With the Cascade Mountains to the east and a smattering of islands to the west, Seattle’s scenic Puget Sound location certainly charms its visitors. In the Emerald City, there’s always something new to discover.
With such an abundance of local edibles from farm to sea, a top-notch food town like Seattle always has something going on (and we mean aside from the fact that the brand-new season of Top Chef was filmed here). Ethan Stowell, celebrity chef and savvy restaurateur, recently expanded his Italian empire with the opening of Rione XIII. Inspired by Trastevere, the 13th district of Rome, this new trattoria serves Roman-style street pizza and Stowell’s beloved handmade pastas.
After much anticipation, Renee Erickson’s The Whale Wins finally opened in the new Fremont Collective, bringing the chef’s tally of restaurants to three, including Boat Street Cafe and The Walrus and the Carpenter. Former Wallingford neighborhood favorite Joule also made a jump to the new digs.
Seattleites who frequently make a run to Canada for Vij’s ethereal Indian cuisine should ready themselves for closer-to-home venture, Shanik, run by Vikram Vij’s wife, Meeru Dhalwala. It’s slated to debut in December in the heart of South Lake Union.
The best way to take in views of Seattle’s waterfront is via an enclosed gondola on The Seattle Great Wheel. Soaring 175 feet in the air over Elliott Bay, the attraction has been a big hit with residents and tourists, young and old, since its summer debut.
If you’re afraid of heights, opt for a glimpse into the wildly creative mind of Tacoma-born glass sculptor Dale Chihuly at the new Chihuly Garden and Glass. Steps from the Space Needle, this comprehensive collection of the well-known artist’s work spans from doodles and drawings to a magical “Glass Forest” installation he created in the ’70s filled with glowing neon stalks made of glass.
For art of another type, try Seattle Art Museum. Women reign supreme at Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris, now showing through mid-January 2013. This landmark exhibit touts more than 130 works of art created by 75 female artists between 1907 and 2007.
It’s been more than two years since a new hotel has opened in Seattle. There’s talk of new construction, but in the meantime, the trend is to refresh and remodel. Warwick Seattle Hotel in Belltown, for example, has just entered into the third phase of a multimillion-dollar renovation that’s expected to be completed in late December. This will involve updating guest rooms with the basics, like new paint, artwork and lighting, as well as 37-inch flat-screen LCD televisions, iPod docking stations and semi-rain showerheads.
Photo Courtesy of Sami Suni