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The 7 Best Things to Do While Visiting Seattle

In Seattle, there’s an adventure around every corner — whether that’s a world-class cup of coffee, salmon flying above a fish market, or some of the most mouthwatering Thai food you’ll ever eat.

Set in the heart of the University District, Graduate Seattle is an enticing gateway to Seattle’s best attractions, from parks and restaurants to rare book shops and record stores. And lucky for our hotel guests, these spots are as easily accessible as they are impressive. Catch the light rail passenger train right outside our front door to explore town in no time.


Gas Works Park

Perched on the north shore of Lake Union, Gas Works Park’s rolling hills are matched only by its sweeping Seattle views. Beyond its striking vantage point of the city, Gas Works is known for the industrial equipment and art installations scattered throughout the park. This 19.1-acre park was previously the site of the  Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant, and much of the factory equipment remains. 

Snap a photo with its artfully rusty remnants, or opt for art like Gas Works’ stone pillars. Once your Instagram is complete, grab a picnic table or throw down a blanket to enjoy one of Seattle’s most beloved places to spend a sunny afternoon.

Insider Tip

Bring your kite and fly it high on the hill, popular with local kite enthusiasts.

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Bainbridge Island Ferry

Ferries are all but synonymous with Seattle, carrying commuters and travelers alike to far off places throughout the Puget Sound. Though quaint islands like the San Juans get all the attention, our personal favorite is Bainbridge Island, just a 35 minute ride from the ferry terminal in downtown. 

Head to the deck when it’s sunny or grab a window seat when it’s not to soak up views of the sound, evergreen trees, and maybe even whales—if you time the seasons right! At the end of your journey, you’ll arrive in the charming village of Winslow, a quaint town with coffee shops, breweries, and boutiques overlooking Eagle Harbor.

Insider Tip

Start off your day on the island with a hearty breakfast at the Streamliner Diner, just three blocks from the ferry dock, allowing for both walk-on and drive-on passengers to easily enjoy a delicious meal.

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Mamma Melina's Ristorante & Pizzeria

Seattle is known for its seafood, but if you visit Mamma Melina’s, you’ll leave the Emerald City pining for home-made Italian cooking. Mamma Melina’s offers a fine dining experience yet serves up dishes straight from an Italian family’s dinner table—which is fitting, given three brothers opened the restaurant after immigrating from Italy over 30 years ago.

Choose from their extensive selection of seasonal antipasti, housemade pastas, grilled meat, local seafood, pizza and wine labels from around the world. Pair your meal with a carefully curated glass of wine, which you can order off their wine list of over 200 notable varietals. 

Insider Tip

Don’t skip out on the homemade bread!

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Thaiger Room

Mouthwatering flavors and Thai traditions meet at Thaiger room, a local favorite for fresh, authentic Thai food. Don’t be surprised if you see lots of college students here as this eatery is located just off the University of Washington campus. Do as the students do and take a stroll through the campus’s most scenic sites before settling in for enticing Thai favorites. 

Snack on spring rolls, sweeten the deal with black sticky rice, or dig into their Seattle famous pad thai with wok-fried noodles. You can also order online to have a mouthwatering meal delivered directly to your hotel room.

Insider Tip

The Tom Kha Soup is a local favorite!

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Portage Bay Café

This beloved brunch cafe invites diners to “eat like you give a damn.” They serve up brunch favorites like eggs benedict, buckwheat pancakes, and more, at not one but four locations throughout Seattle so you can dig into your morning meal no matter where your adventures take you. 

Choose from six different benedicts, countless sandwiches and bowls, omelettes and scrambles piled high with fresh toppings, and even a self-serve breakfast bar. Portage Bay also serves up vegan versions of their favorite dishes and provides an allergy booklet, making this an accessible brunch spot for most dietary needs. 


Insider Tip

Check out their toppings bar.

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Pike Place Market

Seattleites have flocked to Pike Place Market for fresh produce, meat, and locally made goods since 1907. Though Pike Place is still a quintessential farmer’s market, it’s also become a gathering place and melting pot—you’ll find everything from flowers to produce to donuts to pierogies to Chinese food and more within the market’s halls. 

Buy a bouquet and snap a photo with the iconic neon sign before heading within. Explore the market and you’ll find a joke shop, incense, several brass pigs, and even the famous gum wall.

Insider Tip

Pike Place Market is home to the very first Starbucks location! Get there early as the line often winds out the door and down the block.

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Magus Books

Since 1978, Magus Books has been the go-to for Seattlelites to buy and sell used books. You never know what you’ll find on their shelves, as they stock everything from fantasy to non fiction and everything in between—except textbooks, despite their U District location. 

Magus Books specializes in rare books, which means you may even stumble upon that tome you’ve been looking for. If you’re missing Magus Books once you’re gone, you can shop their online inventory which includes all the rare books they have in the store.

Insider Tip

Make sure to ask one of their employees for their recommendations when you stop in.

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