Many people dream of traveling far away to the picturesque shores of America’s west coast to visit world-class cities such as Los Angeles or San Francisco, but look further up to the state Washington and you’ll find Seattle, the beating heart of the Pacific Northwest. Set to the backdrop of evergreen forests, soaring mountains and ocean waters, the Emerald City has a long history of doing things its own way. Look as far back as the 1890’s when thousands of opportunistic miners flocked here for the Klondike Gold Rush, providing the initial basis of the entrepreneurial spirit that has since become a defining element of Seattleites everywhere. This forward-thinking tradition is still alive and well, evident in the booming tech scene and overall appetite for innovation. However, this vigorous enthusiasm isn’t simply limited to corporate businesses and cutting-edge companies, as all trends in the Pacific Northwest seem to have originated in Seattle, from the latest in culinary trends to what the fashionable people of the “Republic of Fremont” are wearing. Considering its offbeat culture, contagious fervor and emphasis on the local, Seattle’s charm is one of enduring coziness. Whether it’s your first time here or your fiftieth, the evergreen capital always seems to feel welcoming and familiar.
Where to Stay
Located directly in the city’s downtown core just steps away from trendy art museums, cocktail bars and concert halls, Hotel Sorrento has a special place in the heart of Seattle. The hotel property first opened its doors in 1909 to the anxious prospectors, cagey entrepreneurs and thrill-seeking tourists who ventured to the western part of the country to attend the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the first time anybody outside of the Pacific Northwest had heard of Seattle. As the city evolved over the next century into the trendy metropolis it is today, the grand Hotel Sorrento grew with it, maintaining an authentic sense of what Seattle is all about. Among the 76 guest rooms, no two are alike. The property was designed for form, not conformity, which can be seen in the original details, such as carved wood moldings and meticulously vintage furnishings, which continue to shine to this day. Whether you find yourself at the on-site Shiatsu Yasuo Mori massage parlor or cozying up in the sumptuous fireplace room, your stay at Hotel Sorrento is guaranteed to be one of simple elegance. Be sure to check out the Luxury Hotel Guide to Seattle for an expanded list of accommodation.
Where to Dine
Built from scratch during a period in which America thought that Seattle was a city that would “never appreciate fine dining,” Canlis Restaurant has become the go-to establishment for an elegant culinary experience or when there’s something to celebrate. The family-owned restaurant offers magnificent views of the Cascade Mountains, whereas the beautiful building itself is a wonderful icon of Northwest-inspired Modernist architecture. Canlis perfectly balances fancy with family to encapsulate just what fine dining in Seattle is all about. The award-winning menu has proven to be nothing short of genius, with an eclectic offering of classic dishes that straddle the line between contemporary and old-fashioned. Having been around for more than 60 years, Canlis is considered one of the most trusted restaurants in Seattle. It’s not over-the-top or extravagant, but rather sophisticated and controlled by comfort. Check out the Restaurant Guide for Seattle for the complete list of top establishments.
What to Do
Seattle is a city of many different neighborhoods: eccentric, upscale, artsy, urban, sophisticated and hipster. It’s this eclectic character that stretches from the quirky central waterfront to the Eastside suburbs and everything in between. While Seattle lives up to its reputation as one of the country’s leading tech hubs, it’s also proud of the creative arts scene, which boasts an edgy bohemian flair to it. Being in the Pacific Northwest, there’s more than enough nature and year-round outdoor activities to partake in, such as hiking trails, kayaking, cycling and whale watching. At the same time, downtown Seattle is a urban center that will satisfy your cultural appetite with its peculiar museums and rich music legacy. This vigorous energy carries over the buzzing eateries and espresso bars riding the latest food and drink trends. In true Seattle fashion, there’s a healthy emphasis on all things local and organic, and perhaps no better place epitomizes this than Pike Place Market and the whirlwind of smells, noises and personalities.
What to Wear
From the coast to the Cascades, there’s plenty of nature and outdoor activities to enjoy in and around Seattle. Perhaps somewhat unfairly dubbed “America’s Rainiest City,” Seattle does live up to the name, especially during the colder months where the day-to-day is characterized by gray skies and consistent rain. Instead of an umbrella, specialty outdoor fashion reigns supreme among locals, such as this Arc’teryx Monitor Down-Filled Twill Shell Coat, which provides adequate protection from the elements with the brand’s signature waterproof fabric and down-fill. Remember, Seattle’s rain is normally a light drizzle rather than a full-blown torrential downpour, making sleek jackets much more convenient, practical and stylish. When it comes to checking out the wide range of trendy cocktail bars and chic dining establishments that define the modern landscape of Seattle, this Markarian Candystripe Sequin Corset Dress is a wonderful option with its scoop neckline deep scoop back and ankle length hem. Be sure to check out the Style Sheet for Seattle for the complete low-down on what to pack.