Authors: Jasmine K. Brown and Sharanda Thomas. Follow us both on Instagram at @JastyJasmine and @iamsharandanicole
“Friends that travel together, stay together.”- Unknown
Looking for a futuristic and sophisticated city to visit? Are you excited to also go sightseeing without having to travel very far? If so, we would highly recommend considering Seattle, WA!
Being that two of us will be working on this post, we wanted to share a few of the details that went into planning our trip. Jasmine Brown (who’s wearing the forest green shirt) was working four hours from Seattle in the southeast corner of Washington. Sharanda Thomas (who’s wearing the denim shirt) decided to take much-needed vacation time this summer. We randomly called each other up and began planning our annual trip. We easily decided on Seattle since neither one of us had been there before. Below is an outline of our trip, but first, we will tell you how we met.
We met in 2013 at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, AL.
Jasmine was participating in a 1-year student exchange program (she actually graduated from the University of Connecticut) and Sharanda had just transferred from a community college. We were actually roommates (which plays into why we call each other “Roomie”)
Let’s just say, we were destined to be friends.
We initially bonded, over the simple fact that we were both new to the campus, but we ended up actually becoming lifelong friends and now, traveling buddies!
Jasmine is THE Nap Queen. (No seriously. I would sign up to be in a napping competition). Neither of us wanted to do too many touristy activities on our first night in Seattle, so we went out for Dinner at Sip Thai Bistro We’d highly recommend visiting this restaurant. The decor was very contemporary, and our food was so flavorful. In the name of saving money, we stayed at the Hampton Inn/Suites in Redmond, WA. (See below for more details about lodging in Seattle).
The Hampton Inn and Suites offered a complimentary breakfast. We both really love free food. The only issue was waking up on time before the hotel stopped serving breakfast. #TheStruggleWasReal We also visited the Microsoft Visitor Center and the Space Needle (Check out our snapshot here). We had multiple photoshoots at both stops.
Side note: The Space Needle is over 500 feet up in the air. If you’re claustrophobic or afraid of heights, this might not be the stop for you.
Jasmine realized that she was definitely afraid of heights after waiting in line for 30 minutes and finally making it to the top. Sharanda handled the glass floors, walls, windows, and benches – really well. (Not really! I just hid it really well. LOL) We had lunch here Tacos Chukis.
Depending on what you’re looking for, this restaurant had fresh affordable food and flavorful fruit juices. What they didn’t have was sour cream, and a side of rice and refried beans. After that, we went to see a 4D Movie (YES we said 4D). Regal has six 4DX theaters across the country list on their website.
This was the scariest experience of our lives.
The extra effects ranged from motion-enabled seats, air AND water blasts, and even simulated weather effects. The 4DX effects made the movie “The Meg” even more intense! Imagine someone like Sharanda, who is easily scared (I actually screamed during a comedy film), experiencing the moving seats. The sight was comical! We were pretty much exhausted afterward so we ordered pizza here: Flying Saucer (SO GOOD). They even had a baked potato pizza!
One of our traveling traditions is Diva Day. On Diva Day, we both agree to take anywhere from 2-3 hours getting dressed up and doing our makeup.
Sidenote: let’s just say Sharanda moves a lot faster than Jasmine on Diva Day (I still can’t understand why Jasmine takes so long! LOL).
We had brunch at the Village Square Cafe. Between both of us, we tried the biscuits and gravy, strawberry waffles, and a breakfast omelet. The food and service were amazing. (Sharanda is a Southern girl and she approved) We also wanted to see what it was like going to a cashier-less store so we visited an Amazon Go Store in downtown Seattle.
What a novel experience it was to be able to walk in a store, put items in a bag, and leave!
Jasmine tried convincing Sharanda about the deliciousness of Gelato by visiting Gelatiamo. Sharanda is more of an ice cream kind of girl, but she really enjoyed their Strawberry-flavored Gelato.
For anyone that isn’t familiar with a Duck Tour, it’s basically a car/boat that is able to give its participants a tour on land and water while singing (or screaming) songs like “We Will Rock You.”
The Seattle Duck Tour had great souvenirs, and it was easy to buy our tickets in advance. We also were able to see some of the most iconic places in Seattle such as the Pike Place Market and the million dollar house boats. We would recommend going on the Duck Tour at the beginning of your trip (instead of the end). That way you’ll be able to identify all the places you’d like to visit.
Lastly, we had dinner at the Agave Cocina and Cantina. This restaurant was life-changing, Why, you ask? They have SEASONED sour cream AND their Chimichangas were filled with more than chicken! On top of that, they had great happy hour specials and great service. Oh, and of course, we both enjoyed our food.
Since we both departed on this day, that is the end of our day by day outline! We’ve provided some additional details below.
We’re experts at traveling on a budget. Whether that means staying in hotels, Airbnb, or hostels; the goal is not to overspend. After looking at the Airbnb in Seattle, we decided it would be best to stay in a hotel. Hotels in downtown Seattle were 300+ a night, so that was way out of our budget. Staying in Redmond, WA was a lot cheaper. The hotel was very modern with new decor. We both enjoyed the walk-in shower! (Maybe, that’s why it took Jasmine so long to get ready!) The hotel we chose was very close to downtown Redmond, WA. It also was next door to a Target just in case you need to grab things that you may need.
Out of the four places that we went out to eat (not including free breakfast) Agave Cocina and Cantina was our favorite by far. They had excellent service and their seasoned sour cream changed my taste buds forever (yes, I said SEASONED sour cream); and if you didn’t know by now, Jasmine LOVES sour cream! Her eyes lit up when she tasted the seasoned sour cream.
Seattle made it very easy to go sightseeing. Several things were centrally located which was helpful. For example, during our visit to the Space Needle, we had to pass the Seattle Duck Tour office and Museum of Pop Culture. The activities were also fairly priced, which is a plus when you’re traveling on a budget.
Parking was not as easy at first until we discovered the $1/hour parking area. It was a game changer. It was near all of the downtown tourist activities. We also found one parking lot that was actually free on Sundays.
The airport was pretty easy to navigate. The only difference is that its car service pick-up was actually located in their parking garage.
Overall, we were thoroughly surprised by the elegant city of Seattle!
From the 500-foot Space Needle to the cashier-less Amazon Go, we were sincerely intrigued by the city’s sophistication, amazing views, and flavorful food.
Seattle is THE example of what a city should look and FEEL like! We, without hesitation, say that Seattle is a MUST see.