West Coast Part 3 / Seattle, Coffee Central of the Pacific

Seattle Washington Travel

Copyright Mabuhay Calgary (Click image for entire article)

 

Published by:  Mabuhay Calgary

February 2011, 5th Edition Volume II

Copyright: Mabuhay Calgary

 

West Coast Part 3 / Seattle, Coffee Central of the Pacific – Article and Photos by:  Jeff Cruz

In order to get to Seattle we boarded a United States ferry in Syndey, BC, which is just outside of Victoria. The ferry was a scenic ride. We must have passed hundreds of sailboats on the way to Anacortes, Washington.

From Anacortes, Seattle was an hour and a half drive away. Once we arrived we were greeted with a beautiful skyline of the downtown core.

After checking into our ho­tel we decided to start expe­riencing what Seattle is best known for. Coffee is so much a part of Seattle you can al­most smell the coffee beans everywhere you go. The city is home to the first Starbucks and of course, Seattle’s Best Coffee was also founded there. To visit the first Starbucks location, head down to the famous Pike Place Market and you’ll find it on the main road that leads into the mar­ket. It was a modest location and didn’t really have any­thing different other than their signs still used the orig­inal logo. The only souvenir I pur­chased was a gift card. Now when I use the card I get a comment. I guess being at the first Starbucks store is seen as an honour to some Starbucks employees.

Pike Place Market is one of the oldest public markets in the United States. It’s famous for housing many small mer­chants, craftspeople and of course market fresh meats and produce. One of the more popular attractions are the fishmongers who like to play and have fun with tourists. Visit them and you’ll find out they like to toss and throw the fish around.

Among the more promi­nent stores are poster shops and magic stores. Visit them if you’re looking for some in­teresting souvenirs. If you’re in Seattle on a Sunday, Fre­mont Street Sunday Market is also a nice outdoor/in­door public market to visit. This market can be found between North Phinney Ave & Canal Street in the trendy Fremont neighbourhood.

If you’re visiting Seattle for a few days I’d recommend purchasing the Seattle City­PASS. You save 49% on six of Seattle’s major attractions. With the CityPASS you get access to the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Harbor Tour, Pacific Science Center, Woodland Park Zoo, The Museum of Flight and the Experience Music Project / Science Fiction Museum.   All of these attractions combined would cost $115.70 to see but with the CityPASS it comes down to $59. It also gives you a good idea of the interesting things to see if it is your first time in Seattle. Passes can be purchased online (see links section for website). Being in Seattle for only three days we were able to pack most of these attrac­tions in. One thing you don’t want to miss out on is visiting Seattle Center, a park that is home to the arts and enter­tainment. The Space Needle, IMAX theatres, Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum are all in or around Seattle Center.

If you are visiting the area in the summer it won’t be uncommon to see music fes­tivals being held there. Line up for the Space Nee­dle observatory at least an hour before sunset. It has the best view to see the sun set over the Skyline.

Down the harbour from Pike Place Market is Pier 59, home to the Seattle Aquarium. The Seattle Aquarium houses many exhibits and even in­cludes an underwater dome. It’s definitely worth a visit.

After a long day of sight­seeing dinner is a welcome call. A seafood dinner is a must and the famous Crab Pot is the place to go.   The Crab Pot allows their guests to play with their food. Steamed lobster, crab, mus­cles, clams and fixings are all steamed and seasoned then dumped onto your table.   Armed with a mallot you use your hands and chow down. After a big seafood dinner from Crab Pot you’ll need to walk it off with more sight-seeing.

Downtown Seattle is home to many outdoor sculptures. Many of these sculptures serve not only an artistic purpose but an environmen­tal one as well. A lot of them are designed to catch rain­water and distribute them to planters.

The environment and the arts community are very much alive in Seattle. If mu­seums are more your taste, the newly renovated Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is a 150,000 square feet facility full of interesting fine art.

After three days in Seattle our West Cost Tour came to an end with a long twelve-hour drive back to Calgary. Our new Honda Fit was a fine travel vehicle. It served us well through our drive down the west coast. Great travels!


 

Links

More of Jeff’s pictures:

www.jcruzfineart.com

 Seattle’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

www.visitseattle.org

CityPASS Website www.citypass. com/seattle

Seattle Art Museum

www. seattleartmuseum.org

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