Seattle: Reining in Food and Fun
Seattle, cleverly and humorously nicknamed “Rain City”, “Emerald City”, “Queen City”, “Gateway to Alaska”, and “Jet City”, making it a city with some sort identity crisis? Seattle’s identity is attached to the many charming neighborhoods, active communities, jaw-dropping scenery, and underrated, innovative food. It is city that is worth visiting and revisiting.
Getting those Touristy Feet Wet
Pikes Place Market
A good place to begin is Pikes Place Market. It is touristy, crowded, and overwhelming, but it will drive your senses over the edge! Overlooking Elliott Bay, this century plus, historic market is the Northwest epicenter for farm fresh produce, artisanal food, interesting crafts, street performers, dining, and more. http://www.pikeplacemarket.org
-Look for Rachel the Pig, a 550 pound piggy bank statue surrounded by lots of paparazzis.
-Large crowds swarm in front of Pikes Place Fish. The Fishmongers attract and captivate large crowds by dramatically throwing large fish over their counter.
-By walking from one end of the market to the other, you will literally whet your appetite and fill your stomach with an array of food samples.
-Meander through the lower levels of the market, across the street, the alleyways, and neighboring park.
-Look out for iconic and award-winning, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. Watch the cheese making process through the window, and try some of their samples. http://www.beechershandmadecheese.com/Locations/Seattle.aspx
-For Starbuck Lovers, more shutterbugs and large crowds flock to their very first store or the one that made Espresso drinks mainstream.
-With its panoramic views of Elliott Bay, Cutters Crabhouse serves fresh seafood and provides a quiet respite from the bustling Pikes Place Market. http://www.cutterscrabhouse.com
Rainy Day Activities
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum
Located near the Space Needle, Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum, and the Pacific Science Center, the Chilhuly Garden and Glass Museum is like walking through an animated Disney movie. Dale Chilhuly glass sculpture gardens are enchanting and whimsical. http://www.chihulygardenandglass.com
Beneath the Streets of Seattle
About 120+ years ago 31 blocks of Seattle’s Pioneer Bay burned down. This fascinating guided tour literally takes you through the rich history, remains, and through this living museum below a highly populated and popular part of Seattle. http://www.undergroundtour.com
Seattle Showered with lots of quaint Neighborhoods
Wallingford and Fremont Districts
North of downtown Seattle and close to the Aurora Bridge, lives and breathes this hipster and artsy area with a mix of unusual statues/art, and ethnic restaurant/cafes. The Fremont District, self-proclaimed nickname is the “Center of the Universe” and has lots of Instagram photo opportunities: http://fremont.com
-A large, monstrous Troll statue crushing a VW Bug lurks under the Aurora Bridge and drawing small crowds waiting to take photos.
-Stir up your own controversy and stand next a statue of Vladimir Lenin…a true communist!
-The Interuban are “Stoned” Partiers who often play dress up and are ready to welcome you to the “Center of the Universe”.
-A remnant from the Cold War, a real life Rocket is lodged on the side of a building and carries its own hard luck story.
The Fremont and Wallingford Districts have restaurants that are “out of this world”.
-With its charming homey exterior and interior, and freshly roasted coffee, Lighthouse Roasters is an ideal launch or break point for your day. http://www.lighthouseroasters.com/about.cfm
-Revel, a Korean Restaurant has a modern twist on Korean food. Their meals are bursting with color and flavor. They even crank out homemade rice noodle on their large dining counter before they open their restaurant. Dine in their open-aired restaurant or al fresco on one of those rare sunny Seattle days. Revel is a unique dining spot and experience. http://www.revelseattle.com
-Joule, the sister restaurant to Revel, is busy and popular offshoot with a communal/cozy style dining and fuses lots ethnic flavor into its food. http://www.joulerestaurant.com
-Next to Joule is The Whale Wins. If you don’t dine early, expect to wait in long lines at this country-style restaurant. It has some of the simplest and finests comfort foods with its Roasted Chicken, Caesar Salad, and its own homemade pickled vegetables. http://www.thewhalewins.com
-To get your east coast fix on the west coast, get an early start at the popular Roxy’s Diner. As is typical with diners, a plethora of breakfast and lunch options awaits at this hot spot.
-Mighty-O Donuts makes just about the healthiest and tastiest donut. They are vegan, organic, cholesterol free, and have no trans fat. Their signature donut flavor is French Toast …a customer favorite. Finally, a donut shop that actually has good tasting coffee! http://www.mightyo.com
With its Scandinavian and fishing roots, Salmon, boats, locals, and tourist are locked into this vibrant area. http://www.visitseattle.org/Visitors/Discover/Heritage/Nordic-American-Heritage/Ballard-Neighborhood.aspx
-At Ballard Lock or Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, the water will rise up to 26 feet as boats move from Union Lake (lake water) to Puget Sound (sea water). Watch the water rise and recede as the boats wait their turn to move from one body of water to to another. An added attraction, is viewing the exuberant Salmon leaping and bouncing through the water.
-Across a footbridge is an underground observation area to view spawning Salmon and Steelhead fish as they travel up a 21 step ladder to the freshwater side.
-If the weather is cooperating, picnic and stroll through the stunning Carl S. English Botanical Gardens.
Lock into the artisanal food in Ballard.
-Cafe Besalu, an open-aired kitchen, mesmerizing aroma, bakes some of Seattle’s freshest and tastiest pastries, croissants, and brioche. Another place that pairs a good breakfast with a fine brew of coffee. http://cafebesalu.com
-Volterra, an Italian restaurant, matches its elegant surroundings with high-quality meals. http://volterraballard.com
-Delancey, local sourced and farm fresh fresh vegetables is only enhanced by their reputation for having some of the finest thin-crusted pizza in Seattle. http://delanceyseattle.com
For not so Rainy Days
In those rare sunny days, hike, walk, or run through Discovery Park. With its dense woods and panoramic views at the water’s edge of Puget Sound, it is probably the most beautiful “walk in a park” you can take in Seattle. At the most western point of the park and of Seattle, the trail ends at the historic West Point Lighthouse. Feel like a kid and explore the beaches, driftwood, and dare to take a dip in the water. https://www.seattle.gov/tour/discov.htm
With still so much more to see, Seattle will rein you in for at least another visit.