The minute I check into a hotel, I turn to my most trusted resource — the concierge. These skilled plan makers and problem solvers are in the know on the best things to do, eat and see in any destination. In Seattle, I checked in with Keith Dowsing at The Alexis Hotel. As a veteran concierge who has worked on both coasts of the United States, Dowsing aims to get his guests in the know as well. The Seattle native was drawn to the work because he wants to share his love of the city with as many people as possible. Dowsing gave me the inside track on his 10 favorite things to do around town. Here are his top picks, in no particular order:
1. Get a takeout sandwich from the best delicatessen in Seattle, Salumi. Then, walk down the street to a hidden urban oasis, Waterfall Garden Park, and enjoy.
2. Get a cup of coffee from Monorail Espresso — bring cash; credit cards aren’t accepted — and chat with some of Seattle’s quickest espresso-filled bike messengers.
3. Start your day with happy-hour breakfast at Toulouse Petit on Queen Anne (Monday to Friday 8 to 11 a.m.) and then walk up the hill to Kerry Park and enjoy the best free view of Seattle.
4. Walk through Pike Place Market and grab some mac and cheese at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese while you watch staff make some of its fabulous cheese.
5. Belly up at Taylor Shellfish at Melrose Market and enjoy some of the Northwest’s freshest oysters and local beer
6. Grab a drink at The Green Room then watch a local band at Showbox at the Market.
7. Test out your dream mountain bike on the outdoor trail, and then scale the Climbing Pinnacle rock at REI.
8. Try a unique cocktail at Tavern Law. Pick up the phone in the back and check out Needle and Thread, the speakeasy hidden upstairs.
9. Still hungry at 1:30 a.m.? Go to Dick’s Drive-In for the best cheeseburger in the city.
10. Rent a kayak and paddle around Lake Union. Check out the houseboats, and then stop by and dock at Ivar’s for some clam chowder.
Photos Courtesy of The Alexis Hotel, Tavern Law, Toulouse Petit Kitchen and Lounge