24 Hours in Seattle: Experiencing the Emerald City on Business Travel
Visiting Seattle, one of the west coast’s jewel cities—seriously, we’re called the Emerald City—on business doesn’t mean you can’t spend part of your time experiencing all this iconic and adventurous city has to offer.
Sometimes business trips can be stressful, but in a city overflowing with fresh air, evergreen trees, and the best coffee in the States, taking an extra day to enjoy it before heading back home will refresh and inspire you in ways only Seattle can.
Check Into Your Hotel
The Kimpton Hotel properties in Seattle all offer a great mix of business and pleasure, but my personal favorite is the Palladian, which boasts portraits of Seattle’s finest celebrities in the lobby, notably the inimitable Dr. Frasier Crane. It’s also a great location for visiting all of downtown Seattle’s hotspots: Pike Place Market, the Great Wheel, and more.
Get a Caffeine Buzz
After waking up, your first stop should be coffee, of course. The La Marzocco café at the KEXP radio station is a cool space to hang out, drink some quality coffee, and do some casual record shopping.
If it’s raining, it’s easy to get to on the iconic Monorail Line that runs from Westlake Center to Seattle Center. Grab a selfie with the Space Needle in the courtyard at KEXP. And if it’s not raining, start your leisurely stroll back downtown. On the walk back, stop at Macrina Bakery for an egg sandwich or pastry. The food vendors at Pike Place Market also offer great options for a quick breakfast, but it can get crazy between 9-10 AM on weekdays and all day long on weekends.
Explore Seattle’s Museums or Go Shopping
If museums are your thing, the Frye Art Museum or the Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum are both stunning places to spend a couple cozy hours. While the Frye has an interesting history, the Chihuly museum houses some truly impressive pieces, especially for fans of the notable glass artist.
If you live life a little faster than museum speed, head up to Capitol Hill for some shopping. Stop at Glasswing to elevate your Seattle style and Elliott Bay Books for something to read on the flight home, and don’t forget to take a picture next to the Jimi Hendrix statue nearby.
Grab a Bite to Eat for Lunch
When it comes to eating lunch, you’re spoiled for choice in Capitol Hill—while a decades-old favorite is Dick’s Drive In for burgers, fries, and quick milkshakes, Oddfellows right next to Elliott Bay Books is perfect if you’re in the mood for something fresh and probably organic.
There’s usually a great soup on deck, or the Quinoa & French Lentil Bowl is guaranteed to keep your energy up.
Take in the Great Outdoors
We love our greens up in the Pacific Northwest, which is why Volunteer Park is a beautiful option for whiling away the afternoon. Stop into the Conservatory for a relaxing experience (or cover from the rain)—they have a gift shop if you haven’t found your perfect souvenir yet!
Or, if you’re looking for a view, cut across the lake to Gas Works Park and experience the giant jungle gym (no climbing, though) that used to be a gas plant looking straight across Lake Union to the beautiful Seattle skyline. There are plenty of great trails and neighborhoods around to explore before dinner, but I’d recommend heading back to the skyline view for sunset. With a backdrop like that, you’re guaranteed some spectacular photos!
Dine at an Award-Winning Restaurant
Feeling refreshed? For food and drinks, you’re going to want to swing right over to Ballard where dozens of award-winning restaurants live on Ballard Avenue, especially if you’re looking for seafood.
Personally, I’d recommend hopping up one block to Leary Way and eating at Billy Beach Sushi. If you sit at the bar, you’ll be rewarded with happy hour prices lasting until 8 PM. Even if you sit in the restaurant, happy hour will still last until 7!
Sip on a Signature Cocktail
Afterwards, stop around the corner for a cocktail at Hazlewood, an intimate little hangout for locals, and then make your way down to Percy’s for something special from their apothecary-inspired libations menu.
It’s no understatement when I say this list is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to adventures to be found in Seattle, so once your meetings are over, head out with an open mind and let this seaside city of innovation and industry sweep you off your feet.