The Healthy-ish Guide to Seattle | Katie Proctor

When I travel, I love crowdsourcing ideas from others who have been there or even better who live there. My goal is to experience every new city as if I am planning to move there — because I think it’s way more fun that way! Of course we’ll throw in more touristy things here and there but only if we get multiple recommendations that it’s worth it, because very often it’s not. I love a mix of fitness + foodie adventures so fitting those in is always at the top of my list.

In August, we spent a long weekend in Seattle to celebrate my good friend from my MBA program’s wedding. Since both accommodations and flights cost more that time of year, we wanted to extend our trip as long as possible.

We started by selecting a location near the wedding events at Olympic Sculpture Park. We chose an awesome 1-bedroom condo right in the heart of Lower Queen Anne, which had just enough action and quiet for us. We would definitely stay here again because not only was it well-equipped but it was in walking distance to Safeway for groceries, coffee shops, across from a trendy beer hall, a pedestrian bridge to the waterfront and even had a Corepower Yoga on the ground floor. The biggest bonus was that off-street parking was a breeze and we never had to pay for a pricey lot.

Lower Queen Anne Condo Seattle

We went back and forth on renting a car but I’m so glad we did because we were able to cover more ground. Plus, we weren’t able to get into our place until 4pm and needed somewhere to store our bags {this wasn’t a hotel with a front desk or concierge} since we arrived at 8am Friday morning.

After driving into the city, we met the wedding party and other guests at South Lake Union for an hour of kayaking. We walked along the boardwalk first to see all the “Sleepless in Seattle” floating residences, and it was fun to envision living like that. Some of the homes were very minimal while others were huge and sprawling.

Northwest Outdoor Center Seattle

We booked through the Northwest Outdoor Center which was an overall positive experience. The one thing that surprised me is that we received no instruction on how to paddle, where to paddle or safety. They just kind of pushed us out in the water to have at it — which was fine considering we’ve gone kayaking before — but suddenly we realized that we were kayaking right in the middle of a very busy “air space” with water planes taking off and landing every few minutes. There were more than a few close calls!

Kayaking Seattle

We were starving at this point and wanted a seafood/water experience since that is something we don’t really get in landlocked Denver. By a friend’s suggestion we visited the super low-key Ivar’s {same location as the Salmon House on Northlake Way} for some fish and chips and a view. We didn’t go to the fancy restaurant in the back but rather the unassuming counter in the front then you can take your food out to enjoy on the patio — same view as the other guys and WAY cheaper. We did a fried white fish and fried salmon, and neither of us were crazy about the salmon as it was kind of dried out but everything else was delicious.

Ivar's Fish Bar Seattle

We were feeling revived at this point but still had time to kill so we hopped on over to Fremont Brewing Company for some flights. It was a HOT weekend in Seattle so felt good to relax with some cold beverages for awhile before hitting the Public Market.

Fremont Brewing Comapny Seattle

And OH the Public Market. I had been once before when I stayed overnight in Seattle working for Cascadian Farm. The original farm is a few hours away in the Skagit Valley so we stopped at Le Panier for the best ham and cheese croissants and Ellenos Greek Yogurt, which is kind of like a gelato bar but for yogurt, before we headed out of town. Barely anything was open that early in the morning so my first experience at the market was WAY different than this one.

We arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon {we crammed a TON into that first day} thinking it would be an off time so we could grab ingredients for dinner at the condo later that night. But honestly the whole vibe of downtown and the market was so crazy hectic with all the sweaty people {us included} that it was hard to enjoy. We lasted only long enough to walk down the main drag, find a restroom and camp out at Rachel’s Ginger Beer. We each enjoyed a DIY cocktail with their homemade flavored ginger beer, although it was sweet enough I recommend splitting one!

Rachel's Ginger Beer Seattle

We gave up on the idea of purchasing any food there so stopped at Safeway after we checked in to grab ingredients for pesto shrimp ravioli and settled in for a relaxing night at our home away from home. We had every intention of taking a glass of wine up to the rooftop patio but crashed pretty quickly!

Since we went to bed early, we were up with the sunrise and took the pedestrian bridge over to Myrtle Edwards Park for a cool morning run. It was seriously PERFECT weather and we could even see Mt. Rainier. Speaking of weather, we had sunshine all three days without a drop of rain or a single cloud. Seriously! But everyone made sure to tell us it is NOT normally like this, even the pastor at the wedding, so we thought that was pretty funny. And I guess probably true!

Myrtle Edwards Park Seattle

So you know how I said I like to gather ideas of things to do before any trip? Well I always have a big list of items to “check off” but I don’t always share that with my husband. So in my mind I was set on going to a cool coffee shop after our run…so when he said he wanted to get breakfast burritos from Safeway I got really cranky. I didn’t tell him what I was thinking {which was, hello?!, why would we eat at Safeway?!} and instead I just pouted. So one of the lessons I learned is that I need to be more upfront about what I do and don’t want to do — even if we choose something different. Once I finally told him what was up, we agreed to make a quick stop at Craftworks Coffee before heading to the beach. I never really understood Nitro coffee so they showed us right there how they make it compared to their cold brew and gave us tastes of each so we could decide. I thought this was above and beyond service and the Nitro was so smooth I didn’t even need to add milk, which is usually a must for me! For any coffee nerds out there, other places I wanted to try were La Marzocco {they apparently have an awesome show room} and Top Pot Donuts {local tip is to order the sproda, which is part espresso and part soda but isn’t on the menu}.

Craftworks Coffee Seattle

I felt like we had accomplished so much and it wasn’t even 10am! We headed to Alki Beach which was so much easier having a car since it’s in West Seattle. We just lounged around most of the morning, I listened to a podcast or two, and dreamed/schemed some of our big plans since I had just put in my two weeks’ notice at my full-time job right before I left to focus on my coaching business and other freelance work full-time. I even got in the water {once} and it was COLD. Of course, it wasn’t long until I was already thinking about my next meal and another must-hit place on my list was Marination Mai Kai, a Hawaiian fusion spot with a great view of the cityscape. I would definitely recommend going early as it’s difficult to find parking and the line gets super long. Luckily, I was able to wait in line while Aaron parked/walked back so he got to me just in time to place our order. We tried the tacos, sliders, salad and the shaved ice.

Marination Mai Kai Seattle

The last thing we did before getting ready for the wedding was walk around in the Ballard district which has tons of cool restaurants, shops and more. It really warrants a whole afternoon but we just did some window shopping before realizing we needed some time to rest up for the wedding.

West Seattle

The next day, we had already decided we wanted to get out of town to do a hike in one of the nearby national parks. It was a gorgeous drive out to Snow Lake and even though it was 4 hours of sweating out a boat load of wine, the views and the exercise were well, well worth it. Our flight wasn’t until 8pm so we changed into cleaner clothes in the car so we wouldn’t completely gross out any of our travel companions. Not sure we were successful at doing that, but since we already checked out of our condo we really didn’t have a choice!

Snow Lake Seattle

We didn’t want to go all the way into the city for lunch so stopped at a random town {Issaquah} mid-way, which was bizarrely one of the best meals we had the whole trip. Maybe it was the long hike or the cocktails the previous night but the seafood enchiladas and seafood salad at Las Margaritas were AMAZING and I would seriously go back just for their food. If you’re heading out for a hike east of the city, I highly recommend adding this to your agenda for the laidback environment and the varied menu. It’s far from your typical Mexican joint!

So that’s a wrap for our healthy-ish adventure in Seattle. We had a great time and look forward to a return trip so we can check some other things off our list and go back to some of our new favorites!

Do you make a list of things to do when you travel? What are some of your must-see’s and do’s in Seattle?