in the early 1900s, there was a need for a sheltered harbor for the fishing fleet of small boats that were based in Seattle. Thus, the development of the "Fisherman's Terminal" soon after the "Ballard Locks" connecting Lake Union to Puget Sound were constructed, this terminal was developed for the fishing fleet.
Just how this turned into a tourist attraction I will never understand, and probably the Port of Seattle would rather it not be a tourist attraction. However, it is a tourist attraction now, and there are several tour companies that send their tour buses here.
However, quite honestly there isn't that much here for tourists to see. There is a monument to fisherman lost at sea, there are several restaurants (with a sea food theme, of course), and several places that are designed to provide services to the fishermen (such as mailing services, laundry, and boat insurance). There are a number of huge sheds for drying the nets, but not even those are open to the public. Signs kindly remind visitors that this is an active Port of Seattle facility and that people should not make a nuisance of themselves here, or obstruct those trying to get work done.
Interpretive signs are along the edge of the water at the base of the monument, which explain a little bit about the fishing industry and the items used in fishing.
There is an annual Fisherman's Fall Festival which celebrates the annual return to Seattle of the North Pacific Fishing Fleet. This is held in late September every year.
There are several places to eat here:
Highliner is a pub and Chinook's is part of the Anthony's chain. Both are reviewed in my Magnolia Bluff page.
While much of the port activity in Seattle has shifted away from the downtown waterfront area and now takes place just south of the waterfront, the Port of Seattle main offices remain at Pier 66, which is reasonably close to Belltown and Pike Place Market.
The structure is a combination of several different things.
However, one of the lesser known but very useful (especially during sunset) is the observation deck on the roof of the building.
This rooftop observation deck comes equipped with a number of tables for those who would like to relax outside and have a bit to eat here from one of the restaurants down below, benches including a few that are raised slightly, and binoculars that are free to use.
This may be accessed from the elevators and staircases from the waterfront sidewalk, or from the overhead bridge that passes over Alaskan Way and connects Pier 66 to downtown Seattle.
The observation deck may be closed due to cruise ships occupying the pier, or various other Port of Seattle activities.
From below on the waterfront sidewalk there is no sign at all that this observation deck exists, and the only way to know that it exists at all is to already know that it is there.
The Ye Old Curiosity Shop - a tourist's souvenier shop but filled with the most unusual things to see and read about. You'll find shrunken heads, exotic artifacts and collectibles. We spent quite a bit of time is this place amusing ourselves.
Located at 1001 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104
Don't miss this particular shop/museum at the Alaskan way waterfront. This museum displays some of the most bizarre collections from around the world. 3 of the most items that impressed me are i. The Lords' prayer written on a rice grain, ii. The word Ripley written on a grey human hair, and iii. an oil painting on a pinhaid. The paint was applied with a human hair as a brush. The entrance is free.
Located about halfway between the large grain elevator that crosses over Elliott Bay Parkand the south side of Elliott Bay Park, this tiny Rose Garden adds to the variety of items located throughout the length of Elliott Bay Park.
This is not, however, a particularly large Rose Garden. It is perhaps the size of a somewhat smallish (not even huge) house. There are a variety of here, and some of them bloom even into October.
If flowers are your thing, then the Washington Park Arboretum or the Woodland Park Rose Garden is really a better place for you. This garden is really too small to be spectacular.
However, if you happen to be in the area, it might be worth stopping by this little garden, with a veiew of Elliott Bay and Puget Sound.
There are several benches around the garden, and from places in and around the garden it is possible to see the Space Needle.
Getting here would be a bit of a challenge if you can't walk or ride a bike. From the Seattle Waterfront it is easy though long walk to simply follow the paved bike path north from the Olympic Sculpture Park northward right along the edge of the water through Myrtle Edwards Park and Elliott Bay Park until you reach this small rose garden. If you come to the grain elevator or the Totem Pole, you have come too far.
The photos you will find in this tip are all from October of 2009, and yes, believe it or not these roses are still in bloom. However, a photo from August of 2010 shows a bit more color, and clear sky.
Created by Alaskan artists in 1975, this 32 foot (10 meter) tall totem pole was originally located closer to downtown Seatte at Pier 48. It was relocated to Elliott Bay Park in early 2009.
There is a sign near the base of the totem pole indicating the various symbols used. I suppose I could retype what the sign says here, but it is easier to just let you read the sign yourself by looking at photo 5.
The totem pole is located along the bike path through Elliott Bay Park, and is north of the Rose Garden and south of the Grain Elevator and the Public Fishing Pier.
"Thru these portals pass the world's best liars - our fishermen - WELCOME"
So reads the sign above the entryway to the Elliott Bay Public Fishing Pier, located just north of the Grain Elevator in Elliott Bay Park. This pier sticks out into the water above Elliott Bay about 100 feet, and provides four hundred feet of public fishing space away from the shore line. (About 30 meters out into the water, and about 120 meters long)
The pier is equipped with several shelters that have a fairly complete set of fish cleaning facilities inside them, including tables and cleaning water.
There is a bait shop at the entryway to the pier, but unfortunately it isn't open in the dark fall and winter months - which is when some of the best fishing is (or so I am told, though once again one must remember that first statement about these being some of the world's best liars).
Access to the pier is somewhat limited. The address is approximately 1100 Alaska Way West.
By driving, the only access appears to be from Elliott Avenue W. to the bridge at W Galer Street, turn right (south) onto Galer Street, and try to find a place to park near the pedestrian bridge that connects Elliott Avenue West to Elliott Bay Park. The official Port of Seattle address lists this location as Galer Avenue and 16th Avenue West.
By public transit, you will find that there is a bus stop at approximately 1000 Elliott Avenue West. From here, you need to get on the southwest side of Elliott Avenue. You will notice a large decorated pedestrian bridge. Use this bridge to cross the railroad line, then keep heading south and west through Elliott Bay Park. The public fishing pier is on the water almost directly opposite across the park from the pedestrian bridge.
The official Port of Seattle designation for this pier is Pier 86.
While I am not sure that anything on Seattle's waterfront can be considered an "Off the Beaten Path" activity, as it really is a huge tourist area, there are several items on the waterfront that are not that well known.
Waterfront Park is located on the south side of the Seattle aquarium between the Seattle aquarium and a building filled with tourist shops and other activities. For those who follow the pier numbers, it is between Pier 57 and Pier 59. The park features a fountain, and several memorials, including a memorial to the 200th anniversary of the founding of the USA and a memorial marking the 100th anniversary of the visit of the Great White Fleet to Seattle.
There are several waterfront picnic tables and benches, and a few scattered trees in planters. Much of the park is old wooden pier material, but there is also quite a lot of modern concrete as well.
On a clear day, this would be a great place to enjoy food purchased from one of the nearby snack shops. However, on a day that is less than perfect, you will probably want to find a more comfortable indoor location for that.
If you go to the far north side of the park, it is possible to walk along the edge of the aquarium building. If you look back to downtown from the end of this walkway, you can get a great view of parts of downtown Seattle.
Address: 1300 Alaskan Way, Seattle, Way
At one time a very busy commercial waterfront, much of the old Seattle commercial ship traffic has relocated to the new, modern terminals south or north of downtown Seattle proper. Today, the waterfront has some commercial traffic, but mostly that is limited to the occasional cruise ship, Washington State ferries, and tourist ships.
Rather than redevelop all of the old wooden piers into new developments, Piers 62 and 63 have been left as a large (almost 2 acres, almost 7,700 square meters), wide open space with free public access to the water.
There really isn't that much on these piers right now. There are a few benches along the edge of the pier between Alaskan Way and the pier, other than a huge amount of antique wooden flooring, there isn't that much in this location.
You can find people fishing or crabbing from this pier at times.
On a clear day, it is possible to get a great view of the Olympic Mountains that isn't interrupted by obstructions.
If you walk to the very far end of the piers and look back towards downtown Seattle, it is possible to get a fairly nice view of downtown that is uninterrupted by obstacles as well.
At one time this was the site of a series of concerts and other special events. The wood planks that make up the piers are no longer able to support heavy loads of any sort.
Artwork in this space includes a series of questions along the perimeter fence of the pier, including such questions as "Who Salutes the Longest?" "What Disappears?" "What Remains?" The questions are supposed to appear and disappear depending on the conditions of the light in the sky and the position of the viewer. (At least, that is what the literature says. I was unable to get the questions to disappear.)
The explosion of water that appears to be a fountain in the middle of Puget Sound is actually a fire boat that is welcoming a tourist ship to port. It just happened to be arriving when I visited piers 62 and 63.
The official address is 1951 Alaskan Way, Seattle WA 98121.
The city officials in most government always make sure that they are being remembered in some ways. The City mayor of Seattle, commemorated this park, Waterfront, and had this marking slab on the cement overlooking the Puget Sound.
Just walking around the Waterfront is sometimes boring to the children. After walking to the water park and then to the Seattle Aquarium.
There is a Bay Pavilion at the Waterfront and there are many things for the children to do. You can also check out the carousel ride, games, shops, and restaurants. There are different aso stores inside the pavilion including a food court.
Victor Steinbrueck Park sits next to Pike Place Market and overlooks the ancient Alaskan Way Viaduct and the Puget Sound. The park is named after noted architect and author Victor Steinbrueck, who was instrumental in preserving Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square historic districts, and he helped design the Space Needle.
The tiny Victor Steinbrueck Park is less than one acre in size, was created as Market Park in 1970 on the former site of a National Guard armory, which was destroyed by fire in 1962. When Steinbrueck died in 1985, the park was renamed in his memory.
Today the park has a reputation for combining tourists and criminals in a close setting that can be unsettling. During our visit there were a few tourists, many locals relaxing, and probably even more homeless just hanging out seeming to mind their own business. There were also 3 or 4 city police officers who seemed to have a permanent presence in the park.
Why am I putting this among the "Off the beaten path"-tips? Well, I noticed there weren't all that many others watching when I was there ... I mean, really watching that amazing golden ball drop behind the mountains across from downtown Seattle ... of course on the docks were the people lunchin' and stuff, paying too much for a fish and fries or whatever, just because they were sitting there and generally not even enjoying the real reason they were paying extra, which was the view!!
As you can see on this picture and even more on the one I put on my Main Seattle Page, if you're so lucky as to see the city covered by a landscape of clouds, letting the sun through just enough, and witness the sun setting as I did, make sure you don't miss it!!!!!
Respect others privacy when walking around the lake.
LAKE UNION is my favorite place to take a walk.
You can see seaplanes land & take off.
Why not try kayaking on the lake?
I'm up for it on my next trip to Seattle.
Do go for a walk around Lake Union and see the boats and Boat Houses. You could go on a kayak trip on the lake. This is where Sleepless in Seattle was filmed.
You can watch seaplanes land & take off too.
Some of those boats must cost a kings ransom. Please respect peoples privacy
You can Dream !