That red glowing sign that reads “Roosevelt” is a small part of the downtown Seattle skyline you’re used to seeing — but one stay at the newly renovated Hotel Theodore will have you looking at that sign with a heart that’s full, and we guarantee you’ll be plotting a return. Yes; we did a full-fledged staycation, because playing tourist in a city you already know is fun. Let’s recap the adventure so you can start planning your own.
Stay at Hotel Theodore
The best staycation starts with a place in a perfect, central location. The Hotel Theodore was once the tallest hotel in the city when it first opened as the Roosevelt Hotel in 1929. At the busy intersection of Seventh Avenue and Pine, you can valet park and forget driving the entire trip. All the best touristy things, like Pike Place Market, the waterfront with the Great Wheel, shopping, museums, and more are within walking distance.
Plus, when your feet are tired, staying at the newly renovated modernist Art Deco hotel is easy. The beds are comfy, the blackout curtains are effective, and it is a fun place to explore. Northwest-inspired art and artifacts curated by the Museum of History & Industry are located throughout the landmark hotel. It’s like a time capsule just waiting to be discovered around every corner, and in every room. And there’s even a complimentary aperitivo hour in the atrium every evening. Those are just a few of the “extra” touches you will enjoy. hoteltheodore.com
Eat at Rider
A stay at Hotel Theodore means at least one meal at its hot new restaurant, Rider, that features what’s fresh in the Northwest, from deep in the woods, all the way to the sea. On this night, the star was fresh-caught Quinault salmon prepared perfectly, with the crab toast (always on the starter menu and a new obsession). Rider serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and happy hour. If you like oysters and other shellfish, you’ll be in heaven. Also, the cocktails are creative; pretty; and most importantly, tasty. Local chefs David Nichols and Chef and General Manager Jonathan Fleming are the duo behind the much-anticipated addition to the ever-blossoming and competitive Seattle culinary scene. riderseattle.com
Get a Bird’s-eye View at Pier 57
Yes; you can feel on top of the world on the Seattle Great Wheel — each climate-controlled gondola fits up to eight people. But if you’re looking for another touristy adventure, also on Pier 57, head to the newer Wings Over Washington theater ride. After getting strapped to your seat, and thanks to super awesome technology, an eagle will “pick” you up, and you’ll soar over the state. minerslanding.com
Ride the Monorail to Seattle Center
Ask around, and you may be shocked how many locals have never ridden the Monorail. If you are one of them, it’s high time (get that corny pun?) to go. The station at Westlake Center is a short walk from the Hotel Theodore, and the Monorail will have you at the Seattle Center in a few minutes. If you have kids, this will be the best thing they will do, and cheap — $5 or less, round-trip. If you find yourself at the Seattle Center, make time to sit back and take in a show at the Laser Dome at Pacific Science Center. When is the last time you did that? seattlemonorail.com; pacificsciencecenter.org
Play at Pike Place Market (It Grew!)
Sometimes when you avoid tourist areas in your own hood, you miss out on how much they’ve changed. Pike Place’s new MarketFront is now open, and it makes the entire experience fresher. Sure, go see the stuff you love — like the dudes throwing fish. Then keep walking to the MarketFront and order a hot and fresh Honest Biscuit, and explore.