Series: Planning for 36 Hours in Seattle, Washington 

Planner’s Travel Series 

About the series: Welcome to our ongoing travel series. These are all posts written by planning students and professionals about what to do in a given city when looking for Brunch, a Brew, or a good idea on a Budget. To cap it all off, we include a fun planning fact!  

By Nik Reasor

About the visit:

I first visited Seattle in my undergraduate years when I was invited to box for UNC at the Washington Athletic Conference’s annual fight named “The Main Event” in 2020. I finally returned three years later after being invited to the same event as an assistant coach for UNC. I had always wanted to come back and truly explore what Seattle had to offer. After a weekend of wandering around, these were some of my favorite experiences and places in the perpetually rainy Emerald City:


An E.L.T. Bagel from Bagel Bop in Pike’s Place.  

My favorite place to grab breakfast is in Pikes Place at a stall called Bagel Bop. It’s a very small location along the main entrance and can be easy to miss in the hustle and bustle. I recommend the E.L.T., Egg, Lox, and Tomato sandwich, but honestly, everything here is phenomenal. The lox is amazing, the vegetables are stunningly fresh, and the bagels are some of the best I’ve ever had!


The Starbucks Roastery on Pike Steet.    

As far as coffee is concerned, Seattle is a must-visit city. Of course, one of the quintessential visits is the Starbucks Roastery, where they showcase some of the best coffee the multi-national company has to offer, as well as an in-depth look into how coffee is their unique blends are roasted and prepared. The décor is wonderful, the ambiance is unique, and the sights and smells are phenomenal. I heavily recommend the dark chocolate mocha with oat milk, which perfectly cut through the cold drizzle that the city is known for.


Pikes Place Market: One of the oldest continually running markets in the country at 116 years old!

Pikes Place is famous worldwide for a reason, and its incredibly easily to spend an entire morning or afternoon wandering it. You’ll find everything and anything you could ever want within the numerous shops that line the crowded space, from some of the freshest fruit you’ve ever seen to the best salmon you’ll ever have. You can even snag some free samples if the sellers are in a good mood! The lower levels have some cheap bits if you do get hungry, and it’s the perfect place to take a moment and watch the ferries move in and out of Elliot Bay and plan out the rest of the day!

Fun Planning Fact 

Seattle’s Urban Growth Secrets.   

One of the earliest trends you learn in planning school is the general decline of downtown areas in recent decades. Seattle bucks this trend completely through the creation of the Urban Village Strategy, which was implemented in the 1990s to curb sprawl on the city’s borders and direct new growth into its downtown. This was a massive success, and Seattle is now one of the only major metropolitan cities in the US that has had a consistently growing downtown area. However, much work needs to be done to revitalize these areas and ensure their success, as well as open them up for issues such as affordable housing!

Featured Image: The Starbucks Roastery on Pike Steet.  Photo Credit:  Nik Reasor.

Nik Reasor is a first-year Master’s student in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Chapel Hill where he specializes in Land Use and Environmental Policy. In particular, Nik is interested in climate change adaptation and how to best help disadvantaged communities survive the challenges the future presents. Previously, Nik earned his BA in Sociocultural Anthropology, Medieval studies, and Urban Planning at UNC. You can usually catch him around Chapel Hill biking to local cafes to catch up on work or at the gym coaching UNC’s boxing team.