Seattle, Washington, Weekend Guide: Sculpture Gardens, Kayak Rides, and Seashells

From the huge killer whale mural painted on the side of Pier 67 to the tiny native Olympia oysters, Seattle makes the most of its nautical surroundings. You’ll find views of Puget Sound around almost every corner, and the cityscape is shaped by such unexpected discoveries as a hidden waterfall and a century-old lighthouse. The result is a wanderer’s paradise brimming with incredible sights, snacks, and scenery.

Day 1

Start your day of art-themed exploration at Mr. West Cafe Bar, a welcoming all-day cafe with clean lines and lush greenery. Order the toast topped with homemade wild salmon, then take a five-minute drive to Olympic Sculpture Park, the Seattle Art Museum’s free outdoor outlet. Walk among monumental forms, such as Alexander Calder’s abstract eagle, on nine acres of cascading hillside to the waterfront.

Switch from metal sculptures to meat ones Aviv Shawarma Barwhere staff carve a rotating tower of spiced turkey for their signature sandwich, which is served on fluffy pita bread with whipped hummus and savory Israeli condiments.

Dale Chihuly is stunning Sun sculpture at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

Nathaniel Willson/Courtesy of Chihuly Studio

This hearty meal will warm you up for the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, a five-minute drive west at the base of the Space Needle. Here, renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s mesmerizing red, orange and yellow glass installation, 100 feet long, hangs from the ceiling of a veranda surrounded by art-filled gardens.

Then, delve into the Japanese culinary art form of kaiseki across the street at Wa’zwhere the team transforms seasonal ingredients, like the beloved giant clam clam, into multi-course meals paired with sake.

Return to the State Hotel, which is easily recognizable by a five-story Shepard Fairey mural adorning its exterior. The two-year-old boutique hotel focuses on art, and the cocktails at its in-house bar and restaurant, Ben Paris, are masterpieces in their own right. Order an Abigail’s Manhattan Perfect to your room to sip while admiring the dark salt water of Elliott Bay outside your window.

Day 2

Start your second day at Hello Em with a Vietnamese coffee and a crash course in Little Saigon from the museum-like exhibits on the roastery walls. Grab a mochi cloud paste before heading out on a walking tour of Chinatown – International Quarter, which includes Chinatown, Japantown and the city’s little Saigon.

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