10 must do activities in Seattle

10 must do activities in Seattle

I have lived in Seattle for 4 years now, and during these 4 years I have had over 15 visitors. All of my visitors wanted to do all the same touristy fun things so I have become quite the pro, in fact some days I consider making it a permanent job. So if you are coming to the Emerald City and want to know the “must do” things in Seattle, look no further than my list!

1. Space Needle

I believe this one goes without mention, however seeing the Space Needle is a must do when visiting Seattle. If you are able to go on a clear day you will get a 360 view of all the mountain ranges that Washington has to offer and a stunning view of our favorite peak Mount Rainier. It’s about $20 to go up and you can stay as long as you like but cannot go back up unless you pay for a night pass.

Bonus: Combine with the Chihuly exhibit for $32. The Chihuly exhibit is a beautiful assortment of artfully blown glass created by a Washington local Dave Chihuly. If you have time it’s a great escape from the rain if you are here during our rainy season.

2. Visit Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is an Iconic Seattle must see. You can view the famous “fish throwing” at the front of the market, purchase a $10 bouquet of wild flowers that would cost you over $30 elsewhere, or purchase a souvenir from the many local booths that set up in the hallways of the market. If you’re broke then just take it all in and try some of the many delicious samples that you will find in your venturing.

Don’t forget to take a picture with the Pike Place Pig, for good luck!

Bonus: Try the donut holes to the left of the fish throwing. Maple Bacon is my personal fave.

3. Go see the Fremont Troll

Famous for appearing the movie “10 Things I Hate About You”, the Fremont Troll is a unique monument to see while in Seattle. It is located in Fremont a few miles north of Pike Place. If you don’t want to take an uber you can always go on the “Duck Tour” which will take you right to the troll amongst other fun things. Oh and yes that is a real VW car the troll is holding.

Fremont Troll

 4. Check out the view from West Seattle

The view from West Seattle is indeed one of my favorite Seattle views. To get to West Seattle on foot simply hop on the ferry and it will take you across the water to some incredible views of the Seattle skyline.

West Seattle

5. Go to Kerry Park

Kerry Park may possibly be the best view you will find in all the city of Seattle. Combine this with a cloudless sky and you will think you have landed in heaven. With a scenic Seattle skyline and Mount Rainer perfectly positioned in the background you will find a photographers dream.

Kerry park

6.Eat Fish and Chips

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Well when in Seattle, eat fish and chips. If you’re going to be on the coast you cannot leave without at least trying some of our famous fish and chips. It’s delicious fresh cod with tartar sauce that Long John Silver’s has no idea exists. My favorite place to get fish and chips is Red Mill or Market Arms in the neighborhood of Ballard, but really it’s so fresh no restaurant will lead you astray.

7. Sip on some local brew

Photo by @ArnieJacobsen

Seattle is known for it’s micro brews and they grow by the day. A famous brewery “Fremont brewery” is in the same neighborhood as the Troll and a great place to stop during your travels. If you are looking for a fun day out check out Ballard and their many breweries. We currently live in Ballard and have 7 breweries all within a mile walk.

8. Take a walk on the wild side

So I know this post is about Seattle but the best part about living in Seattle is being able to get out of the city and see our beautiful mountains. A great hike I always suggest is Rattlesnake Ledge in the Snoqualmie mountains. It is about an hour outside the city and the hike usually takes around 2 hours, if you decide to eat a picnic lunch at the top. It’s only about 3 miles RT but if you are not in shape make sure and take it slow or at the top you will find yourself wanting to give up right before it gets really good!

Rattlesnake Ledge

9. Golden Gardens

Within my favorite neighborhood of Ballard you will find our “beach”. It looks like a true sandy beach but you probably won’t find anyone actually swimming in those cold waters. Instead pull up a chair by a fire pit and relax while gazing at the majestic Olympic mountains.

Golden Gardens Seattle

10. Hike inside the city

The next best thing to taking a drive outside the city for a hike, is to go to one of our many large parks and take a stroll on the trails. Discovery Park is a favorite of mine for many reasons. You will find a tough enough trail that will lead you from the forest right down to a rocky beach with a lighthouse to top it off. On your way back admire the old military base and glare in envy to the new owners of those houses who get to bask in the beauty of the Olympic mountains every day.

Seattle is full of things to do no matter what time of year. So come visit and you will realize why it is one of the fastest growing cities.

 

Is there anything you would add to this list?

 

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Eagle’s Nest – A day trip from Munich

Eagle’s Nest – A day trip from Munich

Don't miss out on this amazing day trip From Munich, to go see Eagle's Nest, a cabin nestled in the Bavarian Alps. Click here to keep reading!

Normally I am not a fan of organized tours, I find them to be boring and waaayy to long. However they can be useful in certain circumstances. For instance if you want to get outside the current city you are in and you don’t feel comfortable renting a car, it is a perfect alternative. In Munich for example there is a ton to do, however with so many amazing sites only a few hours away it would be a shame not to experience it.

One day trip I hold very fondly is the trip to Eagle’s Nest – a Teahouse given to Adolf Hitler as a gift for his 50th Birthday. It is a beautiful cabin at the top of a very curvy road on a mountain summit among the Bavarian Alps. It is about a 2 hour drive from Munich and a great time to take a cat nap if you are exhausted from a night out drinking all the amazing beers Germany has to offer.

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To get inside the house after the long curvy ride up, you must walk through a long dark tunnel and up through a bronze elevator. You are welcomed to a beautiful cabin which has been preserved and part of it turned into a cozy restaurant. Outside you are welcome to sit, drink beer or enjoy lunch. Since we were on a budget we opted for a beer.

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A view from the bus and we make our way up the very very windy mountain road.

EAGLES NEST

After enjoying a fresh brew make sure and check out the sweeping views all around you. The Bavarian Alps are breathtaking and are not ones I recommend missing out on.EAGLES NEST

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After taking in your scenery, head up to the top of the summit and climb that beast!

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I think we may have stayed up there forever taking pictures if it were up to us. Hats off to all the amazing pictures our travel buddy Andie got of all of us! It was a perfect place for pictures you only dream of so don’t forget your camera!

Eagle's Nest

Despite my disdain for tours I was so glad my travel partner Andie had talked us all into going on this amazing tour to see Eagle’s Nest! For only around $75 a person the tour more than paid for itself, getting us out of the city and into the incredible Bavarian Alps. If you are looking for a good tour we used Viator and I highly recommend them!

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Photo via Andrea McVay

A Perfect Day in Munich

A Perfect Day in Munich

Traveling can have it’s ups and downs. Some days are all clouds and rainbows, while other days test you as a person. My favorite day in Munich was the day we had nothing planned. No tours, churches, or otherwise. We were free to roam the city.

This day we happened to decide to grab some bikes and check out the park everyone bragged about, The English Garden. Our perfect day was almost ruined as we could not find where to purchase our bikes. Unsure of whether we should even ride bikes in a foreign city we were about ready to give up when we followed the trail of bikes. Amongst the bikes we found a shop listed on the city map. If all else fails then look around for clues, you can always find what you want with a little detective work!

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Image ©Kit McVay

For just a few bucks we each were set up with our own bikes. We were ready to hit the road!

Munich is such a fun city full of booths, food, and souvenirs. Riding through the streets was a bit daunting at first along side the cars. However once we made it through there are streets just for bikes!

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Image ©Kit McVay

After hitting the streets we decided to check out ” Englischer Garten” or The English Garden, a park full of green flowing hills, rivers and even a beer garden!

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Image ©Andie McVay

We made our way to The City Center inside the park. Isn’t it beautiful?

perfect day in munich

Then since we had worked up quite the appetite we stopped at the beer garden for beer and brats!

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After we filled our belly full of delicious food and beer, we then headed to explore more of the Park. We had no idea we would encounter such an amazing spot. The Garden offers surfers a chance to show off their skills. There is a dam which is set up to produce a wave under a small bridge where surfers line up and take their shot.

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Image via Kit McVay

The English Gardens were absolutely beautiful with tons of trails for any bike rider to enjoy and bask in. If you are in Munich take a chance on a random bike ride through the city park and enjoy all the beauty it has to offer you.

Must Eat Brunch spots in Ballard

Must Eat Brunch spots in Ballard

My current Neighborhood in Seattle is Ballard. Ballard is constantly growing and a great place for young or old business professionals. My favorite thing to do on the weekends is to eat brunch which if you know me, should come as no surprise. When I first came to Seattle it was a tough transition where food is concerned. I would often spend $10-15 dollars on a plate and walk away dissatisfied. Over time I was able to find exactly what I was looking for in a restaurant and figure out if a place had what I desired just by looking at the line at the door. One rule that has held steadfast for me in Seattle is, “If there is a line, then the food is divine”. Ok maybe that’s not really my rule but it’s not a bad place to start.

So after 2 years of living in Ballard, these are my favorite brunch spots! Trust me when I say you will not be disappointed!

Morsel & Bean

Only a beautiful 3 blocks away from my apartment Morsel & Bean has proved it’s worth over the last year in Ballard. With homemade biscuits topped with decadent flavors such as the “Mama’s little pepper Aioli” or “Roasted Tomato Jam”, the foodie in you will not walk away dissatisfied. You can choose from a biscuit with one of their famous toppings or try a breakfast sammie. My personal favorite is the “Spanish Fly” which features prosciutto, over medium fried egg, arugula and that delicious pepper alioli I was bragging about.

Morsel & Bean

Skillet Diner

A fun Cafe with an old diner touch to it, “Skillet Diner” is my absolute favorite place to eat in Seattle. If you are looking for meals with tons of food and tons of flavor you have hit the right spot. For months upon moving to Seattle I searched for the perfect fried chicken,  and I found my love in the “Little Rob”, a masterpiece of a breakfast “sandwich”. Fried chicken topped with a egg, cheese, and their signature spicy sauce sandwiched between brioche buns with the perfect amount of crunch.

Bonus: Check out their amazing cinnamon rolls for an appetizer that feeds the entire family!

skillet

 

Hattie’s Hat

Hattie’s Hat, a Ballard staple is the perfect place to go Sunday morning after a fun Saturday night. The bar is perfectly dark and cozy allowing you to cure that hangover with their perfectly tuned bloody mary and big surprise fried chicken (maybe I’m obsessed with fried chicken ok?). The environment is friendly while you watch old movies like “Weekend at Bernie’s”. What is also great is they are open on holidays when many places are closed.

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Have you been to Seattle? What are your favorite brunch spots?

 

 

Jumping off of Bloukrans Bridge

Jumping off of Bloukrans Bridge

Bungee Jumping in South Africa would be a leap I would never forget. Read more to find out if I survived the 900 meter jump.

Jump off of a perfectly good bridge, why not right? Bungee jumping has always been on the top of my list of things I must do. In London bungee jumping was on the itinerary but got taken off due to availability. So when looking for things to do I knew Jumping off of the tallest bungee bridge was something I had no choice but to do.

Now some people told me I was crazy and most just shook their heads. The main theme was that I should definitely do it now while I have the guts because as you get older the more fear and reality set in. As time got closer to go to Africa that became more than true.

Living by Jumping

There were several times I may have text Jen (more than likely drunk) and made her reassure me I wasn’t going to snap my neck. My biggest fear was not the jumping, the equipment, the possible lax standards in another country, no my one thought was that my clumsy awkward self would somehow move the wrong way and snap my tiny little neck. Jen being the trooper that she is reassured me that I would not die and we were ABSOLUTELY not backing out of this as we had told waaay too many people.

Fast Forward to South Africa the night before we were booked to go bungee jumping. We stayed at a treehouse in the forest. The treehouse was everything we wanted it to be….had we been honeymooners who enjoyed spiders the size of my head watching me shower. When we booked this beautiful Tree House with amazing views, baboons outside your window, and spiders the size of your head we weren’t completely aware how far off the path we would be and that our treehouse was 100% glamping which means there isn’t any food within an hour of the main cabin. We arrived at said treehouse starving, tired, and completely out of clean clothes.

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That night we ate peanut butter crackers, ostrich jerky, and protein bars. During “dinner” at the main cabin  we realized with our shotty internet connection that it would take about 2 hours to get to the Bloukrans Bridge at 8am. Meaning we would have to wake up at 5am. At this point I was willing to give up. I would sacrifice bungee jumping to get a few precious hours of sleep. Jen however would have none of this plan. We found a way to rearrange our plans so we could go shark cage diving and she was going to get me to the Bloukrans Bridge even if she had to drag my grumpy butt out of the spider infected tree house before sunrise.

We managed to survive the night after jen bravely made sure all the huge spiders were outside the treehouse safe and sound. She even broke her “no spider left alive” rule and got the spiders out with a strainer and a pot. The next morning we woke up at 5am tired and grumpy (ok maybe that was just me) and drove 2 hours to get to our bungee appointment.

THE JUMP

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We arrived at the bridge right on time with empty stomachs. The problem with waking up at 5am is nothing is open to eat. So I ate the remaining peanut butter crackers and Jen refused to eat anything in fear of throwing up during the jump.

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When we arrived FACE Adrenaline got us all suited up and ready to jump. The scariest part of the jump for most is walking across the bridge. The jumping point is on the second tier of the bridge. They have a DJ and equipment on the bottom part underneath the actual road. It was surprisingly a nice set up. I basked in the walk underneath the bridge looking below and jen threatened to push me off if I didn’t stop talking to her.

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Somehow I managed to be jumper number 1. Not exactly my favorite idea but a theme Jen and I have is that I pretend to be the brave one when it comes to heights. I try to avoid acting scared so Jen can panic alone in silence. Being jumper number 1 left me no time to freak out or think of all the ways I could snap my neck.

I had decided weeks before jumping that I was going to make my jump emotional. As cheesy as it may sound I wanted to turn my fear of letting go and literally jumping off of a bridge into a moment of truth for me. I was going to think of all the things that hold me back, get me down, or things that have happened that are out of my control. I was going to leave them on the bridge. Jumping off of that bridge would be a moment of pure freedom and bliss. It would be my own moment.

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Face Adreneline 8 (1 of 1)Jumping was everything I wanted it to be. As you can see in the video I hesitated at the beginning, not out of fear but rather I had not been given the chance to clear my head and leave it all behind. Once I was able to do that, I gladly jumped off that bridge and free fell toward the river below. In that moment, I had never done anything better in my life.

I highly recommend Face Adrenalin bungee jumping.  They made sure we were completely at ease and had no questions.  Most of all they kept us alive.

Bloukrans Bridge

Jump off of a perfectly good bridge, why not right? Bungee jumping has always been on the top of my list of things I must do. In London bungee jumping was on the itinerary but got taken off due to availability. So when looking for things to do I knew Jumping off of the tallest [...]

Bloukrans River Bridge, Tsitsikamma, Plettenberg Bay, 6600, South Africa

» get directions on Google Maps
Safari Time in South Africa

Safari Time in South Africa

A Safari in South Africa is an experience you cannot afford to miss out on. Read on to find out what Steve the Lion had for Breakfast.

Journeying on a Safari was surprisingly not on the top of my list when planning for my roadtrip across the Garden Route in South Africa. For my travel buddy Jen it was a high priority along with Shark Cage Diving. I of course obliged mainly because who doesn’t like animals, and secondly because she agreed to bungee jump with me. What I didn’t expect was how much I would enjoy the safari and how it would amaze me so to see such incredible wild animals.

Schotia Private Game Reserve has been ran by the same family for around 25 years and are dedicated to a true safari experience. They are about 45 minutes away from Port Elizabeth which was at the tail end of our road trip. We opted for the two day one night package at Schotia Farms which cost around $250 a piece. We stayed in a “Honeymoon suite” which was more akin to “glamping”. We had a super comfortable bed with a tent surrounding it ensuring that no bugs were making it in to disrupt our sleep. They even provided a nice bottle of red wine which we were unfortunately too sleepy to drink.

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Day 1

On the first day we arrived around 2 in the evening and got to head straight to our Safari. Our park ranger happened to be a super intelligent *cough hot cough* 20 something who’s dog Janga was his partner in crime. One of our first animals to see was the elephant, who could have cared less about us and instead was more concerned about the rough bush he was intent on eating. Safari 5 (1 of 1)

Our Ranger made sure everyone in our group got to see all the animals we so desired. This included the white rhino. As you can see the Rhino’s horn is not fully grown. This was due to a poacher who drugged the rhinos and cut off their horns. The saddest part is the rhino horn is used to cure many ailments which has been scientifically proven to be completely false. Meaning these innocent animals are tortured for a myth.

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After the Rhino’s we headed off to see what else we could find. We saw giraffe, zebra’s and African antelope (my way of saying I don’t remember their names). The Giraffe was a mother of twins who according to a ranger did not actually care about her babies. This was not her first set of babies and she didn’t mind if they got eaten by a lion. A big fan of the circle of life I suppose.

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Steve the Lion

Right as the sun was setting we found the lions. Steve the alpha with the beautiful ombre, his lioness, and his son are all pictured below. The lioness was on the hunt that night looking for some dinner for Steve and Simba. The rangers were actually at a point that they were worried about Steve since you could see his ribs and he hadn’t eaten in several weeks.

Safari 12 (1 of 1)We sat there for at least 20 minutes watching the sun set while the lion pack soaked up the last bit of the sun. The lions didn’t seem to mind nor care that we were only yards away. Steve yawned, Simba laid next to his father and the lioness paced back and forth looking for a possible hunt to feed her family.

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That night after a delicious all inclusive dinner we searched all night looking for the lioness on the hunt. Our ranger Ryan knew she was out hunting and was hoping to catch her in the act. Unfortunately cold and tired we went to bed unsure whether the lioness was successful in feeding her pack.

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Day 2

During our morning drive Ryan quickly found Steve and his lionesses bounty. See in the Lion kingdom the lioness hunts for her pack and then the male gets the first pick. We found the lioness and her son eating the leftover tail a few yards away. Seems like a raw deal to me but I guess that’s just the feminist in me talking

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After a delicious hot breakfast and a ride back to the main center we headed off to Addo Elephant Sanctuary. Now this is something both Jen and I really wanted to do. Unfortunately this means we did not heed the advice of others. The sanctuary is beautiful and a really great experience, however it is much different than the safari. The sanctuary is toured in a van versus an uncovered safari vehicle. We still got to see some beautiful elephants and even a lion however I wouldn’t suggest doing it the way we did. If you do not have time for the Safari I suggest the elephant park as you can drive your own car through and take your time. However if you are doing the Safari I would not necessarily suggest doing Addo since you can see elephants at Schotia.

Despite all this I was still able to get some amazing shots of some beautiful animals.

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Safari 23 (1 of 1)One last look before we headed off to our next adventure in South Africa….

Safari Time

Abseiling Table Mountain

Abseiling Table Mountain

Looking for things in to do in Capetown, South Africa? Check out this post for my experience abseiling Table Mountain!

During my time in South Africa I had many adventures; shark cage diving, Ostrich Riding, Bungee Jumping and even a Safari. My favorite of all my activities was the very first thing we got to do in South Africa, Table Mountain.

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Table Mountain is all over Facebook, Pinterest and even Twitter. Pictures of it are adorning with inspiring quotes and rightly so. Any mountain top so beautiful must be visited if given the opportunity. So we set out to go to table mountain and discovered not only could you check out her beautiful views but you could abseil down the super tall mountain while you were at it.

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Although my friend Jen is deathly afraid of heights (yes she is just as scared as you are) she agreed to do it. See something I greatly admire about Jen is that no matter how scared she is, she never lets fear stop her from an adventure. So she agreed to slowly climb down a mountain by what we hope were state of the art ropes and harnesses.

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Table mountain

When going to table mountain if you are not going to hike then make sure and purchase tickets in advance online for the cable car. You can skip a line of 3 hours just by having the tickets on your phone.

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Abseiling

The Abseiling team from Abseil Africa was already at the top of the mountain when we arrived and it appears they are there most weekends. It is best to schedule an appointment ahead of time but look for them just in case you decide you want to take a stab at danger once you get to the top. The Abseil Africa team is very professional and helps you feel entirely comfortable during your abseil experience.

First while climbing down you have to climb backwards which is not the best feeling. You have to learn to trust that the rope holding you is not going to let you fall to your death. After that it is a matter of learning to have some fun by trying some jumps while you climb down.

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Abseiling 2 (1 of 1)table mountain4 (1 of 1)-4Overall I absolutely loved the feeling of abseiling the mountain and getting to see the Table Mountain view from a different perspective. Just a tip if you decide to go abseiling, you do have to hike back up! It’s about a 20 minute hike and there are some beautiful views. If there is a way to bring your camera, do it!! Also don’t forget to tip the Abseil Team!

The Kex Hostel

The Kex Hostel

As I have mentioned over and over, I LOVED my short time in Iceland. Well, part of the reason it was so enjoyable is which Reykjavik Hostel we chose to lodge at. I love a good deal which means I don’t mind staying in a hostel or an Airbnb rental. In Iceland, we chose the Kex Hostel which just happened to be an Old biscuit factory (How cool is that?)

To find the Kex Hostel I started at hostelworld.com to check out reviews. It was a decent price and we had a group going which meant we would only have one person in our room who we didn’t know. Not too bad for a hostel.

The best hostel in Reykjavik Iceland to stay at as a backpacker

Kex Hostel

When you arrive it is along the waterfront with a breathtaking mountain view. Now to get to Reykjavik the best thing, if you are not renting a car (which I highly recommend), is to take the Flybus. For around $20 you can get to your hotel/hostel in Reykjavik on a very comfortable bus. It takes you directly to the hostel which is barely noticeable only by a small door right next to a Dominoes frequented by drunk hostel goers.

The Best hostel to stay at in Reykjavik Iceland during the wintertime

Upon entering the hostel you immediately notice all the funky decor. The Kex Hostel is an Old Biscuit Factory full of life and history which shows through in the cement walls and industrial beams. The walls are filled with maps of places you want to go then surrounded by books of places people have been. Check out the gym or get a haircut in an old style barber shop.The Best hostel in Reykjavik Iceland, a fabulous hostel on a backpackers budget

The Living Area

The rooms are nice with bunk beds that each have an electrical plugin, which I believe to be completely necessary. The beds are not the most comfy I have ever slept in however for a hostel not bad at all. There are lockers which can be nice if you do not know who is going to be in your room. The great thing is the room operates off of a key card lock which keeps anyone out of your room who doesn’t belong.

The Best hostel in Reykjavik Iceland, a fabulous hostel on a backpackers budget

The bathrooms are available on each floor with several single room showers or toilets. If you shower in the early morning or evening time then the water pressure and temperature are perfect. However in rush times you will definitely feel like you are at summer camp once again. Tip: If the shower you are using doesn’t have good water pressure, try again. We found that there were certain rooms that had better shower heads.

The Kex Hostel had a kitchen on each floor with plenty of room for several people to cook. It was also a great spot to hang out at later in the evening if the common area was overtaken by the drinking crowd.

In the common room on the main floor, you will find many picnic style tables to hang out at with fun board games and cards available to play. If you are alone it’s a great place to sit by the window and gaze at the snowy ocean and mountain view or to curl up and read a book. The common room was everything I wanted in a hostel area.

The Best hostel in Reykjavik Iceland, a fabulous hostel on a backpackers budget

Kex Restaurant

The Kex Hostel restaurant was my favorite part of the hostel. They had amazing local draft beer with perfect appetizers to pair with your Ale. My favorite appetizer was the Bacon covered dates and the sweet potato french fries. They held us over perfectly while we waited for the rest of our group to be ready for dinner most nights. They also have amazing burgers. My favorite was the freedom burger. However, make sure to ask them to cook it well done unless you like the inside of your burger still mooing.

The Best hostel in Reykjavik Iceland, a fabulous hostel on a backpackers budget

The Kex Hostel is a destination spot for the city of Reykjavik. There were certain nights when they had live music and people were pouring in. It was a very fun atmosphere but extremely busy. I would highly recommend the Hostel to anyone visiting Reykjavik.The Kex Hostel: The Best hostel in Reykjavik Iceland, a fabulous hostel on a backpackers budget

Big shout out to all of my friends in our big travel group who let me use their pictures! Thanks to Jen Yeung my travel soulmate, Brian Merrion a fun guy who roots for the wrong Oklahoma team, and Ben Rodgers a super talented Industrial designer whose work can be viewed here.

Also feel free to check out my often travel buddy Jen’s Blog. She’s great at telling our stories, as is, with all the funny and quirky details.

Where to stay in Iceland on a budget

Where to stay in Reykjavik, Iceland on a budget.
Where to stay in Reykjavik Iceland on a budget
Where to stay in Reykjavik Iceland on a budget

Where to stay in Reykjavik Iceland on a budget. Kex Hostel Review.

The Kex

As I have mentioned over and over, I LOVED my short time in Iceland. Well, part of the reason it was so enjoyable is which Reykjavik Hostel we chose to lodge at. I love a good deal which means I don't mind staying in a hostel or an Airbnb rental. In Iceland, we chose the [...]

Skúlagata 28
101 reykjavik

» get directions on Google Maps
11 Icelandic Winter Activities

11 Icelandic Winter Activities

Iceland still holds my fondest travel memories to date. It was a beautiful winter wonderland full of adventure, delicious food, and beer.  I loved every second of it and I highly recommend that you visit there yourself no matter what time of year. I have picked my favorite things to do and put them below. With so many epic things to do how can you go wrong?

EAT

Iceland had so many new delicious foods to try I didn’t have time for all of it. We did try a few new things including whale ( I know it’s controversial) and even puffin.  They had quite a selection of food from Korean to American so you can’t go wrong. If you’re looking for a good place to eat, the Kex Hostel was absolutely amazing. They had delicious hamburgers and amazing appetizers, if you go you must try the bacon wrapped dates and for me try the reindeer bites. They were completely out of reindeer bites when we were there and I’m still upset about it!!

Things to do in Iceland during wintertime

Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur

Things to do during wintertime in Iceland

In 2004 former President Bill Clinton visited one little hot dog stand and it has been a popular staple in Reykjavik ever since. Make sure you try a lamb dog the way they come which is perfect after a long night of drinking.

Go on a road trip

Our time was short on the road and I wish we had made more time for exploring. What time we did have we were able to see so much beautiful landscape it left me longing for more:

Things to do in Iceland during the wintertime

Image by © Jenventures.com

    GulfossIceland during wintertime

The Gullfoss waterfall is definitely a must see. I insist you make time for this. It was oh so cold, with a strong wind blowing icy water and snow in our faces. Despite the cold, we stayed just to be in awe of the beauty surrounding us. If you find yourself there in the summer make sure and send me a pic 🙂

   Geyser Hot Springs

Ok so my opinion on this might be less favorable however as cool as I thought the geysers were…don’t go out of your way to see them. It is definitely a fun sight to see but it’s not as crazy beautiful as the other sights we could have made our way towards instead.

Go on a Hike

Things to do during the wintertime in Iceland

Image ©Brian Merrion

Since our road trip was only a day long, we did not get to go on a hike. A few friends in our group opted to go the next day while we went snorkeling and I was insanely jealous. They not only saw a beautiful waterfall but also got to climb around the edges of the fall, their pictures were breathtaking!

 Hallgrimskirkja’s City view

Things to do in wintertime in Iceland

Image by © Jenventures.com

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city is to get a sky view. Luckily there is a perfect viewpoint from the Hallgrimskirkja Lutheran Church.  The Church is beautiful and for a few dollars, you can take an elevator to the top of the Church which allows you to see all of Reykjavik. It’s a must do in my opinion.

Things to do in Iceland in March

Walk around the City

Things to do in wintertime in Iceland

Reykjavik is a smaller city with a funky vibe. Make time to stroll through the city and see all the graffiti artwork on the buildings. They had a few fun bookshops and tons of breakfast cafes. My favorite place was a fun little cafe tucked away called Grai Kotturin. Make sure and Order the cafe au lait, you won’t regret it.

Things to do in Iceland

 

Play in the snow

Things to do in Iceland

If you don’t have at least one snowball fight and make one snow angel I am going to be sorely disappointed in you! Release your inner child and relish in the winter wonderland surrounding you. My favorite memory is our group running out to the shore and playing in the snow. It was innocent and magical. Don’t deny yourself this simple pleasure.

The Icelandic Phallological Museum aka The Penis Museum

Things to do in Iceland

My friend Jen has a knack for finding the goofiest things for us to do. This time she managed to find a national museum for penises. It is fairly small but you will find tons of different penises preserved for you to see. Watch out for the Olympic team who had their you know whats preserved in gold.

Dog Sledding

Things to do in Iceland

Dog sledding in Iceland was such a pure and beautiful moment I will be sure to hold it in my heart for years. The dogs live to pull and love to sled so watching them is pure bliss. If you are lucky you might just get a show from mother nature. Read here for more of my Dog Sledding Adventure.

The Waterfront

Things to do in Iceland

The Kex hostel where we lodged was right by the waterfront so were able to check out the mountains and beautiful waterfront daily. Something about the icy air and still snowy mountains was so peaceful.

Have you been to Iceland? What was your favorite activity?

Chasing The Wild Goose

Chasing The Wild Goose
Top Things to do In Iceland - Chasing The Wild Goose
5 Amazing Hikes an hour from Seattle

5 Amazing Hikes an hour from Seattle

My favorite thing about living in Seattle is how close we are to a variety of breathtaking hikes only an hour or so away. In the 3 years of living here I have been on countless hikes and these so far are my absolute favorites only 1-2 hours from the city.

My favorite hike of all time which happens to also be a crowd favorite is….

RattleSnake Ledge

Only 45 minutes away, exit 32 off highway 90, Rattle Snake Ledge offers a view that is sure to calm that ever moving mind of yours. The hike is about 2 miles Round trip and although I wouldn’t consider it hard, the last 1/4 mile can be a bit challenging. So Brace yourself and expected to be wowed.

Rattlesnake Ledge

 

Cedar Butte

Cedar Butte is in the Iron Horst State park parking lot right next to Rattlesnake Lake. Once parked head down the main dirt road and follow it until you see a tiny trail and sign for “Cedar Butte”. This trail is much less crowded than you will find at RattleSnake but the view is still incredible. Great hike to take dogs on and is a quick 3.5 miles round trip.

 

Cedar Butte

One more hike along I-90 that is worth your time and effort…

Twin Falls

Twin Falls is also a very popular hike but for good reason. Take exit 32 or 38 and you can access Twin Falls. The hike is not particularly a hard one with 3.5 mile round trip and it is pet friendly. This just might be my new go to hike to bring visitors to instead of rattlesnake 🙂

 

Twin FallsTwin Falls

 

Now heading off towards Highway 2, Northeast of Seattle

Bridal Veil Falls

 

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls is an epic waterfall with amazing mountain views that you definitely will not want to miss. The first 1.5 miles is a breeze however beware of the last half mile which can prove to be a little challenging. If you have kids or a small pup you might be carrying them part of the way. Once you get to the top all those worries just disappear….

Wallace Falls

Wallace Falls which is also off of Highway 2 is another Waterfall hike that makes the tough climb worth the trouble. Wallace Falls is the most tough hike out of all of these but still is doable by my fitness levels. It is a great hike for kids and dogs as it is well maintained. I suggest going all the way to the top but if you can’t make it to the third waterfall you still have beautiful views on the 1st and 2nd waterfall stop.

Wallace Falls