When considering where to spend our anniversary, my husband and I were seeking a particular ambience. We love the busyness of a city—the buildings, the lights, the food and shopping options—but we also enjoy finding a quiet bookstore or being on the water. With that being said, visiting Seattle felt like the obvious choice, but it ended up being more magical than I ever imagined. From land to sea, this was a trip we will forever remember.
For accommodations, we stayed downtown at W Seattle in a Faces room under their Nordstrom Shopping Package. While we specifically stayed in The Stella Room, all guest rooms on the fourteenth floor house an original hand-painted mural by the talented artist, Morgan Zion. Each room and mural tell a fictional story, and ours fit us perfectly, Stella being from Portland and loving Capitol Hill. (You can read more about the rooms before booking your stay, which is also a wonderful way to learn about the different neighborhoods and activities available in Seattle, further helping you plan your ideal itinerary.) If shopping is of any interest to you, the Nordstrom Shopping Package was a unique treat, complete with a gift card, drink tickets, and a special shopping experience (available until November 2023).
After checking into our hotel and enjoying a sweet anniversary treat, we decided to spend the day at the Seattle Center, home to the famous Space Needle and other local attractions. One exhibit I have longed to see is Chihuly Garden and Glass, so we went there first. Though I had seen pictures online, I was not prepared for how large the glass displays were in person. While each delicate piece of art created by Dale Chihuly is spectacular, my personal favorite was in the Sealife Room: the Sealife Tower. It was inspired by the Puget Sound, which is where my favorite animal lives—an animal we saw on day three of our trip. We also enjoyed a mocktail at The Bar at Chihuly Garden and Glass—a delicious mix of apple cider vinegar, cardamom, and spruce—before going to the food court at Seattle Center, otherwise known as the Armory.
We could not explore the Seattle Center without going to the top of the Space Needle, so we hopped in line for that once we were done eating. While it was a bit of a wait being there on a weekend afternoon, there were informative posters along the walls illustrating and detailing the history of the Space Needle, which we found entertaining. Once to the top, the views were beautiful. We took a moment to walk around the whole observation deck and then we found an empty bench to sit on, enjoying a memorable anniversary moment together, like it was just the two of us, floating above the city.
The following day, we were a little tired from our previous day’s adventures, so we decided to have a restful morning. We ordered breakfast and coffee to be delivered to the hotel, read for a bit, and watched the seagulls fly by our windows. Once we were ready for some fresh air, we walked down to Pike Place Market, grabbed a glass of lavender apple cider, and strolled through the vendors, admiring their art, flowers, and yummy treats before walking over to the Nordstrom flagship store for some shopping. (We love picking out new fragrances when we travel, so the memory of its smell always correlates with that trip.) Continuing our easy day, we opted to have dinner and mocktails at the hotel that night instead of going out, excited for the early morning ahead of us.
We saved the best for last, truly. For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with orcas. I have dreamed of seeing them in the wild, but it was not until recent years that I realized I could see them in Seattle. Having been on whale tours before, I highly recommend Puget Sound Express—we will absolutely be booking another tour with them in the future! For starters, the boat was extremely nice. You could sit inside and sip coffee while looking out the windows, avoiding the strong winds, waiting for a whale to be spotted in the distance. When one was spotted, we saw not only one orca, but a family of six! The T65As, to be exact. Which brings me to the second reason I recommend Puget Sound Express—they maintain the required distance between the boat and the transient orcas, ensuring they stay safe while taking the time to teach you about the specific orcas you are seeing. There was even a professional photographer on board taking pictures, and afterwards, we were able to purchase all the pictures he took that day. But we also got great pictures (and videos) with our phones! Seeing an orca in person is like nothing I have ever experienced before! Magical, memorable, and honestly, addictive. Watching their dorsal fins break through the water with the Pacific Northwest landscape stretching behind them, it was like looking at a painting. You must see it for yourself!
Our anniversary celebration was exactly what we were looking for, and we are already looking forward to visiting again. See you soon, Seattle!