In June of 2015, we had an action-packed weekend full of activities in Seattle and I wanted to share some of my favorite places with you. Rae and I met my family up there for my youngest sisters graduation from the University of Washington (go Huskies!). Her graduation happened to land on my birthday, so we had a lot to celebrate that weekend. Below are the highlights of our trip and places I'd highly recommend you check out. We crammed in as many activities as we could, but this town deserves a second trip for sure. Considering I'm a big Seahawks fan, I know we'll be back.
1. Space Needle
There is nothing more iconic in Seattle than the Space Needle. Unfortunately, with trying to fit in as many activities as we could this trip, the hour wait to go up just wasn't worth it to us. We will definitely be going up when we return. We did read that it's only a 41-second ride up the elevator (which takes you up 520 feet) to the observation deck. You will experience full 360-degree views of the “Emerald City” with crisp, fresh air coming off the Puget Sound. We can't wait to experience it!
2. Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum
Music, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror, Pop Culture, Video Games. What is there not to love about this museum? The EMP Museum is $22/adult when you purchase your tickets on-line, and it is worth every penny. Fortunately for me, the weekend we visited they had two temporary exhibits that were right up my alley; Star Wars Costumes and Seahawks Memorabilia. Make sure that you give yourself a few hours to check it all out because it is easy to get lost in this place.
3. The First Starbucks
Even if you're not a coffee fanatic, you should stop by the first Starbucks store just to say you've been there (located at 1st St and Pike St). Get there early to skip the large line and grab a cup of coffee while enjoying the unique interior design. This store still retains its original look due to the strict building guidelines in Pike Place Market District, so it's a must see.
4. Pike Place Market
We seriously enjoyed walking through and looking at all of the different vendors; it really is a year-round farmers market. You can find almost anything here (crafts, flowers, art, souvenirs, fruits, veggies, etc.). At the very end of Pike Street is the fish market, which you don't want to miss… the fish mongers are known for performing crazy flying fish acrobatics; and let me tell you, it's quite a show. Don't forget to kiss a fish for good luck!
5. Gum Wall
Unlucky for you, the iconic Pike Place Gum Wall was cleaned for the first time in 20 years, in November 2015. Lucky for you, people have already added a ton of chewed gum back to the wall! The day they finished cleaning, there was already a crowd ready and waiting to begin the collection all over again. I recommend stopping by to add your gum contribution to the wall and snap a few pics.
6. Kerry Park
This was a little gem we discovered while driving around looking at the beautiful houses in the Queen Ann district. If you're looking for one of the best photo ops of Downtown Seattle, this is your spot. I captured a gorgeous panorama picture of Downtown Seattle with Mt. Rainier in the background! You can see an example of the view in the picture at the top of the post.
7. The Fremont Troll
Head over to Fremont District to find this dangerous troll lurking under the George Washington Memorial Bridge. Feel free to climb all over him and take some one of a kind pictures; it's encouraged! Watch out though, you don't want to end up like the VW bug he is holding.
8. Gas Works Park
If you want to witness a breathtaking sunset, end your day at this incredible park. Originally an oil plant, Gas Works Park has been masterfully recreated into a local hangout for college students; an interesting touch is that most of the original machinery are still there. Make sure to climb to the top of “The Mound” where, looking across Lake Union, you are given another beautiful view of the Space Needle and Downtown Seattle.
What are your must do activities in Seattle? Any additional suggestions for when we make our second trip?
Jason Miller (#12er for life)