When you think of Seattle, what comes to mind? The Mariners, Seahawks, Microsoft and Starbucks? Or perhaps it’s Pike Place Market and the Sky Needle? While my Seattle readers could no doubt think of dozens of spots to tap in to for future visits, here’s a look at some of the sights I enjoyed during a recent weekend visit.
Sights to See
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM; “SAM”
If you’re staying in downtown Seattle, as I did (at the lovely and centrally located Fairmont Olympic for this visit), you may want to begin by exploring the city on foot. The Seattle Art Museum, also known as SAM, is located at the intersection of 1st Avenue and University Street.
PIKE PLACE MARKET
While you’re in the area, you could continue walking down University Street and head left to visit Pioneer Square or right to reach Pike Place Market.
If at all possible, you really don’t want to be trying to park near the market. There is a parkade in the vicinity, but you’ll enjoy yourself more without scrambling for a space or making your way through foot traffic, particularly on weekends.
I found the market a bit of a linear maze; you can head upstairs and downstairs, and poke around to your heart’s content.
There are assorted restaurants and other establishments, such as the casual Lowell’s, where you can catch great views of Elliott Bay, the Great Wheel and more.
Across the street from Pike Place Market, you’ll find loads of little shops and restaurants. When you spot a crowd with their faces pressed to the windows at the corner of 1600 Pike Place, you’ll know you’ve found Beecher’s Cheese, where guests can watch the cheese being made.
DOWNTOWN BY NIGHT
SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Seattle Public Library’s Central Branch is also easy to reach on foot if you’re staying downtown. It’s at 100 Fourth Avenue and, if you have any interest in design (let alone books), you have to visit this beauty.
Tear yourself away from the downtown shops and nab the Monorail, built in 1962 for the City’s World Fair, to Seattle Center. It’s a $2.50 ride for adults, with only two stations – which means that, if you miss the “train”, it won’t be long before it’s back.
At the colourful terminus of the Monorail, you’ll find the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, a great childrens’ playground and more. I found the use of vibrant colours at Seattle Center and the Public Library ideal for the Pacific Northwest skies.
Kerry Park is the place to go for views of downtown, the Space Needle, Elliott Bay and – on a clear day – Mount Rainier. If you like to stretch your legs, you could walk here from Seattle Center but, like many people, it seems, I drove. It soon became clear that Kerry Park is also a popular spot for wedding photos. If you’ve seen evening shots of the Seattle skyline, there’s a good chance the photographer was in this neighbourhood.
QUEEN ANNE NEIGHBOURHOOD
While I appreciated the views from Kerry Park, it was crowded and I was just as happy to go exploring its neighbourhood, which has some lovely homes and many built to take in the incredible views.
Walking along the leafy streets, such as those above and below, a person could be forgiven for thinking they’d stepped into a photo shoot for the good life.