Looking to get out of town for a weekend? Seattle’s a great place to explore. With daily flights to SeaTac International Airport from SJC, experiencing the Emerald City is just a quick trip away. Make sure to pack a raincoat and wear some comfortable shoes. There’s a lot to see and do.

Although Seattle might be the birthplace of the first Starbucks Cafe, why not try something different? Caffe Vita roasts all their coffee by hand in small batches, so each cup will be as fresh as can be. Start the morning with a drink in one of their seven Seattle locations. Don’t forget to take a pound of coffee home as a souvenir. For those who like having something a little sweet with their coffee, they can head over to one of Top Pot Donuts’ establishments for a fresh donut made the old-fashioned way.

Most visitors to Seattle find themselves at Pike Place Market. Visitors here should come hungry and make their way down Post Alley for a meal at The Pink Door. This quirky Italian joint is a hidden gem, serving up delicious food and offering an inviting ambiance. Dinner guests are treated to cabaret performances throughout the evening.

Getting around Seattle by car is fairly easy, especially with a navigation system or smartphone. Even without a car, the city offers a public transit system with light rail, monorail, West Seattle Water Taxi, and a network of free downtown buses. The Link Light Rail will take you directly from SeaTac to downtown Seattle.

For anyone serious about pizza, how about a pizza class at Tom Douglas’ Serious Pie Downtown? “Students” are taught pizza-making techniques—the pizza dough recipe is a closely guarded secret, though. Everyone makes their own individual pizza to eat at the end of the two-hour class using the finest ingredients (and wine pairing is included).

While venturing out from the city center, make a day trip out of it, and head to Snoqualmie Falls for some hiking and fresh air (check their website to make sure trails are open). On the way to the falls, stop by a Metropolitan Market to find everything necessary for a perfect picnic. Metropolitan has a wide selection of gourmet and artisanal food items, many of which are locally sourced.

Don’t want to go on a hike? How about kayaking Lake Union instead? Rent some kayaks from Agua Verde Paddle Club and explore Seattle from the water. Paddling through the Ballard Locks, kayakers might catch a glimpse of some sea lions. Visitors can also kayak through the water trails teeming with wildlife near the Seattle Arboretum. Go exploring alone or join a tour. Afterwards, replenish energy while taking in a view of Lake Union with some Mexican food at Agua Verde’s cafe.

For a fun night out on the town, head to Capitol Hill. Known for being the heart of Seattle’s gay and counterculture scene, Capitol Hill is perfect for people watching and bar hopping. Start off the evening with dinner and drinks at Quinn’s Pub, a place with a great selection of bourbon and beer. Wander around Capitol Hill, or stay here all night. Before heading back to a hotel, stop by Dick’s Drive-In Restaurant for a late night burger. A Seattle institution that’s been around since 1954, Dick’s is open until 2am every night.

After a weekend jaunt in Seattle, come back to Mineta San Jose International Airport. Sometimes the best part of traveling is coming back home.

Places to Visit in Seattle

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This article originally appeared in Issue 4.5 “Ritual”