Mixing Business and Pleasure: Quick Escapes in Seattle

by  Darren Murph | Jun 3, 2013
Seattle waterfront
Seattle waterfront / cestes001/iStock

Seattle may have a reputation of being cloudy and rainy for the majority of the year, but if you're in town for a week on business, chances are, you'll get at least one or two days that'll make you want to relocate. The Pacific Northwest is one of the more beautiful regions of the United States, and there's no reason to stay cooped up in a hotel. In an effort to get you outside the boardroom and into the Emerald City, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

Just a short stroll from the Washington State Convention Center is Blueacre Seafood. While this is actually a fairly new spot, there's a lot of history here. The folks running the place were a part of Oceanaire a decade ago, and they recently returned to the same location in order to construct a seafood eatery of their own. Needless to say, locals are hoping that Blueacre remains around for some time to come. While the food is upscale, the atmosphere is classy without being stuffy. It's a great option for both lunch and dinner, and there's a mid-afternoon happy hour for those ending the day a bit early.

Given your location, it's tough to not recommend yet another seafood place. After all, you'll be hard-pressed to find seafood as fresh as you will here. That said, Pike Place Chowder is a break from the typical. It's a grab-and-go locale, with a whimsical atmosphere to boot. The chowder, however, is taken very seriously. You'll find a surprisingly robust variety of chowders to choose from, and if you're smart, you'll return on a different day just to sample another.

I generally try to recommend at least one activity in a new city which is both outside and free. In Seattle, that place just so happens to be heavily cliched. That aside, you absolutely should not leave downtown Seattle without a jaunt up and down Pike St. It's a highly unique place, with the world famous Pike Place Fish Market at the center. Even if you aren't in the market for an uncooked salmon, gather around when a fresh batch arrives and watch the action. (Yes, throwing of fish ensues.) While you're in the area, be sure to make your way to the original Starbucks location. Chances are you've had a latte or two from the chain, but stepping foot in the store that started it all is a pretty neat opportunity.

Most folks can tell from a glance around Seattle that the region is full of beauty, but if you've got a half-day to spare, you can prove it to yourself in spectacular fashion. Thirty miles to the east of the city sits Snoqualmie Falls, one of the state's most outstanding attractions. It's pretty amazing how quickly you'll escape the concrete jungle, and while a visit to the falls will give you a smattering of great photo opps, it's also likely to stir up a desire to explore more of Washington. But hey, there's always next time!

There's hardly a better way to cap off a week in Seattle than by visiting The Purple Cafe & Wine Bar. This place is part wine bar, part restaurant, and it boasts an amazing interior that's best appreciated with natural daylight flooding in. Regardless of whether you're looking for a simple drink or a bit of grub, be sure to show up with a couple of hours to burn.

This is a recurring feature exploring must-visit locales in a variety of cities. If you find yourself traveling to a place for business, why not venture out and enjoy your surroundings?

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