Seattle best bets

Old Dec 7th, 2004, 08:36 PM
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Seattle best bets

what are some best bets for a first-time Seattle visitor? Also, which ferry ride is the preferred one? is there a boat ride to Vancouver? if so, how long is it, and can you package an overnight stay, etc?
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Old Dec 7th, 2004, 10:17 PM
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There are a great many threads here regarding Seattle; a search will save you time and effort.

The ferry to Bremerton from downtown Seattle is arguably the most scenic ride; however the Bainbridge ferry (same terminal in Seattle) is also quite nice, and Bainbridge Island offers more attractions for foot passengers.

Longer ferry trips, e.g., to the San Juans, require driving to the ports, and you don't say if you'll have a car (or when you're coming, or for how long, etc.)

No ferries to Vancouver, there's a freeway instead. Vancouver Island on the other hand, has daily passenger ferry and numerous float plane connections from downtown Seattle. Plenty of transport/hotel packages in Victoria (on Vancouver Island) if that's what you're looking for.
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Old Dec 7th, 2004, 10:29 PM
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Gardyloo is right on about the ferries. I'd add that take the ferry out to Bainbridge during the day and come back after sunset. The city lights can be stunning.

I'm a big fan of the San Juans and float planes. When I lived there our house was near Kenmore Air's base at the top of Lake Washington and one day I caught a ride to Lake Union. It was just a few short minutes, but what a nice time.

You might catch a float plan to Victoria, ferry to Vancouver and train back. (Just be careful to ensure you're on an Amtrak train and not a bus ...).

Or you could float plane to Friday Harbor and catch the ferry to Victoria -- assuming that's still running. It's been a few years.
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Old Dec 7th, 2004, 11:12 PM
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I haven't been to Seattle in awhile but Pikes Market was wonderful in Seattle. My favorite "dining" experience was to get the clam chowder & french fries from the window of the Ivar's restaurant down by the piers and then share the fries with the Seagulls. It's probably not an ecologically responsible choice... The "Ye Ole Curiosity Shop" was fun and I love the aquarium in Seattle. Stanley Park - and the Vancouver aquarium - were great. We enjoyed the Steam Clock and walking through Vancouver's Chinatown. Victoria is just amazing.
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 08:25 AM
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We enjoyed the ferry ride to Bainbridge very much. We took some beautiful pictures from the ferry of Seattle with the Space Needle in the background. Very much worth the time and it's very inexpensive to ride!

Pike's Place Market is also very fun and of course going to the top in the Space Needle was great fun! ***kim***
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 08:42 AM
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My time in Seattle is usually limited to one overnight business trip every 12 to 18 months. I've been about 4 times and always eagerly anticipate dinner at the Metropolitan Grill on 2nd.

If you want a really, really good steak in a place with a great wine list - and don't mind the price, it's excellant.

I'm certain there are better places to eat in Seattle. But, this is one where I've never gone wrong. I seem to recall something about Seattle and fish...
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 09:08 AM
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The ferries can be fun, but I would definitely do the Bainbridge vs the Bremerton one. The ride on either is pretty...but once you get to Bremerton there is nothing there really except the shipyard and not very scenic IMHO. With the ferries a lot depends on time of year and weekends...the lines can get quite long. My dh commuted on one for several years and so we know the system all too well.

The suggestion of the Metropolitan Grill is good too.
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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Our favorite meals in Seattle were: the Dahlia Lounge (Tom Douglas) the Flying Fish and Salty's on Alki Beach. The views from the patio at Salty's are just gorgeous. They also serve some killer coconut prawns there.

Try the pressed duck app at the Dahlia Lounge, very good. ***kim***
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Thanks for all the great suggestions,everybody! I'm looking forward to it!
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 07:28 PM
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I don't know the best place to get this currently, perhaps someone else can chime in, but find some pacific salmon grilled on a cedar plank. It's classic Seattle. Perhaps salty's, anthony's or chinook's.
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Old Dec 9th, 2004, 12:39 PM
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My 1st-timer must-do's include: Pioneer Square Historic District, Chinatown, the Pike Place Market, and to the top of the Space Needle if the weather is clear.

Optionals like: Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Art Museum, ferry ride to anywhere, day trip out to Snoqualmie Falls and the Salish Lodge.

You could take the Victoria Clipper to Victoria (not a ferry but a cool larger boat) for a LONG day trip or an overnight. I'm sure there are packages to include a hotel stay.

Susan in Seattle
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Old Dec 9th, 2004, 01:14 PM
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Which of these two side trips, including an overnight, is better:

Victoria or Vancouver?
I'm guessing Victoria would involve a boat ride, and Vancouver an Amtrak trip.
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Old Dec 9th, 2004, 02:24 PM
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Victoria on the Clipper would be a unique trip. Victoria is tiny, quaint, and easy to see in a short time. Vancouver is a wonderful city but to my mind a bit like Seattle (similar size, similar relation to the water and mountains, etc.) also very large but you could see a few highlights spending in a day downtown.

Victoria you can definitely walk everywhere from where the boat docks. I'm not sure where Amtrak gets into Vancouver so a taxi or public transportation might be necessary to get around.
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Old Dec 9th, 2004, 05:21 PM
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One train a day between Seattle and Vancouver; leaves Seattle at 7:45am, 6pm southbound. All other listings on the Amtrak schedule are buses contracted by Amtrak. Bleh.

Best option for visiting Victoria in a day (or overnight) is via scheduled float plane from Lake Union in Seattle - www.kenmoreair.com.
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Old Dec 10th, 2004, 01:45 PM
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Check out seattleweekly.com and nwsource.com. What are your interests? What time of year are you planning on visiting?
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Old Dec 10th, 2004, 06:35 PM
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Victoria was great before 1950 when it still had a real English flair, but now Vancouver would be my choice. It's a great city. Book a hotel near Robson Street, walk along the in-city beach, check out fabulous Stanley Park. Vancouver has great restaurants, gardens, shopping, museums, whatever might interest you.
 
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