On April 1Charyn Pfeuffer answered the question:Did you know that more than 16.5 million in the United States practice yoga? There is no shortage of yoga studios in Seattle. From hot Bikram yoga to the strenuous poses on Vinyasa, there are classes available for whatever style you prefer to practice. Here are two of my favorite places to breathe, stretch and say om.
Shakti Vinyasa Yoga in Ballard specializes in Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga and Shakti Vinyasa Yoga classes, both powerful styles linking breath with flowing movement. They host many internationally renowned master yoga teachers including Baron Baptiste, Shiva Rea, Ana Forrest, Bryan Kest, and Seane Corn.
Breathe offers three Seattle locations, a variety of styles and more than 100 classes each week. For beginners and students of all abilities, their classes and instructors are very friendly. I like the flexibility of classes ranging from 45 minutes to 90 minutes.
On April 1Charyn Pfeuffer answered the question:Seattle abounds with independent bookstores. From our Seattle Mystery Bookstore to The Elliot Bay Book Company, Seattle bookworms support a lively bookstore community replete with frequent readings and author signings. Perhaps it’s the rainy days and avid coffee shop culture, but we like to spend time poring over books, magazines and fancy letterpress stationary at our local bookshops.
Here’s a go to list of the top shops to find your inner word nerd in Emerald City.
On March 31Charyn Pfeuffer answered the question:There are few hiking options within Seattle proper (Discovery Park, Carkeek Park and Schmitz Preserve Park come to mind for an easy hike). But once you get out of the city, Washington State abounds with outdoor options.
One of my favorite hikes within an hour of Seattle is the Licorice Fern Trail at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. What makes this hike so fantastic is that it’s within a heavily visited Puget Sound park, yet it’s rarely ever busy. If you can successfully find the trailhead, you’ll be rewarded with a tranquil hike, a peaceful waterfall and a modest viewpoint.
For up-to-the-minute updates on local trail conditions, check out Washington Trails Association’s interactive website.
On March 30Charyn Pfeuffer answered the question:In Ballard, go to newly renovated Ray’s Boathouse for a front seat of Puget Sound. Fresh seafood, like local albacore poke and Alaskan king salmon take center stage. On a warm sunny day, there’s no patio I’d rather be than at the more casual upstairs café with a crisp glass of rosé.
For a quintessential Seattle dining experience, head to Matt’s in the Market in Pike Place Market. This was the first restaurant I ate at when I moved to Seattle and it still tops my list most-loved dining destinations. Why? Because it’s in the thick of tourist hustle and bustle, yet removed enough to be a local’s favorite. Plus, many of its ingredients are plucked straight from Pike Place Market.
During warm summer months, I gravitate toward the deck at Little Water Cantina. Food doesn’t always shine, but for a made-with-love margarita with a view (often with live music on weekend afternoons), I’ll make some concessions.
On March 30Charyn Pfeuffer answered the question:For the romantic at heart, there are countless date night possibilities in Seattle. I’d start with sunset on the beach at Golden Gardens, followed by a cocktail and Spanish tapas at Ocho in Ballard. From there, I’d head into the historic part of the neighborhood and cozy up to the bar at Staple & Fancy Mercantile for some small plates and Champagne. Nothing gets me in the mood quite like a plate of fresh and briny oysters, Chef Ethan Stowell’s delicate crudo and a glass of bubbles. Next, I’d go to The Tractor for some live music. The venue is intimate, but the acts tend to be fairly well-known – the best of all live performance scenarios. For the perfect nightcap, I’d indulge at Hot Cakes for a boozy milkshake before taking a walk off the sugar high and heading home.
On March 30Charyn Pfeuffer answered the question:Right now, I’m counting the days until temperatures warm up enough to spend time on the rooftop patio at Terra Plata. This Capitol Hill restaurant (courtesy of Chef Tamara Murphy and housed in the foodie centric Melrose Building) opened up this top floor stunner late last season and is undoubtedly one of the best pieces of rooftop real estate in the city. The deck seats 70 people and offers heat lamps for fickle Seattle nights. Terra Plata’s full menu is available for guests, but if last season was any indicator, I expect to see Murphy making more use of her fancy commercial outdoor grill for specialty nights this spring and summer. Fitted with salvaged wood and a perimeter of vegetable gardens, this is where I want to spend warm Seattle days … and nights.
On March 30Charyn Pfeuffer answered the question:Full confession: I’m a bit of a spa junkie. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to appreciate the power of therapeutic all-about-me time and make regular spa treatments a priority.
Here are my top three spa picks in Seattle:
Vida Spa at Seattle Pan Pacific Hotel is pure Zen in the city. The space is understated and the emphasis is on soothing, results-oriented services. I adore their Ayurvedic treatments, especially a massage combined with time in their Swedana, a cedar steam box that purifies all the toxins released during massage. They also have the ability to combine treatment rooms for group treatments.
For indulgent pedicures, I love Spaahh at Hotel 1000. The full-service spa offers a full gamut of services, including Carita facials, but the perk I adore is that they offer their happy hour menu I the spa. Basically, this means mojitos and pedicures – the best way to spend quality pampering time with your gal pals.
Massage at Gene Juarez is a bi-weekly habit. Their aromatherapy massage calms all my bodily aches and pains and I always feel at home when I walk into their salon and spa. From the moment the spa hostess takes me to the changing room, then serves tea in the lounge area, all of my stress and worries melt away.
On March 29Charyn Pfeuffer answered the question:Seattle visitors should be ready for anything when visiting Seattle. Trust me, it doesn’t rain as much as its stereotype would have you believe. But it does sprinkle (not umbrella worthy in most cases), and depending upon where you are in the city, temperatures can fluctuate a bit. We are situated on and surrounded by several bodies of water after all. I advise visitors to pack a waterproof layer and umbrella if you’re so inclined (though if you use it, you will be immediately pegged as a tourist). Seattle also has some hilly neighborhoods and if you’re someone who likes to walk, be sure to pack some comfy sneakers or walking shoes. It really is a great city to explore on foot. If you want to take public transportation, bring some small bills and change for our busses – they do not take credit cards. Lastly, pack layers and take an extra layer with you when you’re out exploring. If there’s one thing that Seattleites like to do is take advantage of its outdoor spaces and patios when weather allows – even when temperatures lean toward the chilly side.
On March 29Charyn Pfeuffer answered the question:As an avid sports fan, I log serious hours in local sports bars, especially during football season. There are several factors that make a sports bar fabulous for me – the size, quantity and quality of televisions, variety of beer on draft and quality of bar food. As a Seattleite who doesn’t root for the hometown teams (shame, I know), the quantity of screens is especially important as to not compete with local games. I wouldn’t consider myself a beer snob, but you won’t find me drinking Coors Light, so a few decent beers on tap is always a sports bar plus. As for food, I’m not above eating food from a Fry Daddy, however I do appreciate slightly more healthful and inspired cuisine.
These three sports bars are my favorite places to watch a game (and not feel bad about drinking Bloody Marys before noon):
Ballard Loft. This Ballard neighborhood spot offers friendly bartenders, 16 screens and cheap happy hour deals (try the wings).
Sport Restaurant & Bar. This downtown sports bar does it all – offers family friendly dining areas, a comfy lounge area with low-slung seating and a convivial area around the bar. Burgers and thin crust burgers are my go to game day snacks.
The Ballroom. The crowd can be a little bit frat boy at this Fremont bar, bit staff is always accommodating, they have plenty of televisions and some of the best slices in town.
On March 27Charyn Pfeuffer answered the question:Right now, weather in Seattle is a bit fickle. All signs indicate spring – flowers are blooming everywhere and green buds grace tree limbs. But we’ve had back-to-back days of 60-degree weather and snow within the past week. Seattleites are used to unpredictable weather, so at this point of seasonal limbo, we’re mostly grateful for a few extra hours of sunlight. When I go out in Seattle this time of year, I make sure I’m ready for anything Mother Nature wants to throw my way. It’s not uncommon to find me with a hat or hood, sunglasses and a waterproof layer in my possession until I’m positive that spring has committed to stay. It’s definitely dryer during these spring months and skies aren’t quite so gray, but the key to Seattle success in the spring is to be prepared for sudden weather swings.
On March 27Charyn Pfeuffer answered the question:If you’re staying in downtown Seattle and don’t have plans for any day trips, I don’t think a car rental is necessary. Many of the outlying neighborhoods (well-worth putting on your itinerary) are easily accessible via public transportation. Since the launch of Central Link Light Rail in 2009, getting to/from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the heart of the city has been simplified. One-way trips cost just $2.75 (one-way) and takes roughly 35 minutes. For inner city travel, I frequently take Uber. Download the app, which is linked to your credit card, and you can get from bars to boutiques to your hotel door step in private sedan style with a few quick taps on your smartphone. Also, if you’re not afraid to strap on some sneakers and brave a few hills, Seattle is a very walkable city.
On March 27Charyn Pfeuffer answered the question:Cocktail culture is alive and well in Seattle. Whether you want a hand-crafted creation made from organic and seasonal ingredients or a shot and a locally-brewed beer, Emerald City has all your adult beverage needs covered. When I’m in need of something potent, balanced and delicious, these are the cocktails I crave.
The bar: Sazerac Restaurant & Bar
The cocktail: Captain Shaddock
What is it? Partida Reposado tequila, Plymouth slloe Gin, lime juice, grapefruit Juice
The bar: Zig Zag Café
The cocktail: Trident
What is it? Aquavit with bitter Cynar, dry sherry, peach bitters
The bar: Liberty
The cocktail: Negroni
What is it? Bourbon, Campari, sweet vermouth
The bar: Rob Roy
The cocktail: Sangre de Sol
What is it? Chile-infused tequila, mango puree, grapefruit, agave nectar
The bar: Hazlewood
The cocktail: Edith Macefield
What is it? Rye, Punt e Mes, Aperol
The bar: Artusi
The cocktail? We’ll Do It for Johnny
What is it? Bulleit Bourbon, cherry balsamico, lime, salt, rhubarb bitters
Charyn Pfeuffer is a Forbes Travel Guide correspondent who lives in Seattle and covers the city for Startle. She wouldn’t trade its gray, cloudy days for all the vitamin D in the world. Her 16-plus-year career in media and publishing has involved her in all aspects of engaging audiences and telling the perfect story. Her work has appeared in more than 100 publications, including Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, FoodandWine.com, Health, Marie Claire, National Geographic Traveler, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunset and TravelandLeisure.com.