Why do locals love Seattle? According to Linda Derschang, restaurateur and CEO of the Derschang Group, it's "because you can see trees, mountains, and water everywhere. It’s full of interesting people who love both the arts and the outdoors, and who really embrace independent businesses." Our list shares the very best, including where to stay and what to eat, plus extra-special shops and not-to-miss sights (hey, Mount Rainier).
Before You Go...
Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Nirvana, naturally, but also “Confession Blues,” by the Maxin Trio, featuring Seattle transplant Ray Charles on piano and vocals. It was the first single he wrote to hit the charts.
"The Boys in the Boat," Daniel James Brown’s best seller about the University of Washington crew team that triumphed over Germany in the 1936 Olympic Games.
"Twin Peaks," David Lynch’s cult-favorite series, rebooted 25 years after its original air date. Another goodie: "Singles," Cameron Crowe’s love letter to the grunge scene.
Where to Stay
This newbie near the water has light-filled rooms and a Josh Henderson restaurant. From $249 per night, thompsonhotels.com
An updated landmark celebrates local innovators like Boeing and Microsoft through artifacts and drawings. From $189 per night, provenancehotels.com
Kimpton Alexis Hotel
Pets are welcome at no extra charge -- and you get a list of animal-friendly spots to visit. From $225 per night, alexishotel.com
What to Eat
Enjoy open-faced toasts and cheese-and-pickle plates in this bright cafe and bakery in Pioneer Square. thelondonplaneseattle.com
Bold dishes from China’s Sichuan province bring the heat; brave souls should order the La Zi Ji chicken. lionheadseattle.com
RockCreek Seafood & Spirits
Find creative seafood in funky Fremont. Try the Kari Out calamari, served in a takeout box with a secret sauce. rockcreekseattle.com
Superstar Seattle chef (and 2016 James Beard Award winner!) Renee Erickson shares the local eateries she’ll happily stand in line for:
“I love sitting at the bar, drinking Corsican rosé, and eating the off-menu white pie with preserved lemon and pepperoni -- and house-pickled peppers on the side.” delanceyseattle.com
The Corson Building
“Emily Crawford is one of my favorite chefs in Seattle. Her locavore restaurant is a tucked-away oasis. Dinner there, offered Thursday to Sunday, is like an intimate party.” thecorsonbuilding.com
Where to Shop
Check out delicate jewelry, hand-dyed dresses, and ceramics in this rustic space. glasswingshop.com
Baby & Company
Men’s and women’s European lines, like Marsell from Italy and Parisian Homecore, converge in one shop. babyandco.us
This apothecary-like retreat sells perfumes by Miller et Bertaux and Kahina skin care. essenza-inc.com
Peter Miller Books
Browse contemporary and rare art and design volumes, and splurge on stylish writing accessories, including Lamy fountain pens. petermiller.com
Marine Area 7
Score vintage copper pots, carbon-steel knives, and other kitchen must-haves. marinearea7.com
What to Do
Pike Place Market
Sample alderwood-smoked salmon and glorious local produce; cheer on live musicians and fishmongers throwing their daily catch. pikeplacemarket.org
Olympic Sculpture Park
Giant works by Jaume Plensa and Beverly Pepper dot the Seattle Art Museum’s nine-acre green space. seattleartmuseum.org
On a clear day, you can see Mount Rainier as you ride the ferry across Puget Sound; once there, explore the sweet town of Winslow. bainbridgeisland.com
Take These Home
This year, the beloved chocolatier -- famed for its salted caramels -- is relaunching its line of decadent sauces, which are now certified organic and fair-trade. franschocolates.com
Fonté Coffee Roaster
The 25-year-old company hand-roasts single-origin blends, working with small farms in Rwanda, Brazil, and Guatemala. fontecoffee.com
The husband-and-wife-owned clothing brand is known for its flannel-lined raincoat, designed for Seattle’s wet weather. freemanseattle.com