We had five days to explore Emerald City and were ready for a new adventure. We booked a few tours in advance, but left ample room for spontaneity.
Fun Fact: It’s easy to see why Seattle earned the moniker Emerald City. Green spaces are abundant and nearly every corner in the city proper overflows with lush plantings. Further, there are massive quantities of evergreen trees which dominate the landscape during the cold, gray months.
The Amazon Spheres are an alternative workspace which elevates the entire alternative workspace concept. Designed to connect workers with nature, the spheres house over 40,000 plants from over 30 countries. The understory is open to the public and serves as a working art studio. At the time of our visit, there were five artists in residence. The upper levels are available for tours twice a month, or any time when escorted by an employee. Make time to visit. These are super cool!
“This will be to Seattle what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.” ~Seattle World’s Fair Chairman Eddie Carlson
The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. The theme was the Age of Space, which is reflected in the futuristic design. (This would be a theme that dominated the decade, culminating in Armstrong’s walk on the moon.) We visited in the morning using timed-entry tickets and were able to explore at our leisure. There is an outdoor viewing platform, and well as a revolving indoor one with a glass floor, both offering 360 degree panoramic views of downtown Seattle, Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Cascades and Olympic mountain ranges. We were blessed with clear, blue skies and soaked it all in.
Our ticket allowed us to return any time during the last three operating hours for nighttime views. We timed it to arrive just before sunset. Ah-may-zing!
Fun Fact: In 1962, entry was just $1.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
I first fell in love with Dale Chihuly’s work as a young girl when I saw his chandeliers at Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas. I didn’t know anything other than being drawn to the movement and the colors. The Tacoma-born artist is truly one of the most talented glass artists on the planet, drawing inspiration from him travels and experiences. Some of his most dramatic pieces are on display in Seattle and I could not wait to feast on this eye candy.
Chihuly’s work is on display in more than 200 museum worldwide. I highly recommend visiting if there is a display in your area.
Kayaking on Lake Union
I wouldn’t think to describe myself as particularly outdoorsy – I’m more of a glamping than camping kind a gal – but who would have guessed kayaking on Lake Union would be so much fun. We actually signed up as a way to support the Center for Wooden Boats. But when one of the workers explained that kayaking is the best way to see Seattle, it was game on.
Museum of Pop Culture
As its name describes, the Museum of Pop Culture is dedicated to…wait for it…popular culture. This was not on our original list, but the more the DH walked by the elaborate building, the more intrigued he became. There were exhibits on the LGTBQ movement, music, tv shows and movies with huge cult followings, and featured a traveling exhibition (ticketed separately) – Heroes & Villians the Art of the Disney Costume. I enjoyed the latter immensely, and was tickled pink to see a White Walker in the main area. #GOTnerd
Pike Place Market
To describe Pike Place Market as a Farmer’s Market is a gross understatement. It encompasses so much more. There are fresh markets of course, but also a variety of dining options, shopping, local artists, etc. And flowers…so many giant bouquets for sale! If you’re there early enough, you’ll see the famous fish flinging.
Mt Rainier Day Tour
Years ago I overhead the casual comment, “The mountains in the west put those in the east to shame.” All have a unique beauty, but I think the point was to try and describe the massive scale of mountains like Mt Rainier, Mt Adams, and Mt St Helens. Just seeing them, as well as the Cascade Mountain Range from the airplane, took my breath away.
We blocked off a full day (12 hours) to explore Mt Rainier National Park. We knew we wanted a guided tour to make the most of our visit, and seeing glaciers, waterfalls, and a short hike were a must. On the particular tour we got to see:
- Mt Rainier
- Glacial Moraines
- Shadow Lake
- Reflection Lake
- Sunrise Lake
- Frozen Lake
- Narada Falls
- Rural Countryside
Our guide explained that the glaciers are melting at a rate of 1 foot/year. This is quite alarming once that sinks in. On the drive he also pointed out a dry creek bed that a generation ago housed a glacier.
Our “short hike” consisted of 5 miles (more than half of it uphill) in three hours. The views were to die for, but this is not for the faint of heart. It was not as strenuous as hiking Mt Liamuiga in St Kitts, but I wouldn’t recommend this for kids, or people with mobility issues.
If you’re in the area and up for the challenge, here’s my referral link: Mt Rainier Day Tour.
It was grand exploring one little corner of the Pacific Northwest! Check back soon for a recap of Where to Eat.
As part of the Marriott Luminous program, when you book your visit through me, your benefits could include:
- Complimentary daily breakfast (up to 2 people per bedroom)
- Early check-in/late check-out (based on availability)
- Priority complimentary room upgrade (based on availability upon arrival)
- Welcome note/recognition from General Manager
- Indigenous welcome amenity representing local area
- Complimentary basic Wi-Fi daily
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