Downtown Seattle, Seattle
With the amount of marine history in the Seattel area, it should not be surprising that there would be farmer's markets offered on boats. In fact there are several boats in the region that have farmer's markets scheculed at them.
The one closest to downtown Seattle is the Lake Union Farmer's Market, which is located on board the Virginia V. It normally serves as a museum piece vessel and is moored at a museum that is under construction next door to the center for wooden boats. It is accessible from Lake Union Park.
Currently, the market is open every Thursday until 3 pm, May through December, except:
The market is normally open until December, for the craft people to sell their gift items until Christmas. However, in 2011 the huge construction project along Marcer and overspilling into Lake Union Park has closed a number of access points to this area, and thus the decision was made to close the market in October of 2011. It will open again in May of 2012.
What to buy: Mostly, what is available here is locally produced produce, but from time to time you will find locally made crafts of various kinds.
From their website:
"The Space Needle's retail store, includes many custom-designed Space Needle products featuring the tower's logo and color theme: yellow and blue, as well as bold, multicolored merchandise. There is no other store like SpaceBase in town."
I bought a panoramic single use camera for $10.77. I took photo 2 and 5 with that camera.
What to buy: From their website:
"The Space Needle sells gift cards in any amount for use in SkyCity Restaurant, SpaceBase Gift Shop or for Observation Deck tickets. For more information please call 800.937.9582 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
"Children's Section, which features a variety of apparel items for children of all ages.
"Fashion Apparel Section, where bright, upbeat colors dominate the clothing and accessories offered.
"Corporate Section, which includes all SpaceBase and Space Needle wear and products, including executive gifts, upscale items, and traditional mugs, pens, key chains, sweatshirts, hats and more.
"Retro Section, where specialty and collectable items are featured, as well as some nostalgic Space Needle items re-produced for SpaceBase.
"Seattle Section, where the work of local artists is featured along with coffee, books, videos and more."
To order - Call to order: Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. PST
Or send check or money order to:
SpaceBase, 400 Broad Street, Seattle, WA 98109
Attn: Gift Shop/Customer Order Dept.
Please allow two to three weeks for delivery.
What to pay: "There were more than 200 copyrights for souvenir items during the World's Fair of which many have become collectibles.
One of the best sellers during the fair was a Needle-shaped gold charm with a light in it, selling for about $75 in 1962. Another was a 9-inch high chrome lighter in the shape of the Needle. "
This was a great place. A couple years ago it was sold and while they still had the tastings, I like the previous owner better. Now they are closing for good - allegedly due to the downturn in the economy - in June 2010.
I stopped into Seattle Cellars one day to get an inexpensive bottle of wine to have with Pizza, and ended up with delicious wine that cost about $7. This place is a real find. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and they don't care if you are only there for the bargains - which they have regularly.
They have tastings every Thursday night. You can buy a glass for $10 and bring it back every week! They have recently started a web site, which includes the schedule of wine tasting events, along with specials and staff picks.
What to buy: The store caters to all levels of wine lovers. They carry $100+ bottles of wine and $5 bottles of wine. If they taste a bargain wine and love it, the stock up and tell the regulars about via a monthly newsletter.
Don't be alarmed if there is something marked as a special for $4.99. They're not trying to get rid of it, as you would expect in many big wine stores. This place survives because of the regulars, so they don't steer you wrong.
Along with Northwest wines, they also have a nice selection of wines from California and France.
Capitol Hill's Trendy Le Frock boutique is filled to the brim with funky designer and vintage finds. There is something for everyone in this shopping paradise. Find Prada, Gucci, True Religion, Etro and the likes mixed among great funky vintage pieces at 50 to 90% off retail.
What to pay: 50 to 70% off retail
I was walking around in the Pacific Palace mall when I stumbled upon this wine shop. Curious to see whether they still carry 2000 Saint-Emilion I walked in.
I was surprised to find that there's a little bar at the back - the bar and the sitting area can probably take 20 people maximum.
The bartender turns out to be a famous wine-manager in the West Coast. She used to run a very large wine bar/restaurant in Las Vegas before leaving the city to travel to Europe. Very helpful and patient with my questions.
I was there during happy hour, so instead of buying a bottle of wine I ended up just sitting there drinking till dinner. Would definitely come back!
Before I visited Seattle, I checked up on the Macy's website to see if they offered any discounts for visitors in their downtown branch. According to the website, there wasn't any "Visitor Services" for any of the Seattle branches. But I visited the downtown Macy's anyway, and decided to purchase a handbag. I enquired about visitor discounts and was surprised to be told that I would be eligible! That's an 11% saving! And I got some free chocolate and a travel foldable handy-tools thingy too. Wahey! Be aware that there are a large number of beggars in the shopping district.
I had to go in here to pick up my Go Seattle Card and the Conceirge Desk was helpful to say the least.
But just from having a quick look around this is a real nice shopping center. Lots of high end places it seemed like.
I wasn't there to shop though so I quickly left. Maybe next time!
A small and overpriced mall located right on 5th Avenue. Its a good place to go if you really, really need to do some shopping, but I don't think 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle is the place to find good bargains.
What to pay: Too much, according to my friends who live in the area.
Nordstrom Rack, similar to Filenes Basement for those who have visited Boston, is the discount spin-off of Nordstrom Department Store. The multi-level store have clothes and shoes for men, women, and children, a variety of household items, accessories galore, and many other things that you didn't even know you needed.
If you have a limited time in Seattle and a day of shopping sounds like your type of pass time go downtown! I recommend parking under Pacific Place, it's just about the only place you'll find a parking spot unless you have a 'parking place angel' on your shoulder. It's about $3 an hour and a no hassle experience. Believe me I'm a cheapskate and HATE to pay for parking, but as a local Pacific Place is always where I park if I have to go downtown. Otherwise you can park near the EMP and take the monorail.
What to buy: I can't suggest what you 'should' buy but I will say that you will find a shop for everyone your traveling with. You'll find in a 4 block radius: Old Navy, Banana Republic, Nike Town, Urban Outfitters, numerous stores in Pacific Place check their website http://www.pacificplaceseattle.com/
Any questions? As always feel free to email me.
When in Seattle, get out of the rain and into a coffee shop?why not? Not just Starbucks, but you might also want to try Seattle's Best Coffee.
From their history, their founders first roasted their coffee in an old peanut roaster somewhere near the Seattle waterfront. Those nuts! (Argh! pun intended!) I just thought their little coffee shops are cozy and of course, love the aroma! When I was in Washington, there was a cafe inside the Ft.Lewis Army base and they were open at 530 am or maybe 6am? Friendly store folks too!
What to buy: Coffee,candies,syrups,tumblers,mugs, and brewing equipment, also cookies/pastries.
I love their flavored coffees like Cinnabon Flavored coffee (rich and creamy) and Very Vanilla Javanilla.
What to pay: Less than $10 for a 12 oz.package of coffee
Downtown the main retail area is centered around Westlake Center at 4th and pine, going up 4th avenue there are also many stores, Nordstroms, another shopping center, old navy, etc.
This area is also a main meeting place for transit options, and meeting people.
There is a large commercial shopping district in the region between 4th and 8th Ave, bordered by probably Union and I don't know, past Pike for a few blocks. There are two malls, a bunch of large national companies like Bed Bath and Beyond, Walgreens, and Rite Aid, plus there are a number of coffee shops, clothing stores, and other places that may meet your fancy. There are tons of people here once night falls, it is a really cool scene, with all the lights up on the trees and more!
For general shopping advice, I tell you that no matter what you are looking for, you will find it between 4th and 6th avenues in downtown Seattle between cross-streets Stewart and University. There is the Gap, Old Navy, Nordstroms, the Bon, Nike town, FAO Schwartz, Tiffany's, Barnes and Noble, Pottery Barn, Williams and Sonoma, tons of specialty and antique stores, etc.
If you live in the US, and even if you don't, you've probably heard of Nordstrom, as is now in almost every state.
This fairly high-end department store started out as a shoe store in Seattle about a hundred years ago.
What to buy: My favorite parts of the store are the shoe department (obviously) and the huge area for cosmetics!
They carry some very nice handbags, such as Longchamps from Paris.
What to pay: Shoes are reasonably priced (ranging from $30 to $300+ depending on what you're looking for), and good quality. They carry mostly high end cosmetics, and are priced accordingly. Some of their clothing is overpriced, but they have great sales a couple times each year.