Author Sushant Published on August 16th 2018
Seattle - a seaport city on the west coast of the United States is a rare combination of a city and a town.
I had little know-how of the city Seattle except for the movie ‘Sleepless in Seattle’. Well, my first impression was surely that it is a sleepy city, especially after visiting some bigger & buzzing cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. But the city and its people grow on you and when I look back on my recent trip to the United States, it turned out be one of my favorite cities on the west coast (most favorite continues to be SF).
The city element comes from large corporates like Amazon & Microsoft (headquartered here) which have attracted many people across the world. But the inherent character of the place is of a small town, surrounded by water, lush-green forests, small islands & mountains. The majestic Mount Rainier, which is an active volcano stands like a tall landmark staring at you and so difficult to ignore. Being a city person all my life, every time I saw Mt. Rainier, a gasp of awe, excitement and disbelief overpowered me.
The Majestic Mount Rainier
I stayed at Hyatt at Olive 8 (Olive Street, 8th Ave), pretty much in the heart of downtown Seattle with all major attractions like Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Waterfront, etc at a comfortable walking distance and it also offers a delicious breakfast.
(Tip: Do some research about the place you plan to visit. It’s good to know the landscape, popular attractions, best neighborhood to stay etc. to maximize your time there)
The weather was just perfect, bright & sunny, clear blue skies & luckily no rains during my stay there.
(Tip: Do checkout the weather forecast of the place you plan your trip. In Seattle, some days are unbearably hot and some are freezing cold.)
PIKE PLACE MARKET
Fresh sea-food at Pike Place Market.
The first place in the city I went to checkout was Pike Place Market (Pike Street, 1st Ave), a few blocks away from the hotel. I thoroughly enjoyed my walk through the streets of Downtown Seattle, passing by some towering buildings, sidewalks with people enjoying the vibes of this lovely city.
This public market, commonly known as Farmers’ Market is more than 100 years old and one of the oldest farmers’ market in the United States. Overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront, this is a must visit place in Seattle.
You’ll get to see fresh produce, flowers, wide variety of sea-food, some antique shops & small restaurants spread across several levels. It’s fun to hang around in this buzzing market, interact with the local farmers, sip some apple cider and pick up some fresh fruits while walking through the marketplace. I was tempted to see some fresh berries and started having a tingling sensation on my tongue. Desperately wanting to try some, I bought a cup full of mixed berries and the lady selling them was kind enough to wash them for me on requesting. While still enjoying the berries, I was suddenly reminded of the remarks I made earlier about this being a ‘sleepy city’ with almost a synchronized activity of packing up stuff & winding up of shop counters as early as around 5pm. So, if you want to make the most of your visit to this interesting market, please plan to be there during daytime unless you want to extend a helping hand to the local farmers in packing up their goods.
THE FIRST STARBUCKS STORE
Seattle is the home of Starbucks– the first Starbucks Store established in 1971, just across Pike Place Market. No matter what time of day it is, you’ll always find a queue here and people flocking outside to click photos. Grabbing a cup of your favorite beverage here will be a historic moment and you’ll cherish coffee more thereafter at any of the other 26000+ stores worldwide. You can pick up your favorite roasted coffee beans, mugs, souvenirs and your coffee to go, like I did.
(Want to know more about Starbucks story? Click on this link here
SEATTLE GREAT WHEEL & WATERFRONT
It was erected at pier 57 on Elliott Bay and was once the tallest Ferris wheel on the west coast of United States when it was opened in 2012.
A short walk further down on the waterfront and you’ll reach Seattle Great Wheel. The giant 175 feet Ferris wheel is a great attraction for all tourists. The 42 cubicles jetting out 40 feet over water offer spectacular views of Seattle’s skyline, the Bay, small islands nearby, mountain ranges and of course, Mount Rainier. A spin on this great wheel is definitely worth every penny, and if you want to spend more dollars, go for the luxurious VIP gondola.
A 30-minute ferry ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island transports you to a different world
This small island has plenty to offer. A short walk from the ferry terminal takes you to an amazing waterfront park with incredible view of blue waters, Mount Rainier, the Olympic & Cascade mountain ranges. Winslow, the main shopping area, is also a few minutes away from the ferry terminal. This cute little village has quite a few restaurants, cafes & shops selling unique & interesting articles. There’s nice barber shop as well and I just casually walked in for a quick haircut for myself. And not to be missed is this wonderful ice-cream shop – Mora Iced Creamery. Interestingly, ‘Mora’ means ‘Blackberry’ in Spanish & Italian and Bainbridge is home to wild blackberry, hence the name Mora for this creamery in Bainbridge island. I, simply went for the blackberry (Mora) flavor and I must say, it was just YUM! And you have umpteen other choices of flavors(selecting one flavour can be a difficult task). These small unique experiences are what one remembers throughout his/her lifetime.
"There's no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this."
Signing off from Seattle, stay tuned in for more…a new destination, some new experiences…