To be honest, I never really put too much thought into the Pacific Northwest, but when I was suddenly awarded an extra week OOO i wanted to experience something totally new. It’s funny to think that you can encounter such unfamiliar culture traveling to the pacific, but it’s true!
Being that I’m a newbie to the region – I visited all the tourist hotspots. I was also lucky enough to have some family and friends living in the oh so chill cities of SF, Portland, and Seattle to show me the ropes. For Pacific Northwest newbies, here’s what i suggest….
San Fran – The thing that impressed me most was the number of neighborhoods and terrains San Fransiscans hold in a city that is only 7 miles by 7 miles!
- Palace of Fine Arts
- Jog through Chrissy Field
- Fort Point National Historic Site
- Golden Gate Bridge Park
- Burritos (and margs!) in the mission district
- Take the cable car to Fisherman’s Wharf
- Check out China Town
- Walk up the Lyons Gate Steps and witness the magnificent view from the top
Portland – this city might as well be on a different planet than NYC! it was so much fun getting quirky with the Portland types – and i must admit – the food scene is unreal.
- Mother’s Bistro & Bar – the line is out the door for this very local, farm to table brunch spot. imagine the brunch episode of Portlandia – it’s really not too far off. so, we put our name in with the hostess and went around the corner to Portland’s claim to fame – Nike!
- International Rose Test Garden – An absolute must!
- Voodoo Doughnuts– Eccentric donut shop tucked away in the historic district of downtown Portland and it’s all the rage. Another spot with a long line – but we grabbed a cup of coffee from the shop next door and hopped right in line.
- Departure – We were feeling like we needed a little glammin’ – so we hit this swanky rooftop restaurant with some of the freshest sushi I have tasted in a while (sorry NYC!) It still had it’s Portland flair as the hostsess asked us if we would be needing the gluten free or vegan menu.
- Goodwill downtown – Who would have thought? The window display was really compelling and the offerings did not disappoint! I walked away with an arm full of cute jewelry.
Seattle – I was imagining sleepless in Seattle, but when I arrived I got……Hempfest!
- Pike Place Market – One of the coolest markets ever
- Post Alley – Home of the famous gum wall – but we went for the hilarious improv show playing at the Unexpected Productions theater tucked away behind all that gum!
- Gas Works Park – Get active in this old gas manufacturing plant conveniently located on lake union
- Seattle Center – We forewent the long lines at the space needle to relax and take in the water choreography at the international fountain which first debuted at the 1961 world’s fair
- Hashtag – Don’t miss out on the spectacle that is recreational cannabis!
- Seattle Unergroud Tour – Absolute Seattle must! We were really impressed with the comedic historical tour of underground Seattle. I strongly suggest the night tour (which comes with a cocktail!) – It’s only for 21+ so the content is not censored – I think we learned a little bit extra!
I felt like a frontier woman heading into the unknown land of the Pacific Northwest. And I must admit it was a successful exploration….but at the end, I was ready to sit back, relax and head back to my treasured home in NYC.