August. The month when every Frenchie goes on vacation.
This month-long exodus is SO popular in French culture that the word “vacation” is even plural, perhaps to refer to a vacation’s implied multi-week duration.
We in the states are not so lucky, but quick summer vacations still make for fantastic adventures — even when you’re traveling alone. So here’s how to enjoy a month’s worth of Seattle in a short, solo-weekend:
Where to Stay in Seattle
Before we get into the good food and French things, let’s first take a moment to praise AirBnB. If you’re looking to stay in Seattle, I highly recommend forgoing the hotels and renting a très chic apartment for much less. Cheaper = more money to spend on delicious food, right?
Plus, the apartments are even better than hotels! I stayed at Chris’ “nest” in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and loved it. The apartment is fully renovated and has one of the nicest showers you’ll ever shower in (shower heads on both sides is such a great idea!)
Much like the Parisians, Chris mastered the art of cramming a lot of service into small square footage, so you’ll really lack for nothing.
The other fantastic thing about “the Nest” is that it conveniently located just blocks from our first stop: Bakery Nouveau.
Seattle French Bakery
When I found this place, I stopped dead in my tracks! A French bakery! Was it fate?
Possibly. Bakery Nouveau was actually nouveau (new) to the neighborhood by about 70 days when I visited. But their bakers had obviously been doing this for a long time. Bakery Nouveau has lots of delicious treats, but you should definitely try their pistachio macarons and twice baked almond croissants. Mmmm!
Seattle French Restaurant
In an adventurous walking mood, I ventured across town towards Marché, a French restaurant whose namesake means not only “market” but also “walked.” This was appropriate because I was about to walk a round trip total of ~5 miles to have this dining experience.
Maybe that sounds like a lot to some of you, but you really should try it. It’s such a great way to see and learn a new city – and you never know what will catch your eye along the way!
Marché has got one of the most primo locations in Seattle, just behind the Public Market, overlooking the water. If you time it right, you can even get one of 2 tables for 2 that are right on the window. One has a slightly better view (I didn’t get that one), one is outlet adjacent (you guessed it!).
The menu at Marché really caught my eye because they don’t just do the traditional French thing (though you can still find that next door at Campagne, which is owned by the same group). In addition to an extensive wine list, you can sample a variety of small plates or go for a bigger entrée.
- fried duck gizzards
- octopus greek style with hummus
- crème caramel
- house dessert wine
Finally, I recommend that you go to an actual market – Seattle’s largest is the Public Market and it’s beautifully located right on the shore. The market busies at around 10am, so I recommend going at ~9am to get the freshest selection of seafood and chat with the fishermen.
Dungenes crab are THE hot commodity on the floor, and if you can get one fresh – well, you’re in luck. The fishmongers will clean, cook, and crack your crab for you and you can pick it up later if you want to do some other errands without 3lbs of crab on your arm.
Also delicious are the local strawberries or aptly named “HOLY SHIT” peaches. My favorite thing to do is assemble a little piquenique, so I grabbed my goods and some local beers before heading out on the water.
Seattle doesn’t really have the same beach culture that Los Angeles does, but it does have an amazing coast if you can get on a sail boat. The trip is cheaper than you think and well worth it when you can bring your own fresh seafood and have a boat feast!
How do you vacation in Seattle? What are some of your favorite activities when you’re traveling alone? Let me know in the comments!