A February 2005 trip
to Seattle by amelie1
Quote: Welcome to Seattle, a city where the people thrive on good coffee, good books, good music, and a good rain! Climb down from the Space Needle and delve beneath the grunge to find a city gleaming with treasures untold.
A little bit Boston, a little bit San Francisco, and a lot of personality to give it a unique flavor – this is Seattle, the Emerald City. Though its claim to fame may be the Space Needle that defines its skyline and the grunge-rock movement that defined a generation, Seattle is a destination with so much more to offer, from its modern, bustling downtown to its historic Poineer Square to the deep-blue waters of Puget Sound. Here are a few helpful hints for discovering the well-known landmarks and uncovering some lesser-known treasures you won’t want to miss.
Of course, most people will want to visit the Space Needle, which is located at the Seattle Center, along with the Experience Music Project (EMP) and Science Fiction Museum. The Space Needle is both an architectural marvel and a fantastic viewpoint for taking some panoramic photos of Seattle and Puget Sound. The EMP is another astounding architectural achievement and houses an impressive collection of musical memorabilia to please any music buff. More than a museum, the EMP is an interactive multimedia lesson in music and music history. The Science Fiction Museum calls for a shorter visit but is fun for any fan of sci-fi books, movies, or television, as well as for families. Familiar and unfamiliar creatures and characters are encased along the halls of this exhibit that's, well, out of this world.
Pioneer Square is Seattle's historic area, full of historic brick buildings, fun shops, and restaurants, and home to the Seattle Underground Tour, a tour that takes you beneath the streets of Seattle to the original historic street level, where storefronts, windows, and artifacts can still be found. This unusual tour will familiarize you with a bit of Seattle history and make you think twice when you see the glass blocks in a city sidewalk.
A well-known must-see attraction in downtown Seattle is Pike's Place Market. This famed public market needs little introduction. The market itself is a haven for local farmers, crafters, artists, and fishermen, the latter being much-photographed for the fish that they throw back and forth. Lower levels of the market house off-the-wall curio shops, and Post Alley, adjacent to the top level, is home to more upscale boutique specialty shops.
See listings under Experiences for off-the-beaten-path highlights.
At the Seattle Center, a triple pass is generally available, combining entry into the Space Needle, Experience Music Project, and Science Fiction Museum for the single price of . If you had planned to see all three, this offers good savings (considering that entry into the EMP alone is for adults).
Rooms are small, with a European feel. Some upstair rooms have skylights. Bathrooms are shared. The staff is friendly and accommodating. Breakfast is simple but good, and the common room/breakfast area offers a fantastic panoramic view of Puget Sound. Prices are budget to moderate, with rates similar to the nearby trendy Ace Hotel.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 24, 2005
1923 1st Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98101
Restaurant | "Bizarro Italian Cafe"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 24, 2005
Bizzarro Italian Cafe
1307 North 46th St
Seattle, Washington 98103
1101 34th Ave
Seattle, Washington 98122
Restaurant | "Chinoise"
12 Boston St
Seattle, Washington 98109
+1 206 284 6671
Attraction | "Bumbershoot Festival"
305 Harrison St
Seattle, Washington 98109
+1 206 281 7788; +1
Seattle's outlying neighborhoods also have much to offer the adventurous traveler. The Fremont neighborhood is the dwelling of the infamous Fremont troll, a huge concrete creature that lives under the Fremont Bridge capturing passing cars. This neighborhood also boasts the Henry Art Gallery and the unique Gasworks Park, a park filled with - you guessed it - colorful old gasworks that make it quite an interesting spot for photographs or a game of hide-and-seek. Also in Fremont is a fantastic Sunday flea market that is a draw from all reaches of town. For some of the best photographic views of the Seattle Skyline, head to the Queen Anne neighborhood. High on a hill, this area has several viewpoints that offer breathtaking panoramas. A great place to hear some live music and feel a bit more historic charm is the Ballard area. This area retains some of its Scandinavian heritage while infusing a modern flair. Several local coffee shops and pubs feature local musicians, and some lovely local boutiques can be found here. West Seattle is not often on a visitor's list, but if heading to this neighboring area, make note to visit Alki Beach, often regarded as the best beach in Seattle, as well as the Walker Rock Garden, a mosaic-filled private garden open to visitors by appointment.