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Time Out: Seattle

Marination Ma Kai

Photo by Charity Burggraaf

Soak up the stunning view of Seattle over kalbi beef tacos at Marination Ma Kai.

Seattle may have a bit of a slacker reputation, but its current tech boom, increasingly lauded culinary scene and The 12th Man (the nickname for the Seahawks’ record-breakingly loud fans) are nothing to scoff at. Neither are the snow-capped mountains that dominate the urban skyline. And despite the supposed “Seattle freeze,” locals tend to be friendly and outgoing (perhaps due to twice daily happy hours at most bars). It’s not uncommon to engage in conversation with anyone from a hopeful musician to a high-powered Amazon executive. No wonder Seattle often tops the lists of best places to live.

Hop on a water taxi for the 12-minute ride across Elliott Bay to Alki Beach in West Seattle. Walk, jog or people-watch along its scenic 2½ miles of paved path. Or soak up the stunning view of Seattle over kalbi beef tacos at Marination Ma Kai. (Don’t forget to keep an eye out for marine wildlife.)

Pioneer Square swaps grit for hip as restaurants such as Bar Sajor and Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar revive the neighborhood. Savor local Dungeness crab dishes at the former, shigoku (“ultimate” in Japanese) oysters at the latter. Then cozy up to the bar at Saké Nomi, where owner Johnnie Stroud schools guests on the nuances of saké.

Channel your inner word nerd with a visit to Seattle’s Central Library, designed by legendary architect Rem Koolhaus. Next, check out the huge inventory of whodunit titles (many author autographed) at Seattle Mystery Bookshop. Then toast your book smarts with one of 70 single-malt scotch whiskys in the librarylike environs of The Bookstore Bar & Café at Alexis Hotel.

The trendy Ballard neighborhood now boasts 10 microbreweries within five square miles, making it a popular destination for hops lovers. Take a spin on Cycle Saloon, a pedal-powered vehicle that makes the taproom rounds, or create your own pub crawl. Among the best stops to include are Hilliard’s Beer, Stoup Brewing and Reuben’s Brews. Bonus: Breweries frequently host food trucks and offer live music.

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