It can be tough to plan a weekend getaway from home with that never-ending to-do list, but it’s worth the effort to carve out a little time to spend with the ladies in your life. And when you do, historic Seattle is a great choice for the ultimate girls trip—it’s simultaneously laid-back and energizing, providing the perfect urban retreat in Washington State.
Use one of our boutique hotels in Seattle as your home base for a girlfriend getaway to Seattle and you’ll be downtown in the center of it all, with easy access to both iconic and off-the-beaten-path attractions. Connecting rooms will keep everyone close, while the playfully luxurious design aesthetic, plush pillow-top beds, and animal-print bathrobes will ensure you’re comfy while away.
Wondering what to do for a fun-filled weekend? Try this girlfriend weekend itinerary on for size:
If you and your girlfriends arrive in the evening and just want to grab a bite to eat and an inventive cocktail, the Bookstore Bar & Café at the Kimpton Alexis Hotel will hit the spot. Choose a table near the large glass window and unwind alongside amazing views of the city—the upbeat atmosphere, extensive happy-hour selection and liquid menu that’s a mile long will get your trip off to a spectacular start. Those with a sweet tooth should prepare for sweet dreams with the Goat Cheese Cake, a decadent treat of pistachio shortbread, goat cheese mousse and pear compote.
Get up and at ’em with a trip to Pike Place Market before it gets more crowded as the day wears on. Stop by Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt for an amazingly creamy concoction in flavors like marionberry pie and passion fruit, or grab a growler at Rachel’s Ginger Beer, where it’s almost impossible to decide between the classic recipe or the rotating seasonal varietals (think Strawberry Rhubarb, Carrot Beet, and Asian Pear). For a little history with your taste-testing, the two-hour walking tour of the market from Savor Seattle is as yummy as it is informative.
In the afternoon, funky Fremont is a neighborhood worth wandering. With its famous troll, giant rocket, and 16-foot-tall bronze statue of Vladimir Lenin, this is a quirky area, if you couldn’t tell. If you’re looking for a memento to take home, women’s boutique Show Pony stocks lots of local designers and one-of-a-kind items. For adorable—yet completely functional—accessories for bike commuting, mosey on over to Free Range Cycles, where you can transform your riding style at a woman-owned shop offering thoughtful products and quality workmanship..
You can’t leave Fremont without dropping by Theo Chocolate, the first organic and fair trade bean-to-bar chocolate factory in North America. Throughout the shop they offer samples of many of the chocolate bars, so you can do plenty of comparing and contrasting (all in the name of thorough research, of course).
In the evening, catch a show—The 5th Avenue Theatre, Benaroya Hall (home to the Seattle Symphony), and live music venue The Triple Door are all within walking distance. Or just sit down to a relaxed, elegant dinner at Purple Café and Wine Bar, where the floor-to-ceiling windows and tower of wine encased by a spiral staircase make for a beautiful setting.
Start your last girls’ day in Seattle right with brunch at Portage Bay Café in South Lake Union, where the concepts of local, organic and sustainable are taken seriously. The toppings bar with fresh fruit and whipped cream is a favorite; order pancakes or French toast to take advantage of it.
On Sundays, the Center for Wooden Boats offers free public sails around Lake Union. Get there at 10am to sign up for a spot. It’s worth it to hop aboard one of their historic vessels—it could be a steamboat, electric boat, schooner, ketch, yawl or yacht—and glide past the houseboat community, seaplanes coming and going, and the gasification-plant-turned-photogenic-public-space, Gas Works Park. You’ll even catch a glimpse of the houseboat made famous by enduring rom-com Sleepless in Seattle.
The trip’s almost over, but don’t leave without a little pampering. At Banya 5, live the spa life with a Russian twist. You’ll immerse yourself in the extremes—and everything in between—with a cold-plunge pool, a hot pool (104 degrees), a saltwater tepid pool, a Turkish steam room, and a dry sauna lined with concrete and brick to create the kind of heat your muscles will love. Almost as much as you’ve loved your girlfriend getaway to Seattle.
Which hotel is right for your girls’ trip? The Kimpton Alexis Hotel offers waterfront views, the Kimpton Hotel Monaco is located near some of the city’s most famous attractions, the Kimpton Palladian Hotel offers old-world vintage and gritty elegance in Belltown, while the Kimpton Hotel Vintage offers refined elegance right in downtown Seattle.
Photos: Matilda The Musical—Joan Marcus; Lake Union—Wonderlane/Flickr
This post was originally published on June 11, 2015 and has been updated