One year after saying “I do,” Brandon and I finally took our official honeymoon – destinations Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. Having both separately lived in Washington at some point in our lives, Brandon and I knew this trip would be sprinkled with some fuzzy warm nostalgia, which we willingly leaned into. Upon arrival, we shouted into the overcast sky, “We’re back, Pacific Northwest! We’re adults, we’re married, and we’re living our best lives! We cherish the good times we had here. Now, let’s make some more!”
The plan was simple – start in Seattle for the first half of the week and then drive down to Portland, stay in a few Airbnbs, hit all the major tourist spots, discover a few lesser-known locales, find and eat as many macarons as possible, then go home. The only rule? NO FANCY CAMERAS.
*Disclaimer: This was a #selfietrip. Sometimes when photographers go out into the real world to have real experiences, they leave their fancy cameras and lenses at home to enjoy the little moments as they happen. This was one of those trips. Feel free to excuse yourself now if you can’t handle looking at two people, madly in love, taking face-photos together.
Buying a CityPass gave us discounted access to Seattle’s most instragramable attractions. We highly recommend.
- Space Needle
- Seattle Aquarium
- Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
- Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) OR Woodland Park Zoo
- Chihuly Garden and Glass OR Pacific Science Center
The Space Needle knows what visitors want – a beautiful waterfront view by day, and the sparkling city of lights by night – so their tickets include a duel day/night pass on the 520ft high observation deck. You can’t visit this 56-year-old marvel without seeing both views! Fun fact: my grandparents ate at the Space Needle Skycity Restaurant on opening day during the 1962 World’s Fair. Crazy!
Learn more about this amazing structure here.
After an hour of balsamic vinegar and olive oil tasting on Queen Anne Hill, we stumbled upon the sparsely-populated Kerry Park, which offers amazing views of the whole city and bay, including prime photo opportunities with the Space Needle and Mt. Rainier in the background. How lucky!
Fresh peonies from Pike Place Market, right next to our favorite macaron shop, Le Panier. We must have visited 5 times before leaving the city. Those delicate cookies are insanely tricky to make, so we left the hard work to the professionals.
The ring that started it all, and gave us a reason to come to Seattle one year later!
Awesome, but gross gum wall, located outside Pike Place Market. called the Market Theater Gum Wall. This disturbingly sweet-smelling corridor is covered on both walls with thousands of pre-chewed gum, stretching at least 50 feet down the alley. That’s a lot of gum! Even so, the city comes through and scrapes it all off once in a while so tourists can make their mark on fresh brick. I’ll have you know, we didn’t contribute to the mess on this trip, but that was only because we didn’t have any gum on hand, or in mouth.
We’re nerds for factory tours, and the Theo Chocolate factory tour in Fremont (north Seattle) was as tasty as it was informative. The hour-long experience started with a sit down lesson/chocolate tasting about the cocoa bean growth and processing techniques that lead to Theo’s ethically-sourced cocoa. You can see the full story in illustrations below, or click here. After that, our tour guide walked us around the factory floor, explained how all the machines operate, showed us the truffle-making lab, then finished up in the chocolate showroom.
I love chocolate and I love factory tours, so this fun activity was a winner (even though we had to wear hair nets).
How cute are these complimentary beach cruisers from the StayPineapple Hotel? We didn’t stay there, I just think they’re adorable.
We stayed in a basement Airbnb during our Seattle evenings. My only advice for your next Airbnb experience – ask about how private the actual room is. We were plenty happy with the room we booked in Ballard (north Seattle), but wished it was more clear in the posting that the room was a basement, not the separate mother-in-law building we thought it would be. Not exactly ideal for a honeymoon, let’s just say.
The trip continues! This is a Pacific Northwest Tour in three parts. Read “Honeymoon in Seattle / Portland (Part 2)” here, or skip to Part 3 here.