Eating Your Way Through Pike Place Market
Breakfast at Le Pichet, espresso at what was once the only Starbucks in the world, lunch at Café Campagne, a martini at The Pink Door, dinner at Matt's in the Market, Celtic music at Kells, and a nightcap at Il Bistro -- that's how you could spend a day at Pike Place. Between stops on this rigorous itinerary, you can people-watch, listen to street musicians, and shop for everything from fresh salmon to tropical fruits, to magic tricks, to art glass.
Strolling the Olympic Sculpture Park
With views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, and sculptures by Alexander Calder, Claes Oldenburg, and Richard Serra, this terraced park at the north end of the Seattle waterfront is great for a stroll any time of day, but is absolutely sublime at sunset.
Joining the Underground
Rome has its catacombs, Paris has its sewers, and Seattle has its underground. Now, some people, including my own brother, think I'm nuts for enjoying the Seattle Underground Tour, but corny sewer jokes aside, this tour is fascinating and a great introduction to the seamier side of Seattle's early history.
Spending an Afternoon in the Ballard Neighborhood
Watch the salmon climb the fish ladders and swim past viewing windows at the Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks. Check out the exhibits at the Nordic Heritage Museum, and then stroll the shady streets of old Ballard. Have a meal at Ray's Boathouse, keeping an eye out for bald eagles, and then finish the day on the beach at Golden Gardens Park.
Taking a Cruise
Seattle is best seen from a boat, and there are plenty of vessels that will take you out on the water. Personally, I prefer sailboat outings from the waterfront, but for a more informative and diverse excursion, take the Argosy Cruises tour from Lake Union to the waterfront. If you don't mind flaunting the fact that you're a tourist, there's the daffy Seattle Duck Tour.
Visiting Volunteer Park
Whether the day is sunny or gray, this park on Capitol Hill is a great spot to spend an afternoon. You can relax in the grass, study Chinese snuff bottles in the Seattle Asian Art Museum, marvel at the orchids in the conservatory, or simply enjoy the great view of the city from the top of the park's water tower.
Riding the Water Taxi to Alki Beach
The water taxi that operates between the Seattle waterfront and Alki Beach, on the far side of Elliott Bay, is practically the cheapest boat ride you can take in Seattle. Once you get to Alki Beach, you can dine with a killer view of the Seattle skyline, and then go for a walk or bike ride on the beachfront path.
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