After we visited Portland, we drove to Seattle and spent a few days there. Here are my thoughts on Seattle.
Seattle is big and there is a lot of construction in the city. The traffic was also pretty bad there.
I liked the free bus, Metro Route 99, in downtown Seattle for tourists. It runs between Belltown and Pioneer Square on 1st avenue and Alaskan Way. Here is a map of the route if you are interested in learning more about it. It is a great way to travel in Seattle and you don’t have to worry about finding a parking spot. There are many public parking lots in Seattle and I used an iPhone App, ParkMe, to help find the cheapest and closest lots in the area. It is extremely convenient to use to find the ideal parking garage when you are not familiar with the area.
They have an interesting way to pay for parking in the city. After you pay at the parking meter machine, you get a ticket which is a sticker and you have to post it on the inside of your side window (right or left depending on the side of the street). I had never seen a system like this before. It is kind of cool.
I went to Tillicum Village on Blake Island. If you haven’t done it, it is worth doing it once. The boat ride to the island is very nice and the narrative on board is very informative. After arriving at the island, you will be greeted by this guy in a nice costume (picture below) and a clam soup in a cup. I didn’t like it much but others seemed to really enjoy it. The show during lunch was great with some cool projection technology. The food was great with salmon as the main course cooked with a traditional method. After lunch, you have about 45 minutes to explore the island on your own. There are a few hiking trails you can take.
This guy in the picture is a stage performer and a waiter in addition to being a greeter. He is one of many who wear multiple hats at the village.
Salmon cooking in a traditional way.
The Underground Tour is a good informative tour about Seattle. It is a walking tour that takes you into a few buildings and basements around Pioneer Square. Mostly, you will just see ruins of old buildings. Get more info from their website. If you buy a drink or food there before the tour, you will get a special card for priority seating for the introduction session. I don’t think it is worth it.
The Boeing Factory Tour is a great tour if you like planes. The facility is in Everett which is about 25 miles north of Seattle so you will need a car to get there. You can buy a tour from a third party that includes transportation. You should make a reservation in advance online or by calling them. At this facility, you can see how they make the 747, 767, 777, and 787 Dreamliner. They do not allow any personal items (purses, backpacks, cameras, binoculars, cell phones, etc.) on the tour. You can put them in a locker. The tour lasts about 90 minutes and be prepared to walk a lot. I really enjoyed the tour.
Pike Market is one of the most famous places to visit in Seattle. They sell fresh fishes, vegetables, and flowers. There are many other vendors selling souvenirs, local products, food, and drinks. To me, the most interesting part was the restaurants and bakeries right outside the market. You can get a yummy grilled cheese sandwich from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese and great French pastries from Le Panier Very French Bakery. Many places around the area have limited seating but you can take your food and eat at the park by the water (if it is not raining). The park is just around the corner from the Pike Market.
While there are not many food trucks in Seattle compared to Portland there are many good places to eat, especially by the Pike Market. My two favorites restaurants on this trip in Seattle are LIST and Paseo. The great thing about LIST is their all day happy hours on Sunday and Monday. Almost everything on the menu is half off with a few special half off drinks. We were there on a Monday night and we had to wait for about 30 minutes to get a table. Paseo is in the Fremont area. The place is very small and has about 5 tables. We got our sandwiches to go.
Click here to see magnets I bought from Seattle.