4 days trying food in Seattle, and 4 days roaming San Francisco
Highs & Lows
Caribbean food in Seattle is surprisingly tasty!
Public transportation in both cities leaves something to be desired.
We arrived in the afternoon in Seattle and got to our airbnb in the lovely neighborhood of Fremont. We stayed in the basement floor of a house, but the basement was very modern and had nice windows, so it got good light. We happened to stay during the summer solstice festival in Fremont, which has food, crafts, and music, just a walkable few blocks from our airbnb. The second day we went to Pike place to see the famous fish throwing, and ate in downtown for dinner, before going on the great wheel at sunset. On our 3rd day we decided to explore the neighborhood of Ballard, which has the locks, a manmade structure that allows boats to pass through Lake Union to the Puget Sound. Then we ate at Pestle Rock, and caught a movie at the theatre in Ballard. On the fourth day we started our morning with a lovely brunch at Morsel in the U-district, walked around the campus of the University of Washington, and ended our day at the airport, heading to San Francisco.
We woke up on our first day in San Francisco at the Fairmont in San Francisco. We had brunch at Yang Sing, an amazing Dim Sum place in San Francisco. We walked along the water to the Ferry building to shop and hangout near the water. On day two we went to the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. We walked ourselves around Alcatraz, and took beautiful pictures at one end of the Golden Gate Bridge. We ended the day with dinner and drinks near Union Square. For day 3 we rented a car and ventured outside of the city to Santa Cruz. We sat on the beach and walked on the boardwalk. On day 4, we only had half of the day, so we walked around golden gate park and saw the Japanese Tea Garden, and the Botanical garden. In the evening we headed home!
We got to Seattle mid-afternoon and we were pleasantly surprised by the lovely warm weather. Our airbnb was in the Fremont neighborhood, a more residential area of Seattle with its own little downtown, north of the Space Needle. We walked down to the little downtown to see the large solstice festival. There were probably over 100 booths, with food trucks, arts, and music. We tried the BeanFish food truck which had yummy little stuffed waffles in the shape of fish.
Another great site we saw was Pike Place Market. There are many booths selling flowers, fresh caught fish, soap, and other crafts. Just across the street you can look in at Beecher's Cheese, where you can view their famous cheese curds being made, they also sell delicious mac and cheese that is a must try! Just up the street there is the local Rachel's Ginger Beer. It sells a range of drinks, alcoholic and not, and had many flavors, delicious! After eating so much, we went to the Great Wheel which is very close to Pike Place. You get an amazing view of the Puget Sound, the mountains, and downtown Seattle.
The next day we ventured to Ballard, a cute little neighborhood in North Seattle. It has a historic downtown with walkable streets, many restaurants and clothing stores. You can walk about 15 minutes to get to the Ballard Locks. Its a manmade structure that allows boats to pass through the salty Puget sound to the freshwater Lake Union. If you walk below the locks you can see the many types of salmon swimming through the fish ladders! It was a great place for kids and adults alike. For dinner we tried a Thai restaurant called Pestle Rock. It has cute little string lights, and amazing food and drinks. I would recommend the khao soi!
Our last day was a half day, so we went to the U-district to take a quick look at the beautiful University of Washington. We were not there during the cherry blossoms, but the main quad is still quite green and beautiful, with gothic style buildings reminiscent of an east coast school. We also ate at a little, very popular breakfast place called morsel. They make the most delicious biscuits. From there you can catch the link-light rail to the airport!
We really enjoyed San Francisco. The weather can be quite windy, so I'd recommend you bring a jacket, even in summer. We stayed at the Fairmont which I also recommend if you are willing to splurge a bit! It is a great location, with amazing views, and 5 star service. We tried Yank Sing, a dim sum place where they bring carts around. Everything we tried was so yummy! You have to try the steamed pork buns, and their signature xiao long bao soup dumplings. It is pricey but definitely worth it. They waiters walk around with carts and you can pick off the carts, its a fun experience! From there you can take a leisurely walk to the Ferry Building. It is a historic building in San Francisco, that has been converted to a shopping area. It has many artisan stores, as well as food and dessert. After exploring that, I would recommend a nice walk along the water to work off all that food! You get nice views of both the city and the water along this walk.
I would also recommend checking out some of the most famous tourist attractions! We went to the golden gate bridge, and alcatraz all in one day. I will say that was tiring, but pretty cool. You can take a ferry to alcatraz, it gets very busy! Then you can walk around and learn about the prisoners, prison breaks, and more, at this famous, since closed prison. Then you can drive to the north end of the golden gate bridge for beautiful pictures at sunset. After this exhausting day we decided to try Delarosa. They have delicious Italian food, but I would recommend a reservation because it gets busy.
On our last full day we checked out Santa Cruz. It is about a 2 hour drive from San Fran, and is a very lively city. You can walk along the boardwalk, it is a little cheesy, but fun like a carnival!
Before we headed to the airport on our last day we went to golden gate park, a huge park right in San Francisco. It has many attractions, but we chose the Japanese Tea Gardens and the Botanical Garden. Keep in mind it is quite large! Put on your walking shoes.
Q & A
What would you have changed?I wish we could have seen the space needle and the chihuly glass gardens in Seattle, but we will have to see them next time.
Anything go wrong during the trip?Not particularly, we had a nice time!
Restaurant recommendations?Pestle Rock- Thai in Ballard Morsel- brunch in Udistrict Yank Sing- dim sum in SF
Tips you would give a friend?Rent a car! Seattle is a big city, and fairly easy to drive in, but public transportation is slow and infrequent. San Fran is a little easier to access by bus and the BART system.
Packing tips?In the summer Seattle can get quite hot, but for any other time of year you certainly need a rain jacket. You will also use this for the wind in San Francisco.
Transportation Tips?Car!! rent one in Seattle! You can take the link light rail from north to south, but if you want to be more mobile, a car really helps. If you want to go to Santa Cruz you will need a car for the day.
Any surprises?The lovely weather in Seattle!
Booking details?We booked with Alaska airlines, which has its hub in Seattle!