The great thing about Seattle is if you stay downtown, you can pretty much walk all around the waterfront, shopping, ferry boat rides, Pike Place Market, aquarium, Space Needle and have access to great restaurants. We stayed at the Seattle Westin which is located downtown. It was the perfect location if you don’t want to rent a car.
Seattle, Washington is so pretty in June!!
We were expecting slightly better weather as everyone said June is summer in Seattle, but not so true. We were there mid-June for one week and it was sunny one day. Fortunately, it was the one day we chose to ride to the top of the Space Needle via the elevators which travel 10 mph. The trip takes 41 seconds to reach the top and some tourists wait in hour-long lines. On windy days, the elevators slow to 5 miles per hour. It was really crowded at the top of the Space Needle. We walked all the way around to see the
various views. It is definitely a tourist trap and not that affordable for a family of four. We were not up there more than 15
minutes but the views of downtown Seattle skyline, Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay, and surrounding islands were very pretty.
History: The Space Needle is an observation tower in Seattle, Washington. It is a landmark of the Pacific Northwest, and a symbol of Seattle which is built in the Seattle Center. It was originally designed for the 1962 World’s Fair, which drew over 2.3 million visitors. Nearly 20,000 people a day used the elevators to ride to the top of the Space Needle. The Space Needle used to be the
tallest structure west of the Mississippi River, 605 feet high, 138 feet wide, and weighs 9,550 tons. Amazingly, the Space Needle was built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude. It also has 25 lightning rods. The observation deck is at 520 feet and there is a gift shop with the rotating SkyCity restaurant at 500 ft. On April 19, 1999,
the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board designated the Space Needle a historic landmark.
Interesting fact: Six people have jumped off of the Space Needle using parachutes to break their fall as part of a sport known as base
jumping since its opening, but this activity is only legal with prior consent. Four jumpers were part of various promotions, and the other two were arrested. No thanks, we will not be attempting this activity nor recommending it on the blog.
Tickets are $1.00 cheaper when purchasing on line and you will also save time by bypassing the long ticket lines. The Space Needle is open until midnight during the summer. We took the monorail to get to the Space Needle from our hotel.
Seattle Center Monorail is the nation’s first full-scale commercial monorail system which provides a fun, quick and convenient link between downtown Seattle and Seattle Center.
Seattle Center Monorail departs approximately every 10 minutes from two stations: Westlake Center Station, at 5th Avenue and Pine Street and Seattle Center Station, adjacent to the Space Needle. For more information about the monorail visit http://www.seattlemonorail.com/
Prices are as follows:
Regular: $21 up early (8am-9:30am) or up late (6pm-close): $17
Senior (ages 65+): $18 up early (8am-9:30am) or up late (6pm-close): $15
Youth (ages 4-12): $12 up early (8am-9:30am) or up late (6pm-close): $10
Child (age 3 & under): Free
Purchase tickets on line at http://www.spaceneedle.com/visit-the-needle/tickets/
Pike Place Market: Pike Place is somewhere that everyone should experience….it is an
experience and difficult to explain. We loved walking around and observing all of the people shopping, the noise, the fresh, long-stemmed flowers, the aromas of the open-air market and tasting our way through. We didn’t actually stop to eat, we walked and kept eating along the way. Of course, we had to stop off at the world famous Pike Place Fish Market where people come from all over the world to see the crew of fishmongers throwing fish and having fun with customers. My son would absolutely say that this was the highlight of our trip to Seattle!!!
About the market:
Pike Place Market is a public, open air market which overlooks the Elliott Bay waterfront
in Seattle. Pike Place Market opened on August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States. The market is actually a place of business for small farmers, craftspeople and merchants. Pike Place was named after the central street, which runs northwest from Pike Street to Virginia Street, and remains one of Seattle’s most popular tourist destinations.
Pike Place is built on the edge of a steep hill. It has several levels located below the main level, each consisting of a variety of unique shops such as antique dealers,
comic book and collectible shops, small family-owned restaurants, and one of the oldest head shops (tobacco) in Seattle. The upper street level contains fishmongers, fresh produce stands and craft stalls operating in the covered arcades. The mission of the Market and it’s founding goal is: to allow consumers to “Meet the Producer”.
There are also residences within the Market. Nearly 500 residents live in 8 different buildings throughout the Market. The Pike Place Market receives 10 million visitors annually. Check out a list of all of the retailers by going to http://pikeplacemarket.org/
Seattle Aquarium: Off to the aquarium!!!!! The aquarium is located on the waterfront as
well. It is a public aquarium which opened in 1977 and is located on Pier 59 on the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle.
This was our first time seeing the Tufted Puffin in person. They were so cute and so much fun as they dove down in the water in front of us in a glass tank.
The aquarium is active in promoting marine conservation and educates over 800,000 visitors each year regarding the impact on marine life. The aquarium is also involved with marine life research. In June 2007, it opened an 18,000-square-foot expansion that
includes a new 2,625-square-foot gift store and café and two new exhibits which are the Window on Washington Waters and the Crashing Waves. The Crashing Waves Exhibit is a 40-foot wave tank that is similar to the Washington shores from the intertidal zone to a depth of about 5 feet. The Window on Washington Waters is a 120,000-US-gallon tank . that replicates the coastal waters of Washington state from about 5 to 60 feet. It is home to native marine life such as: salmon, rockfish, and sea anemones. Several times per day visitors will see divers wearing special masks to converse with visitors from inside the tank. For more information please visit http://www.seattleaquarium.org/
Prices are as follows:
Adults (ages 13 & over) $21.95
Youth (ages 4-12) $14.95
Ages 3 & under are free
The Crab Pot Restaurant & Bar: Walking along the Pier there are so many restaurants to choose from.
The Crab Pot sounded great and looked like a lot of fun. The menu includes: Salads, Seafeasts, Burgers, Sandwiches, Seafood and Chips, Grilled Seafood, Ribs and Chicken, Cioppino, Crab Combos, Seafood Market, Desserts and of course a Kids Menu. You must try the Seafeast!!! What is a Seafeast you ask? The Crab Pot takes a variety of fresh seafood, steamed with mouth-watering spices, and pours it out on the table on butcher paper, give you a mallet, bibs & let you go at it! It is for two or more people.
Sit back, put your apron on, grab a mallet and get ready for a greasy chin!!! There are several options for the Seafeast which include:
The Cove $15.95 per person Steamed clams, Pacific mussels, shrimp in the shell, andouille sausage, corn on the cob & red potatoes in their jackets
The Westport $25.95 per person Dungeness crab, snow crab, shrimp in the shell, steamed clams & Pacific mussels, andouille sausage, corn on the cob & red potatoes in their jackets
The Pacific Clambake $32.95 per person Steamed clams, oysters, Pacific mussels, dungeness crab, snow crab, shrimp in the shell, a salmon skewer, andouille sausage, corn on the cob & red potatoes in their jackets
The Alaskan $38.95 per person King crab, dungeness crab, snow crab, shrimp in the shell, steamed clams, Pacific mussels, andouille sausage, corn on the cob & red potatoes in their jackets
We ordered our food and took in the gorgeous views from the restaurant. We looked
around and watched people hammer away at their food. When the waitress came out, she dumped the hot pot on the butcher table and a corn on the cob rolled off the table onto my son’s lap. That was pretty funny, as they were shocked that she dumped it out the food let alone corn rolling off the table. It’s pretty wild.
Seattle, WA: (206) 624-1890 1301 Alaskan Way Pier 57, Seattle, WA
The Old Spaghetti Factory since we don’t have one on Kauai. Growing up in California, we would eat there often and we wanted to let our kids have the same experience. It is located at 2801 Elliott Ave near the Waterfront. We walked there from our hotel. It is such a family friendly restaurant and very affordable. Of course- I had to have their famous Mizithra Cheese. Mizithra is a traditional Greek cheese with Protected Designation of Origin. For thousands of years, Mizithra has been manufactured in Greece. It is manufactured from whey derived from sheep, goats, cows or mixtures of milks in the regions of Macedonia, Thrace, Thessalia, Sterea Hellas, Peloponissos, Ionian islands, Aegean island and Crete island.
We stayed at the Westin Seattle located at 1900 5th Avenue. It was a perfect location to
get around town without having to rent a car. Being there in June, it was quite interesting that the sun did not set until very late. It was difficult for the kids to go to sleep because it was so bright in the hotel room. It seemed to be light until 9-10 p.m. The hotel had an indoor, heated pool and a sundeck, which offered a great view of Seattle. All of the rooms have huge windows and our room happened to have a view of the Space Needle. Pretty cool. Some of the local attractions include: Seattle Waterfront, Victoria Clipper, International District, Pioneer Square, Experience Music Project, Lake Union, Pacific Science Center, The Space Needle, Argosy Cruises, Underground Tour, Tillicum Village and Tours, Woodinville Wine Company, Muckleshoot Indian Casino, and Emerald Queen Casino. For more information on the Westin Seattle visit http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1055
Bainbridge Island: When visiting Seattle, pick an island to go and visit.
Bainbridge Island is a city in Kitsap County, Washington. This is the name of the island in Puget Sound on which the city is situated. The population is approximately 23,025.
CNN/Money and Money magazine named Bainbridge Island the second-best place to live in the United States in 2005.
The local newspapers are the weekly Bainbridge Island Review and the daily Kitsap Sun.
The roundtrip fares on the Washington State Ferries are quite inexpensive- adults are $7.70 and kids $6.20. The
Washington State Ferries leave about every 40 minutes starting at 5:30 a.m. through 10 p.m. We chose to visit Bainbridge Island which is only a 35 minute ride each way. Bring a jacket- we were there in June and still froze when the wind kicked up. The island felt very safe as we walked around the various streets. We went to a local candy shop, ice cream parlor, ate lunch in town and visited the most beautiful park on the water. The kids
ran around and played at the park for quite awhile. The island is very green with beautiful trees everywhere. It was nice, cool and breezy in June.
$$ saving tips: When eating at the Crab Pot order the Seafeast for 2 and share with 4
people. It is a lot of food, plus they bring bread to the table again and again. We ordered one appetizer and the Seafeast for 2 and it was plenty of food for our family of four. The kids meals were are only $4.95 but our kids wanted to eat the seafood and experience the Seafeast.
Don’t bother renting a car! Seattle has so many options for public transportation. It is a very walk friendly city and as long as you stay downtown – you will be sure to get around just fine.
This is really funny. We had laundry to do and the hotel we stayed at only offered dry cleaning services. Laundry mats within hotels is kind of a thing of the past. Since the four of us were in a hotel room, we found a local laundry mat. The kids could not believe it!!! They had never even heard of a laundry mat much less been to one. They were nervous to leave our clothes there and walk around while we waited for the clothes to wash. We gave them the coins and asked them to go up to the counter to pay the attendant and then my daughter asked- why do we have to pay for soap and to wash our own clothes?? It was a learning experience indeed. Then they decided to have a little fun while pushing each other around in the laundry carts. Hey- it’s all about saving money!!!
5wheelsto5star was featured in the March 2014 issue of Destinations Travel Magazine