It was fall, and therefore expectantly rainy when we visited the Emerald City. We didn’t have very many “nice” days, however, we had one PERFECT sunny day to see the sites, and we took full advantage! Here are some things to do in Seattle, per our personal experience:
Where to Camp Near Seattle
We stayed in a Thousand Trails campground in Monroe, WA, about an hour east of the city in the foothills of the Cascades. Because of this, we knew we weren’t going to be doing a bunch of back and forth into the city during our week+ stay. All we needed was one day, and we got it.
Planning Our Seattle Trip
There is so much to see in Seattle. I made a map of a whole bunch of the attractions so I could visualize where the clusters were to make the most of our time. We had things on here like the Fremont Troll, Smith Tower, Kerry Park, Space Needle, Pike Place, the Great Wheel, Bruce Lee’s grave, Chittenden Locks, the Arboretum, and more – definitely not going to fit into one day.
We ended up pretty much winging it – with a start at Kerry Park and heading for the Space Needle on our bikes.
First Stop: Kerry Park
We started here because we had heard parking probably wouldn’t be an issue – which it wasn’t. Free parking and quick easy walk to the most majestic view over the city.
Space Needle & Seattle Center
We found a free parking spot somewhere over in the Queen Anne area and hopped on our bikes to head for the Space Needle. The Space Needle is located in the Seattle Center, which has a whole bunch of museums and attractions, including the Experience Music Project Museum which is one of the coolest buildings you’ll ever see!
Downtown / Pike Place Market
We were pleasantly surprised to find that Seattle is a pretty bike-friendly city with designated bike lanes and routes. We headed downtown to see the famous Pike Place Market!
The Gum Wall
We were wandering around the hallways and corridors at Pike Place when we came across a very interesting lamppost up on one of the walls. Around the next corner, we saw a gathering of people. When we went to find out what they were so interested in, we discovered the Gum Wall.
We learned from some chatty wine-tasters in a shop a while later that the Gum Wall used to be bigger. In fact, the city had just removed it a couple weeks prior – chipped years of gum off the wall which was being eaten away by it. (What a horrible job that must have been!) But the Gum Wall had reappeared almost immediately. I was pretty totally grossed out by it, personally.
Pioneer Square is Seattle original neighborhood. It was settle in 1852, but unfortunately nearly all burned down in the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. They rebuilt the city two stories higher than the original street level, thus creating an Underground Seattle. There are “sky lights” built into the sidewalks that allow light down to the original street level!
As the evening grew darker, we lured by the sound of a Seattle Sounders (pro soccer team) pep rally in the Occidental Square, which was all lit up and beautiful!
Seattle at Night
While biking in the dark isn’t our favorite, we were rewarded with some amazing sights of Seattle at night: Space Needle and the EMP Museum Janet Echelman’s ‘Impatient Optimist’ aerial sculpture at the Gates Foundation.
Another day, we met up with some new full-timers for a wine tour and tasting at Chateau Ste. Michelle – Washington’s largest winery – and then some beer and appetizers at Redhook Brewery and Forecasters Pub.
We hope this post gives you some ideas of things to do in Seattle! Happy Exploring!
Notes about this post:
Travel Stage: Working our way south along the West Coast. After Whidbey, before Portland
Date Range: October 10 – 19, 2016
Summary: We stayed in Monroe, WA to explore the Emerald City – here are our recommendations on things to do in Seattle, including the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Kerry Park, the Gum Wall, and more.
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