Seattle: Exploring the Northern Pacific
Seattle is Washington’s largest city and one of the jewels of the Northwest Pacific. Home of many Fortune 500 corporations such as Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing and Costco, the city is surrounded by water, snowy mountains and natural forests that perfectly complement the high rise skyline of downtown. I flew back home with more stories in my backpack than I was expecting for. The Emerald City will definitely surprise you! Check out the galleria and the city’s main attractions below:
Seattle Observation Points:
Sky View Observatory at Columbia Center – This attraction was already on my guide since it is one of the locations from “50 Shades of Grey”, but it was also recommended by a local. Turns out that I do like the views from this tower better than the ones from the Space Needle Observation deck. Observation sits at the 73rd floor, at nearly 1000 ft off the ground. Located in downtown and close to the stadiums, the waterfront and the port, it is definitely worth visiting for $14.75 per person. Space Needle Observation Deck - Most definitely a bucket list item for travelers worldwide, the Space Needle is Seattle’s main postcard. At a height of 520 feet, the Observation deck offers 360 degree views of Seattle and beyond. Tickets cost $22 per person. I recommend visiting the SkyCity restaurant if you have more money to spend, since it offers better views and a truly unforgettable experience. SkyCity Restaurant at Space Needle – This was hands down the best experience I had in Seattle. The restaurant offers breathtaking 360 degree views of the city and surrounding areas at its continuously rotating dining room. Yes, it spins, though very slowly so that no one feels uncomfortable and so that everyone can enjoy the beautiful Seattle’s panorama. The food is definitely worth the money and the service is top notch. They offer brunch, lunch and dinner menus that are on the pricy side, but this is a worthwhile experience. Also, those who dine at the restaurant get to visit the Observation deck for free, so consider the cost of the food less $22 per person and it doesn’t come out that expensive. Brunch and dinner feature 3 course menus for $50 & $74 per person respectively. Great Wheel at Seattle Waterfront – One of my top favorite attractions in Seattle. Sitting right next to the water, this ride provides amazing panorama views of the skyline, Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains. All of the gondolas are fully enclosed and climate controlled with glass throughout. It’s the Seattle Waterfront’s newest attraction, and reaches 175 feet above Pier 57. Tickets cost $13 per person for a 20-25 min ride. Kerry Park – Best views of the Seattle skyline. When I say best views, trust they really won’t disappoint you. This is a free attraction and you can park in the street in front of the park, also for free, or if you are up for the hike, take Queen Ann up. The park was featured as the opening scene in the film “10 Things I Hate About You”. Pike Place Market It’s the longest continually operating public market in the US and the heart of Seattle. Open year-round, the Pike Place Market is Seattle’s most iconic attraction and features plenty of restaurants, fresh food and fish (watch huge salmons being thrown around), souvenirs, etc. This is the stop to not only work on some shopping but also to engage with Seattle’s culture. Below are the main places to visit in the area, in addition to the market itself.
Gum Wall – It is a local landmark located in Post Alley just next to Pike Place Market. There’s over 20 years of chewed gum in those brick walls. Original Starbucks – The #1 out of more than 20,000 Starbucks stores around the globe, it kept the same appearance and original floors, fixtures and counters from its opening in 1971 and is smaller and simpler than you might expect. Be prepared to wait in long, long lines if you’d like to taste the Pike Roast original coffee. Fran’s Chocolates – Best chocolate store in Seattle. All made with zero preservatives, reason why they don’t wholesale their ganache filled truffles.
Pike Brewing Co – Loved the atmosphere and the beers and pretty much everything about this place. They support local and sustainable practices, from the local produce food served in the Pub, to the hops used to brew their beer, to the equipment and investment in local businesses. The City & Beyond: Olympic Sculpture Park – This waterfront park is a great location for exercising and also to watch the sunset. Plenty of visitors and locals hang around the sculptures every day. Free & open to the public.
International Fountain at Seattle Center – Great attractions for children during summer. On winter months the fountain stays off. All of the water here is recycled, and goes through 3 different types of treatment before it reaches the surface.
Chihuly Garden and Glass – It is home of the work of local artist Dale Chihuly. The garden is said to be most beautiful at sunset. It features 8 galleries of glass sculptures and 1 glasshouse. I did not get to visit the exhibit at this time, but I did see the glasshouse from the outside and it truly looks spectacular. Tickets: $22 per person. Waterfall Garden Park at Pioneer Square – One of the most expensive parks per square foot ever built in the United States. Note this attraction closes at 3:45pm, so plan ahead!
Snoqualmie Falls – Last but not least! Snoqualmie Falls is one of Washington state’s most popular scenic attractions. Located only 35 min from Seattle, it is visited by over 1.5 million people yearly. Snoqualmie offers a gift shop with hot coffee and snacks, observation deck, a lodge and, of course, the imposing 270 foot waterfall. Parking and viewing area are free and open every day from dawn to dusk.
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With love, Bella.