General Question

janbb's avatar

What should I see in Seattle in a short visit?

Asked by janbb (52861points) 4 weeks ago

I’ll be going to the San Juan Islands soon with a short visit to Seattle soon. I won’t have a car. How easy is it to get around? What would you recommend I see?

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27 Answers

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chyna's avatar

I would want to see the Space Needle. I’ve never been there, but they show it a lot on Grey’s Anatomy.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I thought they would not let you on the plane if you didn’t visit the Fish market.

janbb's avatar

@LuckyGuy OOh – fish market! Fisssshhhhh….........

JLeslie's avatar

I enjoyed the underground tour many years ago. http://undergroundtour.com/test/undergroundtour.html You might want to look it up in TripAdvisor to see if it still gets good reviews. Plus, TripAdvisor will give you some good ideas.

Fish market is kind of a must see I guess, but I wasn’t enthralled by it.

My favorite part of going to Seattle was going to Vancouver, but it doesn’t sound like you’ll have time for that.

Edit: There is a ferry to Victoria. It’s lovely there. I didn’t read through to see how long the ride is. https://www.clippervacations.com/seattle-victoria-ferry/ There might be something from the San Juan islands to Victoria.

kritiper's avatar

The Space Needle and the mono-rail.

canidmajor's avatar

When I lived there, favorite places to take people were the top of the Needle (always spectacular!), and Pioneer Square, for a charming around.

The Pike Street Market May still be interesting, but it was already getting so touristy when I left that I, personally, wouldn’t bother.

Ivar’s lake Union Salmon House had terrific food and was just plain fun to eat at.

It’s been awhile, this info may be a bit outdated.

zenvelo's avatar

Really, really, really, go to the Seattle Public Library It is a beautiful building, you’ll find it fascinating.

And two blocks away is the Seattle Art Museum.

Downtown Seattle is relatively compact, easy to walk, although hilly.

LostInParadise's avatar

When I visited Seattle, I stopped at a diner and ordered freshly cooked Copper River salmon. Like nothing else I have ever had.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie I will be in the San Juan Islands for the week before.

canidmajor's avatar

@janbb: where in the San Juans? I visited people in Friday Harbor from time to time, and once rented a cabin on Orcas fro a month to recover from a bad relationship.

janbb's avatar

I’ll pm you later.

JLeslie's avatar

That’s why I mentioned it, I thought you might be able to ferry from there to Victoria, I don’t know the geography well, I guess I could google map, but anyway I think San Juan Islands are north of Seattle, so that would be closer to Canada, and a shorter ferry to Victoria. Anyway, I recommend it if you have the time.

rojo's avatar

The Utilikilt store just off Pioneer Square (which is actually a misnomer).and while in the area take in the Underground tour

Visit Gum Alley by the Pike Street Market (the market itself is too crowded) and while there eat at a fish market across the street in the Sanitary Public Market. I do not recall the name (it is the owners name) but it faces the Pike Market and is right where Post Alley adjoins Pike Place. The food is fresh. They prepare it right there in front of you. If you go during regular lunch/dinner hours it can be packed and seating is limited to about 15 stools in a U-shaped counter so perhaps time it around 11 am or 2 pm.. Dine staring at someone elses fish dinner as it stares back. Have a brew or two at the Pike Brewery in the lower section.

rojo's avatar

^^ I think the fish market might be called Jacks Fish Market.

Zaku's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t know the current situation, but in the past there has been a fairly regular ferry available from the San Juan Islands to Victoria.

The other suggestions are good and I don’t know what to add not really knowing @janbb.

I agree that the top of the Space Needle makes great sense (iconic, spectacular, shows you everything, near to downtown and the Seattle Center). And the Pike Place Market is of course also iconic, different, downtown, great to walk around and explore, atmospheric, etc. They both give a good flavor for old Seattle (which IMO is the best flavor of Seattle).

If you start out by going to the Space Needle roof so you see the layout of the city from the air, then you can take the Monorail (!!) which is next to the Space Needle to downtown and you’ll be just a few blocks from the Pike Place Market.

Other ideas if you have time:

The Space Needle is also inside the Seattle Center (expo park from the World’s Fair when the Needle was built), which has other attractions that might or might not appeal: The Science Center (hand-on science and traveling exhibits, the Sci Fi museum, Experience Music Project, iMAX theater, Laserium, etc).

The Pike Place Market is just uphill (Seattle has hills) from the Seattle Aquarium, which is a nice if-not-spectacular/large aquarium with cute otters & seals and octopus, hands-on starfish, a cool underwater observation section, and an iMAX theater that probably still shows short iMAX films of Mt St Helens blowing sky high in 1980.

The downtown Seattle Public Library is quite spectacular and interesting. It’s more like a Tomorrowland exhibit than a library, while still having books.

There are some theatres, opera, concert hall and ballet if you’re into that. The 5th Avenue Theater is fairly spectacular inside.

janbb's avatar

Is the main library close to Pioneer Square?

janbb's avatar

I think I’m in business. I see there’s a hop on hop off bus that covers most of the highlights. I’ll take that and jump out at Pioneer Square, the library and other places. May do the Underground tour too but I’m meeting my nephew the second day who will be recuperating from an op so that will slow things down.

Zaku's avatar

The Central Library is 7 blocks away, uphill if you’re going from Pioneer Square.

JLeslie's avatar

Sounds like a great plan.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I’ve never been, but I would keep an eye out for crowded coffee places that are not Starbucks or any other familiar name.

Zaku's avatar

Good point. Downtown, I’d go to Victrola (3rd & Pine).

MollyMcGuire's avatar

You could skip it all together. I have been there twice and still don’t see any attraction to the city. There are wonderful places in Washington, but Seattle is not among them for me.

canidmajor's avatar

Well, if @MollyMcGuire doesn’t like it, you can bet you will!

If Café Loc is still there, kind of under the Needle, they used to have the best Vietnamese food in the city.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Yeah, now you can step over the homeless to get to it.

kritiper's avatar

I doubt it exists anymore, but there was a freeway ramp that was built with the idea that it would connect to another roadway in the future. But in the meantime, there it was, vaulting skyward towards the west, for about 100 yards, going nowhere, about halfway between Tacoma and Seattle,

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