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Seattle's Fall Comfort Foods

Seattle vacation rentals

The Comforts of a Seattle Fall

There are certain things that make us nostalgic of being at home. Snuggling in a warm blanket by the fireplace, pumpkins by the front door, hot chocolate in a mug, and the smell of baked apple pie are certainly memory triggers for moments of “a simple life.” October seems like a great time to go through the list to give us some warmth as the chill of fall start to set in. Thoughts of the upcoming holidays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, elevate the feeling even more.

Unfortunately, fireplaces are not standard in most of ourvacation homes (fireplaces on the TV or computer monitor do not count!). The upside, wrapping yourself with a blanket is easy enough to accomplish. Check!
Grabbing a couple of small pumpkins while at the Pike Place Market is painless. Gourds are a great way to add texture and visual interest when they are next to the pumpkins. Et voila! The dining table in your home just became more welcoming.

• Who Who doesn’t like chocolate?

For a tasty HOT CHOCOLATE, warm up about 2 cups of milk in a saucepan, add 5 oz. of high quality bittersweet chocolate (finely chopped)--I prefer the Fran's baking bars--and whisk until melted. A tablespoon or two of sugar is always optional. More milk can be added to this mixture if the thickness is not to your liking. Pour in mugs. For something special, top with a small pinch of sea salt or cinnamon.

For those of you who are willing to have a longer moment, how about an easy apple dessert? Washington is known for our apples, so this is a fall treat that is a local favorite.

Store bought pie crust but don’t be afraid to make your own
2-3 medium apples, peeled (optional), cored, and cut in uniform cubes or slices to bake evenly
(Honeycrisp, Gala, Jonagold, Fuji, Braeburn, Mutsu or a mix. Red Delicious gets too soft).  The great vendors at the Pike Place Market can assist you in selecting a fantastic local baking apple.
1 tablespoon vanilla (or 1 teaspoon cardamom)
2 tablespoons of powdered sugar (can substitute with granulated or brown sugar)
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven according to box directions.
Line or spray the backside of a sheet pan.
Lay pie crust on pan; remove from tin pan if it came in one.
Patch up any holes.
Toss apples with vanilla and sugar in a bowl, let sit for about 5 minutes.
Spoon apples in the middle of the crust.
Distribute filling evenly leaving a 2-inch edge. Fold the edges over the filling.
Add about 1/3 cup of the liquid from the apples.
Sprinkle crust edge with sugar crystals (can substitute with granulated sugar).
Bake until golden brown.

This tart tastes best when served warm or room temperature. It also makes an excellent “breakfast pastry”
for the next morning.

Seattle vacation rentals, seattle food scene

Now that you have made the apple tart, you have now set your minds in motion to make homey desserts for all the upcoming holidays; dark chocolate bundt cake for Halloween, pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, maybe sugar cookies or even a log cake for Christmas. Perhaps something as simple as adding a peppermint stick to a mug of hot chocolate to ring in the new year.

Cozy Up To These Seattle Restaurants With Outdoor Firepits


The Emerald City is known for its finicky weather. When you want to enjoy the outdoors even though it may be a tad chilly, settling in next to a cozy fire pit does the trick. These Seattle restaurants allow you to do just that while enjoying a delicious meal, excellent spirits and beers, and a wonderful view.

403 N 36th Street
Open for Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, plus weekend brunch

A fusion of comfort food, Revel brings a lineup of Asian street fare with an upscale twist. With a buzzing workshop kitchen and adjoined with the industrial-chic bar Quoin, Revel showcases its kitchen’s genius for layering flavors and textures. With a variety of lunch and dinner options, be sure to stick around for the fun and theme-y ice cream sandwiches, soda pops, and other delicious dessert items. The layout of Revel is more down market with subway tiles, hard chairs, and a youthfully informal vibe.

3621 Stone Way N
Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner

Seattle’s hangout of choice, Manolin shines brightest with its delicious seafood and warming outdoor fire pit. Small portions of denatures, smoked, poached, and grilled sea foods make a delicious appearance on the menu. Cocktails pair beautifully with each plate providing a relaxing presence while gazing out towards the water. Don’t miss their happy hour from 4 to 6 every day.

Rock Creek Seafood and Spirits
4300 Fremont Ave. N
Open Monday through Friday for dinner and Saturday for brunch and dinner

James Beard nominated Chef Eric Donnelly envisioned the perfect restaurant to encompass the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. This tribute to all things aquatic features baked oysters, exotic mutton snapper, and to-die-for ricotta beignets. Rumor has it Grammy Award-winning rap artist Macklemore is a regular, so you may get a side of star-spotting with your dinner.

2501 North Northlake Way
Open Monday through Friday for dinner and Weekends from 10 to 10

An approachable, all-day restaurant, Westward has a sprawling outdoor area with casual picnic tables, Adirondack chairs, a fire pit, and a lakeside view to take your breath away. Lunch, nibbles, dinner, and brunch are available. While their delightful and easy to follow website has a complete menu listing, the menu changes daily so you can be sure you’re always getting the freshest fare. The James Beard foundation awarded them Outstanding Restaurant Design Finalist.

5 Museums Not to Miss Seattle

5 Seattle Museums Seattle vacation rentals Sarah Vallieu

5 Seattle Museums Not to Miss on a Rainy Day

Seattle is known for its rain, and the reputation can be a little exaggerated. Seattle summers, for example, are usually warm and mostly dry. However, as we get deeper into Fall, the fact is that rain, showers, drizzle, mizzle or downpours are more common than not.

Luckily, Seattle has plenty to do in the rainy weather. There are plenty of rain friendly outdoor activities in the area, but if you are looking for dry ideas, check out Seattle’s museum scene! Seattle has over 40 museums according to Wikipedia, and I’ve been to most of them. Each has its own special flavor and offerings, but the following are my five personal favorites, in no particular order.


This is a fun, bright, energetic museum that leaves you smiling. This used to be called EMP (Experience Music Project) and the Science Fiction Museum and still has that emphasis, but with more. As of this writing, there are exhibits featuring the Seattle Super Bowl win (sorry guests, I’m a homer), Star Trek, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Hensen and David Bowie.

This museum has a great layout, super easy to drift from area to area or pick and choose as you like. Check out the Sound Lab, a great bit for kiddos where you get to play different instruments. Its location, on the Seattle Center campus, means a nice rainy day walk from most of our properties, and has a great café and fantastic stores with super cool merchandise. Allow 2-3 hours for a visit.

Seattle Pinball Museum Seattle Vacation Rentals

Seattle Pinball Museum:

Located in Seattle’s International District, at 508 Maynard Avenue S, this is the most interactive museum on my list, and another great activity if you have kids over seven in tow. Pay a flat rate entry fee ($12-20 at this time) for unlimited plays on up to 50 pinball machines. Machines range from modern to historic, and while outside food is not permitted, there is a snack bar on site with craft brews, vintage soda pop, and light munchies. Bonus for children of the 80s: on the second floor are a couple vintage video games. Pac Man, Astroids, Galaga are all available to play as part as the flat entry rate. Note that hours do fluctuate day to day, so check before you go. Also, kids under seven cannot play the games.

Seattle Klondike Gold Rush Museum:

This is a hidden gem that just doesn’t get as much love as it deserves. Located in Pioneer Square, at 319 Second Avenue, this is part of the National Park Service’s multi-location Klondike Gold Rush National Park, with a sister location in Skagway, AK. It is located in a historic brick building and the interior just glows with beautiful lighting, exposed brick and restored wood. It is my absolutely favorite museum space, in regard to ambiance. However, Klondike Gold Rush Museum is not just a pretty face. The park service showcases educational and historical exhibits of the gold rush that put Seattle on the map for the first time. Ever wonder how much you’d be worth, if you were gold? This is the place to find out! This is a small location, artifacts can be seen over two floors, and I would say 1-2 hours of your time is needed for a leisurely visit. For kids, they do have a Junior Ranger program here. And bonus, as of this writing, this is a FREE attraction.

5 things to pack for your trip to Seattle umbrella

Seattle Art Museum:

This fantastic art museum is full of light and space, making a walk through their galleries feel like the sun is shining, even on the greyest of Seattle days. Known as SAM, the Seattle Art Museum has three locations, the Olympic Sculpture Park, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and the flagship location at 1300 First Avenue. For rainy day purposes, we are going to concentrate on the First Avenue location, which is located one block south of the Pike Place Market. Their collection of NW First Nation art is world class. In addition, they have great collections of European and Contemporary art, and attract the best of the travelling collections to the city. I love the porcelain room personally. Allow 2-3 hours for a visit. First Thursdays are FREE but SAM has a suggested admission policy, which means pay what you will to view the SAM Collections and Installations. Pricing IS fixed for tickets that include the whatever travelling exhibit is in town.

Museum of Flight:

The Seattle Museum of Flight (9404 East Marginal Way, Seattle, 98108) is a world class museum for all things airplane. This is the only location on my list not in the downtown Seattle core. It can be reached easily by bus (route 124 on Second Avenue) or about a 20 minute Lyft or taxi ride. It is near the original Boeing location and the original Boeing factory, the “little red barn” was moved and restored on site. Great for kids, there are interactive exhibits, including an FA-18 cockpit you can explore, as well as classic and rare planes. Again, a café on-site makes a visit here relaxed. This is a 2-3 hour visit at least (true airplane aficionados could probably spend the day), with highlights being the Space Shuttle Trainer, original 747, a Concorde, and extensive WWI and WWII collections.

The Best Places for Wine Tasting in Seattle Without Having to Schlep to Woodinville

Spring Packing for Seattle

The Best Places for Wine Tasting in Seattle...

...Without Having to Schlep to Woodinville!

Washington state residents and visitors alike are sure lucky when it comes to an abundance of regional wines. From the quaint valleys of Yakima to the hustle and bustle of Woodinville you can experience a variety of varietals in some very picturesque places, all within a few hours’ drive. But one of the best aspects of visiting Seattle is that even if you are here for just a short stay, you can also experience a plethora of Washington wine tasting without ever having to leave downtown.

The Tasting Room; Wines of Washington (1924 Post Alley)
Is located on charming Post Alley adjacent to the famed Pike Place market and a few short blocks from our Newmark Tower and Belltown Court properties. This tasting room offers over 60 wines from local winemakers throughout Washington State. Guests can experience wines through their tasting flights or purchase wines by the glass and bottle. Small plates are also available to pair with your vino. They have a happy hour Monday through Thursday from 5-7 with specials on wine and food. Friday nights feature live music or you can take in the views and people watch from their patio seating.

Also in the Pike Place area is the fabulous Italian specialty food and wine shop DeLaurenti (1435 1st Avenue.) Every Saturday this gorgeous shop offers one of the most affordable wine tastings in all of Seattle. From 2PM-4PM you can sample regional and Italian wines in their upstairs wine cellar for only $2.00 a person. Some weekends feature cider or beer tastings instead of wine, but for 2 bucks any tasting is well worth it!

Robert Ramsay: (1629 Queen Anne Ave N. #102) Located on quaint Upper Queen Anne hill, a quick uber or bus ride from any of our Belltown properties, the Robert Ramsay tasting room is dedicated to showcasing Rhone varietal wines. Winemaker Robert Ramsay Harris produces wines that are hearty and bold but very food friendly. The tasting room is open Tuesday through Sunday and features a daily happy hour.

Seattle Urban Works is home to 10 local winemakers. Located just south of the city center, in the Stadium District, or SODO, you can sample a whole lot of wine all under one roof. One of the notable tenants that is worth checking out is Kerloo Cellars (3911 1st Avenue South) Winemaker Ryan Crane showcases Rhone and Spanish varietals in a chic tasting space located in an otherwise industrial part of town a short uber ride away from all our Belltown and downtown properties.

Jet City (1136 South Albro Place) in the Georgetown neighborhood near SODO, is home to Washington’s renegade winemaker Charles Smith The expansive space that was once a Dr. Pepper bottling plant features two tasting rooms with his uscious wines and a view of the main runways of Boeing Field.

The Estates Wine Room
(307 Occidental Ave S in Pioneer Square)
Located on one of the most picturesque streets in all of Seattle, this tasting room offers wines from three Pacific Northwest wineries. Here you can sample varietals from Double Canyon in Horse Heaven Hills, Washington, Seven Hills Winery in Walla Walla Valley, Washington and Archery Summit in Willamette Valley, Oregon. Wine flights at this glamorous tasting room feature limited production and estate-grown wines. You can also purchase wines by the glass and bottles as souvenirs or to take back to enjoy at your home away from home.

Washington wines are world class, and these convenient-to-downtown Seattle locations for wine tasting means that you don't have to dedicate an entire day to sample the bounty of our region! Salut!

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