It’s been a while since we’ve done Nourishing Cities, but following the City of Angels - Los Angeles, we bring the Emerald City - Seattle- home to the iconic movie Sleepless in Seattle and coffee giant, Starbucks. This PNW city is not only recognizable for their coffee and the Space Needle, but also for the beautiful biodiversity that you can find within the city and in the surrounding areas. My name is Grace. I am an intern at Moonlit and a college student attending the University of Washington. Here are some of my favorite spots to relax and unwind in the Seattle area.
1. Gasworks Park
If you have watched the movie 10 Things I Hate About You, you will notice that they filmed the paintball scene at this location. Located in Wallingford, this park is one of the most popular attractions not only for college students at the University of Washington, but also for many locals that go to enjoy the skyline.
*Moonlit Tip: I highly recommend having a picnic overlooking South Lake Union and the Seattle skyline. There are lots of good spots to lay down a blanket and enjoy a charcuterie board while watching the sunset. Another low-cost fun activity is to ride a Lime scooter on the Burke Gilman Trail from Gasworks to Fremont. Also, there is ample parking with the parking lot and adjacent street parking, which is a huge perk so you don't have to worry about parking!
A picnic at the park with my friends
2. The Bloedel Reserve
This hidden gem is one of North America’s best botanical gardens. This reserve is located on Bainbridge Island about a 30 minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. The 150 acre land includes curated gardens, natural landscapes, and preserved forests.
*Moonlit Tip: My favorite parts of the reserve include the reflection pool, Japanese garden, Japanese Guest House, and the Residence. Taking a stroll around the reserve will help you appreciate the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and help clear your mind. Their website even says “at Bloedel Reserve, you will find a special place to connect with nature… and a place to reconnect with your nature.”
Picture via Karthik Raja
3. Coffeeholic House
While this is not as well known as Starbucks, it is just as good or even better than Starbucks. This coffee shop specializes in Vietnamese-inspired coffee. Located in Columbia City, it is well known on Instagram for their aesthetically pleasing interior and amazing coffee.
*Moonlit Tip: Grab a Dochi donut which is a mochi donut that they also sell at Coffeeholic in partnership with Dochi. They allow for online orders through their website to avoid lines at the store which I recommend since finding parking around the area can be tricky. The Coffeeholic Dream drink is definitely a must try, and their menu includes a variety of items from pastries to non-caffeine drinks!
Picture via Coffeeholic
4. Greenlake Park
Similar to Gasworks, this park is frequented by many locals and college students. The park includes a 2.8 mile trail that loops around the lake and is a hotspot when it’s sunny out in Seattle. The park also includes a beach, boathouse, tennis courts, baseball fields, and an indoor pool. It’s a perfect place to meet some furry friends and enjoy the sun.
*Moonlit Tip: During cherry blossom season many people head to the quad at the University of Washington, but if you prefer less crowds Greenlake also has beautiful cherry blossom trees lining the Greenlake path. When the sun is out it usually means the parking lot is packed, but there is street parking a couple of blocks away if walking a little bit more doesn’t bother you.
5. Volunteer Park Conservatory
Calling all plant lovers! The Volunteer Park conservatory is located on the north side of Volunteer Park and is considered a Seattle Landmark. First constructed in 1912, the conservatory was modeled after the London Crystal Palace. The greenhouse is home to stunning tropical and subtropical plants such as Palm, Seasonal, Cactus, Fern, and Bromeliad. Admission costs $4 per person but offers free admission every first Saturday and Thursday of the month.
*Moonlit Tip: Keep in mind that the hours of operation are 10am-4pm. There have been countless times I have wanted to go to the conservatory to find it closed. The conservatory offers different events that you can find on their website under their calendar. Coming up they have a rare succulent and cacti sale!
Picture via Travel and Leisure
6. Pike Place Market
Your trip to Seattle is not complete without a visit to Pike Place Market. While Pike Place is known as a tourist attraction many of the vendors at the market are local farmers and small business owners. There are many great restaurants and small businesses that you can visit while walking through the market.
*Moonlit Tip: Head to the Pike Place community garden to see views of the Great Wheel and the Olympic peninsula. One of my favorite things to do is to buy a fresh bouquet of flowers for $20 and stop by Le Panier to get a box of macarons.
Picture via Pinterest