Seattle Family Favorites
Seattle is home to our family of five, but it is also my favorite place to be a tourist. These are five of our favorite things to do:
1) Pike Place Market – Teenagers love it, old folks love it, kids love it. It never fails to entertain and we are regulars. Our teenage girls love looking through all the inexpensive jewelry, tasting the honey samples, adding to the “gum wall”. Yuck! Our teenage son and my husband love listening to the musicians with their varying skill levels and genres and watching the fish toss. I love to shop the produce stands, buy specialty items, sip a latte in the french bakery (Panier) and people watch. More often than not I’m texting my kids trying to track them down in the Market. On the street (Western Avenue) below the market, near the “Hillclimb” steps there is a wonderful spice store called World Spice. Their spices make relatively inexpensive gifts that are easy to pack home. The parking garage next door has the friendliest employees. (Free)
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2) Ferry Ride – Seattle has ferries leaving from downtown to Bainbridge Island and Bremerton regularly. You can drive on if you want to go somewhere on the other side such as Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge (reservations necessary at the reserve), but it is just as fun and cheaper to park and walk on. The view of the city from the ferry can’t be beat. The Bainbridge ferry is a shorter trip than the Bremerton. They charge for walk on passengers only from the Seattle side but you still have to disembark and get back in the waiting line to walk back on. (not a big deal)
3) Alki Beach – This beach is located in West Seattle. There are all sorts of fun eateries and a cool teenage clothing store called Coastal to visit. We all enjoy walking the waterfront with all manner of folks. If the tide is low there is a section further south and west of the main drag (past a few houses/condos) where kids can check out the tide pools. Our other favorite beach is Golden Gardens in the Ballard neighborhood. (Free)
4) Another favorite activity is renting a canoe from the UW aquatic center roughly behind and slightly north of Husky stadium. Paddling about next to the Washington arboretum, through the lily pads, under the wooden boardwalk, and past nesting herons can’t be beat if you don’t mind the exercise. Otherwise skip the canoes, park on the arboretum side, and take the wooden boardwalk through the bird preserve. (Budget or Free)
5) Tea at the Olympic Hotel – This may or may not be for the men of the family, but tea in the Georgian Room at the Olympic is a special event. At Christmas time the hotel is decorated to the hilt. There is a special decorated Teddy Bear room to be visited at this time as well. We love to sneak in to the ballroom (if nothing is going on in there) where the kids used to race around and get out their wiggles from having to be well mannered at the table. (Splurge for Tea or otherwise Free)
I love my city,
My children would like to point out that I did not include the donut vendor in my description of places in Pike Place Market. This is an inexpensive treat near DeLaurenti's Italian Grocer. The line is always long but moves very quickly and is worth the wait for these little morsels.