Start the day at the Washington Park Arboretum. (Courtesy Arboretum Foundation)
A small neighborhood, Madison Valley is a bit sleepier than some other neighborhoods but no less interesting. Just north of the main drag along East Madison Street sits the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre refuge of gardens featuring plants from around the world. The park is free except for the Japanese Garden, which requires a $6 admission fee. Walk the trails, relax under a tree or take in water views along the shoreline.
When you get hungry, check out Café Flora, one of Seattle’s best vegetarian restaurants. On weekends, be sure to get a cinnamon roll at brunch, or for dinner, try the Portobello Wellington. Across the street, Araya’s Place is an all-vegan Thai restaurant with a great lunch buffet, while Luc is a French-American café from Thierry Rautureau (who also owns Loulay, located downtown).
Fun shopping spots include Fury, a consignment store with fabulous deals on designer clothing. Neighboring spots Salt House Mercantile and Marine Area 7 each have fun finds for the home—with Marine Area 7 concentrating on vintage and new items for the kitchen as well as gift items.
To really go all out on a day of relaxation, book a facial at Honey Skin Spa. This independent spa has facials and peels using Hylunia products that leave skin feeling soft and hydrated. Try the Illuminating Oxygen facial that ends with an infusion of both oxygen and vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids. There is also a Precious Gemstone facial, which uses the power of jade stone, rose quartz and amethyst to heal, remove toxins and calm both your skin and you.
If a massage is in order, check out Frenchy’s Day Spa. From an aromatherapy massage to hot stone massage, there are a number of options that will relax and release stress throughout your body and mind. Therapists work with clients to create a customized massage. While there, browse the product and gift selections in the boutique. Frenchy’s is the exclusive retailer of Chantecaille, the French cosmetic line.