Dmitriy Shpak’s Local Guide to Seattle

We asked Seattle local and photographer extraordinaire, Dmitriy Shpak, 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: Dmitriy Shpak

Occupation: Full Time Freelance Creative (Photographer, Videographer, Social Media Strategist)

Can you sum up Seattle? Known as the “Emerald City”, Seattle is something you could only dream up. It’s surrounded by some of the most gorgeous landscapes on the planet, cultured in the arts and leading in technology. Seattle is all home feels and big city perks.

Can you sum up the people of Seattle? Seattle is a city of dreamers: people who are either chasing or contently living their dream. Seattleites proudly wear their passions for all to see. Whether it’s music, sports, hiking, skiing, cooking, creating or preserving our planet, our people set the tone. The individuals here are of a unique breed that appreciates the breathtaking surrounding nature and the driven creative community. I’m regularly meeting more and more individuals that have moved here to experience Seattle and chase their dreams.

Tell us about the photos you shot for this Visit Seattle Local Guide: I took images of the downtown Seattle skyline, capturing our beautiful skyscrapers, which Seattle is rarely credited for. Pier 66 shows how close our skyline is to the Puget Sound and all of the islands that connect to our city. We have a large population that commutes to the city for work from the nearby islands. Pike Place Market is a farmer’s market in the heart of downtown Seattle, famous for the first Starbucks, as well as the famous Gum Wall. Gas Works Park is the ultimate park where people come to picnic and enjoy the gorgeous view of our city over the water.

What makes Seattle such a picturesque city? Seattle lies in the heart of the Pacific Northwest on the shore of a sound, between two mountain ranges. Its unique natural locations and scenery are what differentiate Seattle from the other cities. Nearby you can find some of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls, hikes and even ice caves.

Where is the best place to watch a gorgeous sunset in Seattle? I would say Discovery Park Lighthouse, located on the beach in a 534-acre park inside the city. Every evening you will see families and couples come to this beach to witness the stunning view of the sun setting over the Puget Sound and the surrounding islands.

Any hidden secret spots or views in Seattle that a visitor should discover? I would definitely recommend making your way out to Snoqualmie Falls – one of my favorite places in Washington. It’s a huge, powerful waterfall that is humbling to sit next to and reflect. Also, for the best view in the city I would check out the Sky View Observatory on top of the Columbia Tower for an overview of the entire city and the whole Puget Sound.

What is a perfect day in Seattle? Getting friends together to grab some craft coffee at one of the many amazing roasters in Seattle; heading over to Gas Works Park where we can kayak or paddle board; then heading over to Golden Gardens Park where we BBQ and watch the sunset.

What do you love about Seattle? Its unique community, the coffee, sushi and most of all: the beautiful natural locations you can access.

What would be surprising about Seattle to an outsider? How amazingly beautiful our skyline of skyscrapers is, which we don’t get enough credit for. As well as how many breathtaking natural locations are within the city’s reach.

If Seattle was a person or character who would it be? Pocahontas: beautiful, free-spirited and unforgettable.

Can you give a couple tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? Never stop shooting and editing. The more you shoot, the more you keep trying different ways to edit, the more your work will improve just like with anything else. And at the end of the day your page will be a media platform that people will go to see your work. Only post work that you’re proud of.

Focus only on your work and constant improvement. Those who focus on trends and comparing their work to others’ waste energy and time that could have went into improving their own work.





Best place to eat:
Li’l Woody’s

Best place to drink:

Storyville Coffee, Pike Place Market

Best outdoor activity:


Favorite Park:

Gas Works Park

Local tip:

Spend time outdoors. The views are easy to reach and will provide lifelong, powerful memories.

Tip for visitors:

Try out the local coffee.