Be a Tourist In Your Own City - From a Seattle Native's Eyes

In May, census reports confirmed what Seattleites have been suspecting for sometime; our beautiful Emerald City is the fastest-growing city in the U.S.

 Take one look around the heart of the city and you're likely to see at least 15 cranes, each working on a new development that'll probably house like 1000 Amazon developers and other transplants. Being a Seattle native, it's been incredible (and in traffic, sometimes frustrating) to realize how much this city's really grown the last few years. Whether you're new to the city or maybe showing some out-of-towners the spots, there are a few destinations at the top of everyone's lists. Today I wanted to share some nearby, equally-awesome, can't-miss spots for you and your loved ones to experience!

Check out some of my other recent city adventures here.

If you're at Pike Place Market, try: Oriental Mart

There aren't a lot of places to get Filipino food in the city, and one of those rarities is smack dab in the middle of the Market! Across the cobblestone from the fish guys and tucked in behind those amazing fruit stands lies the Oriental Mart, where you can get chicken adobo, pancit, longanisa, Filipino fried chicken and so much more a la carte or in combo-style. So awesome for lunch or quick meal while you're perusing market vendors.

If you're heading to Woodinville Wine Country, try: Lake Serene & Bridal Veil Falls

Not too far past Woodinville's wine country is Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls. Hike up to Bridal Veil for a quick workout with a breathtaking view of the falls as your reward. Keep going & have a picnic at Lake Serene - or head back to wine country for a tasting & dinner at one of the many delicious restaurants.

If you're in/near Lake Union, try: Agua Verde Paddle Club & restaurant

Nothing better than some fresh tacos and a good margarita after a kayak or SUP session out on the water. We love taking the Montlake Cut route for some wave action among the boats, though the houseboats along Lake Union and people-watching at GasWorks Park is fun too. Get the salmon tacos and a Cadillac margarita - and make sure to try all the different salsas!

If you're at Seattle Center, try: Gates Foundation Visitor Center

The Gates Foundation Visitor Center is such a nice refuge from the chaos that can be Seattle Center during peak season. They're regularly hosting events and workshops for families, students and non-profit professionals or enthusiasts. Even if you're not there for an event, there's a ton of interactive activities to get into - including this photo booth & wall! :)

Check out all my Gates VC adventures here.

If you're downtown, try: Sky View Observatory at The Columbia Center

Did you know The Columbia Center is one of the tallest buildings on the West Coast? Because it's an office building, it sometimes gets overlooked as far as tourist destinations with killer views. It is open to the public, and it obviously will not disappoint! Get a 360-degree view of the city, stadiums, Space Needle and all of the water you can lay your eyes on.

If you're heading to Alki, try: Marination Ma Kai

Marination Ma Kai is probably the best casual outdoor dining experience in the city. You can't beat spam musubi, kimchi fried rice, shave ice and this stunning view of the Seattle skyline! Sorry for the low quality - I always seem to only make it out there for sunset supper and nighttime patio fun. Get a meal in on their deck now, while their summer hours are still running fairly late!

What destinations would you add to this list? 


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center is open Tuesdays - Saturdays, 10:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. at 440 5th Ave. N. Street and garage parking are aplenty. 

Register online for a group tour of the Gates Visitor Center.

Check out their events calendar for upcoming special programs.

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