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Seattle is undergoing a transformation that will make it an even more popular destination. The Alaskan Way viaduct, a noisy elevated freeway along the spectacular waterfront that created an imposing barrier from Seattle’s downtown, has been torn down, morphing the ugly duckling into a swan.

What’s the weather in Seattle?

Seattle has much to offer visitors, starting with a moderate climate. Contrary to common belief, the city actually receives less annual rainfall than many other popular US destinations (Miami gets sixty-two inches, and Houston, fifty, compared to Seattle’s thirty eight). It may have more than the average number of grey days, but when the skies are blue, the emerald city shines like the gem itself.

What’s the first place I should visit in Seattle?

Pike Place Market in Seattle

Pike Place Market in Seattle

Every visit should start off at Pike Place Market. – not just a place to buy fresh produce, fish and other goods, but the historical heartbeat of the city. It is impossible to understand not just the market’s physical layout but its importance to the city by just stepping off the street and into one of the many doorways.

The best way to get to know it is on a tour, and Savor Seattle offers up to ten options each day. The food samples from a variety of vendors are generous enough to constitute a meal, but the real benefits of a guide are the entertaining commentary and a human map to the living labyrinth that spans nine acres of prime downtown real estate.

Travel Tip – What to Eat

The food scene in Seattle is colossal. Not just fresh seafood, but local produce and ethnic influences can be found at over 500 restaurants.

Rider – live fire cooking creates not just the meal but a show; innovative presentation using regional products (the full menu available for room service seals the deal).

Conversation – a quiet reprieve with unique share plates just a block away from the mayhem of the Market.

RN74 – the 10,000 bottle cellar and a knowledgeable sommelier make this a perfect spot for a tasting menu.

 

Should I buy a Seattle City Pass?

There are many other major tourist sites in the city, and purchasing a City Pass allows the most cost effective entry to all of them, with the additional advantage of expedited entry when the lineups seem daunting.

Seattle Centre is ground zero for many of the destinations and is easily accessed on foot or by monorail from downtown. The Space Needle is 605 feet high and allows 360 degree views of Puget Sound.

Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle. Photo by Linda Aksomitis.

Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle. Photo by Linda Aksomitis.

The massive glass art exhibits of Chihuly Garden are displayed both indoors and out, allowing their inspiration from nature to really come alive. Right next door is the futuristically shaped MOPOP (Museum of Pop Culture), home to interactive exhibits related to movies, music and gaming.

Travel Tip

Check out CityPass Seattle for all of the offers included.

 

What can I do at the Seattle waterfront?

A trip to the Waterfront is a must if only to access a boat tour (Argosy Cruises offer seven narrated options) or a ferry to destinations including Bainbridge Island or Bremerton.

Also worth a visit is the Seattle Aquarium – an authentic living view into the ocean’s inhabitants from sea lions to octopus to anemone.

What are the popular neighborhoods to visit in Seattle?

Seattle is the fifteenth largest city in the US, with a metropolitan population of almost four million, but it seems much smaller because of its distinct neighbourhoods.

Queen Anne has the views, Capitol Hill is a favourite for LGBTQ culture, while SODO (south of downtown) is the up and coming district for urban wine tasting. West Seattle is the original location of the city and home to the best Sunday Farmers Market (according to local chefs), delicious tacos, gentrification, and forested pathways to stroll at Lincoln Park.

Travel Tip – Wine Tasting

Browne Family Vineyards – located just off of Pioneer Square, they offer a variety of flight options and charcuterie boards are available to accompany the wine.

SODO Urbanworks – destination hub of ten tasting rooms just south of downtown; pioneer winery Kerloo pours pure varietal expressions in a “barrel to bottle” venue.

 

What live sporting events can I see in Seattle?

If watching sports is your goal, Seattle is home to seven professional teams (football, soccer, basketball).

T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

T-Mobile Park in Seattle. Photo by BJ Oudman.

The city’s crown jewel is T-Mobile Park, home to the Seattle Mariners and worth the ticket price just for craft beer (seventy two unique labels), the food and panoramic views over Puget Sound.

Can I fill a week visit to Seattle?

There is more than enough activity in and around the city to fill an entire week, but even a shorter getaway is simple with so many daily flights into SeaTac.

Travel Tip – Day Trips

Finnriver – if you have longer than the weekend, plan a full day trip to this cidery at the north end of the Olympic Peninsula for farm tours, creative ciders, wood fired pizza, games, music and just chilling out in the country.

Bainbridge Island – hop on the ferry for a thirty minute ride from downtown and be transported to a slower pace of life with restaurants, tasting rooms (Fletcher Bay and Eagle Harbor are just two of five in town ) and even a brewery all within walking distance from the boat terminal.

 

Plan Your Trip

Getting downtown from the airport on the LINK shuttle is convenient, forty five minutes and only three dollars. With empty stomach and comfortable shoes, go now and explore the fastest growing destination on the west coast.

 

Travel Tip –  Where To Stay

Hotel Theodore – downtown Seattle near Pike Market, Convention Centre and shopping.

EVEN Hotel – quiet location near South Lake Union allows easy access to city sights on foot or by Monorail.

About the Author

BJ Oudman BJ Oudman has a passion for travel that has led her to explore the local lifestyle, food and markets in over 25 countries. Based in Calgary, Alberta, she has shared stories for over ten years in many publications. They include Savour Calgary, City Palate, Culinaire, Impact, Globe & Mail, International Living and Travel & Style. She holds a diploma from the International Sommelier Guild as well as a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Alberta.

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About the Photo

The photo in the header above was taken by Linda Aksomitis in Seattle, Washington, at the entrance to Pike Place.

About the Author

BJ Oudman is a travel writer who has visited 25+ countries.

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Space needle in Seattle.

Musicians playing outside Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

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