January 22, 2021
Let’s face it, we’re all getting a little stir crazy these days. Why not consider a Seattle visit or staycation? Here are our best recommendations on what to do in Seattle this winter and early spring.
Patio Dining in the Neighborhood and Beyond
Most restaurants are open in our vibrant, historic Greenlake neighborhood. Some are limited to takeout and delivery, while others have outdoor patio dining and are now able to serve indoors at reduced capacity (25%), effective February 1. While you are welcome to bring your takeout back to the Guest House, we recommend bundling up and enjoying the outdoor ambiance. We’ve enjoyed getting out to the walkable neighborhood spots for a cocktail and a meal. It’s a fun break and we feel very comfortable with the safety precautions. The best patios are at Duke’s (heated), Eight Row, Greenlake Grill, and Zeek’s. Other neighborhoods that offer the best outdoor dining include Old Ballard, University Village, and Pike Place Market. Hours and operations are changing frequently during this time so check online or call ahead before heading out.
Seattle days are typically mild in winter and the days are getting longer. Locals put on a rain jacket and get outside to exercise year-round. Besides the 2.8 mile walking trail at Greenlake Park across the street, some of our favorite nearby places for walking include the Burke Gilman Trail along Lake Washington, the trails in Washington Park Arboretum, and Union Bay Natural Area. Additional recommended in-city hiking trails are located in Ravenna Park, Carkeek Park, and Discovery Park. If you are willing to drive a little further, the Alki Trail along Alki Beach in West Seattle offers some stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and the city skyline.
Area Attractions Are Open
Many iconic Seattle attractions remain open with reduced capacity during the pandemic. Popular indoor/outdoor attractions include the beautiful Woodland Park Zoo (located very close to Greenlake Guest House) and the inspirational Chihuly Garden & Glass. Next door to Chihuly, the newly renovated Space Needle & Observation Deck is offering a special “Drinks on the Deck” outdoor patio package. Soak up the sunset sights and city lights from your own private lookout. Just down the hill from the Space Needle, the 9-acre Olympic Sculpture Park offers incredible views, a beach, and large outdoor art installations.
Pike Place Farmer’s Market is also open, without the usual crowds. Purchase fresh fish, produce, flowers, and locally made art directly from the farmers and artists. Locally owned Market restaurants are offering indoor and outdoor dining and takeout in a festive atmosphere. From the Market, you can walk down to the Seattle waterfront to Pier 57 to ride the Seattle Great Wheel in your own, private gondola.
Tasting at Local Breweries & Wineries
Many of the local breweries, wineries, and distilleries are now offering outdoor tasting. Some require reservations and hours may change frequently, so do call ahead.
Fremont Brewery’s Urban Beer Garden is one of the most popular breweries and a favorite of ours. They don’t serve food, but you may have it delivered from local restaurants. Some of our other local, recommended breweries with tasting rooms include Georgetown, Peddler’s, Hales, and Maritime.
Over 100 of the State’s wineries are located in nearby Woodinville. One of the most famous, and a favorite of ours, is Chateau Ste Michelle. This winery has very cute, covered tasting tents and picnic style food available by reservation. Here in Seattle, we would also recommend a visit to Charles Smith Wines Jet City. It’s one of our favorite wines.
Play in Snow in the Cascade Mountains
Fortunately for us, the Cascade Mountains are only an hour’s drive from Seattle. Downhill skiing is available at 4 resorts at the Snoqualmie Summit. Online reservations are required to keep the crowds down. Cross country skiers and snow shoers can rent gear and ski on 50K of groomed trails at the Summit Nordic Center. It is located 3 miles east of the downhill ski area. If you have your own gear, you can also ski or snowshoe at Cabin Creek with a Discover Pass for $10, available online. The Cabin Creek parking lot can fill up fast, so get there early. Gear rental is also available at Ascent Outdoors.
Seattle and the surrounding area are beautiful in any season. It’s fun to get in the car and take a scenic drive. Some of our favorite drives include stunning Snoqualmie Falls in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains (35 minutes each way), Whidbey Island (this can be done as a loop, including a 30-minute car ferry ride, about 2 hours each way), and historic La Conner. Within the city limits, we really enjoy the drive along Lake Washington Boulevard from the Arboretum to Seward Park (about 30 minutes each way from Greenlake Guest House).
Get cozy! Many guests enjoy staying “in the Inn” and enjoying our on-site amenities including our extensive movie collection, in-room gas fireplace, jetted tub, lake views, cooked-to-order breakfast delivered to the room, and complimentary wine and homemade cookies and snacks. Optional add-on’s include a fruit and cheese plate or our late checkout package. We hope to pamper you and help make your stay at the Greenlake Guest House in Seattle both fun and safe.
Seattle and greater Puget Sound are currently under a travel advisory and in Phase 2 of the governor’s new “Healthy Washington-Roadmap to Recovery.“ Masks are required inside all businesses and whenever 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained. Know what to expect. Let’s mask up, wash hands frequently, socially distance, and go!