When I began my research into travel nursing, I was most excited about which new city I’d be moving to next. The U.S. was my oyster and I was ready to explore. When I was younger I was obsessed with the idea of moving to Seattle. I will (shamefully) admit a lot of it was Grey’s Anatomy related. However, after a bit of research, I knew Seattle was the place for me! After a sad “see you later” to my friends and family in Indiana, I made the long journey to the PNW (Pacific NorthWest).
Most travel assignments are 13 weeks long. Just enough time to start making a dent in the things you want to do between working and figuring out how to get around the new location. So I thought: maybe I should keep track of what I want to do so I’m always trying new experiences. I got out my phone and started a notes page. I began adding bullet points of things I knew I wanted to do when I was in Seattle. In true original style, I titled it “Seattle Bucket List.” I’m very creative, I know. I put in as many touristy things that I could think of, because let’s face it, Seattle is bustling with tourists over the summer. And with only three months of being on assignment, I figure it was a good place to start. When I had everything I could think of and anything a google search could give me, I started digging more. I opened my Apple Maps and zoomed in on different areas, places that looked fun or interesting. Yelp is an amazing tool and was very useful in curating this list as well! Before I knew it, my list was complete. I broke it down into different sections. Since it was my first bucket list, it was a little all over the place but the groupings went like this:
Activities/ Things to Do (The ~Touristy~ Stuff)
● Visit the Space Needle, of course! I highly recommend taking advantage of a weekday
off if possible. It can get pretty crowded but it’s a great view of the city and there’s a
restaurant at the top you can make reservations for as well.
● Pike Place Market—Some friends and I opted to do a food tour of the market which is a
great way to sample foods from a few different market staples. (Ask me about how I
thought a food tour guide was giving out free samples and I walked up trying to take
one... he said “Are you part of my tour group!?” So embarrassing! But my friends got a
kick out of that one).
● OG Starbucks- (But it’s not reallyyy the OG...the first one allegedly burned down in 1971,
and this location was built after.) Again, go on a weekday. The line is usually always
there but it goes quickly.
● Kerry Parka Grey’s Anatomy fan’s wildest dream. It’s the view from the show, IYKYK.
Definitely beautiful. Take the stairs up for the extra steps. Close those rings!
● Gum Wall in Post Alley- You have to get that Insta-worthy shot. It’s about as gross as it
sounds but a must see. I heard that they tried to clean it once and over a weekend all of
the gum returned (not sure how true but so funny!)
● Rent a Kayak/SUP on Lake Union- The water is much warmer than the Sound in the
summer so falling/jumping in feels refreshing. Just be careful for boaters of course since
it’s a busy lake!
● Golden Gardens Park: Beautiful views of the sound for a beach day. What else could
you want during the summer in Seattle?
● Fremont Sunday Market- A fun way to spend a Sunday morning. Visit the local shops'
tents and buy some yummy snacks. I bought a few fun candles!
● Three words: Hot Tub Boat! When I came back to visit this was the first thing I booked.
The original Hot Tub Boat is the way to go. It seats 6 and it is literally a hot tub...boat. It
it was March when we went and it was too cold to jump in Lake Union (or was it?).
● Mariner’s Game: A fun way to see a great view of the city and get out to a baseball
game! This was right after Seattle lifted some of their covid restrictions so just being
around people was so surreal.
My Top 3 Hikes in the PNW (so far)
Hiking in the PNW is one of the biggest reasons why I am so in love with the area. One day
you’re hiking into a lush, green rainforest and the next you’re trekking up tall snow-covered
peaks. Every hike I went on truly felt like a dream.These are only 3 of the many adventures I
was lucky enough to take. Remember to please be prepared and always leave no trace!
● Mailbox Peak: A challenging climb straight up to the top but so worth it once you’re
there. Inside the mailbox there are tokens from previous hikers. I wrote a letter and put it
in the box. I’m not sure if people actually take things from it but I didn’t.
● Lake 22: One of the first hikes I did in WA. An absolutely breathtaking experience
(literally and metaphorically). We did this one in March so there was plenty of snow.
There are ropes to help climb up some of the steeper parts and at the time we did not
have snow spikes. But I highly recommend spikes if it’s snowy.
● Mount Storm King: A leg killing, glute smashing workout. This hike was so much fun! But
also a lot of work. Plenty of water and good shoes are a must. The views from the top
are absolutely stunning. There are ropes to assist with the steepest parts but be careful
with people going the opposite direction as you. Take your time and it’ll be worth it at the top.
Food & Drink
● Biang Biang Noodles: There’s a reason this is first. I’ve visited Seattle once since my
contracts ended and this is the place I HAD to go to first. I always opt for the Stew Pork
Belly Dry Mix bowl and it is always delicious! These hand-pulled noodles are bursting
with flavor. A must-try if you’re in the area!
● Carmelo’s Tacos: My good friend told me about this place when I was still new to the city
and I’m so glad he did. Definitely one of my favorite taco places in Capitol Hill.
● BaBar: My first pho experience and it did not disappoint! Also recommend a Vietnamese
● Un Bien: Probably one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. There’s a viewpoint
nearby where you can sit and eat. All while looking over the Sound and seeing the
mountains...if heaven were a place, I swear.
● Fuji Bakery: When I moved to Interbay for my second contract, I passed by this bakery
every morning after work. I finally went in and I promise I went once a week after that.
Their baked goods are the best in the city and I will die on that hill. Try anything and you
will fall in love: Chocolate croissant, almond croissant, crunchy cream malasada, ham &
cheese croissant...I have to stop, it’s making me sad that I can’t go there right now. Just
run there tomorrow morning!
There you have it! Those are just a FEW of my recommendations for anyone who is going to visit or travel to Seattle. Travel nursing is such an awesome experience because you get a little teaser of new cities without having to fully commit to living there. I always tell myself, “I can do anything for 13 weeks...” But being in Seattle was not difficult. I loved it so much I stayed for 6 months and forced myself to finally leave and take a new assignment.I hope you enjoy some items from this list! Here is the link for the full Seattle Bucket List (as seen on my phone)! Unfortunately, I didn’t hit everything on it but as I keep visiting I’ll keep trying. And if you’re like me and always want to be trying new things on your assignments, I recommend curating a bucket list of your own!
Written By: Alina Capparoda MedVenturist & Travel Nurse