Seattle Tourist Tips: Revolutionary Email Prose

Having lived in Seattle for nearly 30 years, I know a little bit about the tourist side of the Emerald City. After several friends asked me for tips on “What to see and do and experience in Seattle”, I finally decided to copy this email and post it! Go ahead and make additions or comments… and I’ll update it on occasion!
Seattle Tour Suggestions:
The main question to ask is: Do you have a car?
You don’t need one, but if you do, you can see more. (I am going to assume you are NOT going to have a car … and will either walk or take mass transit.)
Do you like Music? Do you like Art? What do you like?
I’ll bring you north from the Airport on the Mass Transit – light rail, and drop you off in the center of Seattle. You can fan out from there. (There are other options as well … depending on what you like).
Take the light rail from the airport . Buy a day pass.
Enjoy the trip… you’ll go past some funky neighborhoods. Somewhere around the International District, the light rail will go underground. Stay on it until you reach WESTLAKE CENTER. Get off there and go upstairs. That area is the main shopping area for Seattle … high end stores, if you like that type of stuff. Pacific Place is just east of Westlake Center, and also has some great stores. Macy’s is just west. From inside the Westlake Center, you can either take the Monorail up to the Seattle Center: IF you like music and science fiction, one of the best things to do will be to go to the Seattle Center, which is where the space Needle is. That’s cool to look at. But don’t go up on the observation deck, it’s not worth it. The experience music Project (EMP) is also there which basically started out as the Jimi Hendrix museum and then it expanded to include Jazz, Grunge, and other Seattle Music “stuff”. There’s also a science-fiction museum That is part of it.
After wandering around Seattle Center, take the Monorail back down to Westlake Center (where it ends).
OR you can take the South Lake Union Transit streetcar to the south end of Lake Union, but ONLY if you like old wooden boats. There is a “Center for Wooden Boats” there, and sometimes they’ll take you out sailing if the wind is right.
Either way, when you’re doing with either Seattle Center or South Lake Union, go back to Westlake Center on either the transit or the Monorail. Get off at Westlake Center. Then go west down the hill to Pike Place market. That is one of the main “cool things” about Seattle, BUT it shuts down around 5 o’clock or so. Wander around there. Gasp at the flowers. See the original Starbucks. There’s a French bakery on the corner that makes great bakery items. Also some other ethnic “street food” type stuff there.
Slightly north of Pike Place market around 1st and Lenora are some good restaurants, some jazz clubs (but they don’t get going until later at night)…
After you’re done there, take the steps down from there to the restaurants and aquarium along Elliott Bay. Great fish restaurants anywhere there… I like Elliott’s or the sit-down part of Ivar’s (the walk-up take out is fried fish, which is probably not what you want). Elliott’s has some salmon wrapped in rice paper, which is amazing… or the cedar-planked salmon. If you like Aquariums, Seattle’s is world-class.
After you’ve go to Elliot Bay, if you head north, and go slightly up the hill, you will see the Olympic Sculpture Park . It’s a nice free park of sculptures that’s interesting (if you like that).
If you want to go SOUTH on Elliott bay, you’ll eventually reach the Ferry Dock. The #1 tourist attraction in Washington State are the Ferries… you can take one to Bainbridge from there, stay on it, and return home… but that will take you a couple of hours. If it’s sunny out and you can see the mountains, it’s VERY worth it. If it’s cloudy/rainy, not so much.
OR you can just watch the Ferries!
Once you reach that, it’s pretty much the end of the cool stuff to see THERE. So, head east and you’ll go into Pioneer Square. Wander around there… If you like Native American art there is a great gallery there, Stone_____ (haven?) gallery. Near there is the smallest National Park in the country, the Klondike Gold Rush National Park. If you like history, that is cool.
If you can get into the Underground Tour of Seattle, that is a lot of fun (and it happens right around there). Wander around Pioneer Square and Occidental Avenue for some cool shops, art galleries, restaurants, etc. There are GREAT Italian restaurants on the corner of Cherry and 1st (I think). Cafe Bengoti or something like that.
From there, you can head north again along First toward Pike Place market again. Before you get there, you will pass the “Hammering Man” at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). If you like art, go there and spend the rest of the day!
Once you get at SAM, you can keep going up the hill, to Westlake Center again. OR you can head east (up the hill) and catch a southbound bus on either 3rd or 5th (I don’t remember which) … to the end of the “free ride” zone. That should put you in the International District.
Wander around there. It is one of the largest Asian districts in the country (New York and San Francisco are bigger). If you like Asian food, any of the places there are great!
By that time, you should probably be pretty “done” with Seattle…
Will you have a car? drive from the Seattle Center north over the Fremont Bridge and Park in Fremont, and wander around Fremont. There’s a good Greek restaurant there on the corner, and great Thai food on the other corner. As you’re crossing the street north of the Thai food restaurant which is called Jai Thai, in the middle of an island of the on the street you’ll see the center of the universe. Most people don’t know where that is, but now you will. Head east from there, up a hill, and see the Fremont Troll, a cool piece of urban art.
If you can, drive to the Hyrum Chittenden Locks/Fish Ladder in Ballard. If the salmon are running you can see them not only in the fish ladder, but also inside. Also, boats go through the locks, which is an interesting event to watch. South of the locks (south and west across the Ballard Bridge) is Chinooks, a GREAT seafood restaurant that overlooks the Seattle Pacific fleet of fishing boats. The “Deadliest Catch” boats harbor there.
Enjoy!

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


%d bloggers like this: