Seattle for the first time

Jun 18th, 2019, 06:06 PM
  #1  
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Seattle for the first time

Hi all,

I have a friend who is going to Seattle for the first time for six nights the first week in July. He's just ordered a guidebook, but I thought I'd ask if any of you have particular special places you love to do and eat there that are not super super expensive. He's staying in a B and B right by Pike's Market. I've only been to Seattle once and we were most visiting friends who lived on Bainbridge Island.

Thanks much.
cmstraf is offline  
Jun 19th, 2019, 03:01 AM
  #2  
 
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I did the Savor Seattle Food tour. I was traveling by myself and found this a lot of fun. Its a guided walk through Pike's Market and you taste many of the vendors foods. I enjoyed it and learned more about the market.

He can walk to the space needle and the chihuly exhibit. These are must sees in my opinion.
girlonthego is offline  
Jun 19th, 2019, 06:06 AM
  #3  
 
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First, tell him that there's no "s" in the Pike Place Market. (, sorry, local thing, like "Frisco.")

It's a big and diverse city with so many options that it's pretty hard to suggest a list of things as "must do" items. But some generalities just to start...

We're on the Pacific Rim, and have an Asian history that's vivid and still growing. Waves of immigrants - Chinese, Japanese, Southeast Asian and South Asians, have shaped big parts of the city and its history. A couple of hours at the incredible Uwajimaya pan-Asian grocery and department store, will be a revelation.

Despite the glitz and forest of office and apartment towers, Seattle has always been a working-class city. Less so now proportionately, but we're still a region that produces airplanes, trucks (Paccar, as in Peterbilt and Kenworth,) steel, and a lot of fish. All those tower cranes along the waterfront handle millions of tons of imports and exports annually. The big industrial tanks and conveyors close to where the cruise ships dock are where a big part of the country's wheat takes sail to Asia. The switch yards down by the baseball park are a major nexus in the nation's rail network, distributing containers and bulk products from the Pacific across the continent, and vice versa.

Tourist destinations are clustered around our very hilly downtown area. From Seattle Center (Space Needle, Chihuly, MoPop Museum etc.) to Pioneer Square (at one time, and maybe still, the largest National Historic District in the country) is barely 2 miles. Using the monorail (downtown to Seattle Center) or buses or our limited light rail system, or - best of all - shoe leather, you can walk from one end to the other, zigzagging from the waterfront to Amazonia, in a couple of hours or quicker. But Seattle and its suburbs is/are a collection of neighborhoods, some of them extremely picturesque and pleasant. We have clusters where Spanish is the main spoken language, others where it's Vietnamese, or Korean, others where it's Somali, others where its Russian. We have parks designed by the Olmsteads (as in Central Park or Golden Gate Park) and others with nesting bald eagles and coyotes, where you feel like you're in a different world, when in fact you're surrounded by one of America's great cities.

On a good day you can see three national parks from the top of one of our many hills, or from the waterfront. You can play volleyball on a sandy beach while ferries pass, the Olympic mountains in the background, and with seals watching from the chilly waters of Puget Sound. There are islands, ranging from the suburban to the uninhabited, within reach of the city.

It's a watery city. You can kayak or ride tour boats around Lake Washington, Lake Union, Green Lake, Elliott Bay, past houseboats, in quiet wetlands near the base of the University of Washington's football field, where you'll be in the company of beavers, eagles and other birds. You can visit our huge fishing port (Fishermen's Terminal) and walk less than a mile to the locks that raise and lower boats and ships between Lakes Union and Washington and Puget Sound. You can go down a set of stairs at the locks where there are underwater windows from which you can watch the salmon using the fish ladder on return to their spawning creeks.

With a car for a day or two, you can visit Mount Rainier, explore gorgeous and very rural Vashon Island, or visit the Everett Boeing factory, home of the big jets and the biggest building in the world. You can visit Snoqualmie Falls, higher than Niagara, or see locations used in Twin Peaks, including the cafe in North Bend where you can still get a piece of cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee. You can drive past the Carnation dairy farm, where the company started, in the drop-dead gorgeous Snoqualmie Valley. In Tacoma, you can visit the Museum of Glass (fee) or walk the Chihuly Bridge of Glass (free).

Back in the city, you can visit the Museum of Flight, one of the best air and space museums in the country (second only to the Smithsonian IMO) or other outstanding museums. You can visit one of the many farmers markets in the neighborhoods, some of them offering fresher produce than you'll find at mobbed Pike Place. There are many places where you can take breathtaking photos of the city and surrounding water and mountains where you don't have to shell out thirty bucks or more for an elevator ride in the Space Needle.

You can take in the funk that has yet to abandon the city. See our famous troll, lurking under a bridge in the Fremont district, not far from a statue of Lenin rescued from ruin in Slovakia. Lenin stands in front of a decent place to get tacos and burritos. Visit Archie McPhee, the legendary joke and weird stuff store, or visit the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall. Go to music venues, visit Jimi's grave or see where Kurt lived out his miserable days. Or learn about Seattle's amazing and little-known contributions to African-American music. Walk along Yesler Way, the original "skid road." Visit a serene wee park full of waterfalls, original home of the United Parcel Service, or go up the Smith Tower, once the tallest building west of Chicago, and see the "Chinese Room," full of gifts from the Empress of Japan to LC Smith, the original owner of the building (typewriters and guns.)

Take the West Seattle Water Taxi across Elliott Bay to Seacrest Park. Have loco moco, or maybe some Spam musubi, at the cool Marination Ma Kai cafe right on the pier. Wash it down with a local beer or with a (terrific) mai tai, while sitting on their patio with a jaw-dropping view of the city skyline. Rent bikes next door and ride 2 miles along the waterfront to Alki Park, near the city's founding point. See passing ferries and our wee Statue of Liberty, with the Olympic mountains behind. Take the ferry back to the downtown ferry terminal and walk five minutes to where they play something that looks like big league baseball.

Or hop a train (pack your passport) and spend a day (or better, 24 hours+) in Vancouver, another of the world's most beautiful cities.

So maybe a bit florid, but let us know your friend's interests, and more targeted suggestions can be forthcoming.

A couple of pictures of "off the beaten track" just to illustrate the variety...

West Seattle water taxi



Fishermen's Terminal



Lake Union houseboats



View from Alki Beach



Mount Rainier from Vashon Island

Gardyloo is offline  
Jun 19th, 2019, 06:25 AM
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In the Fremont area is the world HQ of geocaching (Groundspeak Inc). within walking distance of there is a troll under the north end of the Fremont bridge. Also in the neighborhood is the so called "Center of the Universe". Geocaching is a great sport that I have been doing for about 14 years. I've been to HQ twice.
tomfuller is offline  
Jun 19th, 2019, 08:07 AM
  #5  
 
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Seattle City Pass includes admissions to the Space Needle, Chihuly Glass museum, Aquarium, Culture museum, Argosy harbor cruise, and some other choices... it's only $99 and will save them about $50.... it's worth it for a first time visitor...
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Jun 19th, 2019, 08:56 AM
  #6  
mms
 
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Another vote for the Seattle Savour tour. We took my mom on this when she came to visit and we all loved it.

The Underworld tour is very good too. It is 21+ and focuses on another aspect of Seattles history.
mms is offline  
Jun 21st, 2019, 07:16 PM
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Lots of good advice here.

​If you love movies or rock music, then visit the Museum of Pop Culture. It is phenomenal.

Also consider Tillicum Excursion. We really enjoyed it. The ferry ride over and the Native American dances and carved masks were all great.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...ashington.html​​​​​
5alive is online now  
Jun 22nd, 2019, 06:54 AM
  #8  
 
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The Market itself has lots of different shops, stands, booths where you can eat for not terribly expensive... Jacks Fish Spot and Market Grill both have counters with chowder, fish sanwiches. La Panier is an excellent French bakery with sandwiches and savory in addition to their sweets. Michou is a very good deli with all kinds of things to go (hot casseroles, stuffed baked potatoes, etc.). De Laurenti's is a specialty Italian grocery, deli case, and cafe section. Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar is a fun old-timey cafe for fish baskets.
suze is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2019, 06:57 AM
  #9  
mms
 
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5alives suggestion of the Tillicum Excursion has s excellent. They added a couple new options for it this year, including one that lets you kayak for about an hour. The TE was the standard 4th grade field trip when our kids were young and we still enjoy it FWIW.
mms is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2019, 03:29 PM
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by suze View Post
The Market itself has lots of different shops, stands, booths where you can eat for not terribly expensive... Jacks Fish Spot and Market Grill both have counters with chowder, fish sanwiches. La Panier is an excellent French bakery with sandwiches and savory in addition to their sweets. Michou is a very good deli with all kinds of things to go (hot casseroles, stuffed baked potatoes, etc.). De Laurenti's is a specialty Italian grocery, deli case, and cafe section. Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar is a fun old-timey cafe for fish baskets.
Suze is right! We had some great greek yogurt and I went back and ate a larger portion for lunch after the Savour Seattle tour. The greek yogurt has a corner spot in the market. Food choices were widely different and all very good. Some nice shopping there too.
girlonthego is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2019, 04:04 PM
  #11  
mms
 
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Girlonthego—that was Ellenos yogurt. So good!!!
mms is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2019, 04:29 PM
  #12  
 
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Yes mms!
girlonthego is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2019, 01:54 AM
  #13  
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Seattle for the first time

Wow--these are great suggestions, everyone! Thank you all -- I especially loved the photos. My friend is really grateful and I am now itching to return to Seattle myself. I'm also reminded that I should perhaps do a very short trip report of my recent week long solo writing retreat in Taos.
cmstraf is offline  
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