Of you want to experience the best of ‘Merica, go to the city that actual Americans are relocating to fastest. When LinkedIn released its Workforce Report this year, the West Coast, and specifically Seattle, was the top city for relocation. Only ever set to one weather forecast – rain – and boasting the most Starbucks per square kilometre, the Emerald City has a lot more going for it. Here’s how to spend five days seeing, eating, drinking and sightseeing your way through the home of Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, Hendrix and Nirvana.
The easiest way to break up your trip is via London; overnight to Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic and clean up in their flagship Terminal 3 lounge with a steam shower and complimentary head massage. Your onward journey is a 10-hour direct flight in a 787 Dreamliner. Stay at the newly opened Thompson Seattle, designed by West Coast architecture firm Olson Kundig. If you were to tac a pin to Seattle’s most central location, Thompson marks the spot. In the epicentre of its bustling downtown, there’s nothing beyond walking distance that you’ll need to get to.
Walk off the jet lag by making your way up to the famous Capitol Hill. Grab a Starbucks from their roastery at the bottom of the hill, along with a pizza slice from Serious Pie, before wandering past the boutique design stores, rainbow crosswalks and bar scene, historically the heart of the city’s counterculture. Come 7pm you may be feeling the jet lag, so eat in at the Thompson’s Scout restaurant, which holds its own among the city’s best dining spots thanks to chef Derek Simcik’s menu.
The next day walk all of a block to the pulse of old Seattle, where the Pike Place Market holds the original Starbucks store. Take in the market’s full glory, picking up breakfast along the way. From there, six blocks south is the Bainbridge ferry station. Make like the locals and get a return to Bainbridge Island, where you’ll have the best views of Seattle crossing the bay. Walk the quaint town and stop at Bruciato oil tile main street for a pizza you won’t forget. Back in Seattle, spend the afternoon at SAM, the Seattle Art Museum. Book dinner at Contadino, where chef Brian Clevenger will show you that you’ve stumbled across the eatery by which you will benchmark the rest of your food experiences.
Start day three at the Olympic Sculpture Park where works by Mark di Suvero and Alexander Calder cut into the skyline of Seattle’s only open waterfront space. By the time you’re back, your brunch appetite should be on par with the city’s, which will mean you’re ready for Westward. Sit at the bar counter to watch chef Will Gordon put together dishes such as their wood-oven baked gigante beans.
Suitably fed, the world’s largest factory tour awaits. Boeing’s headquarters and assembly line are a 30-minute trip away to what is arguably the most awe-inspiring aviation tour you’ll ever attend. Stop at Greenwood’s FlintCreek Cattle Co. for your dinner, and allow chef Eric Donnelly to prep something like his fennel braised wild boar shoulder for you.
Day four injects the city’s rich pop culture history as you start off at MoPOP, the Museum of Pop Culture to explore the Hendrix, Star Trek and science fiction exhibitions. Stop at fried chicken gods Bok-a-Bok for lunch. Loaded on calories, you’ll be ready for the Chihuly Museum. Renowned glassblower Dale Chihuly will send you down an Alice in Wonderland-like exhibit on fantasy. Exit in time to walk up to Kerry Park, the best place to capture Seattle’s skyline sunset. By the time you’ve walked down the hill, the tasting menu at Tarsan I Jane, one of the city’s top restaurants of 2017, will be calling. End off your last night in the sleepless city with rooftop drinks back at the Thompson’s The Nest; the Pacific Loon and Hummingbird come highly recommended.