Meditate on orcas in the Puget Sound and escape to the wilds for forest bathing with our guide to a more soothing city break in Washington State.
Few cities lay on abundant green spaces quite like Seattle. Indeed, the many forests and parks in the Emerald City, studded with evergreen trees, give frazzled urbanites the chance to breathe deep, relax and recharge in the great outdoors in Washington State. Pair that with fabulous spas, healthy restaurants and sweaty fitness classes, and your stress-free, meditative mind will be left wondering if you’re even on a city break at all. Here’s how to peace out in the Pacific Northwest.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Every room at the Four Seasons in Seattle has both a rainfall shower and a deep soaking tub, and many have enchanting views of Elliott Bay and the Puget Sound – home to everything from sea birds to sea lions and orcas. Wake up to the smell of your favorite caffeine hit – delivered by your coffee concierge, no less – then, head upstairs for a dip in the only heated rooftop pool in the city. Try a Peloton workout at the 24-hour gym or indulge in a digital detox massage to help relieve your ‘tech neck’.
There’s something meditative about bouldering (free climbing) – the way it requires laser-focused attention, perhaps, or the fact you need to tune into and trust your instincts. At this space in Poplar, a day pass gets you access to numerous 13ft to 17ft (4m to 5m) climbing walls, which use differently colored holds to indicate difficulty, as well as a selection of yoga and fitness classes. Join a beginner class if you need someone to show you the (metaphorical) ropes.
A 15-minute walk from the food-filled Pike Place Market, the Elaia Spa at Hyatt at Olive 8 is the ideal place for a day of pampering. Book a treatment that’s 60 minutes or longer (the rose quartz hot-stone massages and Pacific seaweed body wraps are a must), and you’ll get complimentary use of the fancy locker rooms, relaxation lounges, gym and lap pool.
High-intensity interval training may sound intimidating, but the pumping beats and friendly atmosphere at this low-lit studio make the 50-minute fitness classes fun. Expect short sharp bursts of effort, using treadmills, kettlebells, bikes and your bodyweight to elevate your heart rate. Instructors are safety-savvy and super-encouraging – they’ll push you, but, ultimately, you’re in charge of how hard you want to go. Prepare to sweat.
In Buddhism, Sangha means ‘community’ – a fitting moniker for this friendly, light-filled yoga studio in Queen Anne. Classes range from centering slow flows, where you’ll have time to find and practice alignment, to ‘kickasana’, an intense vinyasa flow for experienced yogis, set to a motivating playlist. Chat to the approachable instructors to find out more about breathwork courses, reiki and other opportunities for healing.
Over in Bellevue, Seattle’s well-to-do satellite city, guests at this luxury boutique stay can enjoy all the benefits of being a member of the expansive health club. Shoot some hoops on the full-size basketball court; try a pilates, spin or barre class; or join a tennis boot camp. Here to relax? Treat yourself to a spot of Swedish massage and reflexology – or opt for the vitamin-C-infused facial for that post-workout glow.
Named after the owners’ beloved pooch, Homer in Beacon Hill is a celebration of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine brought to life using locally sourced produce. It’s by no means a meat-free restaurant, but veggies are certainly the stars of the show. A typical plant-based, wood-fired feast includes pita bread with cumin-spiced hummus, grilled summer squash with avocado, and smoked kohlrabi with pecans and preserved lemons, followed by a homemade vegan soft-serve ice cream.
Bringing your furry friend? Discover our guide to the best pet-friendly hotels in Seattle and book now on Culture Trip.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.