The holidays are almost here! There’s plenty of gifts to be bought, food to be eaten and fun to be had in Seattle Southside. Get holly and jolly in Seattle’s backyard with this holiday-themed itinerary for a weekend vacay or staycay.

Day 1

Check in to your hotel and drop your bags off at your room. If you’re like me, you get hungry immediately after checking in. Nestled perfectly between Tukwila and SeaTac sits a restaurant that’s perfect for a cold, winter night. Claim Jumper offers huge portions of comfort food, and a lodge-feel with their stone and cedar décor and massive fireplace. This a dining experience the whole family will enjoy, especially when you order a slice of the six-layer motherlode cake for dessert.

After dinner, you might just want to head back to the hotel for a night in. You’ve got a big day ahead of you…

Day 2

Wake up and enjoy a quick breakfast at your hotel. No matter which hotel you’re staying at, you really can’t go wrong with the restaurants around here. After breakfast, take a trip to the largest independent non-profit air and space museum in the world, The Museum of Flight! If you happen to be hear on the weekend of December 16th, you just might catch a glimpse of Santa’s Landing Party. Santa doesn’t always need his reindeer to fly, on weekends, he might take a spin in a small plane or helicopter.

You’ll have a blast at the museum exploring WWI and WWII fighter planes, an original Air Force One, and be sure to check out the new Apollo exhibit, focusing on the moon landings. After your aerospace journey, head to Arashi Ramen for a lunch that’s sure to warm you up. Delicious pork broth and fresh noodles combine to create the perfect winter meal. Think of your mom’s chicken noodle soup…10x.

You have to get your holiday shopping done eventually, why not enjoy it? Just down the street sits Westfield Southcenter, the largest shopping center in the Pacific Northwest. Here you’ll find dozens of boutique and big box stores, 50+ restaurants & eateries, an AMC theater and plenty of holiday cheer. Not everybody enjoys shopping, however, so they can head upstairs to Round 1 Entertainment for some bowling and video games.

Finally, enjoy a tropical dinner at Bahama Breeze. Hey, Santa comes to the Caribbean too! There will be plenty of coconut shrimp, bahamaritas and jerk chicken to go around; and if you’re lucky, you might even get some live Christmas carols with an island twist.

Day 3

Start your final day off on a relaxing note at the Spa at Cedarbrook Lodge. Try an Alaskan Glacial Mud Wrap or a Sea Salt Exfoliation and Rainwater Remedy to ease into your final day in Seattle Southside. After your luxurious spa treatment, head down to Redondo Beach for Salty’s holiday brunch. You haven’t truly had brunch until you’ve enjoyed fresh oysters, prime rib, manila clams, and eggs benedict at Salty’s. There are so many exquisite options, it’ll be hard to control yourself.

Once you’re full, take a short trip up to Des Moines Beach Park. The beach is a great place to be in the summer, but it’s stunning in the winter (especially if it’s snowing). You’ll enjoy the fresh air and views of Puget Sound, plus nothing beats a walk along the beach, no matter the season.

If you happened to have noticed the elegant restaurant at the Cedarbrook Lodge before or after your spa treatment, you might have been interested enough to return for dinner. A wise choice. Copperleaf Restaurant is the “quintessentially Northwest” farm-to-table restaurant that should be reserved for a special occasion. Their dishes range from bacon wrapped rabbit sirloin, to Lummi Island Poulet bleu, to Applewood smoked sablefish. They too, have the lodge feel with a giant fireplace in the middle of the restaurant. Dinner and dessert here will put an elegant cap on your holiday getaway.