Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel Stuns

In the world of hotels, some are just simply in a class by themselves. You know it when you find one–lots of classic details, unique decor, understated elegance, fine dining, and world-class service.

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel hits all of these marks and more.

The hotel is one of Seattle’s most celebrated landmarks, and it sits on a prime location in downtown, a short walk away from dozens of sites, Pike Place Market, and the famed Seattle waterfront. Once you step inside the Fairmont, though, you don’t want to leave. The grand lobby instantly invites you to relax.

We visited the Fairmont for a drink at the hotel bar during a recent visit to Seattle, and we didn’t just enjoy the wine, we loved people watching from a small table in the grand lobby. While there, we watched the comings and goings of a wedding party, and got a glimpse of the reason why the hotel is called one of the most romantic in the city.

In other words, if you’re in the PNW, don’t miss it!

Bainbridge Island: Small Town Charm

Finding Bainbridge Island only takes a short ferry ride across Puget Sound. It’s worth the ride, and should top anyone’s list of “must-dos” during a visit to Washington State.

Bainbridge is a commuter town and bedroom community in metro Seattle, but it is also so much more than that. Downtown Bainbridge (formerly called Winslow) features a myriad, of shops, restaurants, wine rooms, art galleries, parks, and hiking trails. The island has a lot of natural beauty, and the community also as taken pride in creating a garden atmosphere throughout the community.

On our visit, we rode an mid-morning ferry across Puget (which features amazing photo opportunities of downtown Seattle from the water) and arrived on Bainbridge in time for lunch. A short walk from the ferry took us to downtown, and we chose to eat lunch at Isla Bonita Mexican Restaurant. After lunch, we explored the downtown shops and walking trails, indulged our sweet tooth at Gelarto Italian Ice Cream, and made our way to the waterfront park and trail, which featured gorgeous views of the city dock.

We ended our afternoon with a wine tasting at Island Vintners before boarding an afternoon ferry back to downtown Seattle for dinner.

In all, a worthwhile day. Bainbridge Island is a great way to see another “side” of Washington without having to too far outside of Seattle to get it!

Pike Place Market: The Heartbeat of Seattle

For years, I’d heard about awesome trips to Pike Place Market from others. In Seattle, it is a huge tourist destination, and as one of the oldest continuously operating public markets in the US, people who visited always told me it’s an unforgettable experience.

A variety of reasons have led me to spend a few days in Seattle, and a trip to the city’s walkable downtown topped the list of things to see first. Pike Place Market wasn’t on the “do this or else” list, but we stumbled into it on Thursday and found ourselves a part of the bustling afternoon crowd.

And what a delight.

First of all, Pike Place Market is much larger than it seems at first blush. City block after city block teams with crowds, stalls, shops, stands, street performers, tourists, and more. Every  color, smell, and taste appears here, and it almost creates a sensory overload.


I think the trick to an awesome Pike Place Market experience is just to let yourself go– just let yourself enjoy it. Stop in this shop, or eat something from that stall, interact with those performers, and just people watch. Take time. Slow down. Don’t move so fast.

Just enjoy. You’ll be so glad that you did.