An Insider’s Guide to the Best Sights in Seattle

Laura Lawson ViscontiLaura Lawson Visconti is a Seattle-based artist, coffee addict and author of Believing is Seeing, a memoir chronicling her battle with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare eye disease which is slowly rendering her blind. More than anything, she loves exploring the world, including the sights in Seattle, with her best friend and husband Nick.

We caught up with Laura recently to learn what exactly customers traveling to the Emerald City have to look forward to. From the beauty of the historic King Street Station, home to the Cascades, Coast Starlight and Empire Builder routes to the reigning Super Bowl champs, the sights in Seattle are pretty cool!

What’s your favorite brunch spot in Seattle?  
Wow, this one’s tough. My top three would have to be: The Hi-Life (anything on their farm-to-table seasonal menu is phenomenal) and Portage Bay Café (waffle topping bar!), both in Ballard, and The Wandering Goose in Capitol Hill for the best biscuits and bacon you’ve ever had.

For visitors who are new to the area, what’s your favorite hidden gem?
Seattle is one of the most beautiful cities on the West Coast.  I always recommend walking the 3-mile loop around Discovery Park in the Magnolia neighborhood for gorgeous views of the Puget Sound, and Gas Works Park for the best Instagram-worthy views of the city itself.

For coffee, Anchored Ship Coffee Bar in Ballard is a lovely spot, especially if you can score a seat in the upstairs loft. For dinner, check out Zig Zag Café behind Pike Place Market. There’s yummy food and cocktails, and it seems like it’s still relatively undiscovered!


After people get off the train, they like to stretch their legs. Where should they go?
Most definitely Ballard Farmer’s Market every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

What about shopping options?
The best shopping in Seattle is probably University Village across from UW, although the flagship Nordstrom downtown is hard to beat as well! 

Traveling is a great source of creativity for a lot of our customers. What’s your go-to inspiration destination?
Nature! Seattle is a short drive away from a plethora of gorgeous hikes and stunning mountainous views. My absolute favorite spot is Rattlesnake Ledge in the Cascade Mountains, which just so happens to be where my husband and I got married!

Have you ever traveled by train to the Emerald City? Tell us about your experience below!

Want to explore the beautiful Pacific Northwest? There is no better way than by train! Book two weeks in advance on Amtrak Cascades and save 25% off already low fares. All aboard!