Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Travel: West Coast Road Trip - Seattle and Mount Rainier

You know that feeling where you have this crazy idea and then wonder if it will ever happen? That's how I feel about our recent West Coast road trip. It all started between one of my closest friends, Caitlin and me (Caitlin and I went on this amazing trip together earlier this year). It was a grand idea and a pipe dream, but we always kept it in the back of our minds.

Fast forward two years later, and we did it. We dragged our boys with us for a ten day adventure from Seattle to San Francisco. Ten days, four best friends, one car, four sets of hiking boots, dozens of cups of coffee, an embarrassing number of Pacificos, unlimited conversations and one season of Serial later, and we did it. What an incredible adventure.

With this trip came an absurd amount of photos and recommendations from each place we visited. We were lucky enough to chat with so many helpful friends and family members who gave us advice on where to go and what to do, and I want to share them all with you! To do that, I'll post our trip in parts (city by city). 

Let's start with the beginning of our trip -- Seattle.

Seattle and Mount Rainier

If you can, pack a backpack for your entire trip. It helped us keep our luggage light and easy to carry (for the most part). If your'e looking for a bag, I stand by my Duluth Pack (Pathfinder version) 100%. Best gift I have ever received. 

For breakfast, head to Portage Bay Cafe. They have a few locations around Seattle, and this restaurant is a can't miss. Jack and I first visited this restaurant when we went to Seattle over Labor Day weekend last year. Yum. 

We stayed in AirBNBs for our entire trip and highly recommend it. More room, less money and incredible apartments? Yes please. In Seattle, we stayed at Clay's place in Capitol Hill. Great place to kick off our trip.

Make time to walk around the University District near the University of Washington. We hit up Buffalo Exchange, numerous used record stores, Cafe Allegro, Magus Books and a handful of other cute shops.

Drink the local brews! We went to Big Time Brewery and Alehouse, Brouwer's Cafe and Fremont Brewing Company. Stop at a liquor store and buy a few of the other brews too if you can!

Pike's Place Market is a can't miss. Go toward the end of the day when it's less crowded. No matter where you are in the city, it's a short and affordable Uber ride there. Try some of the local fruit and vegetables, and make sure you find the Gum Wall.

Either buy seafood from Pike's Place or head to a restaurant in the city where you can get some quality seafood. Nick is a fan of oysters, so we had some wherever we went.

The trails near Mt. Rainier are a must-see. We hiked Naches Peak, which wasn't far from Seattle on our way down to Portland. Gorgeous scenery, lakes, mountains and fog. You can hike for as long or as short as you want with most of these trails. We hiked for 3 hours and had a great time (but dress warm!)

|| All photos are property of Mountain Shadow Morning. Must give credit. ||

After Mt. Rainier, we headed to Portland and Bend. More on that soon!


  1. Hello,

    I'm taking a trip to Seattle and Olympic National Park, Labor Day. Love your pics. Any suggestions on clothing/footwear? Thanks!

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