Happy Friday, fellow Voyagers! A couple of years ago we decided not to build a big fancy-schmancy new home, and instead, opted to sell our property so that we might pursue a wider range of experiences on the Voyage. Best. Decision. Ever!!! So this Friday finds me exploring and taking in all the funky sites, soaking up the flavor of this fine city. Life truly is about collecting experiences…Not Stuff! And so, as I sit here under the Public Market sign, drinking a Pumpkin Spiced Chai (cliche, I know…but so delicious!) I’m wishing you all a weekend full of rich exploration!
This week finds us once again in the lovely city of Seattle, Washington. He’s “Encoring” and I’m “Voyaging!” Seattle has become one of our favorite cities in the Pacific Northwest, and we’ve figured out some hassle-free ways to visit, which I’d like to share.
First off, don’t rent a car! When you arrive at Sea-Tac International Airport, follow the signs to the Link Light Rail, which for $3.00/pp will take you right into downtown Seattle. Safe, clean, easy. And no paying ridiculous parking fees for overnight parking.
Get off at the Westlake Center stop. Follow the exit signs to 4th and Pine. This exit will bring you out approximately 1/2 block from The Mayflower Park Hotel.
This historic 1927 hotel in the heart of downtown has been completely renovated, and will give you a sense of old-world style at a reasonable price. You can read the hotel’s history in Seattle’s Mayflower Park Hotel: Images of America.
Have a cocktail in Oliver’s Lounge at the Mayflower. This beautiful lounge serves classic craft cocktails – Don’t even ask for something blended, but enjoy the beautiful setting and the huge windows to downtown.
You are in the heart of most things wonderful in Seattle.
From the hotel, you are just a couple blocks from Pike Street Market. It is a must see for the first time visitor. It’s not every day that you get to see young men throwing fresh fish!
Or listen to fabulous street musicians.
About halfway down the market, just before Mick’s Peppouri (which sells yummy pepper jellies) is sky bridge which will lead you to an elevator, taking you down to the parking area off of the water front. See how I did that? We are not climbing hills or stairs if possible! Once you are down at the waterfront, you can spend the entire day enjoying Seattle’s Great Wheel, Wings over Washington (lots of fun – I’d do it twice), cute little shops on the piers, and so, so much great seafood!
If you are a coffee lover, there are Starbucks on every other corner, including the original Starbucks, about halfway down the market on Pike Place.
While you are in the area, I highly recommend Bacco Cafe at the corner of 1st St. and Stewart. This cute little cafe features a delightful juice bar menu and yummy Pacific northwest fare. A perfect spot for breakfast or lunch, and one of our faves.
One block north of the Mayflower Park, on the second floor of Nordstrom, you will find the Monorail to Seattle Center. There’s a lot to see on the grounds, including one of the most recognized structures in the U.S., the Space Needle,
and even the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop) which is dedicated to the history and exploration of popular music, science fiction, and pop culture.
Walk down the Broad Street from the Space Needle and you arrive at the Olympic Sculpture Park. This outdoor sculpture garden is serene and lovely for a stroll on the waterfront.
When you are tired of shopping, and you’ve completely devoured the breathtaking waterfront, you can explore the area surrounding Lake Union just as easily. From the Mayflower Park, walk about a block up Stewart Street and take the South Lake Union Streetcar out to Lake Union. There, you can have lunch at Duke’s Seafood and Chowder, look at the marina, and watch the sailboats on the lake.
If you’re an art lover, the Seattle Art Museum is just 6 or 7 blocks from the hotel.
I’ve given you enough ideas for Seattle exploration to keep you busy for several days! There are endless eateries featuring fresh seafood. And here’s the best tip I’ve learned yet. Don’t be daunted by the steep hills when walking from the waterfront to almost everywhere. Just know and remember this…Pike Street (at the entrance to the market) is relatively flat , heading west to east. So no matter where you are, head toward Pike Street and walk east (no huffing and puffing,) then travel a couple blocks to the north to get back to the hotel. You’re welcome.
Hope I’ve inspired you to check out this wonderful city. Can’t wait to hear what you think!