Michael Matti’s Local Guide to Seattle

We asked Seattle local and photographer extraordinaire, Michael Matti, to shoot some photos, share some insight and create a Visit Seattle Local Guide full of tips and local secrets just for you.

Sunset View of Seattle from the Columbia Tower by Michael Matti

Name: Michael Matti

Occupation: Photographer

Can you sum up Seattle? Seattle is an amazing city full of great people, good food, and a vibrant culture. All of this is surrounded by an endless amount of outdoor and adventure opportunities.

Can you sum up the people of Seattle? The people of Seattle are friendly, laid back, and accepting of everyone. They care about nature and enjoy spending time in it.

Tell us about the photos you shot for this Visit Seattle Local Guide: I chose these photos because they represent what I love about Seattle; how it is this vibrant city so full of life but then throughout the city, and just a short drive away, you can find solitude in nature. These are some of my favorite places and are places I take nearly every visitor I have.

Why is Seattle a great city for someone who loves the outdoors? Seattle is the perfect place for someone who loves the outdoors. First of all, the city itself is full of parks and trails but then you have all this amazing wilderness that surrounds Seattle. There are so many hikes just a short drive away from Seattle.

What are the best outdoor activities in Seattle? There are so many city parks to walk through. Discovery Park, Gasworks Park, Seward Park, and Volunteer Park are a few of my favorites.

What are your favorite hikes near Seattle? My favorite hikes close to Seattle are Rattlesnake Ledge, Lake 22, and Mt. Pilchuck.

What is a perfect day in Seattle? My perfect day in Seattle would start with a ferry ride to Kingston to get some crepes for breakfast. I’d then walk through Gasworks Park and hang out there before grabbing lunch at Paseo. After that, I would go to Discovery Park and explore. From Discovery Park, I would go to Molly Moon’s to get some ice-cream and then enjoy the view of the city from Kerry Park. I would then head downtown and go up the Columbia Tower and walk around Pike Place Market grabbing a few snacks. After downtown, I’d head out to Snoqualmie Falls and then hike up Rattlesnake Ledge. After that, I’d make one final stop at Fremont Brewery.

What do you love about Seattle? I love how it is a place where you can feel comfortable to just be yourself. It’s a laid back place with so much to offer. I also love how accessible the outdoors are here. There are so many amazing places to go just a short drive from Seattle.

What would be surprising about Seattle to an outsider? How beautiful it is here for most of the year. People expect rain all the time and that simply isn’t what it’s like.

If Seattle was a person who would it be? Marshall Eriksen from How I met Your Mother. He has an excitement about life and a certain zany charm that I think matches Seattle. He is easy going but stands up for the things he finds important. He enjoys nature and loves food. He is willing to try new things and will do his own thing, not worrying about what others think. He loves people and is welcoming to everyone. He cares about the environment, working as a lawyer for an environmental advocacy group. He also has a fascination with Sasquatch. He is so Seattle!

Can you give some tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? Find something you’re passionate about and focus on that. Don’t just do what other people are doing because you think it’ll get you a larger following. Be true to who you are and find your own voice. Also try to be consistent in both the subject matter of what you post, the style in which you post it, and the amount you post. And lastly, engage with the Instagram community. I’ve met so many wonderful people through Instagram that have helped make me a better photographer and person.





Best place to eat:


Best place to drink:

Fremont Brewery

Best place to shop:

Definitely the flagship REI store in downtown. I can spend hours there just looking at all the outdoor gear.

Favorite Park:

There are so many good parks in Seattle so it’s hard to pick just one but Lynndale Park is a great place close to where I live. I run through it often and it feels like I’m out in the wilderness somewhere.

Local tip:

Make sure to get to Pike Place Market during the day. Most places there close up well before 6pm.

Tip for visitors:

Go up in at least one of the buildings that overlook Seattle (the Columbia Tower and Space Needle are my two favorites). Spend at least one day exploring the natural areas that surround Seattle. Hiking Rattlesnake Ledge and then stopping at Snoqualmie Falls is a great way to spend an afternoon.