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.
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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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.