Seattle Trip Recap: Things to do in Seattle!

Hey hey – it’s Monday! I’m tellin’ ya, this whole weekend has been weird. The past 72 hours have been a blur of trying to get back into the swing of life after J and I went on a little trip to the Emerald City – Seattle. He had a work conference there, so I tagged along because hey – when would we ever be vacationing in Seattle again, yannno?

I’ve never really taken this space to get personal about recapping my own weekends or life, because honestly, I didn’t think people would really care! But after hearing from quite a few of y’all that more personal schtuff is warmly welcomed, I’m sharing some details from our trip today and our own personal favorites from our stay in Seattle.

Upon landing, we realized a few things.

1.) The Pacific Northwest landscape is breathtaking. Gorgeous evergreens and fall foliage are abundant, and the air just feels cleaner in your lungs.

2.) It’s friggin’ COLD compared to Philadelphia. J and I both had to pick up a sweater before sightseeing began.

3.) Coffee culture is a way of life. I don’t think the coffee is necessarily *better* than other coffees in other areas, but since Seattle is the birthplace of Starbucks, the whole drink-as-much-coffee-as-humanly-possible-in-five-days was fiiiiiiine by me.

We kicked off our five-day escapade in a pretty basic, obvious way:

starbucks seattle

As soon as we got situated in the hotel and J worked out his conference registration logistics, it was off to market. The Pike Place Market in Seattle is one of the city’s biggest attractions, and rightfully so; it’s 9 acres of homegrown goodness, with everything from food and drink vendors to homemade products from all sorts of mom and pop shops. We went to Pike Place for some period of time in three out of our five days in Seattle, so clearly we were hooked.

Favorite market spots: the $5 and $10 flowers. The selection of floral bouquets in Pike Place is out. of. this. WORLD. Legit, the most incredible I’ve ever seen. In Philly, I pay about 8 bucks for an artificially-dyed, uber-fake bouquet of basic daisies or carnations. The $5 bouquets here are GORRRRRGEOUS. I swear there must be an underground garden where all of these floral gems are coming from, because the flower supply and low price point are both absurdly fabulous.

Once the shock of the flower selections dies down, you have limitless options of what to eat, see, and do. Check out a wall of fresh tea leaves and whole coffee beans at the spice market, taste local honey at the honey shop, see the fish guys toss orders back and forth before filleting your dinner – there’s just SO much to see and do.

Pike Place Market in Seattle

fresh flowers at pike place market

pike place market fish

pike place vegetable stand


pike place market seattle

I’m a haaaaUGE aquarium gal (my past career ambitions included marine biologist and professional swimmer-with-dolphins), so the Seattle Aquarium was where we spent our Sunday. There, and wherever else we meandered to while exploring hand(and coffees)-in-hand. The Aquarium had the *cutest* sea otters; we’re thinking an otter pet in a big pool with some toys would be the greatest thing ever. These things are the most playful and lovable creatures. We also stumbled upon an Antique Market near the waterfront which was PACKED with the most incredible vintage things – everything from pinball machines to old instruments, media, and signage. The place was *legit*. Seattle has a real artsy, hippy vibe, so finding graffiti-filled walls was common. Not so common? The gum wall. There is a wall famously known for being covered in chewed-up gum. Completely repulsive and completely photo-worthy. On our walking journey, we stumbled upon a man with a hella nice camera, so we asked him to use mine to snap a pic of us. He knew my own camera better than I do, because with a flip of a few switches and buttons, he eliminated any and all backlight from the bay landscape. *wowza* Later Sunday night, J and I hit up church at this BEAUTIFUL cathedral in town, and it was one of the most fabulous worship experiences.

gum wall seattle

Seattle graffiti wall @ericaligenza


rose van seattle
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Seattle Aquarium

Seattle waterfront

For the third day of our trip, I was flying solo as J went through work sessions. For this, I took to the sea and rode a ferry over to Bainbridge Island – this quaint town voted among the best places to live in the country. But before I dive into that, I gotta say…my day started with #butfirstcoffee and getting organized for the new week with my absolute favorite planner. So, you guys know I have *ahem* four planners, right? It’s totally absurd, Type A, and downright ridiculous of me, I’ll admit. But this one takes the cake. Between my Lilly Pulitzer planner for work planning and this baby for LIFE, I’m set. I shared it on Instagram and am giving one away today to one of you, so be sure to follow along on Insta for your chance to win and for all of the purposeful goodness. I won’t even steal its thunder…just click here for the scoop on what’s inside. It’s called the Purposeful Planner, and I’m ob-sessed.

Now for my day of R&R on the water and in the woods…

Purposeful Planner

Coffee in Seattle
Seattle skyline


I was heading to a tour of a natural habitat on Bainbridge Island called Bloedel Reserve, so naturally I brought le new camera (finally have a DSLR! Woo!) and let my inner nature-lover out and about. I don’t typically have the opportunity to go on cool tours of new places across the country, let alone by myself for a few solid hours of reflection and me-time uninterrupted by work-related or school-related tasks and responsibilities. Did I mention no email access?! Good Lordy, I came back a new woman.

Bainbridge Island Nature reserve

Bloedel Reserve Seattle

bloedel reserve

bloedel reserve

bloedel mansion

bloedel mansion

bloedel mansion

bloedel reserve

This trip was seriously awesome. I skipped classes to make it happen, and that in and of itself was a good lesson in prioritizing in life. I might never have had a chance again to fly across the country to the Emerald City, so when opportunity knocked, I answered with an empty coffee mug and an excuse to buy more sweaters. During our last day in Seattle, J and I re-visited our market favorites and just walked around downtown taking it all in, bebopping in a few shops and enjoying the moments. It was simple and lovely and the perfect mid-fall escapade!

Have you ever been to Seattle? What’re your favorite things to see and do there?

I have YOU guys to thank – most of the places we stopped in along the way were because of your recommendations on the blog, Instagram, and Twitter! Y’all are the bomb dot com, you know that? Thanks for being so engaged and so quick to let a sistah know where to get some grub across the nation.

Hope you’re making this day spectacular.