Top 8 Places to Visit + a Bonus
1. Pike Place Market. At the main entrance check out a fresh fish flying when somebody purchases seafood and go to the Market Spice to try their famous cinnamon-orange tea, my favorite tea in Seattle! There are many local stores for vegetables, clothes, art, flowers, wine, meat, honey, coffee, books, chocolates, maps and more to immerse yourself in. There are a couple of different levels; walk and have fun!
The first Starbucks is located a few steps from the Pike Place main entrance. It always has a long line to enter this tiny store. Donít bother, and take a picture with the original logo from the outside. Everything will be literally gone in the market by 6:00pm, so go there during the morning or early afternoon.
2. The Great Wheel. From the Pike Place Market you could go down the stairs and walk for a few minutes to the waterfront. The†Aquarium and the Great Wheel are right next to each other. The Great Wheel offers an amazing view of Seattle for $15 p/p. The ride is three complete slowly turns for approximately ten minutes. On a clear day you can see Mt. Rainier, Seattleís port, West Seattle, the Olympic Mountains, and of course the waterfront and downtown.
3. Space Needle. Nobody can miss Seattleís most recognizable landmark. On a clear day, make reservations for having lunch in the Space Needleís rotating restaurant, SkyCity. Enjoy the view and after your meal you have complimentary access to the observatory; take lots of pictures! Dinnertime is also nice, but a more expensive and elegant atmosphere.
4. Chihuly Garden and Glass. This wonderful glass gallery is next to the Space Needle. Before coming here I didnít think about all the fantastic things that could be made of glass. A whole jungle is made in glass and it looks both real and unreal at the same time; itís magical. Shapeless, colorful, tiny, big, undefined and with high definition, sculptures are organized in a specific order for your enjoyment. The glass house with a great view of the Space Needle is gorgeous! Take a break in its Cafe, the†Collections Cafe, with a glass of wine, coffee, or small bites.
5. University of Washington. It has a beautiful campus where you can find a fantastic view of Mt. Rainier at Rainier vista, where the Drumheller Fountain is located. This is next to the EE and CS buildings. During the summer little ducks are born and play around the fountain. Enjoy the view, ducks, roses, and the architecture. Suzzallo Library, the main library located at the Red Square, has a very special reading room on the second floor. Itís a very quiet, beautiful, and elegant room. During the spring you canít miss the romantic and fragrant cherry blossoms in The Quad, just a few steps from Suzzallo Library. Walk and get lost!†
On the University Avenue there are many places to eat, chat, and shop. My personal recommendations are: for thai-food, the tiny Thai Tom (I love their phad thai); for beers and small bites, Shultzyís; for souvenirs and nice gifts, the†University Bookstore. The University Bookstore coffee shop is offering coffee from Stumptown now, yummy!
6. Green Lake. A lake in north central Seattle just six miles from downtown. There is plenty of public transportation from downtown. Walk around this residential area and enjoy its peacefulness. The lake is approximately three miles in shore length. During a warm day you should rent a boat, stand paddle, kayak, or even a sailing boat and enjoy the water, landscape, people, and activities.†There are restaurants and little shops around the Northeast part of the lake. Greenlake bar+grill is nice for beers and American food. Dukeís is my favorite, offering the best and award-winning clam chowder! Itís also known for fresh seafood and happy hour during the afternoon. Besides the clam chowder, mussels and calamari with tequila/wasabi sauce are a must. Sit in the patio facing Green Lake for a relaxing meal.
7. Parks with a Great View. Gas Works Park and Olympic Sculpture Park. Watch a sunset in one of these wonderful parks. Gasworks faces downtown buildings and Lake Washington; itís located in Lake Union. Olympic Sculptureís view is of the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Mountains; itís a short stroll from the Space Needle, about 0.5 miles. Both are irresistibly fabulous!
8. More in Downtown Seattle. The Benaroya Hall, the Art Museum, and the Public Library buildings are good to visit; they are just one or two blocks apart. Enjoy their architecture, art, and if you have some extra time, buy tickets to a wonderful evening with the Symphony. For food, Japonessa is one block away; itís a Japanese restaurant with a great food and happy hour! Pike Brewing Co. is across the street from Japonessa, if you feel more like American food and new beers to try. Walk just ten more minutes and youíll find Belltown full of galleries, restaurants, and shops. Umi Sake House is my favorite in this area for sushi, rolls, and cocktails. Last time I had the salmon sashimi sampler, the Seattle roll, and a lychee sake cocktail, and they were so delicious! Enjoy and have fun in the Emerald city!
Bonus: Other neighborhoods. Wallingford, Fremont, Ballard, and Capitol Hill are great neighborhoods to explore if you have extra time. They all have a main street where you can find restaurants, coffee shops, clothing stores, local chocolates/ice cream, and bars. The majority of these places show the great west coast philosophy of organic, local, and green. Enjoy!
Live hard! Live wise!†With Simply Green.†