Born in Tacoma in 1941 and with art installations in various parts of the globe (some temporary and others permanent), Dale Chihuly is perhaps the most famous of artists living in Seattle today. His studio is here, but now in 2012 there is a gallery / museum / sculpture garden dedicated specifically to his artworks.
The museum was installed at the base of the Space Needle, in replacement of the small amusement park that had been there for many decades.
The museum consists of a number of indoor displays, so it isn't entirely a Chihuly garden. In fact, the garden part of the museum is aimed to be towards the end of the visit. There are a number of rooms dedicated to the works of Chihuly and giving some of his history.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get photos of the garden and the Space Needle in the background. They are simply too close together to be able to include the huge structure next to the ground-level artwork. There are one or two exceptions, including the big yellow work shown in photo 3.
Photography is allowed, but touching any of the pieces plus large bags of any sort are prohibited. These are one of a kind glass artworks that are worth at minimum many tens of thousands of dollars up to millions for the large pieces.
According to museum docents, Dale Chihuly is still involved with the museum / garden, and sometimes does show up with new works or rearranges what is there, or otherwise makes changes. Therefore, if you come back in a few years some things may have changed in the intervening years.
My best recommendation is to show up before sunset so that you can appreciate the garden and sculptures there during daylight, and again during darkness. Extra price package tickets are also available that include the Space Needle and allow for daylight and night visiting of both those structures at a bit of a discount.
You will likely meet at least one docent that will offer to take your photograph next to one of the big pieces. This is no tourist trap: the photo is included with your admission. I didn't bite so I am not certain how this works as far as obtaining the photo from the photo kiosk in the lobby, but I assume it is similar to the system used in the Space Needle that allows the photo to be sent by e-mail.
Ticket are fairly expensive relative to some of the other museums in town, but at the same time it is a very unique experience and if you like glass art it is worth the admissions price. If the price is too high, then try to get one of the package deals that include admissions tickets to this museum plus other attractions. General admission is $19. Day and night admission tickets are $26 - allowing one to visit once in the daylight and once at night with everything lit up. For $33 you can get a package deal for the Chihuly museum and the Space Needle.
Ticket purchases may be made in advance on the web site, or at the ticket counter.
The entrance to the museum / garden faces the Space Needle, and is exceptionally difficult to miss - just look west from the Space Needle. Photo 4 shows a view looking east at the back side of the main entrance, with the Space Needle (or what would fit in the photo) directly behind the museum.
There is a gift shop in the museum as well, and this has a wide variety of items for sale including some of Chihuly's original works.
I don't want to ruin the show for you at this museum, but if you are a glass artist fan, and a Chihuly fan in particular, you may also wish to see:
+ My Photos from the Chihuly Garden and Glass - a Travelogue of a few more photos of what I saw during my December of 2012 visit.
+ My Tacoma tips on the Chihuly Bridge of Glass including its major sections:
- Seaform Pavilion
- Crystal Towers
- Venetian Wall
Starting from the far east side of the Seattle Center, on an odd triangle of land across 5th Avenue North from the Experience Music Project, you will find a home of surplus war equipment used to give brief tours of Seattle from both the road and from Lake Union.
While these tours do not give a huge amount of extensive history of Seattle, they do provide a great introduction to various parts of the city in only an hour and a half, from the unique perspective of a vehicle capable of moving on the water or on the highway.
Even people who live in Seattle seem to take the tour every once in a while. Most likely this is because each of the captains have a unique personality, and make the tour a fun adventure. The trips seem to be particularly popular with children, though adults are certainly willing, able, and invited (or maybe required would be a better word to use here) to participate in the mayhem as well. Depending on the location, you will find the captains / drivers wearing all manner of different hats, and playing any of various songs along the way.
On a clear day, you will be able to see Mount Rainier, downtown Seattle, and the Olympic Peninsula. One of the best viewpoints is from the top of the Washington Memorial Bridge.
While the "Duck" vehicles are historic craft of sorts, the reality is that from the frame up each has been completely rebuilt to serve its new tourist role.
See also the Seattle video I have of the craft driving down a boat ramp on the north side of Lake Union to enter the lake.
The schedule depends on the time of year, with less operation during the colder months. Trips operate 3 days a week during the coldest months.
One Word of Warning: Ride the Ducks does use tourist trap ploy of taking your photo as you board the craft, and then try to sell you the photo in a special album cover when you return - at a price that is fairly extreme for what it is.
Strolling through Seattle downtown was such a pleasure, even more so since I've been on a visit with my wonderful lady friends, which showed me around. - Because it is surrounded on three sides by water, built on six hills, and divided into numerous neighborhoods, Seattle can be a very confusing city to visitors. Most of Seattles' top attractions are located downtown. Get tourist informations on the city's layout, its neighborhoods, and the basics of how to get around, to explore the real Seattle.
The Seattle Center, the remnant of a World's Fair in 1962, is a site for spending a day in multiple activities. There is the Pacific Science Center, a great hands-on museum for kids and parents. Relax around the International Fountain listening to music and timed jets of water. Take the elevator up the Space Needle and look out over the scene of two mountain ranges, a salt water harbor, and a city. Just kick back in the green space.
The Pacific Science Center gives the opportuinity to younger visitors (being 33, I've considered myself as younger ;)) to explore science in a practical, not boring way!!.
Great setup, good explanations and mega-fun !
The Seattle Center is a remnant of the World’s Fair. Today, it resembles an amusement park complete with bumper cars, carnival rides, and a carousel. Its large open space is home to several special events. The Seattle Center is also one of the two stops on the monorail. The base of the Space Needle is located there. Both the Experience music Project and the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame are found at Seattle Center.
We didn't actually go into the Smith Tower, but walked by it in Pioneer Square on our way to the Underground Tour. I wish now that we would have gone in it! I really feel as though I missed a real gem!
Opened on July 4, 1915, it was Seattle's first skyscraper. At a height of 522 feet it was considered the 4th tallest building in the world and was the tallest building west of the Mississippi for almost 50 years. It is quite the architectural masterpiece with its Washington granite and white terra cotta exterior! Inside the hallways and bathrooms are "lined with Alaskan marble" and the floors are made of hand-laid mosaic tiles, while the "grand lobby" is paneled entirely in Mexican onyx and watched over by 22 larger than life" carved Indian heads.
The "Crown Jewel" of the Smith Tower is the 35th Floor Chinese Room. It is a treasure trove of 17th century art and boasts a hand-carved teakwood ceiling inlaid with 776 semi-precious porcelain disks. The brochure states that uniformed elevator operators still main the original 1914 Otis elevators which are brass and copper caged works of art themselves.
Obervation Deck Admission: $7.50 Adults
$6.00 Seniors 61 + and students with ID
$5.00 children 6 - 12yrs
Bumbershoot is a huge performing arts festival held every Labor Day Weekend at Seattle Center. It's pretty much Seattle's answer to Coachella and other well-known festivals, and definitely a local summer tradition. For a relatively low admission price you can see a lot of great bands, but you can also see dance performances, well-known comedians and galleries featuring local artists. There are plenty of food and novelty vendors as well. If you go early in the day, you can grab a free pass to the Main Stage act, usually a really popular artist whose tickets would normally be much more expensive. The Main Stage act alone usually justifies the ticket cost for me. Passes go quick, though I've never had a problem getting one if I'm in line when the gates open. And unlike similar festivals, they do a good job of keeping everything clean, sanitary and safe. Nice public bathrooms are available in the Seattle Center House if you are not a fan of outhouses, and the main stage is on astroturf, so you don't have to worry about standing in mud. Families with kids are welcome, and in fact there are plenty of activities for children available. I highly recommend it for anyone who plans to be in town on Labor Day Weekend.
This Seattle City scene came into view, as soon as our airplane got below the clouds. Even though we had a few showers on the day of arrival, the weather soon cleared up, which made it so much more enjoyable.
This was disappointing for me, as the fountain wasn't even switched on. Maybe I needed to visit the fountain at particular times of the day to see it in all its glory. Hence, my photos looks rather weak too. :(
Inn at the Market Seattle
4 Reviews and 1163 Opinions A very nice hotel half a block away from Pike's Place Market and a convenient walk to many of the...
Mayflower Park Hotel Seattle
6 Reviews and 883 Opinions I booked this hotel to stay the night before the cruise because it was within a distance that I...
6 Reviews and 848 Opinions We stayed at this hotel from July 5 - 9th, 2010 as a family of four with 2 adults and 2 children...