Downtown Seattle, Seattle
Downtown Seattle is filled with funky shops, great restaurants, a nice aquarium and a great view out to Puget Sound. There are some steep hills, so be in good shape for the climbs!
This is the view of Seattle looking south from the Space Needle. The skyline obviously has one of those "New Urban Center" looks where nothing looks older than yesterday...not too many art deco spires here. The look seemed interestingly enhanced by the the steam rising from the buildings. You see, we visited during one of the coldest Januarys on record (lucky us...we're from Buffalo!) and so the combination of early morning light and cold atmosphere set off downtown with a cool bluish sophistication.
I could walk around Pikes Market all day. The fish market is what is most known about pikes market. That is something you must see for yourself. I also enjoyed the multitude of 'artist' that downtown - predominantly speaking of the musicians.
Seattle has her little golden nuggets if you take the time to wander around the city, by its efficient buses, monorail or just by foot. There are scultured art forms at some street corners or open spaces.
Things to do here:
- Day trip to Mt. Rainier if you have a car
- See a Mariners baseball game
- Take the Underground Tour
- Go to the Hiram Chittendam 'Ballard' Locks and watch the salmon migrating upstream through a window in the water, stay for the gardens as well
- Visit Alki and/or Golden Gardens Beaches
- Space Needle and the Seattle Center fountain
- Take a ferry to anywhere (San Juan Islands, if you have more than a weekend)
- Pike Place Market for the freshest fish, flowers, vegetables, and crafts
- The original Starbucks store, opened in 1971 across from Pike Place Market
- Visit the neighborhoods of Fremont, Capitol Hill, and Queen Anne. Fremont is young, vibrant, and full of colorful hippies. Capitol HIll is also you and vibrant, with an eclectic group of people ranging from goths, young professionals, gays, punks, artists, etc. Lower and Upper Queen Anne are a bit more 'grown-up' and have great bars and eateries.
You can catch the inner harbour ferry to one of the small island just off Seattle about an hours ride. Apparently its best when you go just before dusk so you can see the sun setting over the Olympic Mountains and then hang out on one of the islands for a quick bite to eat before heading back to Seattle where you can see the whole city lit up at night. Supposed to be real nice. Fairly cheap as well as I think its about $10 US round trip for foot passengers.
The Elephant Car Wash is a famous Seattle landmark and something you'll enjoy seeing when you visit the city. The car wash has been in existence since 1951 and the rotating, neon elephant sign is now famous through the area. There are actually eight Elephant Car Washes throughout Washington State, but the most famous of them is located on Battery Street in downtown Seattle. The Elephant Car Wash sign has been featured on television shows and in magazine articles and commercials. It's a great photo opportunity!
The Elephant Car Wash is open even on the many rainy days in Seattle. Locals come by just to have their car interiors vacuumed, even when it's raining.
Look at some photos (not mine):
seattle pix on google
This is a HUGE outdoor sporting store! Really, everything you could want... cycling, kayaking, backpacking, hiking, climbing... everything. And they have great technical-type clothing here. I've been to other REI stores around the nation, but this is certainly the nicest, with two (or was it 3) floors of merchandise. The staff at all the stores are extremely knowledgeable, and if you plan on doing some hiking or such in Washington, definitely stop by here and ask questions on gear or trails. There is The Pinnacle, which is a huge indoor climbing wall... tallest in the world. If you're into biking, they have a test course right outside the store. Anyway, I could spend forever at this store... you have to check it out if you're into outdoor sports.
A party on wheels as you travel in a duck (a vehicle that goes on land and water). It was heaps of fun and a great way to see Seattle. Some of the locals get annoyed by the ducks (and their music and jokes) but others can't get enough of them.
My cousin lives in Seattle and wrote a wonderful article for those who love to travel and quench their thirst at the same time -
Ride the duck and visit downtown Seatlle. The Duck can ride on land and float on water. Freat fun, ad not just with kids!
Seattle Art Museum which is located in downtown, has a variety of art as well as films, as well as demonstrations and lectures and tours
Downtown is a must for anyone visiting. Right off of the pier you have the aquarium and Pike's. Down the pier a little you have the Russian sub that is fun to toure.
What a great depiction of Jimi Hendrix. It's not easy to spot ... we really had to look for it, but thought it was worth the trouble.