This post is sponsored by the Thompson Seattle, who graciously hosted my family. Thank you, Thompson Hotels!
Why we flew to Seattle
My Dad died over 10 months ago, but he never received a proper burial. After talking and crying with my sister, we knew the time had come for some closure, especially for my grandmother who lost her youngest child. She needed to honor her son while she was still here and we needed to say goodbye to our Dad. We made the arrangements -we just needed a place to stay. Thompson Hotels generously hosted our family while in Seattle.
For almost a year, most of us have been staying safe at home. Some have found ways to see friends and family who are near, or we’ve taken short staycations or road trips close to home to get a mental health break. I had done these things, but now I needed to fly to Seattle.
Is it Safe to Fly?
For many, getting on a plane is out of the question, but I found that airplanes are pretty safe (safer than some stores I have visited!) We flew Delta- they use advanced technology and Hepa Filters to clean the air and they take so many precautions to ensure passengers are safe. The interior of the plane is totally sanitized before and after landing. Everyone stays masked up, they hand you a sanitizing wipe, and they do not serve food on the plane. They also keep the center seats open which was important to us. We received a plastic baggie with wipes, water and a snack. Be sure to pack your own food!
Is Seattle a Safe City During Covid?
The last place people are considering visiting right now is Seattle. With Washington state being the first place in the US where the virus took root, plus the protests that you probably heard about, it may not sound appealing. You could think that the city is closed, there is nothing to do, and it is a dangerous place to be. If so, you’re wrong.
I found that Seattle might be one of the safest cities to visit right now, whether you’re far from the Northwest, or you’re simply up for a little road trip staycation near your home. It might be a good time to explore, even if you live IN Seattle! If you don’t like lines, now is the time to get out and explore a bit.
Since some people need to travel to Seattle, I’m answering a few questions here.
What is it like in Seattle during Covid?
Upon arriving, I noticed that almost everyone had masks on. In fact, I rarely saw anyone with no mask- even outdoors. This may be the most mask compliant city I’ve seen since Covid 19.
Seattle use to have a lot of traffic. Now most people work from home. They don’t need to come downtown at all, so there were way less cars on the road.
Not only were the streets open, but most of the stores and restaurants were, too. It was sad to see a lack of hustle and bustle, but it also meant no enduring long lines to get into popular attractions. I hope that travel picks up soon so the businesses in Seattle thrive– even if just through tourism, since so many people are working from home indefinitely.
Where to Stay in Seattle during Covid
We arrived at Thompson Seattle and Valet greeted us. The front desk ran down everything and told us that Conversation Restaurant was closed but the cafe was open from 8 to 11 am.
They informed us that the rooftop bar (The Nest) was closed, but they said we could gather in a small group if we wanted to see the view. Most restaurants and coffee shops nearby were open. More on that in a moment. Let’s get to the cleanliness.
Thompson Hotels did a great job of ensuring the rooms were sanitized and clean. Housekeeping not only put newly sanitized items in the room, but everything was shrink-wrapped….even down to the hot water kettle. The front door was sealed and the mini fridge was also. If we needed our room cleaned, we made an appointment and the staff would come to tidy up, as long as we were not there. They take every precaution to ensure that their guests and staff are safe.
The views from the Thompson are breathtaking. The puget sound, Olympic mountain range, Pike Place Market, Great Wheel and waterfront could all be seen from our window.
Just unreal!!! I think I almost cried when I opened the blinds.
We got our phones hooked up to the complimentary wifi and sat down to rest and enjoy the view for a bit. When we got hungry, we had many choices.
What Restaurants are Open in Seattle During Covid-19?
A LOT OF THEM. The Thompson Seattle is so conveniently located. You don’t even need a car. It is literally one block from Pike Place Market, with some of the best coffee (the original Starbuck’s and about a million other coffee shops are there within walking distance), bakeries, restaurants and more. If you didn’t already know, Seattle is a foodie city, and here you will find the freshest fish, best steaks, delicious coffees and world renowned chefs. Pick a food from any region of the world and you’ll find it here. You name it-Seattle has it. Below are some places we visited:
For Breakfast we had Portage Bay (Located in South Lake Union) Bacco (delicious breakfast right across the street from the Thompson) and a couple of days we dropped by The French Bakery, La Panier for a delectable and flaky almond croissant and coffee. I mainly eat paleo, but this was worth a break from the grain free life!
Lunch: Funny- we didn’t really eat lunch. We filled up on breakfast and then just snacked until dinner. But I did have an incredible Teriyaki Pork stick from the infamous food stand, Meesum Pastry in Pike Place Market (YUMMMM), and I also MAY have had a salted caramel cheesecake bite for lunch (I know-it’s crazy!) from The Confectional.
Dinner: There were two standouts for dinner while we were there. Matt’s in The Market was incredible. The ambiance, the views, the staff, and even the playlist (EnVogue Radio, anyone?) were just perfect. Their cheese board was out of this world, and so was the charcuterie. Don’t even get me started on their icy cold fresh oysters- to die for! I couldn’t decide between the salmon (I LOVE SALMON) and the halibut, so my friend and I each got one and shared.
For Rob’s birthday, we went to The Phoenecia in West Seattle. My daughter in law Judah saw it on Tik Tok and suggested we try it. Loved it! It is owned by a Lebanese family- it was perfectly intimate and familial. I had the empress cocktail, and I don’t even drink cocktails. The lavender put it over the top. Rob had the braised lamb shank and I had their gluten free pasta with chicken. So good! Below are a list of other great places to eat in Seattle.
Other restaurant recommendations
- Shiro’s Sushi Jiro Dreams of Sushi- ever hear of the documentary? His apprentice, Shiro, started this joint and I recommend Shiro’s Sushi Course. A delicious adventure.
- Purple Cafe and Wine Bar Great wines, of course, and good food and atmosphere.
- Dicks Drive in (This burger joint may only be good to me because I am from Seattle, but give it a try!) their fries are double drop fried in sunflower oil and then salted. So good dipped in their sweet tartar sauce.
- Pike Place Chowder You must have a good clam chowder while in Seattle. Don’t miss it.
- Piroshky Piroshky Yummy Russian food stand at Pike Place.
- Metropolitan Grill Some of the best steak and service you’ll find.
- Oddfellows cafe In Capitol Hill and known for yummy brunch.
- Molly Moon’s Ice Cream My favorite Ice cream! I like one scoop of salted caramel on the bottom and one scoop of honey lavender on top. (Check their cookbook- you might see a familiar face in there!
- Six Seven Restaurant (At the Edgewater hotel- ask for a window seat on the water- it’s all about that view! And their cedar plank salmon.)
What is there to do in Seattle during Covid?
We were obviously here for my dad, but it was also the first time my daughter-in-law had ever been to Seattle. Naturally, we had to take her to a few iconic places. We started with Pike Place Market. I was surprised to see all of the Flower vendors, and other places open. The produce stands were just as beautiful as ever and nearly all of the brick and mortar shops were open. One of the benefits to traveling to Seattle now is that there really are no lines for doing some of the most popular activities in the City.
- Walk or run along the Seattle Waterfront
We went running along the waterfront some of the mornings that we were there, and it was gorgeous. The scent of cool salt water and the sound of gentle waves along with the city skyline and beautiful foliage…. Seattle is just SO PRETTY.
- Is the Space Needle Open during Covid?
Not only was it open, but it was sooooooo clean and had brand new features! In order to enter, there was UV sanitization, where we slowly turned in a circle three times while the lights killed all of the germs and bacteria.
We had to make an appointment to ensure no over crowding. We made our appointment for 15 minutes from the time we signed up- the lines were non existent! For safety, the elevators only allowed one to two parties at a time depending how large your group was. Once we were at the top, we were in for a huge update!
The sides of the space needle are now pure glass, so nothing really obstructs your view -and they installed a glass walkway the length of one half of the level, and it was amazing!! Walking on a rotating glass walkway is something I will never forget. The view below was insane. And they have a team dedicated to keeping everything sanitized – constantly wiping the glass and floor throughout your visit.
Other Things to do in Seattle
Here are other things to do during covid in Seattle (and other places in case you’re up for a little road trip):
- Starbucks Reserve https://www.starbucksreserve.com/en-us/locations/seattle
- Gum wall– nasty but a must see
- Smith Tower
- Fremont Troll
- Gasworks Park
- Walk along Alki
- Drive to Anacortes and visit Washington Park, the Loop Road and Deception Pass
- Hike Rattlesnake Ridge
- Head to Mount Rainier
- Visit Leavenworth
Experience at the Thompson Seattle
Each day when we returned to the Thompson, our hosts made sure we were well taken care of. When I asked for more bottles of water for our room, I was told a little secret: All of the water in the hotel is filtered!!! For some, it may not mean much, but coming from a girl who drinks 150 oz of water a day, it meant I didn’t need to go out and buy water like I normally do when I visit a hotel. And let’s not forget that the water in Seattle is already pretty dang pristine- right out of the tap :). When they heard it was Rob’s birthday, they gave us a bottle of champagne and let us gather with 6 people in the lounge of the restaurant as long as we were masked and distanced. What service!
Come to Seattle – Stay at The Thompson
If you need to go to Seattle, now is a great time to do so. It is a very compliant and cautious city when it comes to Covid. You will find few lines to do some of the most iconic things, most restaurants are open, (just call ahead and ask if they are dine in) and it is beautiful!
And of course, to get the full experience, you have got to stay at the Thompson Hotel. Friendly, attentive, clean and safe, this hotel really rounds out the Seattle experience with epic views and easy access to all things Seattle! I hope one day you all get to stay here!
Thank you, Thompson Hotels- We came to Seattle under sad circumstances but you really made the trip an incredible experience, and I know where we will be staying when we make it back home again.