Seattle Travel Guide: Glam to Van

Hey y’all! I’m back from the most amazing trip to Seattle and Olympic National Park, and I can’t wait to tell you all about our glam to camp experience on the blog today! We were able to get the best of the PNW with our stay at the Hotel Vintage Seattle for the first leg of our trip, and van camping in Olympic National Park with Pacwesty for the second leg. I’ll be sharing the cool spaces and places, best drinks and vegan food, things to do, and all things van camping for your next trip to Seattle! And of course all my outfits along the way 🙂

Part I – Seattle… Bring on the GLAM!

Seattle is such an interesting city, full to the brim with life, and we packed in as much as possible on our 5 day trip! Mid-March, two of my friends (Meaghan and Caroline) and I took the trip of a lifetime on our first girls trip to the PNW. Over 5 days, we were able to get in things in the city and a 2 day trip to Olympic National Park!

Our first day of the trip, we got to the airport super early for our 6am flight, but after a long day of plane delays, we ended up getting to Seattle 8 hours behind. Nonetheless WE WERE HERE!

We were eager to get to our hotel, the Kimpton Hotel Vintage Seattle, and get the trip started after our delay. I was really excited to stay in another Kimpton hotel after having an amazing stay with the boutique hotel chain during our wedding in Austin!

We quickly checked in to The Hotel Vintage Seattle, and BONUS, it was during their free wine and cheese hour. So we picked up some snacks to take to our room while we got ready for dinner. We sipped on the champagne they had waiting for us in our room while giddily running to every window for a beautiful view of downtown and the water from our hotel room. After so many months of planning this trip, it was surreal to finally be there! They took SUCH good care of us, from the fluffy robes to the spacious room, and we were within walking distance to all of downtown, restaurants, coffee shops, the pier, and Pikes Place! We then got changed, and headed to dinner at:

Cafe Flora

Cafe Flora is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant with amazing dinner and brunch! Try the pecan pate and the portabello french dip sandwich!

We then headed back to our hotel for a much needed nights sleep before waking up bright and early the next morning for an unbelievable room service breakfast. Our eyes may have been bigger than our stomach, but everything on the Hotel Vintage Seattle‘s room service menu looked too good to not try! We of course sneaked in some photos while chilling in our hotel robes and getting ready for our busy day ahead!


After our amazing breakfast, we took a 10 minute walk to:

Pike Place Market

Not that Pike Place Market isn’t a huge tourist hot spot, but it was definitely top of our list of places to go in Seattle. From the fisherman throwing salmon to the thousands of fresh flowers for sale, Pike Place is truly a one-of-a-kind destination. We strolled the aisles when the market opened, bought some tulips, and snapped some shots. I haven’t been to Seattle since I was a kid, and it was really nostalgic to be back. So much of it was just as I remembered it, but it was cool to get to experience the market with my friends now! I couldn’t resist posting a few throwback photos from my childhood visit 🙂


There are a bunch of fun spots to explore around Pike Place, so after we just walked around and hit up a few spots!:

The Gum Wall

Equally gross as amazing! Buy some gum and stick it on the famous gum wall to leave your mark on Seattle.

Seattle Pier

We walked around the pier, stopping at a few spots to enjoy the view. You can also take a ride on the Seattle Eye located on the pier for a view of Seattle second only to the space needle!

We then headed over to the Capital Hill district to hang out for a while, grab lunch, and do some shopping!

Capitol Hill

The Capitol Hill area of Seattle is kind of like the Brooklyn of New York. It’s a little grungy, adorned with funky rainbow crosswalks and quirky spots, but had all my favorite places we went to, and had so much character! Definitely come check this neighborhood out for an afternoon, or some live music!

Plum Bistro

Our absolute FAVORITE food of the entire trip was Plum Bistro in Capitol Hill, a vegan restaurant. We liked it so much we even came back right before heading to the airport. The mac n cheese was the best I’ve ever had, and the reuben was to die for!

Capital Hill Goodwill

Y’all know I HAD to hit up a Goodwill, and this one was within walking distance of our lunch. It is a more curated Goodwill with a little higher prices, but I was able to walk out with 3 amazing vintage pieces in 40 minutes! Each piece around $10-$15

Pretty Parlor Vintage

Pretty Parlor is a girly girl’s fantasy! This vintage shop in Capitol Hill is packed with incredible vintage items, and there’s not a single square inch that isn’t covered in a bright color. Their vintage dress selection was particularly astounding, and all the items were so unique!

Momjii

Our last stop of the night before heading to a concert in the area, was dinner at Momjii. We randomly stumbled upon this Japanese restaurant in Capital Hill, and it was SOO good! I had veggie sushi, and a house-made tofu dish. Both were like none I had ever tasted. The food was truly next level!! (p.s. sorry for the grainy iphone shot!)

The next morning before heading off to the second leg of our trip (here we come van life!), we got brunch and coffee starting at:

Broadcast Coffee

I grabbed my go-to coffee order at Broadcast Coffee, an oat milk latte, and picked up some vegan cookies for our van trip. This place was chill, and bright and airy, and the coffee was so yummy!

Part II: Van Camping in Olympic National Park!

Now it was time for the second leg of our trip, and the part we were probably most excited for, VAN CAMPING!! Hotel Vintage Seattle has an amazing outdoor adventure program through Pacwesty, where you can rent a vintage Volkswagen van to explore the PNW in! This was all of our first time camping in Olympic National Park, so Pacwesty made it so easy by putting together an itinerary for us based on what we wanted to see and how much time we had. We really had to do minimal research, and they did the rest! Pacwesty had the vehicle, gear, and local knowledge to make our van camping trip as effortless as possible.

To get to our van pickup site, we took a quick ferry ride from the Seattle Pier to Bainbridge Island where we met our new home for the next 2 days, the cutest vintage Volkswagen named Lulu. After a rundown of the van with Pacwesty, and a short grocery trip, we were finally on our way to our Rialto Beach camping spot! We arrived at sundown at our camping spot after stopping a few times to enjoy the view. This National Park has always been a favorite of mine since I came as a child. It has everything, mountains, lakes, and the unforgettable driftwood beaches. We couldn’t wait to start exploring in the morning! We got to work on making our dinner for night one, and sipped on wine while we got the van ready for a good nights sleep! It think some of my favorite times of this whole trip were spent in that van at night just talking with friends while curled up in sleeping bags.

The next morning, I got up and made us some breakfast and coffee while Meaghan and Caroline put our gear away and made sure we were ready for the most EPIC day of shooting and exploring at Rialto Beach. We had planned all of our meals ahead of time, so it made it super easy when getting our groceries and meal prep. Lulu came with all the cooking gear we could’ve needed, and made food preparation pretty simple for a girl that’s not used to camp cooking.

After breakfast, we packed everything away in Lulu, and made our way o Rialto Beach. Going here was a major highlight of our trip, and we had been planning our shoots there for the months leading up to it. We shot on the beach in the driftwood for a while, and then made the 2.5 walk to the famous hole-in-the-wall.


Sometimes to get “the shot” you really have to put in a lot of work, but it was totally worth it to finally get there! After a tough walk on the stone beach (each of us wearing dresses…), climbing over massive piles of driftwood due to the high tide, and me getting soaked by one massive wave within the first 10 minutes of getting there, we finally arrived to hole-in the-wall. Fair warning that it is not the easiest to get to but it was the journey to the destination that made it all worth it. We stopped many times along the way to bask in the light rays and ocean mist, scooping up the ocean foam, admiring the massive driftwood trees and jutting cliffs along the beach, and just taking it all in.

The walk back to Lulu wasn’t as fun, but we did have food and water motivating us to get back haha. When we got back to the van, we headed back to the camp ground, filled our water up, made a quick lunch of PB&J (which btw have never tasted so good), and we headed to our next camping spot at Crescent Beach. We arrived at our camping spot, this time in time to enjoy lounging by the beach and enjoying the sunset. We were able to squeeze in one final shoot as the sun went down, and it might’ve ended up being my favorite. Something about a Florida girl, and a good ole’ sand beach I guess?

After our final shoot, we took our chairs to the beach, and watched the final sunset of our trip before making dinner. We had been going non-stop the whole trip, and it felt good to relax and soak up our last day of nature before heading back home. I made pasta for dinner, and we drank wine and laughed until we couldn’t anymore inside Lulu for the last time. We didn’t call Lulu home for long, but the time we did she really made us feel comfortable! The next morning, we made our coffee while packing up Lulu, and took one final glance at the beach before making the drive to drop Lulu off to Pacwesty.

We dropped Lulu off, said our goodbyes to our little home on wheels, and had our last lunch before heading to the airport. We went home feeling tired, but so full of happiness from this amazing place! Seattle and the PNW are places you’ll want to go to and keep going back to. Thank you to Hotel Vintage Seattle and Pacwesty for helping us have the most memorable trip we could’ve asked for!

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