Solo in Seattle

Old Aug 18th, 2013, 03:04 PM
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Solo in Seattle

I have to plan a business trip to Seattle some time this fall and plan to tack on a day that I'll be solo to see some of a city I've never been. Looking for....when to go (is there something big happening in town that brings out the real spirit)? where to stay (I prefer busy parts of town, I'm a busy NY'er the quiet makes me nervouse lol)? restaurants (I'll have two dinners, and two lunches for a taste of town, but will be alone so keep that in mind with your suggestions), must see spots to feel like I've been in Seattle. I will have a car and generally prefer a driving tour of a city so I can stop where I want, and just pass by simply "scenic" spots. And actually would love a suggestion of a half day drive out of the city to some beautiful NW splendor. I am a NY'er, a foodie (seafood fan, opt for farm to table but I appreciate a good greasy spoon that is a local legend), a hiker/biker (on this trip a driver), off the beat path fan, but love the tourist kitschiness. Basically I want to leave Seasttle knowing that I've been there, and with recommendations for others. Thanks in advance!!
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Old Aug 18th, 2013, 04:33 PM
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I was in Seattle solo at the end of July. I stayed downtown at the Hyatt Olive 8, a great location for walking and a lovely hotel.

I think Pike Place Market is fun for a couple of hours. The fish markets are amazing. And the stall where the guys are tossing the fish is great fun. It was a fun couple of hours. I also took a ferry over to Bainbridge Island and strolled around. Had a great view of Mount Rainier on the way back to Seattle.

The only restaurant recommendation I have for you is Geraldine's in the Columbia City neighborhood. Not quite a greasy spoon, but a local place, with french toast the specialty.

Fun neighborhoods I had a glimpse of were Fremont (see the troll under the bridge), and South Lake Union. Houseboats abound and other interesting houses.

The Sea Fair Parade took place while I was there and it was great fun, pirates and all. But in the fall, who knows what will be happening.

Don't know if you're into shopping but the original Starbucks is across the street from Pike Place Market and the Nordstrom flagship store is about 3 blocks from the Hyatt.
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Old Aug 18th, 2013, 06:21 PM
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Take one of the Argosy tours- I have done the Harbor tour and Tillicum Village- enjoyed both.
On the Tillicum Village tour you get a delicious salmon dinner

The harbor tours provides a lot of Seattle history and nice to see the city from the water.

http://www.argosycruises.com/sightseeing-cruises/
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 04:38 AM
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use gmaps and youtube to help plan. it is an all day drive but I-90, hwy97 and hwy 2 is a great over the mountains loop. Roslyn is along the way which provided the exteriors for northern exposure.
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 06:24 AM
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When to come? Pretty much any time between Labor Day and the middle of October, after which it can start getting rainy, plus the shorter days will inhibit out-of-town excursions.

Where to stay? I prefer busy parts of town, I'm a busy NY'er the quiet makes me nervouse lol... Well, downtown Seattle is no Manhattan, but there are several decent hotels that are close to restaurants, clubs, bars etc. What's your price point? Parking will be expensive at any of the downtown hotels, but not NYC-expensive.

Hotels to look at: Inn at the Market - http://innatthemarket.com/ - right in the Pike Place market

Mayflower Park - http://www.mayflowerpark.com/ - a great traditional hotel, right in the middle of things.

Andra - http://www.hotelandra.com - boutique-y with a good restaurant

And of course the usual chains - Hilton, Westin, Sheraton, Four Seasons, Fairmont, Kimpton.. are present

Seattle is a great city to tour by car. Google the following places/sights: Alki, Ballard Locks, Queen Anne Hill, Fremont troll, Volunteer Park, Lake Washington Boulevard, Washington Park arboretum, Green Lake, Portage Bay, Lake Union houseboats... And that's not even touching the close-in suburbs like downtown Kirkland or Edmonds with their cute waterfront downtown areas.

Food - farm-to-table and locavore places are thick on the ground. Generally it's very hard to find a bad fish/seafood restaurant in Seattle - they can't survive. Beyond that, the choices are daunting. Chowhound and Yelp are good resources; of course everyone has favorites and "I'll never go there again" places.

For out-of-town trips, the two that come to mind are Mount Rainier and the "Whidbey-Deception Pass loop." Mount Rainier (Paradise Inn) is around 2 1/2 hours from downtown Seattle, and depending on when you visit you may encounter some okay fall color at elevation. But Rainier is somewhat weather-dependent. If it's cloudy or raining in Seattle it will almost certainly be worse on the mountain, making the benefit-cost equation lousy.

The Whidbey loop is nice regardless of the weather, but not as (potentially) exciting as Rainier. In this case you drive to the cute little waterfront town of Mukilteo (the route takes you past the Boeing Everett plant, biggest building in the world). From Mukilteo you take a short ferry ride (around $12) to Whidbey Island. Visit the very cute waterfront village of Langley, then continue up the island (stopping at Coupeville, another waterfront town) to Deception Pass, the narrow channel between Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands. Deception Pass is terrific both from the beach and bridge levels, and if you happen to be there when the tide is changing the rush of water through the Pass is nothing short of awesome.

Then return to the mainland (bridge, not ferry) and visit the equally cute waterfront village of La Conner before heading back to Seattle on I-5. Here's a map - http://goo.gl/maps/DgDSs

This is a great introduction to the Puget Sound country. You'll get great views of the Olympic mountains (and hopefully Mount Baker on the mainland), see some nice towns and lovely countryside, and visit one of the real gems of the region in Deception Pass.

Others will chime in with more (maybe better) suggestions. You won't be short of options.
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Old Aug 21st, 2013, 02:40 PM
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-Check out Pike Place Market
-Eat mussels at Place Pigalle
-Eat at any Tom Douglas restaurant
-Take ferry to Bainbridge Island
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Old Aug 25th, 2013, 07:19 AM
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You want to stay right downtown. What price range and type of hotel are you interested in? Mayflower Park and the Warwick are my two usual recommendations in a mid-price range.

For your 1/2 day drive you could head south to Mt. Rainer, east to Snoqualmie Falls, or north to Whidbey Island.
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Old Aug 25th, 2013, 03:50 PM
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Seattle is such a different animal from the Big Apple, but like the Big Apple I find has neighbourhoods that differ considerably in character. I stayed in the Capitol Hill area near downtown at a place called the Gaslight Inn (and was glad I was there rather than downtown). The Pike-Pine Corridor, 15th Street and Broadway nearby had an enjoyable energy nearby, as did Cal Anderson Park. I found myself smitten with the verdant city of tall trees with snow-capped mountain views on the Puget Sound. Taking the ferry to West Seattle and biking along Alki Beach was a highlight, particularly since it was a gorgeous day and Mount Rainier was visible in its full glory. Biking the Burke-Gilman Trail was great fun too. Have a great trip whatever you do!
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