Beautiful water and cultural city. Seattle is largely known for the Space Needle and being a mecca of new bands and musics. I personally know it as the land of flowers, since I always see the flower sellers at Pike’s Place (more on that later). Side note: Seahawks just won the Super Bowl; not much of a sports fan, but it is pretty cool to live by a city that just won.
I have also been to the Space Needle, Pine St shopping area, taken the monorail between the two (great transportation), then walked down to Pike’s place and the new Ferris wheel, all on a day visit to Seattle. My father also talked me into going on the duck boat tours, since it was the only time he had been to Seattle and the second time I had. Some comments on these attractions:
Getting around: If you aren’t willing or able to drive around, that’s a-okay as this part of the Pacific northwest. There are many buses that can get you from Tacoma, to Sea-Tac Airport, to Seattle, to Olympia, and you can even catch the Amtrak down to Portland. If you do decide that buses are how you want to travel, make sure to come with dollar bills and quarters (you need exact change) or buy an Orca card. Orca cards allow you to get a little of a discount on the pre-loaded card and give you some benefits, such as longer transfer windows, and can even work on ferries.
- Seattle Public Library: a very interesting and modernistic perspective on how people interact with learning and books. They offer different lectures, never been to one, but just from walking around in the building I feel like they would be pretty good. The library has different colors for different floors, one was bright red, not faded or muted, but RED! It was spectacular, had a little photo shoot, right then and there with mother.
Space Needle: personally, I wasn’t very impressed with the observation deck from Seattle’s shining gym. It was a good one time thing, but I wouldn’t do it again, I wouldn’t even recommend that you go up it. They did provide a free photo that they green screen the space needle into; you could e-mail the picture to yourself at the kiosk in the top of the needle. From experience I would just stand at the bottom and look up, see it from different perspectives there. The needle is an amazing engineering feet.
- Monorail: It’s a lot of fun, faster than buses, and takes you right to Pine Shopping center from the Needle. I’ve taken it many times and it’s still fun to wander through the shops in the shopping center and get a free tea sample from Teavana. Last time I took the rail it only cost 2$ per person.
- Duck boat tour: Wow was this a goofy experience, the driver put on different hats while talking about different local attractions. They take you out onto Lake Washington, the building that is shown as the outside of the hospital in Grey’s Anatomy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hardest working man, the needle, and plenty of other sites. It was worth the price and gave you a very good tour of the city. Especially if you have limited time or you want a good overview of what the city has to offer.
- Ferris Wheel: Gone up in it twice and am still amazed with the magnificent view of the port. Especially on rainy days the clouds and calm of the water are breathtaking.
- Underground tour: I heard a lot of hype about this place. It’s where they give a tour of the original Seattle walk ways, before they lowered the grade a smidgen to correct plumbing and whatnot. I really had high expectations for this tour, but they really let me down. They did provide some good history of the city: fires, plumbing, how it started, infrastructure, etc. You do see a different side of the city on this tour. That’s my two cents.
- Uwajimaya: If you are any kind of fan of Asia you will love this store. They have everything from candies to fruit to books to cooking supplies and everything in between. Ah, I have spent many an hour in this store and sometimes even take the bus from Tacoma up just to visit this place.
- Pike’s Place Market: Every time I visit this wonderful city I share Pike’s Place Market. Yes, the market may be very touristy at this point, but I go to encourage the local flower arrangers, you can buy wondrous pieces of living art – I guess they are technically dead by the time the consumer sees them – for pretty cheap and the flowers, wreaths, depending on the time of year last a really long time. I would recommend anyone that’s never been there to at least check it out once, plus you can see the first ever Starbucks and see the fish throwers.