Greenlake Guest House

7630 E. Green Lake Drive N., Seattle, Washington 98103
Innkeeper(s): Blayne and Julie McAferty

What to Do in Seattle-A Perfect 3-Day Itinerary from Greenlake Guest House 24 Jan 2023, 12:27 am

Guests visiting Seattle often ask us for recommendations for what to do. The tough part is narrowing down the list to something reasonable whether you are staying one day or a week! Here is our favorite 3-day itinerary from Greenlake Guest House in spring and summer, updated for 2023.

buckets of tulips
Fresh Flowers at Pike Place Market
Day 1: Downtown Seattle and Waterfront and Greenlake Neighborhood

After a scrumptious breakfast at Greenlake Guest House, visit the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. Stroll through merchant stalls with local food, crafts, and beautiful and inexpensive flower bouquets. Visit the site of the original Starbucks, opened in 1971, or beautiful Storyville Coffee. The Market is the most famous attraction in Seattle, so visit right after breakfast and beat the crowds! There is a large parking lot below the market, or you can easily take public transportation or a ride share like Uber or Lyft. Read our recommendations for getting around Seattle here.

From the market, it’s an easy walk (downhill) to the waterfront. Our top recommendation on the waterfront is the 2-hour Argosy Cruise of Locks . This cruise is a fun way to explore the city on the water. The narrated route motors from the downtown waterfront of Elliot Bay and on through the historic Ballard Locks into Lake Union. See the famous Alaska fishing boats featured on “The Deadliest Catch” and the Lake Union Houseboats as featured in “Sleepless in Seattle.” Snacks and drinks are available for purchase on the cruise, which has both inside and outside seating.

Take a spin on the iconic Seattle Great Wheel  for beautiful views of the waterfront and Seattle skyline in your own private cabin high in the sky.

Return to the Greenlake neighborhood for an easy walk to a casual seafood dinner at Duke’s Chowder House or enjoy seasonal, European-inspired dishes at Nell’s, the fine dining restaurant in the neighborhood. Other excellent walkable options include Noi Thai Cuisine for a locally owned, upscale Thai experience, or our favorite, family-owned Mexican restaurant, Rosita’s. See our website for more details.

If you haven’t done it yet, walk the entire loop around Greenlake Park, just across the street, in about an hour. In summertime, it will be light until 9 or 10pm.

Exotic plants grow in the atrium below the space needle
Space Needle from Chihuly Garden & Glass
Day 2: Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, and Ballard Neighborhoods

After another hearty breakfast at Greenlake Guest House, head to Chihuly Garden & Glass (Queen Anne/Seattle Center). This top-rated, unique exhibit located at the base of the Space Needle features stunning glass installations by famous glass blower (and Seattle local) Dale Chihuly. Be sure to visit the outdoor garden as well as the interior.

After you are finished with the Chihuly Garden & Glass, walk next door to the iconic Space Needle, which was built in 1962 as a symbol of the Seattle World’s Fair. Enjoy 360-degree views of Seattle and the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mt. Rainier, and Puget Sound. The 2018 “Spacelift” renovation added multi-level floor to glass viewing windows and a revolving glass floor for an even more spectacular experience. In 2020, the Space Needle completed another $1 million in coronavirus-oriented safety upgrades. Soak up the sunset sights and city lights while enjoying appetizers and drinks in the Loupe Lounge

If you have time, treat yourself to a unique coffee drink at the luxurious Starbucks Reserve Roastery, located just east of downtown. Taste high end coffee that you can’t find at a regular Starbucks and watch the beans get roasted. The gift shop is great too.

In the evening, we’d recommend a trip to the Ballard Locks, also called the Hiram Chittenden Locks . They are a 10-minute drive from Greenlake Guest House and are open until dusk. Watch the boats passing through between the salt water of Puget Sound and the fresh water of the cut to Lake Union. Be sure to go below to the fish ladder viewing window to watch the salmon swimming upstream. Stop and smell the roses at the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden onsite.

From the locks, walk or drive just a few blocks to get to lively Ballard Avenue, home of dozens of locally owned restaurants and bars. Ballard is a foodie’s dream! Stroll along the cobblestone streets for window shopping and people watching. Try a new board game at Café Mox. Most Ballard restaurants offer both indoor and outdoor patio and sidewalk dining. Some of our favorite restaurants in Ballard include Staple & Fancy, Walrus & the Carpenter, and Stoneburner. Cap off the evening with something sweet at any of these spectacular options: Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, Pie Bar, or Salt & Straw Ice Cream. Read our blog on the Ballard neighborhood for more details on what to see and do.

Airplane gallery
Boeing Future of Flight Gallery
Seattle skyline from Lake Union
Lake Union and Seattle Skyline
Day 3: Airplanes and Dinner with a View

Enjoy your cooked to order breakfast at Greenlake Guest House, then make a trip to visit airplanes. After all, one of Seattle’s nicknames is “Jet City.” You can either head north or south. The Future of Flight Boeing Assembly Plant is a30 minutes’ drive north in Everett/Mukilteo. Although the factory tour is temporarily closed, guests can see the airplane gallery, enjoy movies about the plant, and view the exterior of the plant and the flight deck. As a current Boeing engineer, Innkeeper Blayne will be happy to share lots of background about the various planes built in Everett if you catch him on the weekend helping to serve breakfast.  South Seattle offers the Museum of Flight, a huge world class museum dedicated to all types of aviation and space. Many of the docents and museum volunteers are former Boeing Employees and offer a wealth of information.

If you are up north at Boeing, have lunch on the nearby Mukilteo waterfront at the Diamond Knot Brewery & Alehouse This restaurant is of Blayne’s favorite spots for gathering after work with other Boeing engineers. They have good food and beer, Puget Sound views, and a casual atmosphere. You can toss your peanut shells right on the floor. After lunch, take a walk along the Mukilteo waterfront after lunch or come back to beautiful Greenlake Park.

On your way back home, you might enjoy strolling through one of Seattle’s beautiful parks or gardens such as the Arboretum’s manicured Japanese Garden. See our recent Garden post for suggestions.

On your last evening, plan a special dinner with a beautiful view at one of our favorite Seattle view restaurants. Our top picks for a memorable dinner include Canlis, Ray’s Boathouse, Westward, or Palisade. We’ll be happy to make you a reservation.

Mountain with lake in front
Mt. Rainier National Park
Have More Time?

If you have more time, add a spectacular day trip on Day 4. Guest favorites include Mt Rainier, the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, Deception Pass on Whidbey Island, and the Woodinville Wineries. You can easily spend a week here!  See details on our favorite day trips on our website under “things to do.”

Know Before You Go:

Museums, outdoor sporting events, and attractions are fully open in Seattle. Many attractions require advance tickets or reservations and some may still request masks or proof of vaccination. Hours of operation change may change seasonally so call ahead or check online.



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Best Seattle Area Gardens for Viewing Spring Color 19 Jan 2023, 5:16 pm

In our opinion, a visit to Seattle is not complete without a visit to a lovely garden. Spring is one of the prettiest times to visit Seattle. There is nearly always something in bloom. Seattle springtime begins quite early with flowering camellias and hellebores in February, daffodils and cherry blossoms in March, and tulips in April. Other springtime flowers that thrive here include azaleas, rhododendrons, and lilacs.

Our guests frequently tell us how surprised they are at the beauty they see when simply walking around our Greenlake neighborhood. Truth be told, it’s quite easy to have a beautiful garden in Seattle because our mild climate along with plenty of rain and good soil allow us to grow a variety of flowers, trees, fruits, and vegetables without a lot of fuss. Here are some of our top garden picks for seeing spring color within the city limits or a short drive away, updated for 2023.

University of Washington Cherry Blossoms


Univeristy of Washington

The University of Washington’s cherry blossoms offer a spectacular show of beautiful pink blossoms every spring. The best spot to view them is in the historic Quad on the north side of the campus. Thirty cherry trees were originally planted in the arboretum in 1939 and then transplanted to campus in the 1960’s. They line the walkways next to the four beautiful pink Gothic liberal arts buildings. Every spring, tourists, alumni, and photographers swarm the campus to snap a photo or picnic under the pink canopy of blossoms. You can even register for the Cherry Blossom Run (5K or half marathon) in March. Note: parking can be tight on campus. It’s easy to take the #45 bus almost door to door from Greenlake Guest House to the University of Washington.


Washington Park Arboretum

The Washington Park Arboretum is located on the shores of Lake Washington near the University of Washington. Azalea Way, a ¾ mile long walk, features azaleas, flowering cherries, and dogwoods set against tall evergreens. It is perhaps the most famous feature of the park. Rhododendron Glen, another part of the arboretum, is especially beautiful in late spring when the sizeable collection of rhododendrons of all colors and sizes burst into showy color. Washington Park Arboretum is open every day from dawn to dusk and is free of charge.


Seattle Japanese Garden

This beautiful and historic 3.5-acre gem is located on the south end of Washington Park Arboretum. Spring brings a burst of color in the form of cherry blossoms, azaleas, and rhododendrons in a lovingly manicured garden. The winding paths and bridges are serene and restful. There is a small admission charge. The garden closes for maintenance each December and re-opens in March.


Dunn Gardens

Dunn Gardens is a historic treasure located in northwest Seattle since 1915. It is the only residential garden designed by the esteemed Olmstead Brothers that is open to the public in Washington State. In springtime, the large rhododendrons and woodland shrubs are especially lovely. Dunn Gardens is open for self-guided or docent-led tours for a small fee (reservations required). Closed Sundays.


Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden

This 7-acre English estate style garden is located on the grounds of the Hiram Chittenden Locks in the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle. The rhododendrons and flowering trees are very pretty in the spring. Plus, it’s also fun to see the boats navigating the locks while you visit. We like to bring a blanket or chairs and a picnic lunch here to watch the boats go by from the pretty terraces along the locks. This garden is open from dawn until dusk year-round at no charge.


Bellevue Botanical Garden

The 53-acre Bellevue Botanical Garden has beautiful formal gardens as well as more natural wetlands and a woodland area. The garden offers a living demonstration of many of the flowers and shrubs that thrive in the Pacific Northwest garden. During springtime, the Yao Japanese Garden’s many azaleas and rhododendrons are in bloom. The Rhododendron Glen also has over 50 different rhododendrons that are in bloom through spring and early summer. The Iris Rain Garden typically begins blooming in April. Finally, the Perennial Garden offers a variety of spring-blooming bulbs and other perennials. The Bellevue Botanical Garden is an approximately 20-minute drive from Greenlake Guest House. Admission is free and it is open daily from dawn to dusk.

Bloedel Reserve
Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island

The historic, 150-acre Bloedel Reserve forest garden is only a 30-minute ferry ride away from downtown Seattle. The estate and gardens are extremely peaceful and it’s one of our personal favorites. The Japanese Garden is considered one of the best in North America. The Moss Garden, common in gardens in Japan, was created in 1982 and is a rare feature in public gardens in the United States. We think it’s also interesting to walk through the historic home. The Bloedel Reserve is open Tuesday-Sundays. Tickets are timed to avoid crowding and reservations are required at this time. Admission is $20 for adults and $15 for seniors.

man and woman embracing in field of tulips
Innkeepers in the Skagit Valley tulip fields


Daffodil and Tulip Festivals in the Skagit Valley

The Skagit Valley, north of Seattle, is one of the most photogenic regions around. It is especially irrisistable when the fields of daffodils and tulips are in bloom against the backdrop of majestic Mt. Baker. The look of those rustic old barns in the fields also make me want to pick up my camera. The Skagit Valley grows and ships thousands of spring bulbs all around the world.

The La Conner Daffodil festival happens during the entire month of March, and the bigger, Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, runs from April 1-30. Both festivals are designed as driving tours. Bloom maps are available online. Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde are two gorgeous display gardens that grow and sell bulbs. Be aware that the Tulip Festival can get very crowded. If visiting, we recommend avoiding going on the weekend. Skagit Valley is a little over an hour away by car from Greenlake Guest House.


Green Lake Park

We hope you have an opportunity to see some of our beautiful Seattle area gardens. Our own beloved Green Lake Park, right across the street, also has a lush display of flowering cherry and plum trees and hundreds of beautiful daffodils blooming each spring.

Cherry Blossoms on tree in a park
Greenlake Park Springtime Cherry Blossoms

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What to Do in Seattle During the Fall & Winter Holiday Season 31 Oct 2022, 9:46 pm

October 31, 2022

The weather may be wet and the days may be shorter during the winter, but that won’t stop Seattleites from having fun. With a good rain jacket or an umbrella, you can enjoy activities inside and out. Skip the crowds and save some money by traveling in the off season. Here are our top recommendations on what to do in Seattle during the fall and winter holiday season.

trees with golden leaves with blue sky and blue lake in background
Fall at Greenlake

View Fall Color

Get outside! Some of the best spots in Seattle to see stunning fall color are right in the neighborhood. Green Lake Park, right across the street, is always considered to be a top pick. Stroll the 2.8-mile perimeter of the lake in late September until early December for an ever-changing show of color. Other great spots for walking through the foliage in north Seattle include the Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle Japanese Garden, Fremont Canal Park, and the University of Washington campus.

Embrace Seattle’s Lively Theater and Music Scene:

We are fortunate to have so many local options for good theater and music. Seattle is home to the Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Seattle Symphony.  From neighborhood theaters like Taproot and Seattle Public Theater, to large downtown venues like ACT Theatre, the 5th Avenue, the Paramount, and McCaw Hall there is something for everyone. Some popular music venues include the Neptune, Moore Theater, the Triple Door, Jazz Alley, and Benaroya Hall. For the biggest names, check the schedule at our brand-new Climate Pledge Arena.

During the holidays, Seattle Public Theater, located on the shores of Green Lake in the historic Bathhouse Theater, puts on two Christmas shows each year: A Very Die-Hard Christmas, and the film-noire-inspired Christmastown. Other popular Seattle holiday cultural traditions include the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker and ACT Theatre’s A Christmas Carol.

Attend a Professional Football or Hockey Game

The Seattle Seahawks Football team plays at Lumen Field, just a few blocks south of downtown. Seattle fans (aka the 12’s) are enthusiastic and noisy. Seattle’s newest professional sports team is the Kraken men’s hockey team. The Kraken play at Climate Pledge Arena from October through early April. If you can’t get to a hockey game, consider attending a free practice session at their official training facility at nearby Northgate Station, just a few minutes from our B&B.

Visit a Top-Rated Museum

Seattle is home to dozens of museums of all sizes. It’s hard to choose just one or two!  Our very top recommendations include the vast and fascinating Museum of Flight, and the stunningly beautiful Chihuly Garden & Glass. Other great contenders include the Wing Luke Museum and the Museum of History and Industry.

Holiday Lights and Festivals:

Seattle’s light festivals help brighten up the nights and many are low cost or free. Here are some of our favorites.

walkway lined with luminaria by a lake
Greenlake Pathway of Lights
Pathway of Lights at Green Lake

December 10, 4:30 – 7:30 PM

This annual event on the second Saturday in December lights up the 2.8-mile path around Green Lake with luminaries. Local musicians add to the ambiance with seasonal tunes at four points around the lake. Visitors can sip hot chocolate or cider as they take in the view. Greenlake Pathway of Lights is free, but non-perishable food donations are suggested.

WildLanterns at the Zoo

November 11 – January 22 (Closed on Mondays and on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day)

The Woodland Park Zoo never fails to come up with creative events that locals and visitors alike come to enjoy. WildLanterns is an outdoor immersive experience with enormous animal lanterns and scenes from all around the globe. Food and beverages are available for sale.

Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel

November 22 – January 1

In this special annual event, local architecture firms and the hotel’s culinary team join together to create gingerbread masterpieces that can be viewed in the lobby 24 hours a day. The designers get a new theme every year. Visitors get the chance to vote for their favorite display. The event is free, but suggested donations go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Northwest Chapter.

Seattle Christmas Ship Festival

November 25-December 23

This unique ship to shore holiday celebration has been a Seattle tradition since 1949. The Christmas Ship is decorated with hundreds of lights and sails to 40 Puget Sound waterfront communities. Choirs perform to guests on board as well as to the boat parade and to communities gathered around bonfires on shore. See website to get tickets to ride on the ship and to see a schedule of stops.

Space Needle fireworks
New Year’s at the Needle
T-Mobile New Year’s at the Needle

Celebrate the arrival of the new year with fireworks show at the top of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle. Last year, guests were encouraged to avoid crowds and disburse to smaller viewing locations around the area or watch the event live on television.  It’s been the biggest New Year’s Eve celebration on the west coast for 9 years.

Enjoy Relaxing Here

Last, guests are always welcome to relax and enjoy the cozy ambiance here inside the inn. Pick a movie from our extensive collection or sit by the cozy fire with a good book. Sip our complimentary wine and hot beverages and eat the snacks and homemade cookies. During the month of December, we’ll continue our annual tradition of baking 25 Days of Christmas Cookies for our guests.

The post What to Do in Seattle During the Fall & Winter Holiday Season appeared first on Greenlake Guesthouse.

Innkeeper Linsy’s Top 3 Local Hikes 17 May 2022, 9:55 pm

Innkeeper Linsy hiking in the Cascade Mountains

Updated May 18, 2022

Hi there, this is innkeeper Linsy writing for the Greenlake Guest House Blog.

Born and raised in the neighborhoods of the greater Seattle area, I grew up exploring, playing, and getting muddy all around the Pacific Northwest.  There is still plenty I’ve yet to explore, but what I have found is that there is something to offer everyone, no matter the age or physical restrictions. There are lots of great day trips and weekend trips to pull together. On days when I’m really craving a nature fix in my life and don’t have the time to get far out of the city I have three hiking spots where I typically end up. Hopefully you find a little magic in them.

Discovery Park beach at low tide

Discovery Park – Seattle

If you are looking for some of that classic PNW trail, greenery, and views without heading too far out of the city and not too taxing on the body I’d recommend heading over to Discovery Park, about 20-30 minutes from Greenlake Guest House, depending on traffic. This loop trail is 2.8 miles roundtrip, just the same length as Greenlake, but with more hilly trails and waterfront. If you start out at the Visitor Center you can grab a map and start exploring.

You could easily spend up to 3 hours or more wandering around this park and discovering all the gems or you can choose to do a quick loop in a little over an hour. Do check a tide chart before heading out and try to get down to the lighthouse during low tide so you can peruse the beach for shells and crabs and anemones! On the way to the lighthouse, depending which way you start the loop, you’ll find lots of birds, ferns, historic buildings and more.  And even if you get down to the beach in high tide there is lots to play in and discover.

Poo Poo Point – Issaquah

Poo Poo Point is a near and dear hike to me as I’ve spent many years returning to this trail and rediscovering myself. I’d also consider it a ‘backyard’ hike in my books as I went to high school in Issaquah and could pop on over as I pleased in those years. Now the highlight of this hike is timing everything just right to catch the paragliders jumping off the top of the mountain in late Spring and Summer. If I recall, around 12p, 3p, 5p, and 7p were when the crew would jump off but it is all dependent on weather conditions and bookings.

Depending on your experience I’d plan 1-2 hours to hike to the top. I think it is on the more moderate side of hiking difficulty. Of all the trails I’ve done, this one always seems to get my knees a bit cranky on the way back down but I can’t seem to resist the views. So, bring some walking sticks, a good amount of water, and some sunscreen/sunglasses and you’ll be good to go. If you are stopping for some food or sips in town I’d recommend Rogue Issaquah Brewhouse where the locals go, or anything along Front street if you’re fancying a little more variety.

Twin Falls – Cascades

There are a plethora of easy/moderate hikes in the foothills of the Cascades but if you are looking to make it a day of seeing waterfalls I’d recommend hiking Twin Falls in North Bend. I like to start my own hiking season with this one as I’m just starting to get into shape. If I recall this is about a 2 hour hike roundtrip give or take depending on your speediness to get through. It is a heavily used trail so parking may be challenging on the weekend. However, on a week day you should easily get in. A Discovery Pass is required for this hike which you can find at the local Seattle REI, or for purchase at the trailhead entrance to Twin Falls.

This is a great hike to soak in some of that piney Pacific Northwest air, vibrant moss, and lots of falling water. Afterward, you can head into North Bend for a bite and sip or head over to Salish Lodge to rest your legs and see beautiful Snoqualmie Falls. A classic destination point for many locals and tourists, Snoqualmie Falls never fail to impress. The Falls are great on their own, but I enjoy making a day of it by doing a day hike to Twin Falls and grabbing a small bite or beer at the Salish Lodge and Snoqualmie Falls on the way back into town.


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The Best Hikes from Seattle this Spring 24 Apr 2022, 12:54 pm

The Best Hikes from Seattle this Spring

Updated April 24, 2022

Jane out on the trail.
Where to Hike

Lately, we’ve been getting lots of questions from guests about the best places to hike and experience nature near Seattle. The Cascade Mountains and foothills are very accessible from Seattle and offer lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation. In the spring, many of the higher elevations still have snow on the trails. So, we consulted with assistant innkeeper Jane on the question of the best places to take a hike this spring.  Jane is a lifelong Washingtonian and experienced hiker. She is typically out hiking the Cascades about once a week. Here are Jane’s top recommendations right now for trails that are fun, close to Seattle, and clear of snow. All of them should have some pretty wildflowers emerging during April and May. Trillium, a small white flower native to the area, is especially prevalent.

Man hiking on trail in woods, Little Si
Blayne hiking through the woods on Little Si
Little Si (3.7 miles, roundtrip)

This hike offers a good workout, especially at the end. Walk through old growth forest and then get a view from the top of the valley around North Bend. A Discover Pass required to park.

Teneriffe Falls (5.6 miles, roundtrip)

The falls here are simply beautiful. It’s a great hike on a rainy day as the falls are pretty in any weather. A Discover Pass is required to park.

Twin Falls (2.6 miles, roundtrip)

This hike is just 31 miles from Seattle so it’s a nice quick drive to get there. The falls are pretty and the hike is not long. It interacts with the John Wayne trail so you can also walk along that for a while.

white flower trillium
Trillium is native to Western WA and blooms in spring.
Cougar Mountain (many hikes)

Cougar Mountain was a busy coal mining site from the mid-1800’s to mid-1900’s. This close-in area near Issaquah has over 38 miles of easy hikes and has good signage. Shy Bear Loop is a favorite hike. Coal Creek Falls is another easy, family-friendly trail. No pass or entry fee is required.

Wallace Falls (5.6 miles, roundtrip)

Unlike the previous hikes along Snoqualmie Pass (I-90), this hike starts further north, near Stevens Pass (Highway 2). The hike to Wallace Falls is a good uphill climb workout. This hike is quite popular and there is lots to see along the way to the nine dazzling falls. There are options for other side hikes along the way. A Discover Pass is required (available at a dispenser in the parking lot).

girl holding firewood in the woods
Linsy out in the Cascades
Get More Details

We recommend checking the Washington Trails Association website to get directions and up to date information about all of the trails and current conditions. Many trails require a Discover Pass to park, which is available online and at more than 600 retail locations and state parks. A day pass is $11.50 (per car) and an annual pass is $35.00. Be aware that the weather can change quickly in the spring, so be prepared with a raincoat and extra dry socks and carry the 10 safety essentials for day hikes with you.

Need more ideas? We’ll be happy to share suggestions for urban walks and hikes within the city, local gardens, and memorable day trips from Greenlake Guest House. We also have a number of Seattle guidebooks, a day pack, and even a small cooler available for you to borrow for adventuring during your stay.

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Exploring the Funky Fremont Neighborhood 20 Feb 2022, 2:05 pm

Hello, Innkeeper Linsy here to share some of my favorite quirky things about the Fremont neighborhood, located just a 15-minute drive from Greenlake Guest House. This quaint part of town has a variety to offer if you are looking for some off the beaten path activities. Spend a few hours to enjoy the sights, shopping, and food.

Gas Works Park

Fremont Attractions

Interspersed through the area you will find a few off-the-wall sight-seeing places. Gas Works Park is located on the north side of Lake Union. You will love the great views of the Seattle skyline (including the Space Needle) on the site of a former coal gasification plant. There is a small parking lot which can get busy on a weekend afternoon, but within the park you’ll find an homage to the industrial past of the city.

Or perhaps you will want to get a photo at the Troll under the Bridge, which has been featured in films and tv shows. The troll is located on North 36th Street and Troll Avenue North, just under the Aurora Bridge. It is a 15-minute walk or a quick drive from either Gas Works Park or the Fremont shops. Look for other unique art in the neighborhood, including the Fremont Rocket and a statue of Vladimir Lenin.

Fremont Canal Park is a scenic spot adjacent to the Burke-Gilman Trail for walking or jogging along the north side of the Ship Canal waterway. This waterway links Lake Washington and Lake Union to the Puget Sound.

Additionally, Theo Chocolate has an hour-long factory tour available where you’ll taste their samples and learn about the organic chocolate making process. This tour is great for any chocolate enthusiast! Space is limited and sells out, so it’s best to purchase these in advance.

Every June, the neighborhood organizes the unique and locally famous Fremont Festival and Solstice Parade.

woman holding wooden bowl and spoon with cocoa nibs
Theo Chocolate Tour


Fremont Shopping

Wandering through the Fremont shops is always an afternoon well spent. Within a 3-4 block radius around North 36th Street and Fremont Avenue, there are quite a few quirky, local stores which feature a variety of goods. I love window shopping with friends or picking up some homemade goods to support local artists. You can find some old vintage finds at the Fremont Vintage Mall on the corner, wander through some homemade clothing stores, and take a look at some kitchen pottery and local funky stationary. Many of these small businesses close around 5, so get a start in the afternoon and grab a drink or dinner in the evening.

Fremont Vintage Mall (lots of eclectic vintage knick-knacks)

Sfingiday (Supports local artists, kitchen ware, art work, jewelry)

Portage Bay Goods (quirky cards, magnets, and goods)

Fremont Sunday Market (year-round, weekly flea market with food trucks)


Eating & Drinking in Fremont

When you finish perusing the shops, there are quite a few relaxed restaurant options. The Red Star Taco Bar is always a treat for some quick, tasty options. This area also has a few other casual spots you’ll find on your walk, so pop up to the door and view the menus. If you are in the mood for a picnic by the waterfront simply stop into PCC Market, a fresh local store with plentiful of to-go options. And for a truly unique Seattle experience, there is a speak-easy style lounge called the Backdoor to grab a cocktail and bites at while you take in the eclectic décor.


Suggested Itinerary

Begin your day at Gasworks Park.

Stop at the Troll Under the Bridge. (Parking can troublesome on a busy sunny afternoon so either plan to park a few blocks away or walk on over.)

Drive over to the Fremont shops and window shop through the stores, or get settled into the area for a chocolate tour.

Grab dinner at a neighborhood restaurant or picnic along the waterfront at Fremont Canal Park.

NOTE: Much of the on-street parking is free but is zoned hourly. Make sure you plan to move your car accordingly within the time limit.

woman with apron smiling in kitchen
Assistant Innkeeper Linsy

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Explore Seattle’s Ballard Neighborhood 16 Jan 2022, 5:38 pm

Sandy beach with sunbathers
Golden Gardens Beach

January 17, 2022

Seattle is known for its distinctive and unique neighborhoods. Although the Greenlake neighborhood is our personal favorite, we always recommend that guests spend some time in Ballard, too, when visiting Seattle. It’s an easy 15-minute drive west of Greenlake Guest House. Ballard is one of Seattle’s oldest, trendiest, and most popular neighborhoods.

Guests love exploring the locally owned shops, restaurants, and bars along historic Ballard Avenue. Just a few blocks from Ballard Avenue, the brewery district is home to about a dozen craft breweries. Outdoor attractions like the Ballard Locks, Shilshole Bay, and Golden Gardens Park are glorious when the weather is nice. Finally, the National Nordic Museum offers a unique perspective on the Scandinavian roots of this Seattle neighborhood. Ballard is definitely worth a visit when you are visiting us in Seattle!

water view with restaurant
Ray’s Boathouse on Shilshole Bay in Ballard

Our Favorite Ballard Restaurants and Bars

Ballard Avenue is jam packed with unique, locally owned restaurants and bars. Seating is available both inside and outside in covered, heated patios along the sidewalk. Some of our favorites include Sawyer (a foodie’s dream with small plates), Gracia (Mexican), Sabine (French Bistro), and Staple & Fancy (try the chef’s tasting menu), and Walrus & the Carpenter (small plates & oysters). A few blocks away, Ray’s Boathouse is also a great choice for local seafood and incredible views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Ray’s has a more formal dining room on the main floor, and a casual café with a deck upstairs. Not sure where to go? It’s also fun to simply wander along Ballard Avenue and look for an available table. You might want to have cocktails or appetizers at one venue, dinner at another, and then finish up with dessert somewhere else. Some of our “sweetest” choices include Hot Cakes (molten lava cakes and boozy shakes), Pie Bar (pie!) or Salt & Straw (homemade ice cream).

Brewery District

With a dozen of breweries within a few blocks in a former warehouse district, this neighborhood is perfect for any craft beer enthusiast. Highlights include Maritime Pacific Brewing Company, Reuben’s Brews, Hale’s Ales, and Peddler Brewing.  The Brewery District also boasts a vibrant Food Truck scene, since many of the breweries don’t have kitchens inside. See map here.

kayaker on the water


Outdoor Attractions

The Ballard Locks (also known as the Hiram Chittenden Locks) were created by the Army Corps of Engineers over 100 years ago to connect Puget Sound with Lake Union. View the salmon in the fish ladder, explore the manicured gardens and grounds, stop at the visitor center, and watch boats of all sizes navigate the locks.

A couple miles north of the Locks, Golden Gardens Park is where locals go to soak up the sun, picnic, swim, and play in the sand. The sunsets are incredible! It’s also fun to walk or bike the paved trail, along the scenic waterfront and marina, between the Ballard Locks and Golden Gardens.

Ballard Kayak is located in the Shilshole Marina and offers kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals and tours during the warmer months. Paddle through the Ballard Locks or view the amazing sea life and scenery on a variety of itineraries.

The Ballard Farmers Market happens year-round on Sundays only from 9-2 along Ballard Avenue. It is one of the largest farmers markets in the state (after Pike Place Market) and features local produce, meat and seafood, crafts, fresh flowers, and baked goods.

road with tents and food stalls at farmers market
Ballard Sunday Farmers Market

National Nordic Museum

The National Nordic Museum shares Nordic culture to people of all ages and has a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits. The museum also has a Scandinavian café and gift shop. It’s fitting that the museum is located in Ballard, which was settled by Nordic fishermen and farmers in the 1800’s. Currently, it is open Wednesday-Sunday.

Getting to Ballard

Downtown Ballard is just under 4 miles from Greenlake Guest House. The easiest way to get to Ballard is via a rental car or ride share. Head west on 85th, 80th, or 65th and it’s a 15-minute drive. By bus, it is an approximately 45-minute ride on the #45 bus, with one transfer required. You can walk to Ballard in about 1 hour 20 minutes (over a big hill). Parking can be tight on Ballard Avenue, especially on the weekends, so you may have to pay for parking or walk a few blocks if you bring your car. All businesses and attractions are fully open at the time of writing with some pandemic mandates in place. See our website for covid updates that may affect our guests.

Marina with sailboats
Shilshole Marina in Ballard

The post Explore Seattle’s Ballard Neighborhood appeared first on Greenlake Guesthouse.

Our Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes for 2021 19 Dec 2021, 10:06 pm

cardboard box with red and green ribbon and fresh greens
Cookie box for guests

At Greenlake Guest House, we started a tradition of baking special, daily Christmas cookies for our guests a few years ago. We call it “25 Days of Christmas Cookies.” We bake cookies that we don’t serve here during the rest of the year, drawing on a variety of sources including friends and family.

This year, we’ve curated our cookie choices a bit more because we’ve been busier with guests than the past couple of years. Our goal was to have enough variety and selection on hand to send a box of cookies home with every guest. Although we’ve made some beautifully frosted cutout cookies and family favorites this year, these are the cookies that we’ve chosen to bake in multiple batches. Our favorite holiday cookie recipes for 2021 are absolutely delicious, not too fussy to prepare, and they make an attractive part of a cookie box or platter. We think you will love them too!

Note: We baked all the cookies with regular, salted butter (Kirkland Signature) because that is what we typically have on hand. The recipes have been adjusted to decrease additional salt. We like to bake with insulated cookie sheets, on parchment paper. These recipes make approximately 4 dozen cookies, except for the Chocolate Chunk & Cranberry Shortbread Cookies, which make about 2 dozen.

4 cookies on a green plate
Rosemary-Pecan Cookies

Rosemary-Pecan Cookies

These cookies have become a new guest and family favorite. Made with our own rosemary from the garden, they are a little less sweet and a bit more sophisticated than some. The original recipe is made with walnuts, but we prefer the taste of the pecans. Decorate them with a couple of fresh rosemary petals before baking to make them extra pretty. (Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens)


2/3 cup butter, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 TBSP. finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp salt

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 c. flour

2/3 c. finely chopped toasted pecans


In a stand mixer, beat butter on medium until light & fluffy. Add the next five ingredients including salt. Beat until well combined. Beat in egg and vanilla, then flour. Chill dough if it’s too sticky to handle.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 2-inch-diameter roll. Coat roll with pecans. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill 1-2 hours in refrigerator or at least 30 minutes in freezer.

Preheat oven to 375F. Use a sharp knife to cut rolls into ¼ inch slices and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet (we like to line the cookie sheet with parchment paper).

Press 2 fresh rosemary petals on top of each cookie. Bake 8-10 minutes until bottoms are light brown.

GLGH Do-Ahead Tip: We typically keep the dough in the freezer, and slice as many cookies as we need from the frozen dough log. Simply thaw the dough slices on the cookie sheet for a few minutes and then decorate and bake.

chocolate biscotti cookies on a serving tray
Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate-Almond Biscotti

These Chocolate Almond Biscotti have a fantastic flavor and we like the fact that they are crunchy but not hard. They are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or a glass of red wine. The biscotti will stay fresh for at least a couple weeks if well wrapped. We like to drizzle them with a little chocolate to make them look fancier. (Adapted from


1 ½ c. sliced almonds, toasted and divided

1 c. butter, softened

2 c. sugar

2/3 c. cocoa

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

3 eggs

1 tsp. almond extract

3 ½ c. flour

½ cup chocolate chips (optional)


Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper and set aside.

Place ¾ cup of toasted almonds in a food processor and pulse until ground.

In a stand mixer, beat butter until fluffy, then add sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, then add eggs and almond extract and beat well. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer, then stir in any remaining flour, ground almonds, and sliced almonds.

On parchment paper, shape dough into two 14-inch-long rolls. Place rolls at least 5 inches apart on cookie sheet and flatten slightly until about 4 inches wide.

Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet for one hour.

Cut each roll into ½ thick slices (cut on a slight diagonal, if desired, to make them longer). Place slices, cut sides down, on ungreased cookie sheets or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Bake about 12 minutes.

Turn slices carefully (they are hot and fragile), and bake another 12-15 minutes until the cookies are dry and begin to crisp (do not overbake). Cool completely.

If desired, make a glaze by carefully microwaving the chocolate chips until melted and smooth (stir every 30 seconds). Put chocolate into a plastic Ziploc bag and cut a small hole in the end. Drizzle tops of the biscotti with the melted chocolate. Let set until firm.

3 chocolate shortbread cookies on a plate
Salted Chocolate Chunk Shorbread with Dried Cranberries

Salted Chocolate & Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

Thank you to our friend Linda Dike of the Guest House for generously sharing this recipe with us. It has become a new favorite. We like the color and flavor combination of the cranberries and chocolate. The optional sea salt garnish really brings out the flavor of the cranberries and chocolate and adds some unexpected sophistication. Use a good quality sea salt for garnishing, if desired. (Adapted from

GLGH Do-Ahead Tip: This cookie dough can be prepped and wrapped ahead of time in log form and stored for a few days in the refrigerator or for up to a month in the freezer before baking. If frozen, allow the dough to defrost for a few hours in the refrigerator before slicing.


10 Tbsp. butter, very soft

½ c. powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed

1 tsp. vanilla

1 ¾ c. flour (do not add too much flour or dough will be too dry)

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1/3 c. dried cranberries, chopped

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp. water (for coating dough log)

¼ sanding sugar or other coarse sugar for rolling

Fine flake sea salt for garnish (optional)


In stand mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Blend until well combined.

Slowly add flour and mix on low speed until incorporated. You may want to add up to 3 tsp. of cold water, a teaspoon at a time, if the dough seems too dry.

Stir the chopped chocolate and dried cranberries into the cookie dough.

Place dough on a large piece of parchment paper. Form the dough into a log 12-inches long and about 1 ½ inches thick. Wrap the dough tightly in the parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Remove the dough from the refrigerator while preparing the egg wash. Whisk together the egg and water. Lightly brush the entire log with the egg wash. Pour the coarse sugar down the middle of a piece of parchment paper. Roll the dough in the sugar to coat, pressing down firmly to adhere. Using a large, thin, sharp knife, slice the log into 24 half-inch rounds. Note: It helps to use a ruler to measure them-simply make a small mark in the dough at half-inch intervals.

Place the cookies about 1-inch apart. Sprinkle tops with sea salt. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, or until they are starting to brown on the bottom and the cookies are set. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container.

small white cookies in glass dish
Mexican Wedding Cakes

Mexican Wedding Cakes

This classic Christmas cookie is Julie’s favorite. Another name for them is Russian Tea Cakes. They look like little festive snowballs and make a nice contrast to the other cookies on the tray. (Adapted from Betty Crocker)

GLGH Do-Ahead Tip: We freeze the dough after shaping them into balls, then bake one or two dozen at a time throughout the season.


½ c. powdered sugar

1 c. butter, softened

2 tsp. vanilla

2 c. flour

1 c. finely chopped pecans

¼ tsp. salt

¾ c. powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 325F. In stand mixer, beat ½ c. powdered sugar, the butter, and vanilla on medium until light and fluffy. On low speed, add flour, pecans, and salt until dough forms.

Shape into 1-inch balls. On parchment lined cookie sheet, place balls 1 inch apart. (Note: dough can be frozen at this point and baked later.)

Bake 13-17 minutes or until set but not brown. (Bake about 2 minutes longer if baking them from frozen.) Cool on wire rack about 5-10 minutes.

Place ¾ c. powdered sugar in small bowl. Roll cookies in powdered sugar. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar again. Place in airtight container.

tray of cookies with chocolate candies and sprinkles

Chocolate Kiss Cookies

These Chocolate Kiss Cookies are decadently rich and the texture is similar to a brownie. Use your prettiest holiday sprinkles for a very festive looking cookie. We usually order a pound or two of sprinkles at a time from Amazon. (Adapted from Sally’s Cookie Addiction.)

  1. flour

1 c. Dutch process or unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/3 c. sugar

2 egg yolks, at room temperature

¼ c. milk

2 tsp. vanilla

1 2/2 c. nonpareil sprinkles

50 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped


Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa. Set aside.

In stand mixer, beat the butter on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat until creamed, abut 2 minutes. Add egg yolks, milk, and vanilla and beat until combined.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined.

Pour the sprinkles into a small bowl. Roll the dough into balls with your hands, using about 1 Tbsp. of dough per cookie (about the size of a large walnut). Roll each ball into the sprinkles to coat. Place the dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies for 9-12 minutes, until set.

Remove the cookies from the oven. Press one chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container for up to a week.

Cookies on tray in oven
Fresh Cookies Baking

This has been a fun season of baking at Greenlake Guest House. We didn’t take as many photos this year, but we certainly gave away a lot of cookies to our guests. We look forward to the rest of the season and doing it all over again in a fresh way in 2022!

The post Our Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes for 2021 appeared first on Greenlake Guesthouse.

Why Stay at Greenlake Guest House This 2021 Holiday Season? 21 Nov 2021, 5:19 pm

Updated November 22, 2021

Why stay at Greenlake Guest House this holiday season? It’s all about the location, the breakfast and amenities, neighborhood restaurants and shopping, festive lights and Christmas cookies, holiday performances and more!


Lakeside Location

Guests love our location right across the street from beloved Greenlake Park. The 2.8-mile pathway around the lake is beautiful for walking and jogging even during winter. We have loaner umbrellas available if needed. With most of the trees bare now, the lake views from our common areas and guest rooms are looking spectacular, especially at sunset. There are restaurants and shops within walking distance, and even a neighborhood, organic wine store.

stockings by the fire at Greenlake Guest House

Private Breakfast & Guest House Amenities

Enjoy a private, cooked to order breakfast at your own table in our spacious common space or have it delivered to your room at no extra charge. We’ve got lots of choices from savory egg dishes to French toast, fresh fruit, and homemade pastries. In the afternoon, sip a glass of our complimentary local wine, homemade cookies and snacks, and savor the beautiful view. Watch a movie from our large DVD collection or read a book in front of your own private fireplace or in your jetted tub. The house will be festive and decorated for the holidays. Want to stay a little longer? Upgrade to our Late Checkout Package and stay until 2pm (subject to availability).

Poached eggs with vegetables and a glass of orange juice

Indoor & Outdoor Dining Experiences & Shopping

Enjoy local dining and have an opportunity to do a little Christmas shopping in a festive atmosphere.  Restaurants and businesses are fully open this holiday season. Many of our local restaurants have created cozy and creative indoor and outdoor dining options that are worth exploring. Duke’s Chowder House, always a guest favorite, has a heated and well lit patio, and is within walking distance. You might also enjoy driving to nearby Ballard Avenue to visit the many small, independently owned shops, restaurants and breweries with twinkling lights and covered, heated outdoor patios. Other popular locations with lots of inside and outside options and local, independent stores include the iconic Pike Place Market neighborhood downtown, and beautiful, upscale University Village. Another unique Seattle experience is top-rated Chihuly Garden & Glass. Experience outdoor dining in the Art Plaza, glassblowing demonstrations, shopping, and stunning gardens. King County restaurants are currently requiring proof of vaccination or a negative covid test to dine inside (not required for outside dining or takeout). We will also be happy to provide extra dishes or silverware for takeout upon request.

holiday lights on trees at Woodland Park Zoo

Christmas Lights

After dinner, you might enjoy visiting the Christmas Lights. Drive to local, adorable Candy Cane Lane during the month of December. Candy Cane Lane has been a free holiday event since the 1940’s and is only a few minutes away. Our neighborhood’s Woodland Park Zoo will be hosting Wild Lanterns  again each evening from November 12 to January 30. Wild Lanterns is an outdoor holiday light festival with over 300 individual lantern pieces depicting zoo animals. Food and drinks are also available for purchase there. Buy tickets online via the Woodland Park Zoo’s website.

Decorated Christmas Sugar Cookies

December Christmas Cookies

During the month of December, Julie and the staff at Greenlake Guest House will once again be baking daily Christmas Cookies for our guests. Many of the cookies are longtime Guest House favorites and Julie’s family recipes. We’ll be sharing occasional photos and recipes on our social media. All guests visiting in December will also receive a package of festive, homemade cookies to take home.

Nutcracker Ballet & Seattle’s Holiday Performances

We are delighted to report that Seattle’s performance venues have re-opened this holiday season. Seattle also has a newly renovated large concert venue, Climate Pledge Arena that hosts regular performances. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will be playing there on November 27. The holidays wouldn’t be the same without Pacific Northwest Ballet’s classic Nutcracker Ballet. This Balanchine version is absolutely gorgeous. Other holiday shows include ACT’s “A Christmas Carol,” and Seattle Symphony’s “Holiday Pops.

Walking distance from the Greenlake Guest House, our neighborhood’s intimate Seattle Public Theater is putting on “Christmastown” and “A Very Die Hard Christmas.” Please note that all area performance groups including Pacific Northwest Ballet require masking and vaccinations or negative COVID-19 testing to ensure a safe and successful return of Seatttle area arts.

Safety First Amenities

Seattle holidays will definitely be special in 2021. We are fully open and will safely and warmly welcome you if you need to travel to Seattle for any reason this winter. We are also noticing more locals wanting a change of scene and we’re happy to provide a getaway for our neighbors too. Our Safety First Amenities help us provide a healthy and welcoming respite to everyone.

Holiday Gift Certificates

Not ready to travel yet? Please consider purchasing a gift certificate for a future stay for yourself or to give as a gift. Purchased gift certificates never expire and are fully transferable. When you are ready to travel, we are ready for you!

The post Why Stay at Greenlake Guest House This 2021 Holiday Season? appeared first on Greenlake Guesthouse.

New Light Rail Expansion Makes Getting Around Seattle Easier 24 Oct 2021, 9:23 pm

Seattle Light Rail is easy to use

Light Rail Expands to the North

We’re happy to report that getting from the airport and downtown to Greenlake Guest House just got easier with the grand opening of the Roosevelt light rail station. The U-District, Roosevelt, and Northgate stations opened on October 2, after nearly 25 years of campaigning and construction. Originally opening in 2009 with a route from the airport to downtown, the Link currently goes from Angle Lake (south of the airport) to Northgate (several miles north of downtown). The Link stops in South Seattle neighborhoods, at the football and baseball stadiums, International District/Chinatown, downtown, Capitol Hill, and 2 stops at the University of Washington. The north end of the line currently ends at Northgate, a major transit center, and home of the new Kraken ice hockey training facility. Eventually, the light rail will run south to Tacoma, north to Everett, West Seattle, and east to Bellevue and Redmond.

map of Seattle light rail
Seattle Light Rail stops October 2021

Why Take the Light Rail?

Instead of being stuck in traffic, now you can relax and read a book or watch a show while you travel to and from neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, downtown, or the airport. The cars are new and clean. It’s safe and environmentally friendlier than driving. Additionally, you can avoid the hassle of finding and paying for parking in congested neighborhoods downtown. It’s easy to use and much less expensive than a car rental, cab or rideshare. Please note that masks are currently required on all public transit.

man standing next to sign in airport
Finding the light rail station from the airport

Directions from the Airport to Greenlake Guest House

The SeaTac/Airport Link Station is located on the fourth floor of the airport parking garage. Take the skybridge to walk a short distance to the station. Then head north and ride for 45 minutes (16 stops) until you reach the Roosevelt Station. Walk 1 minute to Bay 2 and connect to Metro bus route #45 heading northwest to Loyal Heights. Ride 6 minutes and leave the bus at Meridian and E. Green Lake Drive N. Route #45 comes every 15 minutes and stops 3 doors to the right (east) of our B&B. Alternately, you can walk 1.2 miles from the Roosevelt Station in about 25 minutes. The total trip is about 60-75 minutes door to door and costs $3.25 per person. For more suggestions on getting here from the airport, see our website.

How to Pay

You can buy one-way, return, or all-day rail tickets at light rail ticket machines. Ticket machines accept cash and credit cards. Or, you can buy a single ticket on your phone with the Transit GO ticket app. When you are ready to board, activate the ticket and show your screen to the bus driver or to the light rail fare enforcement officer, if asked.

The easiest way to pay is with an ORCA card, which may be purchased for $5 at a light rail ticket machine, online at, by mail, and at some retail locations. Once you have the card, you can add funds. The card can also be used for all area public transportation including the bus, monorail, water taxi, street car, or ferry.

When using an ORCA card to ride the Link light rail, tap the yellow card reader when you get on and again when you get off. If you don’t tap when you get off, you will be charged the highest fare from where you started. On buses, you only need to tap the reader by the driver when you board, and not when you exit. The ORCA card allows you to easily make transfers between trains and buses without having to pay for 2 separate fares. You simply pay for the most expensive leg of the trip, whether it is the train or the bus. We think the system is very user friendly.

For more details on payment, see


About Roosevelt Station

Roosevelt Station was named after Teddy Roosevelt. It’s located 1.2 miles from Greenlake Guest House. You can walk there in 24 minutes, or ride the #45 bus nearly door-to-door in 6 minutes (the bus stops every 15 minutes). If you have a rental car, there is free parking within a couple blocks of the station if you want to drive and park nearby. The neighborhood offers a mix of little restaurants and coffee houses and historic Roosevelt High School.

Should I rent a car when coming to Seattle?

About half our guests rent cars and half do not. Car rentals and in-city parking can be expensive, but they do allow the most flexibility. Parking is free and readily available on our street. If you plan to make day trips outside of the city, then you should definitely rent a car for at least some of your trip.

However, if your stay is short or you don’t plan to travel outside Seattle, it’s easy to use public transportation via the light rail or bus to downtown and the airport. Public transportation is faster and easier going north-south to downtown than east-west to neighborhoods like Ballard. Taxis, town cars, and rideshares like Uber and Lyft are also a convenient, easy option for getting around Seattle if you don’t want to use public transit or drive. You might choose to do a little of everything when visiting Seattle. That’s what the locals do!

Seattle has been quite late to the light rail party, but we are happy to say that we now have lots of options for visitors to get around the area.

The post New Light Rail Expansion Makes Getting Around Seattle Easier appeared first on Greenlake Guesthouse.