Seattle is one of those cities you can come back to every season and it feels like a completely different place. All winter, I’ve been wanting to see snow and Seattle delivered in a big way. Record-breaking, in fact! While it is cold, Seattle during winter is an absolutely beautiful place. Seeing snowcapped mountains in the background while walking and driving around the city is unlike any other experience. Whether your plan to go to Seattle during winter or any other season, I hope this travel guide is helpful. I love going off the beaten path but also know many of y’all want to see the most instagrammable places in Seattle, too! Also, to make things easy for you, all address links will take you to Google maps!
Where to Stay
Location, location, location. You really cannot beat this boutique hotel located steps away from the front entrance of Pike Place Market. If you want the quintessential Pike Place photo, you want to be right in front of this hotel with your photographer in front of you on the hill. Morning light is best but golden hour will be beautiful, too.
Our room, 702, had the most spectacular view of the iconic Pubic Market sign and Ferris wheel. Definitely one of the most instagrammable places in Seattle! Johnny and I had a beautiful time sipping our morning coffee and watching folks go in and out of the busy market. Inn at the Market is a newly remodeled hotel and the water-view rooms truly are spectacular. I highly recommend getting one of these if you stay here. We arrived in our room at night and seeing the red Public Market sign and the ferris wheel lights were simply magical. The rooms here are spacious and we got a King bed. It was so comfortable and just what we needed after a day of exploring Seattle.
You don’t have to stay in a view room to get the view though. All guests can take in the sweeping landscape with the rooftop water view deck. There are lounge chairs, tables and couches so you can relax as you take in Elliot Bay and the Olympic Mountains.
Other upsides to this hotel include the free WiFi, spacious bathroom with a lighted mirror perfect for doing makeup and in-room Keurig. Staying at Inn at the Market also puts you within walking distance of great shopping and restaurants. This is definitely something to take advantage of!
What to Do
Of course, Seattle is full of outdoor and indoor activities. As previously mentioned, it’s a city you could visit each season and have a different experience. Since our trip was a little short and the first half was booked with work items, we only had a little time to explore. Not to mention, some of the hikes we were interested weren’t available because national parks were closed from a snowstorm. However, we got to do some really fun things and hope this list encourages you to try something that might be out of your comfort zone. Plus, some of these are the most instagrammable places in Seattle. I recommend planning some of these between the massive list of restaurants I’m recommending below. That way you can get a full stomach, go and work up and appetite and be ready for your next meal.
RENT A CAR
You can get around the city without a car, but we love adventures! We teamed up with Mitsubishi on this trip and they graciously put us behind the wheel of a 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. We arrived in Seattle right after a record-breaking snowstorm and this crossover vehicle handles like a pro. Rain and whatever leftover snow on the roads weren’t a match for this car. Head to my Seattle highlight on my Instagram to see videos of how this car drives and what it’s like behind the wheel.
Since it was so cold in Seattle, we loved the heated seats! Definitely a must if you go anywhere during cold-weather months. Another fun feature is Carplay. Even though there are still some kinks in the software we weren’t complete fans of, we appreciate how it takes the focus off your phone and places it back onto the road. Something Johnny and I both love is the blind-spot warning. Both of the cars we currently drive don’t have this feature and it was fantastic. Especially when we were trying to quickly merge lanes to snap up a good parking spot, which is can be so rare in Seattle!
Our main reason for wanting a car is being able to leave the city or explore wherever we wanted to. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport really came in handy when we needed to do a lot of driving, especially on our little afternoon trip to Rattlesnake Lake!
COORDINATES: 47°25’59.1″N 121°46’10.6″W
I cannot recommend this location enough! We put in these coordinates (47°25’59.1″N 121°46’10.6″W) which bring us next to the recreation area. No hike involved but you get a picturesque view of the stunning lake and epic mountains. This is most definitely one of the most instagrammable places in Seattle! Granted, it’s not in the city, but if you’re visiting, I can’t imagine a trip to the Seattle area without it. The drive took us about 36 minutes. Normally, the parking lot is open, which makes parking a lot easier. When we went, it was closed due to national parks being closed. We followed everyone else’s idea of street parking and walked through some snow to get to the lake.
My full post on exploring Rattlesnake Lake can be found here.
One of the original most instagrammable places in Seattle, Pike Place is a must-visit. Since it was right outside our hotel, it was easy to walk over and explore. The flower market is beautiful. Unfortunately, I didn’t take many photos because it was raining quite a bit. A walk through the market is sure to make you hungry as there is a delicious seafood market, farmers market and of course, specialty foods. The very first Starbucks is also around the corner! Don’t forget to walk down by the Ferris wheel, too. We opted to do this at night so we could see it all lit up.
My Ferish wheel photo was taken at these coordinates: 47.607296, -122.343652
AMAZON GO STORE
This is seriously SO fun. I wish all shopping was like this but that could potentially be dangerous to my bank account. In Seattle, Amazon has two stores where you can walk in, pick up and item and walk out without even needing to “check out.” The store is cashierless and Amazon Go uses hundreds, if not thousands of cameras and sensors to keep track of customers and what they are planning on buying. Want a bottle of water? Pick it up and walk out the door. You’ll be automatically charged. You’ll need to download the Amazon Go app before you go into the store.
The most iconic place to visit in Seattle. I’ve gone up the Space Needle before so I didn’t do it again. But it does offer sweeping views of the city. If it’s your first time to Seattle, I would say it’s worth it. I’ve been a few times, so it was just nice to walk around the area and see how it’s changed. We found a great spot to take a photo with the Space Needle in the background.
What to Eat
I don’t think we had a single bad meal in Seattle. The city has a plethora of good eats, from your basics including good brunch to delicious sushi and the famous dumpling and noddle restaurant Din Tai Fung. We honestly could eat at a different restaurant every single time we go back (we’re planning on visiting again very soon!) and still not run out of delicious food. There’s great depth in the cuisine and what’s available. I recommend going to Seattle hungry because you’ll want to eat all day! Many of the restaurants we went to are some of the most instagrammable places in Seattle list.
The restaurant both Johnny and I were most excited about! This was our very first stop and we were starving. Din Tai Fung is a steamed dumpling and noddle restaurant bringing you the best of Taiwan. We’ve heard incredible things from famous chef David Chang and a few of our good friends, so we couldn’t wait to try! Our friends recommend going early, right when the restaurant opens, to avoid long lines. However, we went to the University Village location and were taken right to our table. A pleasant surprise for sure!
ORDER: Xiao long bao, green beans, sesame noodles, kimchi dumplings and pot stickers.
Let me tell you, the green beans are to die for! I could eat them all day! I loved the xiao long bao but Johnny says he prefers a place in Flushings, NY. The friend who gave us order recommendations says he thinks these are some of the best and I have to agree with him. We’ll agree to disagree with Johnny then! If you ask to get seated by a window, this makes for one of the instagrammable places in Seattle.
Located downtown, this cafe/bar is full of bright light, lush green plants and of course, good coffee and eats. Johnny and I went here for breakfast and to get a little work done before I met up with the Gibson Team and Nordstrom. It’s definitely a popular spot since it’s in downtown so if you want great pictures without too many people, I recommend going right when the open.
ORDER: BLT Toast, Vanilla latte
The back of the cafe has a row of marble tables and lush chairs. This is where we sat and right when we got up, someone else was ready to take our place. Definitely a cute spot to visit if you’re in downtown and love plants and coffee!
Gal Meets Glam Nell Jacket, Gal Meets Glam
We got a ton of recommendations for this Italian restaurant so many times. We went for a lunch double date with friends and it was divine. The atmosphere is the best part. There wasn’t any entertainment when we dined but The Pink Door is known for the culture and environment created by the owner. As you would guess, there is a pink door outside in the alley and there’s more pink inside.
ORDER: Winter Risotto, Caesar Salad, Tuscan Fries & Herbs
A darling little Japanese spot serving up delicious matcha-based lattes, parfaits, soft serve and other sweets. It can be so hard to get really good matcha softserve in the USA and the Seattle location is the only one stateside for this chain. Of course, this is one of the most instagrammable places in Seattle with the bright green sweets and modern and minimalist decor. We waited about 15-20 minutes in line before we could order but it’s absolutely worth it! They also serve food, too but since we ate just a few hours ago we just wanted dessert.
ORDER: Matcha Mochi Parfait & Matcha Vanilla
Definitely an Instagrammer’s dream! Look at the beautiful tiles, marble bar and plenty of natural light. We met up with my instagram friend Tina, who I’ve known for years, and her fiance for Sunday brunch. The food can be a little pricey for what you get. However, you’re paying for the ambience here. The food is good and Johnny and I liked what we ordered!
ORDER: Crab cake, frites, kale salad
Right outside Bar Melusine is a street Tina says a lot of bloggers take pictures at. I can see why with its simple white brick walls and black windows it’s a neutral backdrop for your outfits. It may have been our first time meeting in person but it felt like we’ve been good friends for years, maybe it’s because we actually have! Tina and I have so much in common, whether it’s being Vietnamese-American, having a classic sense of style, juggling blogging and a full-time job, and also both being in a serious relationship for a while before getting engaged (well, she is!). It’s also so refreshing to make friends you know you’ll keep for a lifetime.
We decided to go matchy matchy for this shoot. We both love over-the-knee boots so we wanted to each style them with neutral looks our way. I kinda love how similar, yet different our looks are. Tina and I both love classic and feminine pieces so it’s no surprise we dress similar!
A plant-based ice cream shop that doesn’t taste vegan at all! We popped into Frankie & Jo’s after brunch and it hit the spot. There are so many delicious flavors to try! I love how they use a lot of organic ingredients, too. The shop itself is a litte small but makes up for it in aesthetics. There’s a really pretty pink and green leaf print wall for you to take your ice cream shots against. Or you can pop outside to get their bright orange door in the shot like I did.
ORDER: Velvet heartbeat, Chocolate spicy sugarcomb
2615 NE 46TH ST | SEATTLE, WA 98105
Our favorite ice cream spot in Seattle! We didn’t get a good photo of our ice cream because it started raining and Johnny just really wanted to eat, ha! Molly Moon’s has tons of flavors and I think we tried about five each before settling on what we got! There are eight locations, so no excuse not to try!
ORDER: Rose Milk Tea, Yeti
A vibrant spot in Pioneer Square, this is a great go-to for tacos, drinks and of course, the ambiance. It’s casual, inviting and I love how much natural light there is! There’s pops of color in the decor, which are a welcome break from the rain in Seattle. We really enjoyed our food here and loved how they make it easy to share if you want to!