photo(5)One of the best things about hosting an out-of-town visitor is that I get to see Seattle through new eyes and play tourist in my own town. Our most recent guest has visited us before, and we’d already hit the requisite downtown highlights on her previous visits. This time, we branched out to some of our favorite, but out-of-the-way (from our central Seattle home) spots.

First up was Seward Park. I always forget how much I enjoy driving on Lake Washington Boulevard on sunny days, watching sailboats zip around the glittering water. And when I get tired of walking on the water, I duck into the old growth forest that makes up the majority of this park. There’s a network of trails running through the middle of the park and through the forest, and it’s one of the few places I feel comfortable getting a little lost.


Later that evening we headed over to West Seattle’s Alki Beach, which I don’t visit often enough. Usually, the insanely stressful parking situation over there makes visiting a headache, so I avoid it on nice days. And I’d rather sit inside with a beer or a coffee on a rainy day, not hoof it across Elliott Bay. Anyway, it was a cloudy day so the crowds were lacking. We parked easily, walked along the water, scooped up sea glass, and finished the day with tropical drinks and an early dinner at Marination Ma Kai, overlooking the skyline. Ma Kai has been on my wish list for a while, and a recent Seattle Weekly assignment (Summer Guide: Nautical Noshes ) was a great excuse to finally check it out. It didn’t disappoint.

As much as I enjoy exploring Seattle, I’m ready to hit the wilderness. Camping and backpacking planning has commenced!