My Experience Traveling to the West Coast for the First Time

While school is out for spring break, I planned months in advance to take a trip to Washington to visit a friend at college, specifically in Seattle. As I'm writing this from the comfort of one of the many residence halls on the HUGE University of Washington campus, I can gladly say that coming to this side of the country was the perfect getaway that I needed.

Here's why.

First off, there's SO much to see. Two flights and nine hours later, I made it to Emerald City. My flight landed around 5 p.m., and we didn't arrive back uptown until 6 p.m., so I didn't get to see much the first day. However, I did get some pretty cool views from my window on the way here.

My next memorable event was traveling to Waterfront Park and Pike Place, which seems like an inevitable spot to travel to if one wants to truly experience the city (it seems to be a booming hub for tourists, but that's also to be expected). I was fortunate enough to feel the sun beaming down on me and to see the clear blue skies. This spot definitely became one of my favorites rather quickly. It is the perfect mix of serenity, with a good balance of urban life happening in the background as well. If you get the chance to visit this location, I'd highly recommend it!

 

Which brings me to my next point - downtown. It really is a sight to behold. There is so much happening, and there is never a shortage of things to do. The views of the tall buildings and wide city streets reminded me of New York in a way, except a lot cleaner and with less overly-crowded sidewalks.

 

 

In terms of dining, there is never a shortage of places to eat. Cafes, restaurants, fast food and more is all within reach. I quickly discovered that there is a Starbucks on LITERALLY every corner (Seattle is it's was birthplace, after all). I wasn't complaining, though! During my journey on foot though the city, we stumbled across the original Starbucks roastery. There were items on the menu that I had yet to see anywhere - cold brew floats, Sicilian pizza and dozens of pastries that I'd never even heard of. Needless to say, it was a great time all around, and everything was delicious!

 

 

There is a great art scene in Seattle as well, something I was relieved to learn as an art student. We had ventured over to the Frye Museum, which is a gallery that is free and open to the public. It reminded me fondly of Richmond's own Virginia Museum of Fine Arts nestled in The Fan. There were a couple of pieces that stood out to me, and I was impressed by the originality of the work overall: 

 

Top: Leopold Shmutzler

Bottom two: Tavares Strachan

Overall, I'd say that my experience in Seattle was far more exciting than even I anticipated. Being in this new city has inspired me to keep traveling and exploring more of the west coast and all that it has to offer. Hopefully my next stop will be California! But until then, I highly encourage everyone to make a trip to the Emerald City if they can. There's never a shortage of things to do, see and eat!

Photos by author unless otherwise noted