Hello again, darlings. I’m sorry I’ve been away. Being a teacher in May and June isn’t easy – even more so when you have community projects and commitments on the go. Nevertheless, here I am with a travel update!
You already know that I took my first trip crossing borders by train via the Amtrak Cascades. You also know that one of the most iconic stops to go to for a first-time visit is to Pike Place Market. But what else is there to see in Seattle?
For the record, I’ve only been here twice for short stays each time. But let me tell you about the experience!
Seattle’s Space Needle
What most folks will tell you is that one of the symbols for this city is the Space Needle (see this post’s feature photo). I didn’t bother going up the Space Needle, mainly because if you’re IN the Space Needle, you aren’t photographing it. 🙂 I chose to stay on the ground and just marvel at this beauty of a landmark. Some fast facts about this building:
- Built for the 1962 World’s Fair.
- Tallest structure west of the Mississippi River.
- Built to withstand 200mph winds and has survived several earthquakes including a 6.8 on the Richter scale.
More info? Visit their official website.
As the name suggests, this is the historical downtown and original neighborhood of Seattle. It now serves as a melting pot of culture and occupants, where modern eateries and retail businesses co-exist in historical buildings. There are a ton of free walking tours that are available where you’ll learn about how this neighborhood (and Seattle in general) has changed and grown over time. I chose to wander around the area on my own (there are plenty of self-guided attraction maps posted around the area).
I looked up and was mesmerized by the pyramid atop the Smith Tower and learned that it’s been converted to a condo for Ms. Petra Franklin Lahaie and her two daughters. Fascinating stuff. Oh, and I came across a free and informative Klondike Gold Rush museum and then enjoyed my lunch at a waterfall that I randomly came upon. Not a bad Wednesday morning, if you ask me.
If you are looking for more about Pioneer Square, check out their official website.
Only a short walk away from Pioneer Square is the beautiful Waterfront area. Seattle is undergoing several phases of reconstruction looking at not only an aesthetic lift, but one that is sustainable as well, particularly for its Seawall. Here, you will find the Seattle Great Wheel and the boardwalk. To learn more about the area, go on a free downtown walking tour or visit their program website.
City of Bellevue – Vivo53
I’m not going to lie. We literally came here to eat very specific items. We literally drove out of Seattle to the outlets to do some shopping and work up an appetite. After that, we made the trip to Bellevue to eat. Was it worth it? It so absolutely was!
Our restaurant of choice was Vivo53 for two items. The first wasn’t listed on the menu at the time (although I’m seeing it now online on their menu). This was the Parmigiano ala Carbonara. It’s a friggen’ wheel of cheese that gets carved out and melted by the pasta, which is tossed directly in the wheel. I kid you not. I stared at that cheese wheel like it was my soul mate. Second menu item: Insane Sundaes. My poison of choice was the Nutella Seduzione that was covered with chopped hazlenuts, dark chocolate savings, a lollipop and rock candy, and topped with a full slice of cheesecake. I was able to swap out death by chocolate gelato with plain vanilla to balance it a little.
I slept the entire ride home. 🙂 Look at these gems below.
Din Tai Fung
Another stop that you could make while in Bellevue is to Din Tai Fung in Bellevue Square. This isn’t a Seattle local restaurant – it’s an international chain. There is usually a 30+ minute wait but do it for the xiao long baos. Those soup dumplings are their staple menu item and you can see the staff making them like a well-oiled machine. The rest of their menu is equally delicious – but here I play favourites. No matter where I am in the world, if I know that there’s a Din Tai Fung, I’m making that stop.
Note: There is also a Din Tai Fung in downtown Seattle – which is where we actually went. No way we would be able to eat these after our Vivo53 stop.
The Chuck-e-Cheese for adults in Seattle where you can play a round of mini-golf while enjoying a local craft beer or cider. I’m not a big drinker of cider and beer but, with a round of Jengga, I’m not complaining. Such a quirky pub in the middle of downtown Seattle. Check out their website for locations and more info.
I’m not going into detail with this one. Let the view speak for itself. We were so fortunate that the clouds cleared and we were able to see everything. Int his shot, you’ll see the majestic Mt. Rainier, the Space Needle, the Seattle Great Wheel, the downtown skyline, and Elliott Bay. We didn’t actually know about this park but it was recommended to us by our fabulous guide on a Booze ‘n Bites tour.
There you have it folks. The highlight reel of my time spent in Seattle. There are certainly plenty more to see and do. Could that mean that I’ll have to head west at least one more time? That’s certainly something I’d consider. What do you recommend I do or check out the next time I’m in Seattle?