Seattle's best kept secret might be its comfortably warm and (comparatively) sunny summertime. Here's how to explore the other city by the bay this Labor Day weekend.
The 16-room Ballard Inn sits in the heart of the vibrant Ballard neighborhood (Seattle's equivalent of The Mission). Built in 1902, the former home of the American-Scandinavian bank recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, so its eclectic interior still feels brand spankin' new.
From $79 here. 5300 Ballard Ave. (206-789-5011)
The Pan Pacific Hotel is ideal for travelers who judge their hotel experience based on luxury amenities. Your room fee includes complimentary towncar service within the downtown area, 24-hour business and fitness centers, and room service provided by the Zagat Award-winning Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar.
From $425 here. 2125 Terry Ave. (877-324-4856)
The freshly opened Ballard Pizza Company is the place to be if you want to grab a slice of New York-style pie. Run by one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs of 2008, they serve up a range of slices from old school Brooklyn (pepperoni, sausage, mushroom and olive) to the gourmet Whole Hog (salami, spicy coppa, guanciale and prosciutto).
5107 Ballard Ave. N.W. (206-659-6033)
Supplement a trip to Pike's Place Market with a stop at Piroshky Piroshky, a family-run Russian bakeshop serving 16 different savory piroshkys (we recommend the Bavarian sausage), plus mouthwatering Russian sweets (including the soft and flaky Moscow Roll).
1908 Pike Place (206-441-6068)
Explore the Puget Sound's picturesque San Juan Islands via kayak with help from Sea Quest Kayak Expeditions. We recommend the six-hour whale watching trip, designed to get you up close and personal with orcas in their natural habitat.
$89 here Friday Harbor, WA. Travel info here.
Come as you are to pay your respects to the late great Kurt Cobain at his guitar-shaped memorial near the Young Street Bridge in Aberdeen. Why here? The bridge was a favorite haunt of the Aberdeen native who mentioned it in Something In The Way.
Young Street Bridge, Aberdeen