What I love about Seattle
Before embarking on an awesome Alaskan cruise aboard the Celebrity Solstice, we visited Seattle for three days. First off, I couldn’t have ordered better weather. For a city that has a gray reputation, we were blessed with blue skies and 75 degree temperatures. Not sure what I did to deserve this, but I’m not complaining! Now, add in the fact that Seattle is basically a walkable city. Walkable equates to less stress! And I’m all about less stress! If you do have the need for public transportation, the light rail and buses are efficient. Seattle is also the perfect blend of city life, quaint neighborhoods and let’s not forget the harbor. Seattle by the sea speaks fresh seafood and boy did I eat my share! I totally recommend the Steelhead Diner. Plus some of the largest techie corporations are based in Seattle, which adds to the hip vibe and great wi-fi availability! Are you starting to understand why Seattle is a fun city?
What I don’t love about Seattle
Ok, no city is perfect and they all have some flaws, Seattle included. I have to admit that throughout all my travels, I have never seen as many homeless people as I did in Seattle, albeit Portland, Oregon, (blog post coming soon) runs a close second. And, ya know that meal that you should never skip called breakfast? Well, we searched high and low and just couldn’t find any great breakfast spots. Let me know if you have a good recommendation for my next visit!
Where to stay in Seattle
Oops, I almost made a mistake in this department. Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I call TripAdvisor my bible. Travel Tip, make sure to carefully look at the hotel’s location before booking. Think, location, location, location. I originally booked an awesome hotel in a not so awesome location. Thankfully, I followed another one of my travel tips... review all reservations the week before you leave! I ended up staying at the Hotel Andra right smack in the middle of the city and it was perfect. There are no shortage of centrally located hotels to choose from in Seattle.
What to do and see in Seattle
Here are some of the must-sees in Seattle. Now I know some are touristy, but, remember, they are touristy for a reason!
The Space Needle
Think Seattle, think Space Needle. Whether you admire it from near or afar, go admire it! If you do go to the top, you will be afforded amazing views of the city. Many say that the Sky View Observatory at the Columbia Center even affords you better views of the city.
Pike’s Place Market is the real deal. Yes, it’s overridden with tourists, but it has the freshest fruit and seafood and the most beautiful flowers around. We were even crazy enough to stop there after our cruise on the way to Oregon to get some fruit for the ride. Be sure to stop by the last seafood stall and wait for someone to buy a fish, which will then engage the age-old tradition of tossing the fish from one end of the fish market to the other. Yes, the employees actually throw the fish while shouting some fish tossing jargon. Only at Pikes…..
Take a ferry ride to nearby Bainbridge Island and you will have great views of the city. If you are lucky and the weather cooperates, you may catch a glimpse of Mount Ranier. If you are an early riser, you may see an awesome sunrise. As a bonus, you’re likely to see porpoises, whales, sea lions, seals, etc. while cruising in the harbor so keep your camera close by! The ferries run on-time and operate from sunrise into the evening.
If you are looking for a day or overnight adventure, once off the ferry take a drive to Olympic National Park and visit Crescent Lake Lodge. Grab a bite to eat and head out to Sol Duc to enjoy the spectacular waterfalls.
Stroll through Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square is the historic part of Seattle and is known for its Renaissance Revival Architecture. Now it is full chic shops, historic buildings, galleries, great eateries and yes a lot of homeless folks. It’s definitely worth a stroll.
Yes, if you’ve seen one Starbucks, you’ve seen them all. But, if you’re in Seattle you might as well see the original, if you can get close enough!
After the ferry ride or a visit to Pikes, take a stroll along the harbor. It’s fun to people watch or just sit and relax and enjoy the water view. If you have kids, the aquarium and ferris wheel are right there as well.
No reading necessary. Now I know that this sounds strange, especially in this day and age. However, the Seattle Library is an architectural masterpiece. It’s sits right in the middle of the city, so you are bound to walk right by it. Do take the time to stop and enjoy its beauty.
1. Bring an umbrella…
2. Seattle is a great starting point for a trip to the Canadian Rockies, Oregon or an Alaskan cruise.
3. No need for prearranged transportation from the airport to the city, cabs are plentiful.
4. When packing, think layers. The weather is always changing.
5. Pack a comfortable pair of shoes. Seattle is a walking city and there are some steep hills leading down to the harbor.