Cara Llewellyn’s Guide to Seattle
Name? Cara Llewellyn
Occupation? Art Director and Book Designer
Place you live? New York City
Have you been to Seattle before? I visited Seattle once before, about 15 years ago when a few college friends and I were clearing trails in Olympic National Park. We spent a few days at the end of the trip in Seattle proper, drinking coffee, eating seafood, and nursing our blisters. I had a splendid if whirlwind stay and have been itching to visit again ever since.
Can you sum up Seattle in a paragraph? I found Seattle to be a city of beautiful dualities. At once gregarious and reserved, techy and artsy, oceanic and mountain-ranged, Seattle provides the best of both worlds in almost every sense.
Can you sum up the people of Seattle in a paragraph? Like the city itself, I found local Seattleites to be a delightful mix of outgoing and introverted. Often quick to say “good morning” or recommend a favorite coffee shop, everyone I met also seemed just as likely to let me explore on my own and give me space. Maybe that’s the hidden meaning behind the iconic Space Needle’s name!
What did you find unique about Seattle? So many things about Seattle are very different from my current haunt, New York City. Seattle felt much more outdoorsy, and much more adventurous, light, airy, and oceanic, which I completely adored. The smell of the fresh ocean breeze and the view of majestic snow-capped mountains all around is a mixture that is hard to find anywhere else.
What do you love about Seattle? One of my favorite things about Seattle was its connection to the water – all the boats and locks and ferries, and the seafood. Especially the seafood!
What would be surprising about Seattle to someone who has never visited? I was surprised by how small and cozy the city felt, and, at the same time, how very different each of the neighborhoods came across. Almost like visiting many different little cities all at once!
If Seattle was a person or character who would it be? Seattle would definitely be a mermaid. The perfect balance of gritty and refined, land and sea, a mix of friendly hippie-haired warmth and cool sporty seafarer. A lovely mermaid also happens to grace the windows of a certain little, local coffee chain – whose original shop resides down by the water on the edge of Pike Place Market.
Can you us about your favorite neighborhoods in Seattle? Much like the two sides of our lovely mermaid, Fremont and Ballard are the perfect foils to one another. Fremont boasts artistic and free-spirited hippie vibes, while Ballard has deep maritime roots, many of which come across in the shops, restaurants, and attractions in each neighborhood.
Can you tell us about the hotel you stayed at? Motif Seattle is a welcoming, modern place to stay in the heart of downtown. I thoroughly enjoyed the huge room, sweeping views, and super fun outdoor patio space complete with fireplaces, swings, and games!
If someone was visiting Seattle for 24 hours what would you suggest they do? Start with an early morning jaunt down to Pike Place Market to beat the crowds, wander around watching the fish sellers and flower artisans setting up the show, then take a peek at the famous (and ever-growing!) gum wall before heading to breakfast. Make your way to Biscuit Bitch for a brilliant and filling culinary start to your busy day. After breakfast, turn back to the hotel for your walking shoes and a bit of a rest on the lovely outdoor patio – then head over to Fremont.