One drive through Seattle’s rush hour traffic will tell you that this is a fast-paced, busy city. Locals are constantly coming and going from their office jobs to the gym, happy hour and Mariners games, while making plenty of Starbucks runs in between.

Fortunately, Seattle offers plenty of places to unwind from the stress of the daily grind. The next time you need a break from reality, grab some equally-stressed friends and take a day for yourselves.

First, head to the neighborhood of Ballard in northwest Seattle and enjoy a delicious breakfast at Anita’s Crepes. Anita learned the trade with some of the best culinary artists in the nation at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. She uses fresh, local ingredients to create her dishes including organic baby spinach, fresh mozzarella and feta crepes as well as dessert crepes like handmade raspberry jam. Everything at Anita’s is made from scratch, including the hand-whipped cream.

After your French breakfast, you’ll be ready for relaxation and pampering. In Ballard, there’s no better place than Duque Salon, Spa & Boutique. From the moment you walk through Duque’s doors, you will be treated with friendliness, respect and plenty of smiles. Duque is the perfect spot to have a spa party.

You’ll be whisked away to the spa’s relaxation room where you’ll be treated to Mimosas by one of Duque’s owners, Autumn Bruno. Autumn, known locally as the brow queen, will go above and beyond the customary guest treatment to ensure your group will be well taken care of. During your experience, make sure and order the spa lunch and sample Autumn’s famous spinach and avocado salad.

Duque offers several unique body scrubs that begin with a dry brushing of the skin to stimulate your circulation. If you’ve been over-doing the wine or fattening foods, you’ll definitely want to experience the seaweed hot wrap. A mineral rich seaweed application followed by a detoxifying hot body wrap draws out impurities and leaves you feeling refreshed. To get your body ready for the beach, try the coffee glow. A blend of coffee, sugar and peppermint smoothes your skin and diminishes the appearance of cellulite. Each treatment also includes a soothing massage and an aromatherapy shower.

Next, head upstairs to Duque’s nail salon and treat yourself to a glossy manicure and pedicure. You’ll get a heated hand soak, hand and foot massages, and your choice of colors to make your nails sparkle and shine. No callous is safe with Kimberly, who delivers a perfect pedicure without tickling even the most sensitive feet.

Duque also offers haircuts and styles, make-up application, facials, eyebrow waxing, and a variety of other services to help you look and feel your best. In between treatments, make sure to shop the boutique. You’ll never know what hidden treasures you’ll find within their assortment of jewelry, lingerie and gifts.

Once you’ve emerged from Duque looking as good as you feel you’ll want to hit the town and show off. For Belltown’s best happy hour, head to Twist Lounge on First Avenue. One phone call to Nikole, the Event and Catering Manager, secures your group a private VIP section. Twist has a Small Plates dinner menu full of treats you’ll want to share. The Twist Hummus, flatbread pizza and chicken potstickers are all local favorites. Twist has an excellent drink menu with everything from Raspberry Cosmopolitans to Pearl Pomegranate martinis.

Service at Twist is top notch and Nikki is definitely an all star. No matter what your request, she’ll have it in a timely manner and with a beautiful smile. With the soft music, beautiful views of Puget Sound, friendly staff and sparkling disco pig rotating above the bar, Twist is the best place to celebrate a day of fun and pampering.

What & Where:
Anita’s Crepes
(4350 Leary Way NW; 206-838-9997)
Duque Salon, Spa & Boutique (5348 Ballard Ave NW; 206-706-7177)
Twist Restaurant & Lounge (2313 1st Ave; 206-44T-WIST)