The holiday season is magical, from twinkling lights to the pink-cheeked Santa Claus with the kind smile. But perhaps the greatest thing about any winter wonderland is the joy that comes from sharing it with others – the delectable treats, the gifts, and the time spent with family. In a city as dynamic as Seattle, the spirit of the season is larger than life. When it comes to making magic, Seattle hits the sweet spot every Christmas season.
Bright Lights, Big City
Colorful, dancing lights mesmerize children and adults alike, and nowhere does lights better than Seattle. In your travels around the city, remember that Candy Cane Lane, otherwise known as NE Park Road in the Ravenna neighborhood, is the quintessential can’t-miss destination.
A Christmas institution since 1949, Candy Cane Lane is a quaint, remarkable street of close Tudor homes and tight-knit neighbors. The brightly colored lights themselves are a spectacle to behold, but what could have been a feast for the eyes has become a true smorgasbord for the senses. You’ll see sleighs and beautifully decorated trees, you’ll hear lively Christmas tunes, and your heart will be warmed by the many tributes to a multitude of cultures and holiday traditions. A stunning carousel, crafted lovingly by a neighborhood patriarch in the 1960s, still stands and charms today. Even Santa Claus makes an occasional appearance, showering kids with candy canes. If you and your family have time for only one Seattle Christmas experience in December, let it be this.
The Joy of Giving
Next to the time shared with your loved ones, choosing the perfect gifts to give them is arguably the most wonderful feeling. In Seattle, the hunt for the right gift is more fun than ever. First, visit Pike Place Market, often called the heart of the Emerald City. The streets are bustling with savvy vendors and creative boutiques, and unique gifts seemingly overflow from every nook and cranny of the marketplace.
The same eclectic, original shops are spread throughout downtown and the other distinctive neighborhoods of Seattle. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift, Seattle’s where to get it. Don’t fret if you need a shopping mecca, though – you’ll find those here in abundance. And perhaps most exciting are the shopping events held throughout Seattle in December (think: browsing with a drink in your hand, while the kids play with locally crafted toys and a live band performs in the background).
Chocolate Lovers Rejoice
But don’t head out on your Christmas adventures without a cup of hot cocoa. While you can find tasty, handcrafted liquid chocolate in every neighborhood, Seattle’s finest is a matter of debate. Many are proud to create their own concoctions using Seattle-based chocolates from Theo Chocolates or Fran’s. Thick and creamy or rich and milky, dark or white chocolate (or one of many flavors in between), and topped with whipped cream or marshmallow fluff and sprinkles – the options for the perfect cup are endless.
Since you’re downtown, swing by Chocolate Box for gourmet chocolate and wine, or Le Pichet for French delicacies, coffees, and, yes, sipping chocolate. If you’re doing some upscale shopping or admiring the scenery in the beautiful Queen Anne neighborhood, you mustn’t miss the fabulous Mexican chocolate at El Diablo or the famed Chocolopolis, a frequent winner of international chocolate awards and home of the dark, milk, spicy, peanut butter, and exotic drinking chocolates. And fan favorite shops like Fran’s Chocolates and Dilettante Mocha Café can be found in several districts throughout the city, including downtown.
Sleep in Style
With Seattle Oasis Vacations, one of the best ways to experience everything Seattle offers at Christmastime is to stay downtown, where you’ll become part of the rhythm of this merrily pulsing city. With these vacation rentals, you’ll be privy to all the magic of Seattle. Yet, exhausted after a full day, you’ll rest your pleasantly weary head in a place that boasts of the comforts of home.