The Not-As-Touristy Guide to Seattle

The Not-As-Touristy Guide to Seattle Maybe you have just booked yourself a weekend trip to the rainy city of Seattle. Surely you know about the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, but what else is there to do in Seattle?

Plenty. There’s PLENTY to do!

I’ve done the tourist thing in Seattle (check it out here). I’ve been to the top of the Space Needle, I’ve been to the Aquarium, I went on the Harbor cruise. Fun stuff, but there’s just way more to do than that.

When I was researching fun things to do in Seattle, the same touristy things I already did kept popping up. It was a little frustrating, because I know this city has so much to offer.

Seattle has MANY underrated restaurants, bars, bookstores, and boutiques you should really pay attention to.


Bainbridge Island – Pretty little island that’s accessible by a 30 minute ferry ride. Hop on the ferry in Downtown Seattle and end up in a cute little town surrounded by trees. There’s also plenty of wine tasting on the island, if that’s up your alley. On the ride there, take in the fresh air and if you’re lucky, steal a view of Mt. Rainier.

Alki Beach – This little beach is nice in the summer but it’s a lovely area to check out even when the weather is less than perfect. Walk along the beach and see views of downtown across the water. Check out little restaurants along the waterfront, too. Cactus is really nice! There’s a Top Pot Doughnuts here, too.

Golden Gardens

Golden Gardens

Golden Gardens – Another pretty little place. There’s a slightly rocky beach but very scenic views. Get close to the water with no one around. Play some beach volleyball.

Ballard Locks – I thought this place was pretty cool. To get boats into the sound, they have to raise the water levels, or else it’s too shallow. This is where they do it. They also have another side where they lower the water levels. That’s the best I can describe it, and I’m probably describing it wrong…so you should definitely take a look for yourself! In the summer, you can see schools of salmon swimming through as well. Definitely worth checking out.

Fremont Troll – Yes, this is the ugly troll that everyone takes a photo in front of. If you’re in the area, why not?


Trove Vintage Boutique – Features vintage-inspired clothes that are brand new for purchase, real vintage clothes in great condition, and a wedding boutique at the back of the store. A must-see for any woman who loves vintage clothing (no men’s clothes, unfortunately).

Meadow – One of those stores where you expect everything to be expensive, but you’re pleasantly surprised. Filled with tons of cute, girly things.


I love browsing through bookstores. Especially used bookstores. You really never know what kind of treasures you might find. And authors are often invited for book signings and discussions.

Elliot Bay Book Company – So many books. Lovely environment. Fun to browse. Cafe in the back. Some books on sale.

Eagle Harbor Books – This store is actually located on Bainbridge Island, which is a ferry ride away from downtown Seattle, but it’s so worth mentioning. They have two stores–one with new books and another with used. While the new books are set up in a cute and cozy store, it’s the used books I found very interesting. I picked up so many fiction books from favorite authors at great prices that I just couldn’t find at local bookstores here. If you’re an avid reader, this place is worth a shot.

Ada’s Technical Books and Cafe – Basically a very nerdy (in a good way!) bookstore. Geeky, and very unique.


Top Pot Doughnuts – Absolutely delish. I had a bavarian donut and it just made me so very happy. Anything is good here. Multiple locations. 

Molly Moon – They say the Salted Caramel ice cream is what you should try from here…but let’s be real, everything is good. Multiple locations. 

Rooibos Tea Latte

Rooibos Tea Latte

Cederberg Tea House – This South African cafe has South African snacks, teas, and coffee. Plus they have a ton of packaged food from South Africa that’s really fun to look at. I highly recommend getting the Rooibos Tea Latte. And the sausage rolls are really good. Located in Queen Anne. 

Pie Bar – Stuff your face with a variety of sweet and savory pies. One location in Capitol Hill, one in Ballard. 

Serious Pie – This one is pizza. Really good pizza. And biscuits if you’re there in the mornings. Multiple locations.

Eltana Wood-fired Bagels – If you’re feeling bougie, treat yourself to a wood-fired bagel. Mutliple locations. 

Paseo – Delicious caribbean sandwiches. This has been featured on Food Network shows!!

Theo Chocolate Factory – Don’t know if I would classify this as food, but there’s delicious chocolate involved and a fun factory tour. It’s family friendly but fun for anyone and everyone who loves chocolate.

Portage Bay – BRUNCH. You must go here for brunch. Multiple locations. 

Toulouse Petit – Cajun/Creole food. Everyone raves about it. Don’t miss out!


There are bars left and right here. But what Seattle has that I haven’t seen in other cities are cider bars. They have a ton. Definitely take a look at the cider houses and breweries.

Capitol Cider – They also have board games and shuffleboard!

Schilling Cider House – ’nuff said.

Fremont Brewing – Awesome, popular brewery.

But, don’t skip these classic tourist attractions:


Chihuly Garden and Glass – Beautiful glass art. Photos don’t do it justice. It’s something you just have to see in person. Beautiful day or night, but most people come here during the day. They had a really nice glassblowing demonstration outside that was fun to watch. I was awestruck at how much work it took to make a glass vase.

Space Needle – C’mon! It’s the Space Needle. Beautiful views of the city from the top. Located in the Seattle Center right next to Chihuly.

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market – A foodie paradise. A few favorites include Piroshky Piroshky, Le Panier, Beecher’s, and Pike Place Chowder. Yes, the original Starbucks is located here, but…they serve you the same Starbucks coffee you get anywhere else. Which is why you should go to the Reserve instead. Other cool things to get from here–seafood, flowers, jewelry, specialty foods.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room – Located not too far from downtown in Capitol Hill. This is where they roast coffee and make specialty drinks you can’t find anywhere else. Taste different coffees that are brewed with special methods while listening to coffee beans funnel through pipes. It’s a pretty cool experience. Plus, they have friendly servers who take your order and bring you coffee. Whaaaat!

That’s my list for now! What would you add to the list?

Almond Milk Latte (Non-Dairy, Vegan, Soy-Free)

Almond Milk Latte

Every cold morning when I pry my eyes open, not yet ready to start the day, I nearly dread getting out of bed. The only part I look forward to is my belly-warming, happiness-inducing morning coffee.

I must say, I’m a latte girl. Love ’em. That’s my coffee shop go-to, no matter the coffee shop. Sure, I could make a latte at home quickly, but they never turned out like coffee shop lattes. I could never get the foam just right, and I would always fall back to pouring milk into my coffee and moving on with the day. That’s still delicious, but holy cow is this so much better!

But let me tell you…I figured it out. And I figured out a dairy-free (YES, no dairy!) version. It’s delicious. It tastes like a barista made it.

And it took me all of 3 minutes to make. Look, there’s foam!
Almond Milk Latte Loooootsssss of foam. So foamy. Bubbles. So bubbly. Frothy. Can’t get over it. Almond Milk Latte What type of voodoo did I do to make such a latte, you ask? Nothing out of the ordinary. But let me tell you, once you start making homemade lattes this way, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been making lattes this way all your life. Almond Milk Latte Are you ready? Are you sure you’re ready?

You’re ready. I used a blender. Specifically a Vitamix, but any blender will do. The blender aerates the milk, making it thick and foamy.

The bubbles stayed intact until I finished my latte, just like a coffee shop latte.  Fancy! Almond Milk Latte

Here’s how you make it!

Almond Milk Latte (Non-Dairy, Vegan, Soy-Free)

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 4 minutes

Yield: 1

Serving Size: 1


  • 1 Cup Almond Milk (I'm using Vanilla Almond Milk. Use the almond milk of your choice)
  • 1/2 Cup Espresso (You can also use regular coffee and double the amount for a more concentrated brew, but espresso is best)


  1. Prepare espresso or coffee. Set aside.
  2. In a heat-safe container, heat almond milk in microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Heating times may vary, but you generally want your milk to be pretty hot.
  3. Pour milk into blender and blend for 1 minute on medium speed. On the Vitamix, I went to 3-4. It should be very bubbly.
  4. Carefully pour milk back (don't disturb the bubbles) into heat-safe container and microwave again for 30 more seconds.
  5. Prepare your coffee mug. Pour in the espresso/coffee.
  6. Pour in the liquid part of the almond milk until there is about 1.5 inches of space from the top of your mug. Then, using a spoon, carefully pour on the bubbles.
  7. Serve immediately.


This can be made with any type of milk, including soy and coconut. I've found that almond milk works best for a non-dairy version since the bubbles stay intact longer.

What do you think of making homemade lattes this way? I don’t think I’ll go back to pouring milk into black coffee unless I really don’t have time to spare.

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