10 – 14 July 2019
The last stop in our Pacific Northwest Trip was Seattle, our favorite of the cities. Staying near the Westlake Center and Washington State Convention Center was perfect for visiting the most popular tourist sites. Westlake Center is a 10 minute walk from the Public Market and Waterfront Area, has a Monorail station for easy access to the Space Needle, and a Link light rail station for easy access to Pioneer Square, University of Washington and SeaTac Airport. We spent three full days exploring the city and could have spent several more days… but then again, why spend more time in the city when it could be spent in the abundant beauty of the state.
Here are links to some of our favorite sites to visit:
Boeing’s Museum of Flight
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Museum of Pop Culture
Pike Place Market
11 July 2019
When researching our trip, the Museum of Flight stood out from its reviews. Despite the outstanding reviews, there are other aviation museums on the East Coast and we have been to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. so I considered this a rainy day back-up plan. Considering the weather in Seattle, a back-up plan seemed like a good idea.
We had excellent weather but found time to spend and I am sure glad we did. The whole family enjoyed it. We went through it in about 4 hours but if we had more time we could have easily stayed longer. Unfortunately it’s not easy to get there using public transportation. Luckily we had access to a vehicle.
12 July 2019
No postcard of Seattle is complete without a view of the Space Needle. An iconic observation tower, it is difficult to come to Seattle and not visit the Space Needle. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the tower provides scenic views across the entire city and harbor. The upper deck is open air with angled glass walls perfect for your family selfies. The lower level includes a rotating floor and sections of glass floor. The lower level used to be a restaurant. The tour guide mentioned it went out of business because the “food wasn’t too good” which we found really funny. My wife got food poisoning there in 1999 so I guess she wasn’t the only one!
12 July 2019
Chihuly Garden and Glass is an exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s art with glass. Adjacent to the Space Needle, the exhibit is easy to access and is heavily visited. The exhibit is made up of three sections: dimly lit indoor spaces where artificial light is used to highlight the work; an outdoor garden where art is intertwined with nature; and a glasshouse with glass sculpture floating overhead. It is a fantastic display and well worth your time.
12 July 2019
The Museum of Pop Culture just sounded cool and looked cool, so we went and loved it! We spent a lot more time there than we planned but everyone in the family, different ages and interests, found something they were genuinely interested.
In our first trip to Seattle in 1999 we saw the Experience Music Project Museum being built at the base of the Space Needle. EMP was founded by Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft and former owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers, and opened in 2000. The building was designed by famed architect Frank Gehry. EMP changed its name to the Museum of Pop Culture or MoPOP for short. I loved the Nirvana and Pearl Jam exhibits. Other favorites included the Horror Movie exhibit, Science Fiction exhibit and Sound Lab.
Center Piece (top left), The Terminator (top right), and Pearl Jam’s Recording Set (bottom)
13 July 2019
Pike Place Market is one of the most well-known places in Seattle. Even if you do not recognize the name, you’d recognize it as the fish market where workers toss and catch freshly caught fish. The market is a hot-spot each morning and afternoon. Fresh seafood, meats, fruits and vegetables, flowers, and crowds dominate the main level. The energy is fun to experience but we found the most interesting and unique shops on the lower levels.
A nearby stop that is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it is the Gum Wall in Post Alley near the Pike Place Market’s main entrance. Not only is it a convenient way to get down to the Waterfront area, it is a unique and possibly the least sanitary tourist spot I’ve ever been. The Gum Wall is, well, gum on a wall. The walls are filled with chewed gum stuck to the walls. Over the years it has become a tradition and favorite selfie spot.
For coffee lovers, the first Starbucks location is across the street. If you’d like to get your cup of Joe at the original, plan to wait in line for a while.
11 July 2019
Our Shake Shack obsession continues.