Downtown Seattle, Seattle
It is hard to find parking in Seattle. When you are going to downtown Seattle, make sure to take the bus instead of driving. The bus is free if you catch the bus before the International District. There are specified free zones. Bus fare is $1.50.
Parking is expensive in downtown Seattle.
Unique Suggestions: When you are driving, make sure to park on designated areas. Most of the streets in downtown Seattle are one- ways. If you park on designated areas, make sure to read the signs. Most parking are parallel parking. Some buildings offer parking to the public but it is extemely expensive.
Some signs say that the parking is limited to some hours. Your car might get towed away after 3 pm. The reason why? They open that parking area to the route of buses during peak hours which start at 3 pm.
Fun Alternatives: Take the bus instead. When you are in downtown Seattle, the bus is free. There are designated free bus zones!
Or be an early bird. The parking fee is cheaper when you are early.
Nordstroms. Living on a reputation that must have been created by the group that created The Blair Witch Project. Overpriced, poor service and far from leading edge.
Select small, independent shops instead.
Ok I don't have any intention of being 'rude' but I have to say that there are some tourist traps in this city and almost anyone is vulnerable.
There is a 'tour bus' that goes throughout the city, I believe it is called the Ducky tour (or something like that). It is an Army Tank painted like a duck and is open aired. I nearly fell over when i saw this thing. My friend who was showing me around her city informed me that only the lame minded pay to get on this thing, and the city bus is just as useful. Once again I hate to sound rude or derogitory but the 'folks' on this bus all looked like they stepped off the stage of 'the Jerry Springer Show' too. Not the classy way to see the city that is for sure.
This is a suggestion. There are so many LOCAL places in Seattle that I'd avoid the national chains. I see that Benihani, Rock Bottom, and Buca di Bepo are recommended for Seattle by others. IF you can't get to one of those ever then they are certainly all good. But I see those all over the US. My point is to try something that is truly Seattle. The only variance is to go ahead and enjoy Red Hook beer at Red Hook -- after all it is a microbrew gone national.
Or try Hales Ales at the brewpub shown on the left. 4301 Leary Way Northwest
I hope I don't affend anyone but I want you to enjoy the REAL Seattle. See you there soon!
Do not waste your time at the 7 Coins restaurant - it is only a glorified diner that left me horrified: My server sneezed into his hand and then cut the bread for my table (yes - he held the bread while cutting it).
If you are looking to go shopping, hop on a bus or take a cab to one of the neighborhoods like the University District or Capitol Hill or Lake Forest Park because shopping downtown can be a rip off and the stores look pretty so they think that they can automatically charge you more. Some of the neighborhoods have great little gems of stores where you can actually talk with the owner.