These vacation hot spots are must-trys if you want the full Seat­tle ex­pe­ri­ence.

The sig­na­ture Seat­tle ex­pe­ri­ences you have to try.

Where Seattle - - CONTENTS - By Ha­ley Shap­ley

There’s re­ally no bad time to visit the Emer­ald City, but there’s some­thing ir­re­sistible about sum­mer—the sun is (usu­ally) shin­ing, the side­walks are bustling and the ac­tiv­i­ties are abound­ing. With ev­ery­thing go­ing on, it can be tough to know where to start, so let this handy guide shep­herd you through a trip to re­mem­ber.


Set a good foun­da­tion to your vacation by get­ting the lay of the land. The tallest build­ing from which to do that is the Columbia Cen­ter, whose Sky View Ob­ser­va­tory on the 73rd floor rises more than 900 feet in the air to give you an un­par­al­leled per­spec­tive on the city. Closer to the ground but with views just as daz­zling, Smith Tower opened 103 years ago in Pioneer Square as the tallest build­ing west of the Mis­sis­sippi. Here, it’s about the jour­ney as much as the desti­na­tion—the orig­i­nal brass el­e­va­tor that takes you to the Ob­ser­va­tory is still man­u­ally run by el­e­va­tor op­er­a­tors. For a ride that’s even more thrilling, take a spin on the Seat­tle Great Wheel, which juts out 40 feet be­yond the end of Pier 57 on the wa­ter­front. To go even higher, Ken­more Air’s scenic sea­plane tours that leave from Lake Union make quite an im­pres­sion.


Once you’ve got­ten your bear­ings, add a lit­tle history for con­text. The Mu­seum of History & In­dus­try, bet­ter known as MOHAI, tells you ev­ery­thing you need to know about the area’s ori­gins and in­flu­ence, from a mu­si­cal pre­sen­ta­tion on how the Great Seat­tle Fire started to a dis­play fea­tur­ing lo­cal grunge bands that shot to world­wide fame (per­haps you’ve heard of a lit­tle group called Nir­vana?). One of the most

for­ma­tive events was the 1962 World’s Fair, which brought us the Seat­tle Cen­ter and the iconic Space Nee­dle, along with the Mono­rail—an of­fi­cial His­toric Land­mark that still fer­ries more than two mil­lion pas­sen­gers a year. Af­ter you’ve taken a ride, switch to hu­man-pow­ered trans­port on a walk­ing tour with the Wing Luke Mu­seum. Ex­plore the In­ter­na­tional District through the eyes of a lo­cal, take a spe­cial 2.5-hour rice-themed tour, or dis­cover Bruce Lee’s Chi­na­town—where he launched his first mar­tial arts stu­dio. If you’d like a lit­tle caf­feine with your stroll, Seat­tle by Foot of­fers a Cof­fee Crawl that will get you up to speed on the java scene’s pi­o­neers and what’s brew­ing now.


By this point, you may have no­ticed that wa­ter plays a ma­jor role in Seat­tle’s history and cul­ture. All those in­lets, lakes and bays may make it more dif­fi­cult to get from point A to point B, but they make it pret­tier, too. Get out on the wa­ter with Ar­gosy Cruises, which of­fers nar­rated sight­see­ing tours, or hop in an old-fash­ioned ves­sel with the Cen­ter for Wooden Boats on Lake Union. (On Sun­days, vol­un­teer skip­pers take vis­i­tors out for free.) To watch boats make the switch from salt­wa­ter to fresh­wa­ter or vice versa, head to the Bal­lard Locks, where the wa­ter level can change up to 26 feet as kayaks and big ships alike make the tran­si­tion. Of course, you can’t leave the city with­out a meal served with a side of wa­ter views—An­thony’s Pier 66 on the wa­ter­front, Ray’s Boathouse in Bal­lard and Pal­isade in Mag­no­lia are just a few of the choice op­tions.


Round out your vacation with some ex­pe­ri­ences you can only have here. Wash­ing­ton na­tive Dale Chi­huly may be known around the world, but there’s noth­ing as ex­ten­sive as Chi­huly Gar­den and Glass—a gor­geous mu­seum ded­i­cated to his glass­blow­ing art—any­where else. And while li­braries are com­mon­place, de­sign-for­ward ones like the steel-and- glass Seat­tle Cen­tral Li­brary are not. Don’t miss the views from the 10th floor or the eye- catch­ing cor­ri­dors on the fourth. On the quirky end of the spec­trum, the Fre­mont Troll un­der Aurora Bridge is a fa­vorite—and yes, that’s a real VW Bee­tle in his clutched hand. Catch a Mariners game at the beau­ti­ful Safeco Field (or­der the gar­lic fries), and leave your mark by adding to the Gum Wall in Post Al­ley, right un­der Pike Place Mar­ket. If you haven’t been there yet, it’s the heart­beat of the city and a must for any trip. Buy a one- of-a-kind sou­venir, nib­ble on fresh pro­duce sam­ples and watch the fish fly. For guided ex­plo­ration, take a tour with Sa­vor Seat­tle to taste some of the mar­ket’s high­lights—think pip­ing hot cin­na­mon sugar donuts, rich mac­a­roni and cheese and in­cred­i­bly fla­vor­ful Greek yo­gurt. For one last part­ing shot, take your cam­era to Queen Anne’s Kerry Park, which of­fers a post­card-per­fect view of ev­ery­thing you’ve just ex­pe­ri­enced—you may not be able to pack Seat­tle in your suit­case, but you can cer­tainly take home the mem­o­ries.

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