Tag Archives: travel diaries

What to do in Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu is one of the most popular Hawaiian destinations simply for the reason that can offer almost every different side of the island life that Hawaii offers. With Honolulu and Waikiki Beach being a more metropolitan version of Hawaii and the North Shore representing Hawaii as a surfer’s paradise and more remote island destination, Oahu really does have it all. This past December my family and I decided to visit this island for the first time, and it easily became one of my favourite places I have ever been. Here’s some of what we did with our week on this beautiful island and ideas for what you can do on your visit here as well!

Visit The North Shore

The North Shore of Oahu is most of the islands most popular destinations outside of Honolulu, and for very good reason. With endless beaches and surf centred communities, the North Shore is this pinnacle of living the island life. Much unlike Honolulu, the North Shore offers a relaxed and serene atmosphere for visitors and locals to enjoy. If you’ve come to Hawaii to surf an enjoy some incredible waves, the North Shore is where you’re going to want to be as it’s home to some of the worlds most prestigious surfing competitions such as Billabong’s Pipemasters. If you’re not a surfer don’t worry, there’s many other activities to occupy your time here including shopping at local Hawaiian stores and a never ending amount of amazing food such as The Sunrise Shack for smoothies bowls and Matsumoto’s for shaved ice!

Waimea Bay & Valley

Waimea Bay & Valley are also located on the North Shore, but deserve their own attention nonetheless. Waimea Bay is an incredible beach to spend the day soaking up the sun on, and right across the street is Waimea Valley which is a great little hike to a pretty incredible waterfall. This hike is perfect for those of us who aren’t really hikers as it’s a very easy walk through some of Hawaii’s most beautiful nature that ends at one of my personal favourite swimming spots which serves as an amazing reward for the “hike” over there. Waimea Valley is also a historical landmark on the island of Oahu so while you’re taking in the beauty of the island and all it has to offer, you can also learn about the history of the island and how it came to be.

Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach is on the east side of the island and is that incredible white sand, bright blue water beach that you went to the island hoping to find. This beach is perfect for relaxing in the sun or spending the day indulging in various different water sports making it the perfect beach for everyone to enjoy. For those of you who love a good hike, right by the beach is the Lanikai Pillbox hike which can be followed up with some well deserved time laying in the sand. I don’t want to sound dramatic but this beach is without a doubt one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen and definitely should not be missed if you find yourself on the island of Oahu anytime soon!

Hanauma Bay

I’m going to be honest, I was a little skeptical about going to Hanauma Bay as everyone that I had spoken to about it said that although it was beautiful, it was always way to crowded to actually be enjoyed. They weren’t wrong about it being crowded as this is definitely one of the islands most popular tourist attractions but despite the crowds I think this was one of my favourite activities we did that week! With some of the most beautiful and colourful fish and coral reefs, Hanauma Bay is the islands most popular and incredible spot for snorkelling. Even if you don’t plan on snorkelling, the beach alone is beyond worth the visit as it’s one of the most gorgeous areas of this island.

Diamond Head Memorial Hike

Another very popular tourist activity on the island of Hawaii is the Diamond Head Hike. This hike is a bit more difficult than the one at Waimea Valley but is still suitable for beginner level hikers. I’d recommend doing this one as early in the morning as possible as it does get very busy during the afternoon with tourists and hikers, but even if you can’t get there early the hike still worth the trip! The view of the island from the top of Diamond Head is uncompareable and absolutely breathtaking, plus you’re getting in some quality exercise on your way up there, does it get any better than that?

Spend the day on Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is without a doubt the most popular area on the entire island, and reasonably so. This beautiful, long stretch of sand and water is an amazing place to spend a sunny day as it’s got a beautiful view, endless amounts of amazing restaurants right on the beach, world class shopping and exciting water sports to keep you occupied for a day (at least). This beach in my opinion is the definition of the word fun and is a must see while you’re on the island. I came to island dying to go surfing again, but as I am far from a professional I was too scared to take on the gigantic waves on the North Shore so we opted to surf on Waikiki Beach instead which ended up being the most fun we had all week!

I hope this has helped those of you planning a trip to Oahu decide on the things you want to do while visiting the island!

Oregon Coast Video Diary

After our visit to Portland this past fall we made our way out to the coast for a night to enjoy the beautiful and serene views of western Oregon. Instead of outlining this amazing trip through words, I’ve decided to share a video travel diary that my extremely talented best friend Miranda Anderson and I made while we were visiting the Oregon coast, enjoy!

Greece in May (Part Two)

Continuing on from the first post I wrote about my trip to Greece this past May, after we left the beautiful and quaint island of Paros we sailed through Aegean Sea over to arguably the most popular destination in Greece, Santorini. Santorini is a place that I have dreamed of visiting ever since the first time I saw Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants many, many years ago and to my pleasure, my dreams of Santorini were not only fulfilled but surpassed. We’ve all seen photos of this beautiful location, but the photos do little justice to the magic that this place brings in real life.

Upon arriving to the island, we drove down to the Black Sand Beach where we were staying for the duration of our stay in Santorini to drop our bags before heading over to Oia to enjoy dinner and the world famous Santorini sunset. After navigating our way through the bustling and beautiful streets of Oia, we found the coveted lookout point for watching the sun go down over the island where we set up camp to enjoy some drinks and gyros. I don’t want to be dramatic, but the sunset we witnessed this night was one of the most magical moments of my entire life. This entire night I couldn’t help but be in complete and total of awe of what I was seeing and what I was experiencing. This was one of those moments where I had to keep pinching myself and reminding myself that this was real life because it simply seemed too good to be true. After the sun finally set and Santorini became illuminated under the night sky, we made our way back through the narrow and lively streets to turn in for the evening.

The next morning we woke very early and ventured back to Oia to see all the beauty this town had to offer in the daylight, and again, we were far from disappointed. We spent the first half of our day on the island exploring the streets and shops of Santorini and returned back to the lookout point we had been at the night before to take in the incredible view one more time before we moved onto other parts of the island. After we had taken in the last bit of our time in Oia, we travelled back towards our hotel and spent the afternoon on the Black Sand Beach and enjoying some of the local cuisine that was offered. To end off an amazing day and stay in Santorini, we again spent the evening on the Black Sand Beach after a barbecue dinner and pool party at our hotel playing games and drinking ciders out of the corner store drink cooler, which ended up being a fun filled night which I will never forget.

The next morning it was time to head off to our final Greek island, the island of Ios. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when heading to Ios as I had never previously heard of it, but this island ended up being the most perfect way to end off an amazing and crazy busy trip. With its white sand beaches and beautiful bright blue waters, Ios is the perfect island for relaxation. We stayed at Far Out Beach Club which is an apartment style brand new hotel that is located right across the street from an amazing beach and many fun water sports. After spending the first day on the beach soaking in the European sun and sand, we spent our last full day on the island swimming through caves, snorkelling over shipwrecks and hanging out on our own private beach that we took boat to for lunch. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end our time on the islands than relaxing by the beach and enjoying the last bit of time we had with some of the amazing people that we were fortunate enough to meet on this trip.

The next morning we boarded our final ferry back to Athens where we spent our last night before flying home. Once we reached Athens we had one final celebratory dinner with a stunning view of the illuminated Acropolis. This was a trip that I have spent my life dreaming about, and I am so grateful that I got to do it at the age of 18 with my best friend by my side. These were without a doubt the most incredible two weeks of my life which I will never forget. For those of you reading this, I highly recommend making a visit to Greece at some point in your life. You absolutely not regret it.


Greece in May (Part One)

As a gift to myself for successfully completing my first year of University last spring, I decided it was time for to embark on my dream trip. For as long as I can remember my most dreamt about travel experience was island hopping in Greece, and this past May I was fortunate enough to fulfill that lifelong dream. After spending a few days in London with family along the way there, my best friend Miranda and I made our way from London over to Athens where we began what was the best two weeks of our lives.

Before arriving to Greece I was quite nervous about what the weather was going to be like as May is the very beginning of the peak season in Greece, meaning that we were fortunate enough to miss most of the large crowds and unbearably high temperatures. To be completely honest, despite my initial concern about whether or not we would be lucky enough to experience consistently sunny skies and avoid those spring to summer transition period winds, we were hit with a wall of humidity and heat immediately after stepping off the plane which is exactly what I went to Greece hoping for.

The view of Athens from the Dorian Inn

Athens was a city that I had previously heard many mixed reviews on as all though it is beautiful beyond belief, it’s no secret that this Greek metropolis is not known for its cleanliness and is rather better known for its crime and poverty. While I wouldn’t by any means suggest going for an after dark walk on your own throughout the streets of Athens, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I felt perfectly safe the entire time we were there and wasn’t bothered by the dirtiness anymore than I was in New York City or even in some parts of my beautiful home city, Vancouver. By the time we reached our hotel for the duration of our stay in Athens, The Dorian Inn, it was dark and almost time to call it a night so before hopping in to bed we decided to head up to the breathtaking rooftop pool and restaurant for a bite to eat and a celebratory drink for officially making it to Greece.

While traveling through Greece we were actually on a guided tour ran through the company Busabout, which I would highly recommend to any young travelers looking to travel on a budget, meet new people and enjoy a bunch of unique, once in a lifetime experiences. Busabout offers a variety of different travel styles and destinations, the one that we chose to do being the fixed Greek Island hopper. This trip was perfect for the two of us as for the both of us this was our first major trip on our own as adults and virtually everything was organized for us beforehand except for flights and a few meals here and there. The next morning was the first official day of our tour, but before meeting up with the group we have majority of the day to explore Athens on our own so after lying by the rooftop pool ad enjoying the sun for a few hours we made our way over to the Acropolis and began the trek up to the top where we discovered some of the most amazing architecture, history and views. After visiting the Acropolis we made our way back down to the Place where we shopped, ate our first authentic Greek meal for lunch and enjoyed some of the local Athenian culture before heading out early the next morning to our first Island destination, Mykonos.

At the Acropolis in Athens

After catching an early morning ferry out of the Port of Athens we reached the island of Mykonos in the early afternoon and made our way to our accommodation, Paradise Beach and were immediately welcomed with cocktails, activities and a beautiful beach. Although Paradise Beach is located a little outside of the main part of Mykonos, the hotel has a bus stop right out front of the property that will quickly take you into the heart of Mykonos for a mere two euros. Once we had enjoyed everything that Paradise Beach had to offer for a few hours, we made our way into Mykonos where we were greeted with the a delicious Greek meal and a beautiful sunset that we got to watch from the iconic windmills that sit on top of a hill right over the town.

The next morning we made our way down to the beach for breakfast in the sunshine and then gathered our things to make our way back into the town of Mykonos for the afternoon. We spent hours navigating the white, cobblestone maze like streets of Mykonos enjoying the local culture and indulging in some Ice Cream before heading back to Paradise Beach for a couple hours of beach time before the sun began to set on our last day in Mykonos.

The town of Mykonos

The next morning was another early one as we made our way from the island of Mykonos over to Paros. Before this trip I had no idea that the island of Paros even existed, but after our visit to this serene and authentic Greek Island there is no way I will ever forget it. Once we made our way to the adorable little boutique hotel that we were staying in for our time in Paros, we boarded our private (and air-conditioned) coach bus over to the other side of the island where we had the most incredible 4 course greek meal and ended the evening with some traditional Greek dancing and plate smashing which is an experience that I will always hold with me.

Upon waking up the next morning we were served a beautiful Greek breakfast beside the pool at the villas we were staying in and then immediately whisked away on our coach bus and down to the port where we boarded our private sailboat for the day. This day was without a doubt the most fun and exciting day of our trip as we got to spend the day sailing around the island of Paros, swimming through caves, eating the freshest of seafood all while enjoying the sunshine, view and some drinks. After debarking the boat later that afternoon we had a relaxing night in Paros after grabbing dinner on the beach and prepared ourselves to say goodbye to Paros the next day and hello to Santorini, which you can hear all about in my next post which will be filled with the details of our adventure from the last two islands that we visited on this incredible vacation!

London on a Budget

This past spring I was lucky enough to travel to London with my best friend and travel partner. For us this trip was actually just a smaller portion of a larger trip that we were embarking on, but nevertheless it was still an exciting travel experience for the both of us. On our way to Greece, we decided to stop in London and stay for a few days as London has always been one of my favourite cities that I have had the privilege of seeing in this wonderful world of ours. Though in my opinion this incredible city is worth every penny, it is known to be one of Europes priciest destinations which for the most part is simply due to their currency, the British pound. For us Canadians, when purchasing something in London using the British pound it is almost twice the price when it gets converted the Canadian dollar meaning that something you’ve bought for 10 pounds is really 20 Canadian dollars. Despite this information, I highly recommend that you don’t let the financial aspect of traveling to London deter you because as previously stated, I believe this city is worth every single penny that it may pull out of you and if you follow a few of these simple tips and tricks you should be able to get by on a relatively decent budget.

To start, we booked our flights to London with WestJet when we came across a great deal that offered us to fly to London roundtrip for $600, which is a great price when flying transatlantic. By saving a few hundred dollars on our flights, we were able to put that extra money towards the time we would actually be spending in London.

Accommodation

For many the most expensive part of visiting London is going to be accommodation so this is where budgeting is going to be most important. I myself am lucky enough to have family that live in downtown London making figuring out where we were going to stay a very easy and cheap task. If you don’t have any friends or family so stay with during your time here don’t worry because London has many different affordable hostel and hotel options that are great for budget travellers.

Safestay London Kensington Holland Park Hostel

The Safestay London hostel is an incredible option for those you hoping to travel to London on a budget. Equipped with everything you need including free wifi, laundry, a pool and a bar this four out of five star hostel is available for as low as 26 Canadian dollars a night.

If you’re someone that has either had a bad experience with hostels in the past or simply just isn’t comfortable with this idea, that doesn’t mean that your only other option is going to be spending a pretty penny on a hotel room. Being as large and as popular of a city as London is, London has quite a variety of different accommodation options, one of which being AirBnB. AirBnB is one of my personal favourite ways to secure accommodation when travelling as it provides safe and secure homes for travellers to rent for a reasonable and affordable price. No matter what kind of accommodation you are looking for, whether it be just a single room or an entire apartment or house, this website will have what you are looking for suitable for every kind of price range.

Food & Drink

Food & drink is another place that managing your money while travelling can become difficult, especially in London with all of its posh and fancy restaurants and bars. But much like any city, for every top of line restaurant that you come across there are two or three great smaller places that will provide just as great of an experience for at least half of the price. My first tip for all of you is not to spend much more than couple dollars on breakfast. Yes breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but in my opinion it is also the simplest. If you aren’t staying in a place that provides breakfast free of charge in the mornings, running into a little coffee shop for a muffin or scone or even stopping by a local market to grab a few small things for the mornings is a great way to save money while exploring this city, allowing you widen your budget for lunch and/or dinner later on in the day a little bit more.

London is a city that has great nightlife, whether it be going out and clubbing or simply going out for dinner and maybe a drink, this city is a fun place to go out in at night. Although we did splurge and treat ourselves to one fancy and upscale dinner, majority of the time we would head to a local pub for dinner, drinks and fun. Pubs are a great place to visit in London as not only is there one on every second street corner but they are also fun, upbeat, reasonably priced and a great place for experience some authentic english culture.

If you don’t consider yourself a pub kind of person and are looking for a more traditional sit down dinner while still saving money, don’t worry! London has tons of amazing restaurants that you can visit that won’t break your wallet like many of the others.

Ruby Blue Bar

If you’re looking for a fun yet affordable night out in London town, then this is for sure the place for you. Located right in the world famous Leicester Square this thriving little cocktail bar & restaurant is sure to provide a good time without burning a hole in your wallet

Mabel’s

Similar to Ruby Blue but slightly more relaxed, Mabel’s is a great place to head for a fun yet chill dinner and night out in London. Serving a variety of traditional British dishes, this place is great for its after work scene and will also be a great place to get a taste of the local culture in London.

Activities

Activities and things to do in London are never ending. Lucky for us tourists, many of the big sights are free of charge to see and explore although there are some things, such as riding the London eye, that are gonna cost you some money. This in my opinion is an incredible once in a lifetime experience that anyone thats not afraid of heights should take advantage of and is completely worth the money. Depending on the time of day you may find slightly cheaper prices and for those of you enrolled in school, you can use your student ID to get a bit of discount as well.

When travelling from sight to sight it is easy to walk many places but for those activities or sights that seem a little to far to travel to on foot, London has one of the worlds most incredible transit systems that is sure to make travelling across this city easy & affordable.

For more on London stay tuned for a more in depth travel diary of my time in London coming soon!

Portland, Oregon

It’s no secret that Portland is one of America’s most unique and interesting cities to visit, yet it is still often overlooked in favour of larger and more popular American cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Not only is this city visually stunning, it is also famous for its culture, outdoor activities, and incredible food and drink scene. If you’re interested in planning a trip and want to know what to do and what you must see while visiting this wonderful city, keep on reading to hear how we spent our 24 hours in Portland!

After a day of driving we arrived to Portland in the early evening, just in time to visit the world famous Powell’s City of Books and grab a bite to eat. Taking up an entire city block, Powell’s City of Books not only lived up to the expectations I had, but also significantly exceeded them. If you are a book lover, or even just enjoy reading a good book every now and again, you are sure to absolutely love this place. This store is made up of three floors, nine different rooms that are all dedicated to a different genre or type of reading and over 3500 sections. As it was starting to get late we only spent about an hour at this stop on our journey, but it would without a doubt be easy to get lost in the stacks of books for hours upon hours if time allowed it. If you time it right, they also offer live readings and author events that are open for the public to attend to. This is not a bookstore that is comprised not only of new and modern books, it contains both everything from new to used and modern to vintage novels, titles and authors making this the perfect spot for all kinds of book lovers.

After (sadly) leaving Powell’s City of Books, we walked across the street to Sizzle Pie West Portland, a punk rock era inspired pizza place that serves East Coast style slices combined with West Coast ingredients and flavours. Not only is this a great place to grab a slice or two of some really incredible and affordable pizza, but it’s also a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy the fun and unique culture of Portland. This location specifically has a jukebox that is full of great music options and is designed to be a place for everyone to come and enjoy some great food a great atmosphere at any time!

The following morning we got an early start and headed back to the same area that we left off the night before. Our first stop of the day was the world famous Voodoo Donuts which is located a few blocks East from Powell’s City of Books. Upon arriving there was a big line, but don’t be fooled or turned away when you see it, it moves quickly and the Donuts are completely worth the wait. Much like Sizzle Pie, this place is designed and decorated to represent the “weird” culture of Portland and allows visitors to experience an authentic and true feel for the city. In the world of donuts, these ones definitely stand out due to their outrageous, yet amazing colours, flavours and themes but don’t worry, if you’re a fan of classic donuts they do offer many timeless and simple donut options as well. After visiting Voodoo we definitely understood why they are as popular as they are and we both agreed we would definitely be visiting again next time we found ourselves in Portland.

After leaving Voodoo with full stomachs and box full of donuts for later, we walked south down the street for a few blocks to Stumptown Coffee, a very popular and well known cafe that has locations throughout the entire state as well as across the entire country. I consider myself to be somewhat of a coffee snob, so when trying a new roaster or cafe I can be slightly hesitant. Stumptown Coffee is without a doubt one of my favourite coffee shops & roasters that I have ever been to, so much so that I would consider driving down to Seattle (the nearest location to Vancouver) just for a cup of coffee. Equipped with a full espresso bar and a variety of different drip coffees, Stumptown is the perfect place to enjoy any kind of coffee that your heart desires. Along with serving some pretty incredible coffee, the location in Portland’s Old Town also hosts rotating art shows and serves as an amazing spot to catch up with friends, sit down with your laptop and get some work done or simply even do some people watching.

Our next and final stop as we were running out of time was walking thought the downtown core of Portland and enjoying the breathtaking views and unique buildings that make up the city of Portland. Before departing the city we found ourselves at the ACE Hotel where we came across a vintage photo booth that is definitely worth the five dollars for a strip of film inspired photos that serve as an amazing souvenir from the fun and very weird city! If you’re looking for a weekend getaway in a city that has a large variety of different things to offer, Portland is a great place to visit. In my opinion, what makes this city an even better place to visit is the fact that almost everything is within walking distance from one another and if it isn’t, they have a very simple and useful transit system that can be used to get around the city and its surrounding areas! Although we didn’t get to do everything that we wanted to due to time constraints, the road trip down to Portland was in our opinions very worth it! Living in Vancouver makes it easy for us to take a spontaneous and quick trip down south, so we will definitely be making our way back in the near future to check everything else Portland has to offer off of our list.

Washington, DC in 24 Hours

24 Hours in Washington, DC

 

I’m not going to lie, the idea of only having 24 hours to see all of this incredible city really stressed me out. Before getting there seeing all the things that I wanted to see (which was basically everything) in such a short period of time seemed impossible, but much to my surprise, we were able to do it.

Our morning began with a two and half hour road trip from where we were staying in Southern New Jersey into Washington where we checked into our hotel on Embassy Row by early afternoon. Dupont Circle was a short 5 minute walk from the hotel, so after grabbing a quick bite to eat we hopped on the metro and headed towards our first stop of the trip: the US Capitol. We got off the metro at Union Station and walked the Capitol for our tour.

 

The tour lasted about an hour, and after it ended we walked from the east side of the building down around to the west side and the rest of the National Mall. We took our next stop at the pond out front of Capitol to enjoy the beautiful view of the Capitol as it reflected in the pond before continuing on towards the Smithsonian. Because of time constraints we were unable to actually go inside the Smithsonian, but seeing it from the outside was amazing nonetheless. After taking a few more minutes to soak in the view of some of Washington’s greatest sights on such a warm and beautiful day, we took the metro back to Dupont Circle where we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the pink sunset and an incredible street performance before heading back into the hotel to freshen up before dinner.

For dinner we took a quick Uber ride over to Georgetown, a charming and bustling neighbourhood of the city outside the more popular tourist destinations. Georgetown is known for its dining, shopping and recreational waterfront – definitely not a spot of the city to be missed. For dinner we chose Clyde’s, a semi formal restaurant right in the heart of Georgetown on M Street that served classic American cuisine. After dinner we took another walk down M Street where we window shopped and visited Georgetown’s University, one the world’s leading universities.

The next morning was an early one, after eating breakfast at a local bakery in Dupont Circle called Firehook, we hopped back onto the metro and headed back towards the National Mall to see the rest of the sights. We started with the Washington Monument, and then headed towards the Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr memorials.

 

After visiting these two memorials, we headed across the street and towards the Korean War Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial looked exactly as it does in the movies and TV shows. The architecture of the memorial was breathtaking, and made to look even more so sitting on top of a high marble set of stairs. After climbing the stairs to the larger than life statue of Lincoln that sat inside the building, the most beautiful view of city was all discovered.

 

After finally checking off all of the great sights in the National Mall, we headed towards 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to see the White House. This is the one sight in Washington that in my opinion, did not look how I pictured it, but was still of course, amazing.

By the time we finished all of this, it was late morning and almost the afternoon. After a quick stop for coffee, we were back on the metro again and headed just outside the city and into Virginia where we visited the Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon. The cemetery it the nations largest, and houses the burial sites of John F. Kennedy and his family.

After visiting the sights in Virginia and one final ride on the metro, we headed back to our hotel and gathered our things as we prepared to depart the city and head back to New Jersey. Although the trip was short, it truly was an amazing 24 hours and we were able to see everything on our list. Washington DC now officially holds a special place in my heart as such an amazing experience I was lucky enough to have. I’ll definitely be back, and next time hopefully for more than a longer stay.

A Couple Of Hours In Seattle

Seattle, Washington

Living in Vancouver has a lot of perks, and one of them is definitely being able to take a quick day trip down south to the beautiful and unique city of Seattle. Our trip began with a quick two hour road trip full of some beautiful Pacific Northwest views and lots of good music (of course, for some of what we were probably listening too make sure too check out my ‘songs for driving’ playlist).

Once we made into the city, we were all starving. Our first stop of the day was at an adorable little French cafe called Le Panier just outside of Pike Place, where we enjoyed some coffee and chocolate croissants (the absolute best chocolate croissants). A bonus to visiting this cafe? It’s also only a few doors down from the worlds very first Starbucks, which looks almost exactly the same as it did when it first opened! Once we finally had something to eat, we went back towards the famous Pike Place Market. If you ever find yourself in Seattle, even if only just for a few hours like we did, Pike Place Market is an absolute must do. Pike Place and everything around it make up a vibrant neighbourhood with hundreds of different unique places to eat and shop, I can promise you’ll never want to leave. It’s historic buildings and cobblestone roads provide visitors with a sense of character unique to itself, only emphasized by the local vendors and street performers that fill the marketplace and streets.

Once we had wandered through the market, we headed down the outside steps into Post Alley, home to another famous attraction in Seattle, the gum wall. To be completely honest, it’s quite disgusting, but also surprisingly cool. For over 20 years, visitors and even some locals have stopped by this alley and stuck there gum against the wall creating a pretty cool scene. With 20 years worth of gum, it’s started to become an entire gum alley instead of just the one single wall. Unlike Portland, Seattles southern neighbour, this isn’t city that necessarily promotes its weird side, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. If you like this wall and are in search another cool one much like it, walk North through Post Alley and back towards the main centre of Pike Place where you can find a smaller wall completely covered in stickers and posters.

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Once we had stuck around the gum wall long enough we continued to walk down the alley and away from pike market towards the water. We found ourselves at Pier 57, a small little oceanside attraction just off the downtown core of Seattle. At Pier 57 you can find a beautiful ferris wheel, a carousel, any many other amusements. In my opinion, the best part of this little spot is the view of the rest of the city. Compared to everything else, this part of town is much lower, allowing visitors to view the tall skyscrapers from below.

 

As per usual in the Pacific Northwest, our day was interrupted by some pretty heavy rain. After leaving Pier 57, we headed back up into the main core of downtown Seattle where we wandered the streets and window shopped for many hours as we tried to take as much cover as possible from the rain. Our short, yet very sweet day deserved a sweet ending, which we very happily found at the Cheesecake Factory – one of our absolute favourite places.

If you have more time the fun things to do and cool places to visit in this city is endless, but I thought I would share with you a couple that you can get done even if you’re only passing through for a couple of hours. Although we only had a couple of hours to get our fill of this diverse, upbeat city we left feeling very fulfilled with our quick little getaway. Seattle truly is a city where anything goes and everyone belongs, which makes it one of my absolute favourite cities to visit.

We’ve got a lot of love for you Seattle, we’ll be back soon.