Author Topic: Seattle, WA Visit Advice  (Read 6115 times)

zenyata

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Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« on: August 10, 2014, 06:17:27 PM »
Hello MMM community -

Wondering if anyone might have experience visiting Seattle and could recommend any particular mustachian oriented things to do / places to see in the city for a couple days worth of visiting about a week from now.  Also whether anyone might have recommendations regarding reasonably priced lodging (perhaps alternatives to hotel chains) for a night or two somewhere between the airport and downtown.

Primary reason for trip is to visit some geology sites of interest in the Cascades so doing some camping / hiking most days - but having never been to Seattle don't know if I could sort out and prioritize what to check out in the vicinity of the city itself.

Any thoughts or suggestions are much appreciated !   Partner and I are both geologists so naturally we'd welcome any input on natural areas to explore and some good local watering holes :)

p.s.  moderators - please move this to another part of the forum if this category isn't the appropriate one for this topic - I wasn't sure if it should go here or as an Off Topic post...

Thank you !

zenyata

DCJrMustachian

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2014, 09:23:06 PM »
I used to live in Seattle, and although it was long before I gained any appreciation for being mustachio, I was a poor college student with a very low part-timer income and little spare cash. 

Explore Pike Place and Coffee culture
Some city tips: Buy fresh fruit in the touristy Pike Place market.  The original Starbucks across the street. Warning: on the inside it is pretty much just like a Starbucks.  For the coffee tour, you can discover some of the indie coffee shops which Seattle is famous for.

Scenic Urban/ suburban Bike Ride
along Lake Washington via The Burke-Gilman trail.  Also be sure to check out the funky Freemont neighborhood

Hike/camp the North Cascades
Unfortunately I had no car there so I had limited chances to do this when I was there.  Lots of beautiful alpine lakes, and mountain hikes that can go 100 miles before crossing a road.

Snoqualmie falls and snoqualmie pass picnic
Visit "the pass" where the I90 freeway crosses over snoqualmie summit.  It is only 45 mins drive from the edge of Seattle.  Lots of land there to explore with national forest.  The 500ft elevation gain is Perfect for a hot summer day... and you use almost no gas on the way back to town.

Some ideas, have fun :)

Blazin

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2014, 09:30:04 PM »
We recently visited and enjoyed the locks and fish ladder: http://www.seattle.gov/tour/locks.htm

We also took a water taxi from Seattle to West Seattle, which gave pretty views of the city. We were told there is a great beach that can be accessed in West Seattle, but didn't have time to check it out.

Lastly,  the gold rush museum was interesting: http://www.nps.gov/klse/index.htm

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2014, 12:11:23 AM »
Some ideas....

Walk through Pike Place Market and have some delicious coffee nearby (I recommend Fonte, not Starbucks. Starbucks is for tourists!).  If you are eating out, check out the Beechers Handmade Cheese shop for great sandwiches. Then take the stairs down to the waterfront, and head north along there to Myrtle Edwards park and the sculpture garden. (Skip the overpriced "Great Wheel")  If you keep walking north through Myrtle Edwards park (5-6 miles? It's a ways, but a nice walk) you'll end up in downtown Ballard which is a cute town. Bikes would be faster. Bonus on the weekend for the Ballard farmers market. You can take the Rapid Ride bus back downtown for $2.25-$2.50 each.

If you want some extra water-views, you can hop the foot ferry to Bainbridge Island from the waterfront, have tea there (the Blackbird Cafe is nice), and come back.  The ferry is a bit pricey, but you only pay one way when on foot. There is a new (free) Art museum on Bainbridge.

If you do decide to splurge on something touristy, I recommend the Saveur Seattle Food Tours. They are tasty and educational.

Happy Travels!

sarah8001

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2014, 03:23:24 AM »
Many museums (Frye's art museum, Seattle Asian Art museum) are free the first Thurs of the month, if that helps you at all. Check this list out: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/city-guides/free-seattle-traveler/

chasesfish

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2014, 04:46:07 AM »
First rule - take the rail line in from the airport to downtown.  It wasn't open my first visit to Seattle and it cost a fortune to get between the two.  It was open on my second visit and I think it was $6 for two people each way

LibrarIan

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2014, 08:06:28 AM »
If you're into Twin Peaks (or are willing to watch it), the pilot and movie were filmed near Seattle in Snoqualmie and North Bend, WA. Maybe a film site tour is in order? Many of the locations are still there and it only costs gas to drive around and see them. (Had to throw this out there - Twin Peaks is my favorite show ever.)
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 08:10:09 AM by LibrarIan »

lhamo

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2014, 09:14:37 AM »
Must, must must do St. Helens -- it is awesome to see how the area around the blast zone is coming back to life, and there is some great hiking there (though due to reluctant kids I was only able to do a short trail off of the visitor's center.  If you have time, visit the east side of the mountain -- there is this really dramatic point where you come over a ridge that is totally treed on the east side, but where everything was knocked out by the blast on the west.  Probably cool geological things going on in that area, too, but I didn't know what to look for.

Rainier is also awesome and very close.

Seattle things to do:

Eat your way around Pike Place.  Lots of fun little food stands where you can pick up this and that.  Then walk up to the sculpture garden for a picnic.  From there you can walk to Seattle Center -- consider doing the Space Needle (touristy, but fun, especially on a nice day), and maybe the Chihuly museum and EMP if you are into those things.  If you aren't too tired from walking and it is a sunny day, continue up Queen Anne hill to Kerry Park, which has amazing views of the city and Mt. Rainier.

A lot of the city parks are really nice to explore.  The arboretum is also nice.  You can rent canoes at the University of Washington and explore the area by water, too.

Seattle Art Museum is pretty good, and sometimes has interesting visiting exhibits.  If you like Asian are, the Asian Art Museum (up on Capitol Hill) is nice. 

Lots of fun neighborhoods to explore.  Fremont, Capitol Hill, and, increasingly, Ballard (I used to live in Ballard before it got hip -- its rise to hipdom is funny to watch)

Enjoy your trip!  The PNW is a beautiful part of the world.

perigee

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2014, 10:15:09 AM »
Ha, my brother and I were just complaining the other day how little we know about geology and our good friend who has an undergrad in the field, has said he's just barely scratched the surface on the topic (no pun intended).  We were comparing what rocks and formations we've come across throughout the state (I've found slate, he hasn't....side note, my friends find it odd that on hikes I'll stop to bang rocks together).

Airbnb is the place to look for accommodations, it's people renting out extra space to travelers, has a wide variety of sleeping arrangements, from people renting out a spare room to mother in law apartments and even whole apartments and houses.

Second the idea of taking a ferry out to Bainbridge, seeing the Olympics to the west and the Cascades to the east, guarantees great photo ops.

Also second the suggestion of renting a kayak, see the floating homes, and it's awesome if you can time it for rush hour, it's fun to kayak faster then the cars moving on the bridge, as you kayak underneath them, just mind the paddle, with the low clearance.

A little on the spendy side, but still fun is the walking Underground Tour of Seattle, learn about the time the city had exploding toilets and about the purple glass in some of the sidewalks.

Pikes Place for the flying fish and seeing cheese getting made, google happy hour specials to get  deals on drinks and food, and finally there is a 3 story restaurant in the market that has amazing views, but again on the pricey side.

As for the rest of the state, family favorite road trip is taking the Northern Loop highway aka highway 20, I'm sure you already plans, but if you can squeeze in this road trip it would be well worth it, breathtaking scenery and great hikes.

Eastern Washington is wine country, but Woodinville, about 30 mins northwest of Seattle, is where a lot of those wineries have tasting rooms, also the Red Hook Brewery has tours with lots of sampling encouraged :)

Final piece of advice hit up the local Rangers station, they're the perfect matchmaker between hiker and trail.  You let them know what you're looking for, elevation gain, views, lakes, difficulty, time and they'll find you the perfect hike and get you directions to the trail head.

Hope you have a great time!

deedeezee

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2014, 10:33:00 AM »
Someone on another board I frequent posted this link:

http://www.libraryinsight.net/mpbymuseum.asp?jx=y9

If you know someone in Seattle with a library card, you can get free passes to the Seattle Art Museum and other local attractions through their card.  Perhaps there is a Mustachian among us who could get you passes?

Eric

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2014, 10:49:50 AM »

2ndTimer

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2014, 05:45:47 PM »
If you are coming from a part of the country that doesn't have a strong Chinese influence, I would recommend that you visit the International District.  If you have never had dim sum this is a good place to try it.  I would specifically recommend the Jade Garden for dim sum.  However, I haven't eaten in the International District for over a year so I would defer to any other Seattlites who have more recent knowledge.

Ohio Teacher

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2014, 05:54:43 PM »
First rule - take the rail line in from the airport to downtown.  It wasn't open my first visit to Seattle and it cost a fortune to get between the two.  It was open on my second visit and I think it was $6 for two people each way
This.  When my wife and I were there as part of our honeymoon, we got sucked into the taxis as tourists.  We were starting to follow the light rail signs, but then one of those taxi guys beckoned us and we gave into it.  Stay strong.  It's a bit more of a walk than the taxi line, but it will save you a bundle and it's way better for the environment even if the taxis are Priuses. 

JoJo

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2014, 07:13:46 PM »
my favorite free activities:
*Ballard Locks & salmon ladder is my favorite!!!
* Pikes place
* Fremont troll
* Sculpture Garden
* Seattle center
* The view of DT is great from Kerry Park
* Pioneer square walking tour - there is an Alaska gold rush museum that's part of the National Park Service and is free. 
* check out the inside of the DT library

gimp

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2014, 07:22:49 PM »
1 - Walk along the docks / wharfs in downtown. I don't know if that's the proper term for them, but you know what I mean. Downtown, water.

2 - Go to Ape Cave in Mt St Helens. It's a hike, about a mile long, through what I think is a lava tube or something like that. It is completely, 100% pitch black between the entrance and exit (with one tiny hole about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way up). Bring two flashlights each and water. You get to see lovely geological... things... cool rocks, okay? Cool rocks and formations. It rocks.

oldtoyota

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2014, 08:24:14 PM »
I recommend searching the forum. We talked about Seattle trips back in March of 2013. Lots of good ideas...I used them on my trip. =-)

zenyata

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2014, 08:10:12 AM »
Wow - thanks so much everyone for all the replies and awesome ideas.  I will definitely be checking out as much as possible based on what y'all recommend - I trust you guys !  :)

Thanks again !

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2014, 08:12:49 AM »
Everything is on fire east of the Cascades, so do your camper on the west side.

oldtoyota

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2014, 04:21:39 PM »
Oops. I said we talked about this in March of 2013. I guess it felt like it was that long ago. LOL. It was 2014.

Here is the thread I referenced. I got loads of excellent advice and had such a good time in Seattle--in part, thanks to the folks here on this board!


http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/offbeat-things-to-do-in-seattle/50/?topicseen

1967mama

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Re: Seattle, WA Visit Advice
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2014, 05:06:01 PM »
This was a great bookstore: http://www.elliottbaybook.com/node/about

It's up the Capitol Hill area. Don't go if you're too tempted to buy books though...haha!