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Plan Today for your Seattle Summer Trip!

Seattle vacation rentals

Seattle's Summer Season is Busy and Varied!

Seattle summers are already technically chock-a-block full of things to do and see. There is not a weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day that doesn’t have a fair, festival, street party or other happening. Visitors will find Seattle one of the most sun-centric places to visit, probably because we DON’T have sunshine 365! So when the days get longer, we get outside!

seattle vacation rentals, seattle cruises, seattle summer 2018

Photo credit The Seattle Times

With that being said, 2018 is going to be an epic-ly busy Seattle summer! The Fourth of July holiday coincides with Special Olympics 2018. Pearl Jam’s Home Shows occur in August, when the city is already filled to bursting with tourists and cruise ship traffic! A summer vacation in Seattle will be a highlight of your year. Plan now, and book now (with us or with another vacation rental or a hotel, as there is NOT enough lodging in the city for all the people who want to come) for the best lodging selection, especially around these busy dates!

Seattle Cruise Season 2018: 

The Northwest Cruise season will span from the first weekend in May through that last weekend of September. Cruises leave six days a week with cruise lines operating out of both Pier 66 and Pier 91. 216 trips left Seattle in 2017, with over 1.3 milliion passengers. Many passengers come in the day prior for their cruise, but many actually book a Seattle mini stay of 2 or 3 days as an add-on the cruise.  That is over 61,000 people a week in the city, just for cruises!

seattle vacation rentals, seattle summer 2018, Seattle Mega-Concerts: 

Seattle summer music season can't be matched.  Zootunes, Marymore, small venues and large, we cannot be beat when it comes to live music.  There are a couple of large acts coming this summer that will attract locals from outside Seattle, and many of these folks will need lodging.  Concerts that we anticipate selling out for are Taylor Swift (May 22), Kenny Chesney (July 7), Ed Sheeran (August 25), and of course, the biggest concert event of the summer, the Pearl Jam Home Shows (August 8 and 10).

Northwest FolkLife Festival 2018:

Sometimes considered locally as the little sister to Bumbershoot, FolkLife is a great music and arts festival occuring on the Seattle Center campus, and is my personal favorite of the two.  In 2018, it will host 5,000 diverse performers from 100+ local cultural communities and attract 250,000 attendees.  FolkLife has managed to remain FREE, which may be the bargain of the summer.  

Special Olympics 2018: 

The Seattle area is proud and honored to host the Special Olympics 2018. The event will take place over the first week of July 1-6. Events will take place all over the Puget Sound region.  VisitSeattle, our regiion's tourism expert, announced late 2017 that there is not enough hotel rooms in Seattle to meet demand for this event. Much of this is due to the timing. With it taking place in the height of cruise ship season, and during the Independence Day holiday, Seattle will be full of people. If your plans have you in the city this week, make your lodging choices SOON!


Bumbershoot is Seattle's annual "end of summer" party, and is ALWAYS a good time. Much more than a music festival, Bumbershoot combines visual arts, comedy and stagecraft along with just about every genre of music known to humankind. Lineups have not been announced as of this writting, but past headliners include national acts such as Lorde, Chance the Rapper, Chris Stapleton, and Elvis Costello. Advance Passes are currently on sale for $150 for all three days.

The Other Flavors of Seattle

Seattle vacation rentals

The Other Flavors of Seattle!

It’s a wonderful thing to be a foodie in the Pacific Northwest. We are blessed with plenty of fresh ingredients that is accessible through Pike Place Market and regular farmers’ markets in different neighborhoods. Apart from this bounty, one can also find a variety of little shops and restaurants that carry amazing food from all over the globe. One such shop is the Market Spice inside the Pike Place Market. It can easily be overwhelming when one walks in there; all the delightful smells that suddenly surround a person.

Many of us have made or bought bread rolls to accompany meat or pasta dishes. For the most part, we all have flavored them with garlic, some fresh and some powdered, cheese, and probably rosemary. The recipe that follows is a little bit of a change by adding some sumac and za’atar.

Sumac Rolls
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 room temperature pizza/bread dough, roughly 28 ounces, proofed and oiled
1 tbsp. garlic powder, divided
1 tbsp. za’atar, divided
1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, divided
½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped and divided
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Red chili flakes, to taste
1 stick of salted butter
¼ cup grated Parmigiano or Pecorino or Asiago, plus more for serving
Sumac, for serving
Flaky sea salt, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a non-stick baking pan or 12-inch cast-iron skillet with olive oil. Be sure to coat all the way up the sides.
2. Roll dough into a rectangular shape and cut equally into 12 strips.
3. Dust with half each of the garlic powder, za’atar, oregano and parsley. Add salt, black pepper and red chili flake to taste. Roll the strips into ropes making sure all the seasoning sticks.
4. Tie a loose knot in each rope and set it into the prepared skillet. Tuck any floppy ends underneath each knot. Repeat for all 12 knots, arranging so they fill the pan. Do not worry if they are not clustered tightly together; that will happen as they proof. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set it in a warm area. Let rise for about an hour.
5. When the knots are almost finished rising, melt butter in a saucepan or microwave. To the butter, add the remaining garlic powder, za’atar, oregano and parsley and salt, black pepper and red chili flake to taste. Whisk to combine and reserve.
6. When the knots are proofed, remove the plastic. Lightly brush the surface of the knots with the garlic-herb butter. Top with half the grated cheese and bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes or until tops begin to turn golden.
7. Remove knots from oven. Brush again with butter and bake an additional five to ten minutes until brown.
8. Remove knots from oven and brush a third time with the remaining butter. Be sure to get it into all the peaks and valleys; you want the entire surface to be shiny. Top with remaining grated cheese, sumac, and flaky sea salt to taste. Serve immediately with warm tomato sauce for dipping.

I hope that this recipe will inspire you to visit Market Spice and bring home some of these flavors. If not, I highly suggest going to these restaurants to enjoy them.
Al Basha Mediterranean Restaurant
Farvahar Persian Café
Mamnoon Street
Eggs and Plants
Petra Mediterranean Bistro

Yes, I travel for food…for amazing food.
Yes, I might just be a coffee junkie…in constant search of new coffee roasters to fuel myself.
Yes, I also love dogs...fine, most dogs!

Snow Day Fun Close to Seattle

seattle vacation rentals, snow activities in seattle Sarah Vallieu

Looking to have some fun in the snow?

Seattle is not known for its snow—in truth an inch or two will close down the city. Literally. With that said, Seattle’s got a vibrant ski and snowboard community, and several ski areas within a few hours of downtown Seattle. Even those of us who refuse to strap on a pair of skis enjoy partaking in a winter wonderland once in a while.

Seattle has some fantastic, and educational, snowshoe hikes within two hours (normal driving times) from city center. These hikes are big kid friendly, but if you’ve got littler ones, or prefer riding versus hiking when it comes to your snow day fun, I’ve included some tubing hills close by as well.

First off, for safety: Make sure your personal vehicle or rental car is equipped for mountain driving. Wear layers, and stay away from cotton as when it gets wet, it stays wet, making it easy to become chilled. A waterproof outer layer, even a shell, will keep you comfortable. Light hiking boots or tennis shoes easily fit in the snowshoes used on the guided hikes. Use wool or polypropylene socks –they are going to make you the happiest. Also, for our lowland or warm region guests: Snow is serious business. If you are unfamiliar with the area, terrain, or abilities, do not go off on your own. Utilize a guided snowshoe walk, check weather conditions, and be safe.

Mount Rainier National Park for Snowshoeing and Tubing

Paradise is the place to be on winter weekends! The Paradise Visitors Center at Mount Rainer National Park can be a base of operations for both tubing and snowshoeing. The Paradise Snowplay area is open weekends through the end of March with a tubing hill (tubes or flexible plastic sliders only-no bladed sleds), and that coincides with FREE ranger-led snowshoe walks from the Paradise Visitor Center that leave at 11am and 1:30pm. Hikes are 1.8 miles long (a perfect distance, really) and are suitable for eight years of age and up. The best thing about this? Snowshoes are provided.

Two hours is our max drive time, but this can easily make a long day trip. Leave Seattle by 9am, arrive to Paradise by 11 or so, enjoy a day in a beautiful wonderland, and head back to the city at about 5pm. The visitor’s center does have food for sale. As this is within the National park, a entry fee is charged. Also, chains are required for any car driving into the park in winter.

Tubing and Snowshoeing Options at Snoqualmie Summit.

seattle vacation rentals winter activitiesAbout 60 miles east of Seattle, right on Snoqualmie Pass, is the Hyak Snow Park. It has five sledding hills that are grooming several times a week, as well as cross country ski runs, snowshoeing trails (see caution above) and an open area for just general snow fun. The big draw of this area is that it is FREE to sled. The parking however, is not, and you will need a Discover Pass and a Snow Park day permit (currently $30 per car). It is also self catered. There are bathrooms here, but not much else, so you need to pack in your own snow gear, sleds and food. If this sounds a bit too rustic, backtrack the car just a few miles west to the Summit Tubing Center at Snoqualmie, with 12 groomed tube lanes, a motorized tow line, and a café on site. They charge by the two hour session, which will run you $25 a person, and they provide the tubes.

For snowshoeing, the US Forest Service guides six different snowshoe hikes in the area around Snoqualmie Summit. They ask for a suggested donation of $25 a person. Hikes occur Saturday and Sundays, and can be tailored for kids, photography, etc. Snowshoes are provided. Reservations are required. 

Snowshoeing at Crystal Mountain

Looking for a little bit fancier of an experience? For snowshoeing only (no tubing at this location) check out Crystal Mountain, about an hour southeast of Seattle. Every Saturday, through the end of March, Crystal offers Snowshoe and Dinner, or Snowshoe and Sip events. A little pricer, at $65 a head, but a unique and memorable experience. Start your hike with a chairlift ride up to the top of the Bullion Basin area and a two hour walk through beautiful forests, with epic views. Return to dinner, or select evenings, a featured winery. Snowshoes are provided and reservations are required.

Special Olympics 2018 Coming to Seattle!

seattle vacation rentals, summer events 2018 special olympicsSarah Vallieu

Special Olympics Games 2018 Coming to Seattle July 2018

Seattle has the honor to host the United States Special Olympics 2018 on July 1-6.

North America has over half a million athletes participating in all 32 sports offered by Special Olympics, and while not all of those athletes are in the United States, the 2018 Special Olympic games in Seattle promises to be a huge event, with well over 4,000 athletes and coaches and 10,000 volunteers traveling to Seattle from all 50 states and Washington D.C..

The mission of the games: to showcase the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities and the impact of Special Olympics through world-class competition, inspirational experiences, and modeling inclusion for all.

In addition to the games themselves, 2018 is the 50th Anniversary of the Special Olympics movement, and as such, there will be special ceremonies during the Seattle festivities to honor this great organization.

It is important to remember that these are real athletes who work very hard, train daily, and compete for the chance to attend these games, held every four years. Athletes participate in 14 Olympic type team and individual events, including golf, swimming, and tennis, among others.

Events will take place across the Puget Sound region including University of Washington, Angle Lake in Seatac, Celebration Park and King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Kenmore Lanes in Kenmore, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, Willows Run Golf Club in Redmond, and closing ceremonies at Lake Union Park here in downtown Seattle at South Lake Union. To attend any of these events, check out the schedule online.

Besides the athletes, coaches and volunteers, 10,000 family members and friends and 70,000 spectators are expected to attend. VisitSeattle, the area’s tourism expert, is saying there are not enough hotel rooms in Seattle to meet demand for this event.

Much of this is due to the timing. With it taking place in the height of cruise ship season, and during the Independence Day holiday, the city of Seattle will be full of people. Because of this, we encourage Special Olympic participants to book lodging as soon as possible! Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals offers one, two and three bedroom vacation homes, from efficient condos to four story townhomes, convenient to many of the Special Olympic venues.

Related, if you are cruise guest looking to enjoy the city before or after your cruise during this week, don’t hesitate in making your vacatioin rental choice!  

Special Olympics is looking for volunteers. All abilities are needed, from emergency management to logistics to operations.  All ages are welcome; kid volunteers under 13 need to be accompanied by an adult. If interested, please reach out at  

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