations for your own visit to town! 

We booked our tour online about 2 weeks before our trip through Savor Seattle Food Tours. We initially planned to do this on Saturday, but all the slots were filled! Definitely book ahead to make sure you get a spot that works with your travel plans. There are several tours to choose from and we took the Gourmet Seattle tour

The tour began at The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co. We met the rest of our group (7 individuals in total plus our tour guide) and went over the map for the day before getting our first course! 

Things kicked off with something sweet: the spice cake with now-not-so-secret-ingredient Campbell’s tomato soup (yup) and the bacon pancake cupcake with Italian buttercream frosting. 

The inclusion of the tomato soup dates back to the Depression era and the need to get crafty with ingredients. It sounds weird but adds a creaminess to the cake flavor (and doesn’t taste at all tomato-y). 

Both cakes were divine, but if I had to pick a winner it would be the bacon pancake cupcake. Something about that salty/sweet combo leaves any competitors in the dust. 

Next we headed to Serious Pie, one of Tom Douglas’ many delicious restaurants. 

The group split two pizzas: the buffalo mozzarella with tomato sauce and fresh basil, and the roasted seasonal mushroom (king trumpets and porinis) with truffle cheese. As a Chicagoan I think I have a pretty high standard for pizza. And Serious Pie nails it! These were the perfect balance of ingredients, the dough was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and overall these were fab. 

I feel like such a traitor saying this since I am an avid mushroom fan, but my favorite of the two was the buffalo mozzarella! So simple but so good. 

The third stop was Cutter’s Crabhouse for Cedergreen Cellars Sauvignon Blanc and the Dungeness crab stuffed tiger prawn over greens. Cedergreen Cellars is a Washington-based winery and the wine was very crisp and light. It was a little too light for my taste but still tasty. The stuffed tiger prawn was also tasty, though not the highlight of the tour for me. 

Afterwards we headed to La Buona Tavola, not pictured, a small shop in the thick of Pike Place Market. Here we sampled truffle oils and potato leek soup topped with white truffle. 

At Steelhead Diner we sat down to wine and their fantastic chicken and andouille sausage gumbo. The cajun spices give this dish a subtle yet distinguished kick, and the steamed rice on top really sets this apart from other gumbos you may have had before. Despite our tour being mid-afternoon, this Pike Place restaurant was hopping! 

The next stop, Von’s Gustobistro, may have been my favorite. We were served Northwest-Styled Salmon Cakes, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. The dollop of sauce on top added a nice touch, and the bed of greens balanced the rich flavors of the cake. 

By oh my. The margarita. 

Von’s distilles spirits in house, and poured us the most amazing margaritas I have ever had. The tequila is so smooth (I am not normally a tequila fan) and blends perfectly with fresh juices. It’s the Mayahuel Margarita and is worth returning to the restaurant just for a round. 

I’d love to return one day to try out their signature sourdough pasta and pizza! 

Our last stop of the day was Fran’s Chocolates. Little did I know that this is the official chocolatier of the White House! When President Obama was campaigning he visited Seattle and received a ‘Welcome to Seattle’ basket filled with local goodies, including chocolates from Fran’s. Now Fran’s has a standing order from the White House to stock all their chocolate needs! 

The employees at Fran’s really know their stuff. They are so helpful in curating customized boxes of chocolate (for friends or, let’s be honest, for yourself!). 

My favorites at Fran’s are the grey salt caramels and the orange confit; deliciously balanced with dark chocolate for a sweet treat. 

The afternoon was amazing and I definitely would love to experience a food tour again! It’s such a fun culinary ride, filled with great foodie facts and obviously tons of yummy eats. A food tour really lets you get a finger on the food pulse of a city, and is now high on my tourist to do list when I travel! 

Logan’s Tips and Tricks-

-Book your food tour early in your trip. There were tons of spots we wanted to return to and recommendations from our tour guide. We had to choose the best since our tour was on our last full day; I would have liked to have a few days to fill with all the great eats we discovered!

-If a 3 hour food tour seems intimidating don’t worry. The portions are smaller than the place typically serves and each place is spaced well with walking and talking. We ate a medium sized lunch 2 hours before starting the food tour and we made in through like champs! (Schedule a late dinner though!) 

-Many spots will feature behind the scenes seating and a chance to really interact with the management/servers of a restaurant. It’s a great chance to ask loads of questions! 

The London Plane

One of my favorite meals during our weekend in Seattle was breakfast at The London Plane. This bright spot is located in Pioneer Square and serves up seriously great food in it’s modern space. 

The restaurant regularly hosts a flower shop featuring local blooms. It’s a gorgeous table and a fun addition to the dining decor! 

Our table was right next to the window; despite the overcast weather the tall windows let tons of light in. 

Warm biscuit with preserves and creme fraiche-

House quiche-

Vegetable and grain trio-

Toast with hazelnut butter, sea salt and honey-

Soft scrambled eggs with leeks, bacon and chives-

All of the food was delicious. The ingredients were decadent and everything just tasted fresh and fulfilling. The London Plane also offers theme dinners Wednesdays-Saturdays, and I would love to return to see their take on the nightly focus! 

The London Plane is located at 300 Occidental Avenue South in Seattle.  

Chihuly Garden and Glass

On our recent trip to Seattle we discovered the most amazing spot. Nestled in Lower Queen Anne along with the Space Needle and EMP Museum is the dreamiest experience I had during our time in the city: The Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit. 

If you’ve been to Las Vegas you probably know about the famed glass ceiling in the Bellagio hotel. Well those beautiful glass sculptures are the work of Dale Chihuly, a Washington native and artist extraordinaire. His education includes time spent in a glass factory in Venice and he has broken down barriers to establish glass work as fine art. His work has been featured all over the world!

This exhibit highlights Chihuly’s work through themed rooms. The work is just spectacular; I could spend an entire day observing the pieces. 

One of my favorite spots was the Sealife Room, taking inspiration from Puget Sound and highlighting Chihuly’s love of the sea.

The Persian Ceiling of course is reminiscent of that famed Venetian ceiling. 

The next two rooms were utterly breathtaking. The Mille Fiori-

And the Ikebana and Float Boat-

The exhibit features many spectacular glass chandeliers. How cool would it be to have one of these for your home? 

Of course the best is saved for last. The glass garden is stunning; the combination of nature and glass sculpture is like nothing I have seen before. 

Logan’s Tips and Tricks:

-Check for any private event closures prior to visiting on the website. The Glasshouse was closed for a reception during our visit; not a deal breaker but certainly a bummer. 

-Package admissions are available for Chilhuly and the Space Needle. You’ll save a few bucks! 

-Chiluly offers free coat check, if this is applicable due to the weather. Be warned that the last exhibit, the garden, is outside therefore it may be ideal to hang on to your coat. 

-Consider grabbing a small bite to eat or something sweet at the Collections Cafe, featuring Dale Chihuly’s personal collections. These are a hoot to check out! 

Chihuly Garden and Glass is located at 305 Harrison Street in Seattle, easily accessible via the Seattle Monorail

Seatown Seabar

Before arriving in Seattle our friend Julie insisted that we put one of Tom Douglas’ restaurants on our to do list. Tom is quite the Seattle celebrity; this chef won the James Beard award in 1994 for Best Northwest Chef, and again in 2012 as Best Restaurateur. Tom has a myriad of restaurants in Seattle of all different cuisines and levels of fanciness. We decided on Seatown Seabar for dinner one night and oh. my. goodness was this an amazing meal!

The spot is located right next to Pike Place Market and has an amazing, laid back vibe that is true to it’s name. We nabbed a table inside the packed restaurant (a reservation is helpful) and started off with drinks. I love a dirty martini but find it’s somewhat of a purple unicorn in the world of drinks; it’s difficult to find one that isn’t under/over on the amount of brine. I was seriously impressed with Seatown’s version, served with house made pickled vegetables alongside the traditional stuffed green olive. 

My friends went for Moscow Mules, served with local ginger beer from Rachel’s which is the perfect blend of spicy from the ginger. 

Our group started off with an assortment of oysters. I am no newbie when it comes to oysters and these, hands down, were the best I’ve ever had. So fresh they didn’t even need the provided toppings, though I was impressed by the caramelized lemon served alongside these beauties.  

My main was halibut, served with potatoes and asparagus. I love ordering fish at a restaurant and seeing just how well they prepare the dish. Fish really does shine when it’s simple, since it’s freshness can be the stand out. This halibut was phenomenal and again, one of the best I’ve ever ordered! 

Steph ordered the Chef’s salad with dungeness crab: pickled beets, egg and local cheddar cheese. 

Julie had the crab BLT, while Meg went with the salmon burger (not pictured). We finished off the meal with Tom’s legendary triple coconut cream pie.

Everything about this meal was divine, top to bottom. I would absolutely return to Seatown the next time I am in Seattle, which is especially saying something since there are so many amazing restaurants to try in town!

Seatown Seabar is located at 2010 Western Avenue in Seattle, and reservations are available through Open Table. 

Bainbridge Island

On our first full day in Seattle we set out for the ferry to cross over to Bainbridge Island. But first, coffees and donuts at Caffe Vita

It was a slightly cold but quite sunny day for a ferry ride! 

We admired the view, pretended we were on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, and made a new friend while taking pictures! 

Our first stop was Cafe Nola for brunch. 

We said cheers to our weekend vacation and set about studying the menu! 

Lobster deviled eggs and a maple bacon biscuit to share!

The deviled eggs were beyond decadent, and the biscuit was heavenly. I’d return here solely for the biscuit! 

Meg and I went halvsies on the Food Network acclaimed caramel pecan french toast. I am not a sweet breakfast person, but the salty bacon balances everything out. This definitely has earned it’s praise! 

We also shared a classic breakfast.

Steph ordered the delectable spring hash topped with poached eggs. 

Quite full, we set out to walk the island and take in the sights. 

Bainbridge was by and large one of my highlights of the weekend! 

Logan’s Tips:

  • Bainbridge is absolutely a walkable spot to visit. Most shops and restaurants of note are within a half mile radius of the ferry port.
  • Take all your ferry pictures on the way over to Bainbridge, while you are still “fresh”. We did and were happy to be able to relax inside on the ride back.
  • There are tons of adorable shops on Winslow Way; definitely plan on an hour to wander around! 

Welcome to Seattle!

At the end of April I journeyed to the Pacific Northwest for the first time. I had the essentials for the long weekend: an umbrella, an empty stomach, and two of my best travel buddies! 

After a seamless flight and trip into the city from Sea-Tac, we quickly dropped our things at our home for the weekend (a great find through airbnb) and headed for Pike Place Market. 

Pike Place is like nothing else. It’s filled to the brim with amazing spots to shop and eat. We made multiple trips here over our weekend, each time discovering new places. 

The Pike Place Chowder Co. is outstanding; we ordered our own sampler of chowders to try and had a hard time picking a favorite! 

If I lived in Seattle, I’d absolutely do all my shopping here.

The line was huge at the first Starbucks (which is actually not even the first! It moved from the original spot to Pike Place) and we stopped just long enough to take a picture. 

My favorite part about Pike Place hands down is the AH-MAAAAZING flower shop. The blooms are stunning and are such a steal to pick up a bouquet to take home. 

A very cool find within the market is Rachel’s Ginger Beer, a shop that sells…’ve got it, only ginger beer! There are tons of flavors to choose from and you can also get cocktails. Needless to say, the Moscow Mules were fantastic. 

On our first night, Steph and I grabbed dinner at the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar while Meg met up with some coworkers. The location on 4th Avenue is perfect for people watching, and the interior is washed with light from outside. And check out how cool the bar itself is in the middle! 

My favorite dish was the crab cakes, served with a fresh orange and fennel salad. 

We grabbed coffee afterwards as we walked to SafeCo Field for a baseball game! 

Of course there were multiple coffee stops over the next several days; my favorite being the almond milk latte at Zeitgeist Coffee. 

We walked A TON over our time in the city. One spot I was (overly) excited to see was the Escala building, though was told there is not actually a helicopter pad on the roof. 

A gorgeous spot to take in the city is Kerry Park. It’s a bit of a trek if you don’t have a car but absolutely worth it. Our friend Julie who lives in Seattle gave us an outstanding tour of the city and insisted on taking us here. She was right, this spot is magical. 

Apparently this is a hot spot for the city shots that show up on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’! 

The Queen Anne area that Kerry Park is in has stunning homes and is fun to just walk around to explore. 

Another fantastic spot is Volunteer Park. I spotted these cuties having a great time playing fetch! 

Visitors can climb the Water Tower and see all around Seattle, including the mountains in the distance. 

There is still so much to share from my trip out west so stay tuned! 

Tips and Tricks:

  • Seattle is a bevy of hills; be sure to pack your walking shoes! 
  • The moniker of a rainy city is a bit misleading; Seattle’s rain is more of a light mist and during our four days there it only rained twice (for a very short period of time at that). Still, plan ahead and pack a small umbrella in your bag so the rain doesn’t impact your plans! 
  • Promise to plan for at least one meal at Pike Place Market. There are so many delicious places to eat, or pull together your own custom meal with a little taste from multiple spots!