Travel watch: San Jose to Seattle, and back again

In need of a vacation that boasts fresh seafood, lush greenery, excellent coffee, live music and panoramic views? According to the New York Times, Seattle, Washington, is one of the best places to visit in 2018. Home to tech giants, research institutions and major professional sports teams, Seattle manages to maintain a local feel, offering residents and tourists plenty of street festivals, performing arts, scenic parks and unique neighborhoods, each with its own unique flavor.

Using travel site Skyscanner, we've sifted through the cheapest flights between San Jose and Seattle in the next few months, including some standout hotel options and favorite local attractions.

(Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. Links included in the articles may earn Hoodline a commission on clicks and transactions. Prices and availability are subject to change.)

Flight deals to Seattle

Currently, the cheapest flights between San Jose and Seattle are if you leave on January 19 and return from Washington on January 22. Alaska Airlines currently has tickets for $117, roundtrip.

There are also deals to be had in December. If you fly out of San Jose on December 29 and return from Seattle on December 31, Alaska Airlines can get you there and back for $241 roundtrip.

Top Seattle hotels

To plan your accommodations, here are some of Seattle's top-rated hotels, that we selected from Skyscanner's listings based on price and customer satisfaction.

The Green Tortoise Hostel (105 1/2 Pike St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

For an all-around top recommendation, consider The Green Tortoise Hostel. The hostel has a five-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $132.

The Inn at the Market (86 Pine St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

A pricer alternative is The Inn at the Market, which has rooms for $175/night.

Set in the heart of Seattle, this hotel is close to Pike Place Market and the Seattle Aquarium, as well as the Washington State Convention & Trade Center. Other attractions include the Space Needle.

The Kimpton Alexis Hotel (1007 First Ave.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

A third option is The Kimpton Alexis Hotel. The 4.8-star hotel has rooms for $175/night.

A work of art in itself, the recently renovated Seattle luxury hotel is committed to the arts community. Named as one of Travel + Leisure's Best 500 Hotels in the World, the Alexis Hotel displays original pieces throughout the richly decorated guest rooms and public spaces that showcase the diversity and culture distinctive to the Pacific Northwest.

Top picks for dining and drinking

Don't miss Seattle's food scene, with plenty of popular spots to get your fill of local cuisine. Here are a few of the top-rated eateries from Skyscanner's listings.

Beecher's Handmade Cheese (1600 Pike Place)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking for a local favorite, head to Beecher's Handmade Cheese, which has an average of 4.5 stars out of 92 reviews on Skyscanner.

In Seattle's historic Pike Place Market, visitors press their noses against the windows to witness a vat of creamy white milk transformed by the expert hands of the cheesemaker. They watch as curds materialize from the milk, and then knit together to create a fine artisanal cheese.

"Literally I'm making a trip to Seattle solely to get Beecher's mac and cheese," wrote visitor Sophia. "The sandwiches are yummy too."

Pike Place Chowder (1530 Post Alley)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Another popular dining destination is Pike Place Chowder, with 4.6 stars from 71 reviews.

The World's Best Chowder from Seattle's world-famous Public Market. Nothing says Seattle like the Space Needle and the Public Market. And nothing speaks chowder like Pike Place Chowder. Treat yourself to the best America has to offer.

Pike Place Fish Market Inc (86 Pike St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Also worth considering is Pike Place Fish Market Inc.

"Salmon on top of the spinach salad was amazingly moist and the root beer float was decadent," wrote Christine. "Other restaurants were packed out and a long wait ... we went right in and were seated with great service!"

What to see and do in Seattle

Not sure what to do in Seattle, besides eat and drink? Here are a couple of recommendations, provided by Skyscanner.

Pike Place Market (85 Pike St., #500)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First up is Pike Place Market.

Pike Place Market is arguably one of the most popular destinations in the city of Seattle. Home to the second location of the original Starbucks store, the market first opened in 1907. With area farmers, craftsmen and independent merchants selling their wares throughout the market, tourists and residents alike flock to this unique part of Seattle.

The Space Needle (400 Broad St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

The Space Needle is another popular destination.

The iconic landmark left by the 1962 World's Fair, the Space Needle comprises the most recognizable feature of one of the most famous skylines in the world. Climb to the top for 360 views of Seattle and get your souvenirs at the gift shop on the bottom floor. The rotating restaurant, Skyline, serves up dizzying dishes and a rare experience.

"You can't miss the Space Needle when in Seattle," wrote visitor Juno. "I actually love looking at it when I fly in to Seattle. Such an iconic landmark of the city. The area around it is also very charming to walk around."