Local Adventure: West Seattle

IMG_6331_LUCiDFor the past three years we’ve been talking about getting over to West Seattle to check out Alki Beach and the many foodie spots our friends and work colleagues have recommended to us since we moved to Seattle. That’s a crazy long time, but we just haven’t been able to make it a priority!

To be fair, we did visit once—our first New Year’s Eve here in Seattle. Our friends arranged an Uber from their home on Mercer Island to Salty’s and we headed just across the bridge for dinner and spectacular views across Elliott Bay to see the fireworks over the Space Needle. It was a perfect viewing area, we had a great time with our friends, we were not overwhelmed by the food or service (maybe it was the crazy crowds of NYE?), and we haven’t been back since.

The opportunity to return finally presented itself my birthday weekend. We usually go somewhere but because of our volunteerism and my work commitments at the Special Olympics USA Games we stayed in Seattle. I developed an aggressive list of local adventures I wanted to finally tackle for my birthday, and we had a whirlwind weekend of new experiences kayaking in the Arboretum, brunching on Capitol Hill, eating cake and visiting the Kubota Garden in Georgetown, and spending an afternoon in West Seattle!

Our first stop was the infamous Alki Beach, the only traditional sandy beach along the sound. It was a beautiful afternoon, and by some miracle a spot opened up along the street, allowing us to park within easy walking distance of some of the main restaurants, shops and activities.

The beach was as lovely as everyone described and tons of people had set up tents, BBQs, volleyball nets and other fun activities, clearly making a day of their visit. We walked along the sidewalk, taking it all in and occasionally hopping out of the way of the pedal cars rolling by. We’d love to go back with family and friends and rent those for a few hours!

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We crossed the street along one busy section of restaurants and popped into West Seattle Brewing Company for a drink and some pizza. We found seats in the shade outside and had a blast people watching and enjoying our snack.

The brewery has a fun sandy area out front with lawn chairs where you can stick your feet in the sand and pretend like you’re across the street on the beach. I would have been roasting out in the sun, but it was lovely safely tucked away in the shade.

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After our snack we spent some time exploring the strip. There was a farmer’s market popped up in a shady, grassy spot that we wandered through for a while, and there were some crazy vehicles cruising by that kept catching our attention.

It seemed like people of every walk of life were out enjoying the day, and after we’d walked as far west as the activities took place, we turned around and headed back to our car so we could gift our spot to someone else and relocate.

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Our next stop was an overlook that one of our friends recommended while we were wandering around the beach. She saw one of my beach pics on Instagram and text me with a recommendation to visit nearby Hamilton Viewpoint Park. Ahh—the power of social media!

We followed her instructions and pulled into a rather nondescript parking lot to find some of the best views of Seattle. We could see the full skyline from above and took pictures to our heart’s content. What a view!

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It was late afternoon by the time we rolled down the hill from the overlook, and as we were waiting to pull out onto the main street and turn back toward the bridge for our return, we decided to make one last stop for dinner at Marination.

This eatery is right on the water with seating indoors and outdoors, including in a fun beer garden area full of picnic tables and umbrellas.

As with everywhere we visited (with the exception of the overlook!), Marination was packed so I went and grabbed us a spot on a shady picnic table while Brian went in and ordered us a snack to share.

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The food was delicious, the place was really fun, and we soaked it all in while looking out over the water at Seattle.

I would absolutely return and possibly take advantage of the kayaks they had for rent! Below are a few more views from the pier just outside Marination.

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I’m so glad we finally made it to West Seattle on such a beautiful day—I understand the appeal and would love to go back with family and friends to some of the places we discovered along Alki Beach and to explore the many other areas of West Seattle that are not Alki Beach! There’s never enough time to explore everything Seattle has to offer!

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