It’s my pleasure to interview my good friends Jon & Ben Nickel-D’Andrea of NoMasCoach about Seattle, Washington. Jon and Ben’s tips for the best things to do in Seattle are awesome because they are so diverse. And this interview was so much fun because it was great to see how their opinions differed on the city they love.
Seattle is one of the hottest cities in the United States, boosted by the enormous growth of Amazon and Microsoft. The city has a reputation for being rainy and gloomy, which is why their coffee culture is so strong. Jon and Ben shared an interesting fact, though. It actually rains more in Miami, Florida, than it does in Seattle.
They say that summertime is the best time to visit if you like long days and great weather. Even during the summer, the temperatures rarely get above 80*.
We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Visit Seattle, the local convention and visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.
When you visit Seattle, consider using our referral link to buy the City Pass, which can save you 50% on the top five attractions in Seattle.
Best things to do in Seattle
- Alki Beach (reviews) – This beach was in the movie “Sleepless in Seattle”
- Boeing Renton Factory (reviews) –
- Fremont Troll (reviews) – Fun thing to see while visiting.
- Gas Works Park (reviews) – If you’re here in the Summer, Gas Works Park is great for a family outing and quick pickup game of frisbee or flag football.
- Kerry Park (reviews) – Boasts the best views in the city (AND ITS FREE!)
- Lake Union (reviews) – Tuesdays in summer bring the Duck Dodge to Lake Union where hundreds of sailboats make an attempt to race each other while “dodging the ducks”.
- Monorail Westlake Station (reviews)
- The Museum of Flight (reviews) – The Museum of Flight is GREAT for families.
- Museum of Pop Culture (reviews) – Must see while visiting.
- Pike Place Market (reviews) – It’s free, and the crowds are never there before 8am. That’s also when the food is freshest. This is also where you will find the Gum Wall.
- Ride the Ducks of Seattle (reviews) – Must see while visiting.
- Seattle Aquarium (reviews) – Must see while visiting.
- The Spheres (reviews) – Another must see while visiting.
- Space Needle (reviews) – Avoid paying the fee by making a reservation when it opens back up.
Best places to stay in Seattle
Here are the best places to stay in Seattle.
- The Arctic Club Seattle – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (reviews)
- The Edgewater Hotel (reviews) – This is where the famous Life magazine Beatles Fishing picture was taken. You can book the Beatles suite!
- Hyatt At Olive 8 (reviews)
- The Westin Seattle (reviews) – This place is great and aviation themed.
Getting around Seattle, Washington
The local airport is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. You can easily get to the Downtown area by using the Link Light Rail service for $3 each way.
Jon and Ben say that you should not rent a car. Traffic can be horrible and parking is pricy, but public transportation is great. Uber and Lyft are also excellent ways to get around. And I’ve personally found the downtown area very walkable.
Something unique to Seattle is the ferry system. You’ll want to try it at least once to get some iconic views of the Seattle skyline.
If you only need a car for a couple of hours, you can rent by the hour with Zipcar. Join now to get $25 loaded into your account.
The Final Countdown
1) If a traveler could only have one meal in Seattle – Jon and Ben agree that the iconic “meal” in Seattle is actually coffee and a pastry. Head to a coffee shop to read a book, engage in conversation, or just relax and people watch. Be sure to visit the original Starbucks to take a picture. Then head over to the Starbucks Roastery, which is like Disneyland for coffee lovers.
2) Favorite memory of Seattle – Seeing Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, inside a Starbucks is pretty meta. But Jon and Ben are aviation geeks, so going to the Boeing Factory Tour to watch the mechanics attach wings to Dreamliners (a big plane for us novices) was a “kid in the candy store” moment for Jon.
3) Happiest Happy Hour in Seattle – All of the best nightlife happens on Capitol Hill and South Lake Union. Jon recommends grabbing a drink at Optimism Brewing for some great local brews. They have plenty of taps on the wall to provide variety and you can bring your own food to stay on budget. Keep in mind that most Seattle happy hours run from 4 pm to 6 pm, so arrive early.
4) Best place for pepperoni pizza in Seattle – The best pizza in Seattle is Serious Pie. It is one of 12 Tom Douglas restaurant concepts within the city. They have two locations, one by Pike’s Place and another in Westlake. The Westlake store also serves tasty biscuits and has brunch on the weekends, so that one would be the ideal place to visit. Biscuits and brunch stop serving at 3 pm, so lunch is the ideal mealtime if you want to sample both biscuits and pizza.
Places we talked about on the podcast
Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Jon and Ben of NoMasCoach about Seattle, Washington. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.
- Red dots = best places to eat in Seattle, Washington
- Green dots = best things to do in Seattle, Washington
- Yellow dots = best places to stay in Seattle, Washington
Who are Jon and Ben Nickel-D’Andrea?
Jon and Ben are a couple that writes the travel blog NoMasCoach on the BoardingArea family of websites. They are transplants to the Seattle area after Ben found a temporary assignment in the area and Jon followed from Miami. Listen to the show and experience the laughter as they share the story of how they moved to Seattle.
By day, Ben is a computer programmer and Jon is in sales. They travel extensively for work and one day they decided “no mas coach” (translated as no more coach seats). So they decided they would use their collective wisdow and experience to earn airline status and miles to ensure that they can fly in luxury whenever they fly.
Here are a couple of articles that they have written:
- FARE DEAL: Business Class from Europe to US for under $1700
- Flight Sale: Summer in Spain for only $200 round trip!
- Marriott Platinum Elite Guarantee – What if they don’t honor it?
As you can tell, Jon and Ben are experts in the travel world. They specialize in finding amazing fares for cash or miles so you can travel at a huge discount.
In fact, Jon and Ben offer a service where they will help you book award tickets using your airline miles. And they’re offering a special discount to We Travel There listeners when you visit this link.
Big thanks to today’s affiliate partner – AwardWallet
This episode is brought to you, in part, by AwardWallet. Using airline miles and hotel points makes travel affordable, but keeping track of all of those loyalty programs can be a challenge.
That’s why I use AwardWallet to track my miles and points balances, reservations, and special goodies like free hotel night certifications and airline companion passes.
Having everything in one easy to use dashboard helps ensure I don’t let any rewards expire and makes logging into my accounts super easy. Go to WeTravelThere.com/awardwallet to start your free account.
Stay tuned for our next episode
Listen to the next episode when Lindsay Williams of Lindsay Does Languages helps us crack the Enigma Code in Milton Keynes, England. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.
What’s your favorite part of Seattle, Washington? Let us know in the comment section below or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!
To learn more about the Pacific Northwest, please listen to these other episodes:
- Best Things to Do in Vancouver, Canada with Ricky Shetty
- Why Portland, Oregon is known as the Rose City with Liz
- Fort Casey, Whale Watching & Price Sculpture Forest on Whidbey Island, Washington