Whitney Reeder’s Guide to Seattle

In collaboration with our friends at Visit Seattle, we sent New York Yodeler Whitney Reeder and her family to Seattle to shoot some photos, share some insight, and create a Visit Seattle Travel Guide just for you. 

Name: Whitney Reeder

Occupation: President of a New York-based stationery company

Place you live: Brooklyn

Have you visited Seattle before? I grew up in Washington, so I’ve been many times, but flying into Seattle always makes me feel a bit nostalgic. We’ve stopped in Seattle once or twice over the past few years, but this was the first time we had a chance to really explore the city together as a family.

Can you sum up Seattle? Seattle charms you immediately. You can sense the water nearby even when you can’t see it. You can sense the friendliness without even speaking to anyone. The trees on every block make the whole city feel green!

Can you sum up the people of Seattle? It’s obvious the people who live here love it. Every block is brimming with hometown pride. It was impossible to look down a street without seeing someone in a Mariners hat or a Seahawks shirt. We were in Seattle during the Seattle Pride weekend and over 150K people watched the parade go through downtown in celebration of the city.

What do you find unique about Seattle? I think Seattle is a place where everyone can imagine themselves living. We kept finding ourselves saying, “If we lived here, we’d eat at this place every weekend” or, “I wish this bookstore was in our neighborhood back home.” Seattle is small compared to New York, but it competes on the same level with the caliber of food, shops, and atmosphere.  

What do you love about Seattle? I love the salty air of a beach yet in a city, the families en route to baseball games, the soft clanking of the bus wires, the ambitiousness of each small business, the commuters on bike and foot, the trees leaning out to keep guard over every block, the local art hanging in shop windows, the distant horn of tugboats in Puget Sound, the Queen Anne’s Lace growing under overpasses, the seagulls swooping overhead, and the cliche is true — there’s great coffee around every corner!

What would be surprising about Seattle to someone who has never visited?  The downtown area is much hillier than you would expect. Bring some comfortable shoes!

If Seattle was a person or character, who would it be? Andrew Bird

What was a neighborhood you enjoyed in Seattle? Pioneer Square is a part of downtown that feels very open to exploring. The area around Occidental Square has wide streets blocked off from cars, so it’s the perfect spot to casually walk around to shop, eat, or find a park bench to lounge on. It’s a real mix of where people work, come to hang out and stay for the nightlife. Lots of art galleries! We loved lunch at The London Plane and fabric shopping at Drygoods Design, which is also a sewing workshop.  

Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle

Can you tell us about the hotel you stayed at? The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle sets the standard very, very high. No detail was missed. Special treats for our daughter waiting in our room, turn down service, and absolutely exceptional room service made our stay special. I love it when a hotel makes an extra effort to make families feel welcome and the staff at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel were there to accommodate our every need.

Olympic Sculpture Park

If someone was visiting Seattle for 24 hours what would you suggest they do? Wake up early. Downtown Seattle is delightfully sleepy in the morning. Watch the fishermen pack ice around the catches of the day and the flower vendors shake out tangled dahlia stems at Pike Place Market. Grab a maple donut and coffee from the closest Top Pot Doughnuts, and head to Olympic Sculpture Park, which is free and opens every day. Within one 360 degree turn in the park, you can see the Puget Sound waterfront, the Space Needle peeking through the trees, and sculptures by Richard Serra, Ellsworth Kelly, and Alexander Calder. Then, walk over to Capitol Hill for lunch at Oddfellows, window shop at Totokaelo and sink into a cozy chair at Elliott Bay Books for the rest of the afternoon. The day should end at Delancey (take a bus!) with wood fired pizzas, wine and a scoop of salty chocolate chip cookie dough. I certainly hope you are able to crawl into bed at the Fairmont after walking around all day!




Best place to eat:

Best place to drink:

Elm Coffee Roasters

Best place to shop:

Elliott Bay Books

Best outdoor activity:

Olympic Sculpture Park – though walking anywhere along the waterfront of Puget Sound is a true delight!

Local tip:

Take the LINK from the airport, it’s so easy and brings you right into the heart of downtown.