Tales of a Digital Nomad: How I Spent Six Weeks Living in Seattle
As a coffee fanatic, Seattle was an obvious choice on our digital nomad journey—the hiking, food, and other outdoor adventures were just an added perk! We arrived in early April, hoping to catch a few sunny days and see everything blooming. What we got was so much more.
The coffee in Seattle
I knew Seattle’s coffee scene would impress me, but since I’ve been to hundreds of award-winning coffee shops nationwide, I wasn’t expecting to have my socks blown off. I was wrong.
When it comes to specialty coffee, Seattle is years ahead of the rest of the country. Specialty coffee drink menus rivaled the best cocktail bars I’ve been to, experimenting with flavor combinations I had never previously considered.
Caffe Vita was far and beyond our most frequented coffee shop—our Landing apartment was just steps away from their original location in Lower Queen Anne and a short walk from the cafe they share with KEXP. I easily ordered a few dozen espresso tonics from Caffe Vita, but the real treat was attending a live demonstration by two coffee competitors, fresh off the United States Barista Competition in Boston.
Sam Spillman (a U.S. barista champion and finalist in the 2022 Brewer’s Cup) and Gray Kauffman (a semi-finalist in the 2022 U.S. barista championships) brewed their competition drinks for us and blew us away with flavor profiles and presentations beyond my wildest dreams. Without a doubt, this was and will remain the best coffee of my life.
Other favorite coffee shops included Anchorhead Coffee, which had some of the best matcha I’ve ever tasted; Elm Coffee Roasters, which is a contender for the best espresso I’ve ever had; and Fulcrum Coffee, located a short walk away from City Center and serving up a far better coffee experience than any of the other options in such a touristy area.
The culture in Seattle
As a lover of all things pop culture, I couldn’t miss the Museum of Pop Culture (known as MoPOP) while we were in town. We were lucky enough to catch two traveling exhibits, “Heroes & Villains: the Art of Disney Costume” and “Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop.”
The real joy was witnessing my musician husband taking in the guitar gallery, which boasts dozens of iconic guitars played by some of the greatest musicians of the past century.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Just steps from the Museum of Pop Culture is the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a magnificent collection of Dale Chihuly’s glass work. There is no other way to take in this exhibit other than to stroll through it with absolute wonder, soaking in the larger-than-life glass sculptures that Chihuly is so famous for. This museum is a can’t-miss experience for anyone living in Seattle, and with both indoor and outdoor elements, it’s best saved for a rare not-so-rainy day.
My husband is a musician, so we never miss an opportunity to catch a concert while we’re traveling. The Gorge is an iconic music venue with amazing acts that make the three-hour drive there well worth it.
We were lucky enough to catch Stevie Nicks performing on a Saturday night to a full amphitheater. The view alone is worth the cost of admission, creating a surreal concert experience.
The great outdoors near Seattle
The Pacific Northwest has no shortage of incredible sights, hikes, and wildlife, many within a short drive from Seattle or even within city limits. While our plans to visit the nearby national parks were washed away by a few too many rainy days, we still had our fair share of outdoor fun during our short stay in Seattle.
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Visiting in the month of April? Drive an hour and a half north of the city and wander through expansive fields of tulips at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. You’ll discover variants of tulips you didn’t know existed and bask in the color of thousands and thousands of flowers. We were lucky enough to have beautiful weather, but the festival is open rain or shine.
Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden
The Rhododendron Botanical Species Garden is a must-see in the spring when everything is in bloom. Drive just 30 minutes south of Seattle and you’ll see the state flower in all of its splendor, blooming and showing off in tons of different colors. There’s also a Bonsai garden worth wandering through while you’re here—at no extra cost!
We were especially lucky to be visiting during the Himalayan blue poppy bloom. I can only describe myself as starstruck by these flowers. I have never seen a flower such a vivid blue!
On a particularly sunny Saturday, we drove out to nearby Mount Si for a slightly challenging but very doable hike. This trail is relatively popular, and one look at the views makes it obvious as to why. While we weren’t able to make it out to Mount Rainier during our short stay, this hike scratched that mountain itch. Even better: It’s puppy-friendly, so we got to bring our dog along to breathe in that good mountain air.
The Lake Union hot tub boats
Sometimes, being outdoorsy just means having a drink on the water. Luckily, Lake Union makes that easy in any weather. Even on a cloudy day, the Lake Union hot tub boats keep you nice and warm while you motor around the lake, catching phenomenal views of Gasworks Park. This is definitely a must-try while you’re in Seattle and was one of my favorite memories from our time there.
Life with Landing in Seattle
We stayed in a Landing apartment in Lower Queen Anne, a location that I wouldn’t trade for the world. We were walking distance from great coffee, museums, and areas to walk our dog. The apartment itself came equipped with everything we needed, as Landing apartments always do, and the building had a gym, parking garage, and plenty of common space for us to work remotely when we weren’t visiting coworking spaces. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to stay.
Now, onto our next destination: Chicago!