Weekend Wanderings: A Downtown Seattle Holiday Staycation

Courtesy Visit Seattle/@ppoppo2

Another delightful staycation has opened our eyes to yet more facets of this multilayered city—and this one felt especially merry and bright. Although there are enough festive wintertime happenings to fill every December day, here’s an itinerary you may choose to follow if you find yourself downtown for a short-and-sweet 24 hours.

Downtown Seattle holiday shopping 2015. Photo by Alabastro Photography.
Courtesy Visit Seattle/Alabastro Photography

Consider choosing one of four Kimpton properties to serve as your chic yet welcoming home base. On 5th, just steps from both the Central Library and aptly named 5th Avenue TheatreKimpton Hotel Vintage Seattle has a subtly elegant theme that honors the Washington wine scene—and  a cozy living room/lobby where we could’ve cozied up by the fireplace all day.

This hotel places you in a convenient, walkable location that’s especially ideal for arts and music lovers heading to downtown venues like Benaroya Hall, Showbox at the Market and The Triple Door.

Courtesy Chris Molina/Kimpton Hotel Vintage Seattle

Enjoy Kimpton perks like a hosted wine hour every evening, a seasonal gift-wrapping station and delightful Northern Italian meals served at next door’s Tulio. You may also choose to grab a bite at nearby spots like Purple Cafe and Wine Bar (with a daily happy hour stretching from 2 to 5 p.m.).

Courtesy Chris Molina/Kimpton Hotel Vintage Seattle

During your stay, stroll down the hill to Pike Place Market—a jolly flurry of activity at this time of year. Simply soak in the festive decorations, pick up presents made by local artisans, or pause to refuel at seats-with-a-view, found inside casual Athenian (of “sleepless in Seattle fame”) or Matt’s in the Market, with tables that overlook the main thoroughfare bustle below.

Courtesy Old Stove Brewing

Don’t miss Old Stove Brewing Co—a newer addition that now boasts a MarketFront Brewery and Restaurant that locals have quickly come to love. The vibrant venue offers 24 taps of craft beer made on-site, local cider, wine, a full bar, a seasonally rotating food menu and some of the city’s best water views (especially at sunset). While we chose to dive into the wood oven-roasted nuts (yum) and King Salmon􏰆􏰭􏰅􏰐􏰐􏰎􏰈 (accompanied by roasted PNW mushrooms and grilled polenta cakes), we also coveted our neighbors’ pretzel bites and Salmon + Crab BLT.

Downtown Seattle - Holidays 2011
Courtesy Visit Seattle/Christopher Nelson

After the sun sets, head down to your Argosy Christmas Ship Festival adventure, with vessels pushing off from Pier 55 (right next to the Great Wheel, if you’re feeling the need to take a spin). Though the route and entertainment varies by day, our cruise featured the talented Dickens Carolers and made pit stops at Waterfront Park on Bainbridge Island and in front of West Seattle’s Salty’s restaurant. It’s a high-sensory experience that promises good people watching and lots of spirited folks ready to celebration the season.

Courtesy David Phelps/Outlier

The next morning, stroll down the hill one short block to Outlier, where a cozy breakfast awaits. While we enjoyed a simple eggs-bacon-toast ensemble, we also had our eye on the Avocado & Dungeness Crab Toast and Breakfast Chawanmushi (steamed savory egg custard, shiitake mushrooms, red shrimp, crabmeat, shaved bonito). Be sure to take in the funky artwork brightening this airy, inviting space.

Before heading home, consider popping by the Seattle Festival of Trees (benefiting Seattle Children’s Hospital) at the Fairmont Olympic or the Gingerbread Village at Sheraton Grand Seattle (through January 1). The gingerbread extravaganza is celebrating its 27th year with elaborate displays designed and assembled by local chefs and architects; all proceeds go toward the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

While there’s certainly no place like home, there are so many joys to be found during a downtown staycation that offers fresh perspective. Thank you, Seattle, for the warm hospitality!

Courtesy Visit Seattle/@_reina86

*To dive deeper into Seattle culture, check out beautiful programming available on VISITSEATTLE.tv.