With its indie spirit, Seattle is a hub of charming restaurants, innovative galleries and landmark markets.
Qantas flies direct daily from select Australian cities to LA and San Francisco, connecting on American Airlines to Seattle. Virgin Australia flies to LA, connecting on Delta to Seattle, and United Airlines flies daily from Sydney and Melbourne to Seattle via LA.
Chef-owner Eric Johnson serves exceptional Hanoi-inspired dishes - banh mi, goat curry, spicy pork ribs - in a charming room with palm frond-pattern wallpaper, industrial furniture and brass accents.
300 East Pike St, statesideseattle.com
Seafood fans arrive early for seats at the U-shaped bar and order pisco-laced cocktails and popular dishes such as rockfish ceviche and grilled white prawns. Four owners with a wealth of experience run the kitchen and offer faultless service.
3621 Stone Way N, manolinseattle.com
Restaurateur Linda Derschang has a string of excellent venues across the city, and this one might just be the most appealing. Tallulah's features mid-century design, Moroccan floor tiles, well-mixed cocktails and crowd-pleasing dishes, such as wild mushroom flatbread and roast lamb shoulder. Aim for a seat on the deck.
550 19th Ave E, [aneighborhoodcafe.com
BEST SEATTLE HOTELS
Guests may be greeted by Brad Pitt on the bed or The A-Team's Mr T, perhaps - the mock-heroic images printed on cushions are among the vintage and contemporary collectables in 97 rooms at this rakish hotel. Housed in a century-old building, the Palladian features amiable service and Pacific Northwest cuisine at Shaker & Spear by chef Carolynn Spence. The historic Belltown location, a block from the waterfront, is ideal for urban excursions.
2000 2nd Ave, palladianhotel.com
Favoured by music fans, art lovers and creatives, this downtown hotel hums with activity day and night. The 163 rooms and public spaces are peppered with contemporary art and photography; its most popular rooms have turntables and vinyl from the city's independent label Sub Pop Records. Guests are treated to complimentary coffee and craft beer. Chef Jason Wilson oversees the wood-fired fare at Miller's Guild.
620 Stewart St, hotelmaxseattle.com
THINGS TO DO
Take a hike in Seward Park, a peninsula that juts into Lake Washington with trails, swimming spots and bald eagles (5900 Lake Washington Blvd S). Seattle is blessed with great galleries, among them Chihuly Garden and Glass with an Alice in Wonderland-like quality created by Dale Chihuly'sglass sculptures set in lush greenery (305 Harrison St, chihulygardenandglass.com). Make a beeline for the long-standing Pike Place Market (85 Pike St) for the city's finest food purveyors, artisanal wares, and restaurants with arresting vistas of Elliot Bay.
WHERE TO SHOP IN SEATTLE
In a city where raincoats are everyday wardrobe items, Totokaelo (1523 10th Ave, totokaelo.com) is a fashion anomaly. Founded by Jill Wenger in 2003, it stocks high-end brands for men and women, including Dries Van Noten, Maison Margiela and Rick Owens. Glasswing carries an appealing mix of clothing, homewares, beauty and plants (1525 Melrose Ave, glasswingshop.com). For design books, head to Peter Miller Books in Belltown (2326 2nd Ave, petermiller.com).
Damn the Weather is the cocktail bar of the moment, rain or shine. Innovative cocktails such as Lazuli (shochu, orange curaçao, blueberry, lemon and pastis) are served with chicken-fat fries.
116 1st Ave S, damntheweather.com
Starbucks originated in Seattle and it's a city that takes its caffeine seriously. Popular indie cafés include Milstead & Co (900 N 34th St), Slate Coffee Bar (5413 6th Ave NW) and Elm Coffee Roasters, a well designed recent arrival (240 2nd Ave S).
In need of instant rejuvenation? Indulge in a sea-salt scrub or mud wrap or plunge into one of several mineral pools at Banya 5, a modern, bustling bathhouse beloved by locals.
217 9th Ave N, banya5.com