EN­JOY YEAR-ROUND EX­CITE­MENT IN SEATTLE

Suncruiser West Coast - - Contents - WORDS BY KATI DAVICH

Whether you’re a year ‘round or warm-weather boater, there is al­ways ex­cite­ment to be had when cruis­ing to Seattle!

First set­tled by the Duwamish Tribe, Seattle’s mod­ern his­tory was kicked-off as a stag­ing ground for gold min­ers head­ing to Alaska. This his­tory is still vis­i­ble to­day in down­town Seattle’s Pioneer Square neigh­bor­hood. En­joy learn­ing more at Bill Spei­del’s Un­der­ground Tour, Trail to Trea­sure, the Smith Tower ob­ser­va­tory, and Klondike Gold Rush Na­tional His­tor­i­cal Park. Other his­tory hot spots avail­able in Pioneer Square are the Last Re­sort Fire Depart­ment to see re­stored fire trucks and the Seattle Metropoli­tan Po­lice Mu­seum to learn about law-en­force­ment events dat­ing back to the 1880s. Ad­ja­cent to Pioneer Square is Seattle’s Chi­na­town-in­ter­na­tional District, home of the Wing Luke Mu­seum. The Wing Luke features the art and his­tory of the Asian Pa­cific Amer­i­can com­mu­nity.

To­day, Seattle is one of the fastest-grow­ing cities in the United States. Home to a ro­bust mar­itime in­dus­try, a rapidly-grow­ing tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try, and ev­ery­thing in be­tween, Seattle is cur­rently home to an es­ti­mated 660,000 res­i­dents and is ex­pected to con­tinue grow­ing in the com­ing decades. As a vis­i­tor, this growth means there are al­ways new sights to see, things to do, and restau­rants to try.

Seattle is also a boater’s par­adise. Sit­u­ated in be­tween the Puget Sound and Lake Washington, with wa­ter­ways and lakes through­out, Seattle’s boat­ing com­mu­nity is ac­ces­si­ble and di­verse from row­ing on Ship Canal, to sail­ing races on Puget Sound, to Open­ing Day of Boat­ing cel­e­brat­ing boats and boat­ing from around the area.

If boat shows peak your in­ter­est, Seattle floats to the top in that cat­e­gory. For over 50 years, boaters have been con­verg­ing on the gi­gan­tic Seattle Boat Show with more than a thou­sand boats and ven­dor booths of all kinds fill­ing Cen­tu­rylink Field Event Cen­ter – with a satel­lite lo­ca­tion on Lake Union, ac­ces­si­ble via shut­tle from the main show – dur­ing the end of Jan­uary and be­gin­ning of Fe­bru­ary each year. The Boats Afloat Show on Lake Union in Septem­ber is the boat show’s sum­mer coun­ter­part, boast­ing fam­ily-friendly boat­ing fun.

Down­town Seattle is a cruiser’s first stop with its many of­fer­ings in a cen­tral lo­ca­tion and their gate­way to the rest of the city through down­town’s role as the main trans­porta­tion hub. You may be fa­mil­iar with vis­i­tor favourites the Space Nee­dle, Pike Place Mar­ket, and the Seattle Great Wheel in down­town Seattle. With the ad­di­tion of hun­dreds of restau­rants and re­tail shops, sev­eral pro­fes­sional sports teams, mul­ti­ple the­atres of­fer­ing pro­gram­ming from mu­si­cals to con­certs to com­edy for all ages, art and science mu­se­ums, and year ‘round spe­cial events, there is al­ways some­thing for ev­ery­one when vis­it­ing down­town.

Where to moor down­town Seattle

Bell Har­bor Ma­rina is down­town Seattle’s only recre­ational ma­rina, lo­cated at Pier 66 on the cen­tral wa­ter­front. The ma­rina has space for 70 boats, rang­ing from 30 to 150 feet. Guest moor­age is avail­able year ‘round, and reser­va­tions are taken up to two years in ad­vance. Yacht clubs and groups wel­come. Bell Har­bor Ma­rina VHF Chan­nel 66A 206-787-3952 bhm@port­seat­tle.org http://bit.ly/1lqj5ux

North of down­town is Seattle’s Bal­lard neigh­bor­hood, which is truly a one-ofa-kind. It is home to both a work­ing wa­ter­front and a bustling down­town full of restau­rants, brew­eries, shops, and spe­cial events. Bal­lard is a hot spot for vis­i­tors and lo­cals alike. Don’t miss vis­it­ing the Hi­ram M. Chit­ten­den Locks to ex­pe­ri­ence a me­chan­i­cal marvel sur­rounded by a large botan­i­cal gar­den, and Fish­er­men’s Ter­mi­nal to grab a seafood meal over­look­ing the Pa­cific North­west Fish­ing Fleet’s home­port.

Where to moor in Bal­lard, Seattle

Lo­cated in Puget Sound just out­side the Hi­ram M. Chit­ten­den Locks en­trance to the Ship Canal, Shils­hole Bay Ma­rina is Seattle’s largest ma­rina with over 1,400 slips ac­com­mo­dat­ing both monthly and guest moor­age. Busi­nesses at or near the ma­rina in­clude a fuel dock, yacht bro­ker­ages, a boat­yard with en­gine re­pair, sail­ing char­ters and lessons, marine sup­plies, and restau­rants. Take ad­van­tage of the ma­rina’s guest moor­age ameni­ties such as free bike rentals and shut­tle van to get to and from nearby down­town Bal­lard. Yacht clubs and groups wel­come. Shils­hole Bay Ma­rina VHF Chan­nel 17 206-787-3006 sbm@port­seat­tle.org http://bit.ly/1ykgxxs

Visit both mari­nas in 2017 and re­ceive ei­ther a sig­na­ture ma­rina burgee or a hat as well as a tote bag full of good­ies through the Port 2 Port pro­gram!

For more in­for­ma­tion on vis­it­ing Seattle and concierge ser­vices, go to Visit­seat­tle.org.

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