WELCOME TO SEATTLE!
It must be the abundance of sunshine in Arizona that draws Seattleites. There are lots of them in the Arizona tennis scene, and the ones I know are incredible players! You wouldn't think that a state that gets so much rain, is a great place for tennis players, but it is! Thanks to indoor tennis facilities, there's always a place to play in Seattle.
I've been to Seattle several times, always in the fall. My youngest son is a huge Seattle Seahawks fan, so we've been going to Seattle to watch Seahawks games for years. We visited last December, and while the boys went to the football game, I explored as many tennis facitilites and shops I could! It was so fun!
Flying into Seattle/Tacoma Airport or SEATAC is very easy. If we stay downtown, we don't rent a car. This last visit we stayed in Bellevue, so we rented a car.
Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center
This tennis center is on the University of Washington campus and home to the men's and women's teams. If you're visiting during their season, look up the schedule and catch a match. I love watching college tennis! It was raining when I visited (no surprise), and I was surprised to see people playing on the damp courts! That would never happen in Arizona, we get a few sprinkles here, and everyone freaks out! *It's probably not very safe.
Seattle Tennis Club
This is a beautiful private tennis club, established in 1890, and tucked in the Madison Park neighborhood. It sits on the shores of Lake Washington and boasts some of the most incredible views. They host the annual Washington State Open every August, a USTA sanctioned tournament. It's also the same time as the Boeing Seafair Air Show, so August would make a great time to visit! Although the club is private, they were kind enough to let me take a look around and visit the pro shop. The rain prevented players from the outdoor courts, but the indoor courts were very busy with players dressed in white (a requirement of the club).
Robinswood Tennis Center
A nice public facility in Robinswood Community Park, with indoor and outdoor courts.
Tennis Center Sandpoint
Although I didn't make it here, lots of my friends recommend it.
The main floor of the sporting goods store is all about snow sports. The basement is where all the good stuff is! They have a large showroom with everything you need for tennis!
Talk to anyone from Seattle and they'll probably tell you that downtown Seattle has changed, for the worse. Unfortunately, the homeless situation in the downtown area has made it a less desirable place to stay. Prior to the COVID pandemic, we always stayed downtown and loved it. It's walking distance to so many great places like Pike Place Market, Seattle Great Wheel, and the Aquarium. On our last visit, I took the advice of my Seattle friends, and stayed in Bellevue. Honestly, I would do some research before you book a hotel, but I loved staying in Bellevue and will probably continue to stay there.
A chic hotel in downtown Seattle. Classic Thompson vibe walking distance to shopping, dining, and the waterfront.
A great downtown hotel, walking distance to shopping and the waterfront.
A super fun hotel in downtown, a young vibe, and lively on the weekend.
This hotel is by far my favorite place to stay for visiting Seattle. I love the interior, the location, and the area. We visited in December, and they go all out for the holidays. Right outside our hotel is a nightly holiday parade called Snowflake Lane. There are dancers, music, floats, and it snows! Every night! It's a great family event, and we couldn't believe how clean they keep the area, it's like Disneyland every night!
If you love fresh seafood, you're going to absolutely love Seattle. The foodie scene there is no joke. Here are some of the places I've visited and loved.
Shuckers Oyster Bar
If you're an oyster fan, you love Schuckers!
This french patisserie is next to the original Starbucks at Pike Place Market. If the line is too long at Starbucks, you won't regret popping into Le Panier instead. The smell of fresh baked bread will pull you in. Pick up a fresh baguette, cheese from Beecher's, and a pint of figs or berries from the market and you're set!
Zig Zag Cafe
My friends family owns this cafe. Unfortunately, it was closed when we visited, but it's definitely someplace I'd like to try on my next visit.
The Fishermans Restaurant & Bar
I'm sure Seattle locals are rolling their eyes at this one. It's located next to the Great Wheel of Seattle, in a very touristy area. We always sit inside and grab a drink or light meal while our kids are on the wheel. It's always good. They have great local cider, and look how frosty this glass is! Doesn't take much to win me over :)
If you have time to take the Ferry over to Bainbridge Island, this pizzeria on Winslow is delicious! Our kids remember it because they give you scissors to cut your pizza.
Paddy Coyne's Bellevue
This pub is a short walk from the W Bellevue, it's so fun, we visited there several times throughout our stay. Our server was great and gave us lots of recommendations.
I've never had a meal at an STK I didn't like. Although, I've never been to this location, if you're craving a good steak, you're safe here.
Japonessa Sushi Cocina
This unique restaurant on the ground floor adjacent to the W Bellevue is a mix of Japanese and Latin flavors. From saké to dessert, it was incredible!
Civility & Unrest
This speakeasy is hidden within the wall art on the basement level of the W Bellevue. I didn't get a chance to go, but it's at the top of my list for next time! This is what the entrance looks like, so you don't miss it.
Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi
This is another restaurant near the W Bellevue that was highly recommended by our server at the pub. Not only does it have amazing food, it offers incredible skyline views.
Pike Place Market
This market is one of the best parts of Seattle. After you snap your photo in front of the famous sign, take your time wandering around the market. I've never seen such large produce, fresh flowers, and the fish, OMG the fish are amazing! If you're lucky, you can catch the fish mongers tossing large fish to one another while stock the display case.
We always stop at this cheese shop to watch through the glass how cheese is made. We also pick up a cup of creamy mac and cheese and some cheese for snacking. It's one of our favorite spots.
The Gum Wall
In an alley next to the Market is the Gum Wall. It's quite gross, but such a unique spot. Apparently, sailers weren't allowed to chew gum on the boat, so on the way to the ships, they stuck their gum to the wall as they walked down the alley.
This popcorn shop is so adorable, and smells amazing, I couldn't help but stop. We picked up a couple of delicious bags for snacking.
Bellevue Art Museum BAM
It's a shame I didn't make it to BAM, especially because it's right next to the W Bellevue. I was preoccupied with visiting tennis spots. Next time I visit, it'll be my first stop!
Museum of Pop Culture
My daughter and I visited this museum while the boys went to a football game. the building was designed by Frank Gehry, and even if you don't go inside, the architecture is a work of art all by itself. Inside are loads of exhibits about Seattle music. If you're a fan of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, or Macklemore, you'll be in heaven! *we were in a major "leg hold" phase
The Space Needle
You have to do this at least once. It's an amazing experience and the views, incredible!
Seattle Great Wheel
My kids love to visit the Great Wheel late at night when the skyline is bright and mystical.
We visited the aquarium the first time we were in Seattle. The kids were younger and they really enjoyed it.
I've never been to either of these places, but they are on my list for next time!
Bellevue Botanical Garden
Chihulu Garden and Glass
Taking the ferry to Bainbridge is one of my kids favorite memories. We stop at Pike Place Market, pick up snacks and take the ferry across to the Island. It's a great place to spend a few hours shopping and taking in the quaint town. You can also rent bikes from Bike Barn Rentals and spend the day biking. On our last visit, we walked around the island and got ice cream at Mora Iced Cream.
This is a great way to see a lot of the city on the water, while learning more about it. We visited in December of 2021 and took a special Christmas cruise, complete with caroling, Santa, and special holiday lights and cocktails. We were with three teenage boys. Although they had fun, it's probably more suited for younger kids. We loved watching the little guys run around, hopped up on hot chocolate and candy canes.
Attend a Seattle Seahawks Game
Spend a day being part of the 12th man! The Seahawks fans are die hard fans, the noise inside the stadium is remarkable, and the energy is electric. Rain or shine, the fans support their team! Pack your rain gear and get ready to shout!
I wanted so badly to squeeze in wine tasting, but we didn't have time. Here are two options I researched and would like to visit. Fun fact: I didn't drink wine until I was close to 30 years old! My friend introduced my to Riesling from Snoqualmie, Washington and I loved it!
Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
SPEND A DAY AT THE FARM
My family teases me, but I would love to own a small lakehouse with an apple orchard someday. I imagine the farms in the Seattle area are breathtaking. Again, didn't have time to visit these, but I did some online research and these would be great for a fall day trip.
Larsen Lake Blueberry Farm
Kelsey Creek Farm
I hope you find yourself in Seattle someday. It truly is a very special place.
Safe Travels, Love, and Tennis,
Click the link below to add all of these locations to your Apple Maps.
Questions? Send me a message on Instagram @tenniscityguide