Downtown Seattle

Seattle is one of my favourite cities. It holds true to its nickname, the Emerald City, because it is always green. There are a number of attractions to this great city’s downtown core, so here is a little downtown guide. Trust me, there is much more to this city than Starbucks…

But the first Starbucks is a good place to start. It is located at Pike Place Market. It is pretty hard to miss and it is the location where you can get the “full on” mermaid logo cups and merchandise. You really should check it out if you are going to Pike Place anyway!

Fish throwers! At the large open fish booth, right as you enter the market, you will see everyone standing around waiting for the guys to throw the fish. It is a fun experience to watch, just remember that they only throw the fish if someone orders!

The gum wall is gross to many, but it is a lot of fun to stick yours on the wall. I do it every time I visit! The wall is just off to the left side of the market in Post Alley.

We stopped in at one of the restaurants in the market, the Athenian. Unknown to us, until we walked in, the restaurant is known for certain scenes from Sleepless in Seattle. To us, the food looked decent and the view looked even better, so we headed in for happy hour.

We had the mussels to start which were good, but a little sandy. I had the fish tacos which were quite good and then L had the coho salmon which was a bit of a miss. There are amazing places to eat in Seattle, so take this place for what it is…historic and very enjoyable ambiance and views!

Overlooking Puget Sound
Overlooking the port

The flowers always get me in the market, I love that you can buy $5 worth of flowers and it is the most amazing bouquet! Something similar here in Canada would be about $20.

Tulip season!

Outside, along the piers, you can see a lot of small attractions like this sculpture outside of the aquarium (which I have never been in to, but I would go the next visit). It makes for a nice walk along the water.

 This is on of my favourite murals. It is, the “Orca mural by James Crespinel, painted on the Seattle Steam Company plant, located at the corner of Western Avenue and Union Street”. Check it out if you get a chance, it is all within walking distance.

The Seattle Harbour Steps are located on 1st Avenue and University Street. It marks the start of Post Alley which is where the gum wall is, the alley ends at Pike Place Market. It is a nice little stroll to the market instead of going down 1st Avenue.

A view from the steps

We were on the hunt for a good happy hour spot and ventured into Von’s 1000 Spirits. Apparently their old reputation isn’t the best, but with their new location comes fantastic services, great drinks, quick food, and excellent desserts. We didn’t get any food, but I did get two desserts, it was heavenly. I had bourbon vanilla ice cream with raspberry coulis and cake. I forgot at that point that I couldn’t eat cake, but it was so worth it. The drinks were good, as you can probably tell from my dessert purchases.

We left Seattle on the Clipper Ferry and headed for British Columbia for a the bulk of our trip (post coming soon). The ride was great and there were some amazing views. I was really hoping to see a pod of orcas or something, but the landscape had to do! So ugly…

I also have to mention that the Marriot Downtown is a fantastic hotel, I love it there! Also, take the LINK from the Airport to downtown Seattle, it is the only way to travel!

Goodbye, Seattle!

After our visit in British Columbia, we headed back to Seattle for another night. We took Kenmore Air this time and I loved the views!

“Hi, Seattle!”

Going in for the landing at Boeing Field.

My sister-in-law was waiting to surprise us at Boeing field and was very excited that, in 20 years of living in Seattle, she finally got to pick someone up at Boeing field! She was excited to tell us that she was back in Seattle to look for a place to live because her and my brother would be moving back! I am so happy, I now have reasons to stay in Seattle again! I can’t wait to show L around some more when we come out again to visit our West Coast family.

Speaking of Boeing field, I suggest you go to the museum of flight if you have a chance. It isn’t really downtown, but here are a couple of photos anyway. Boeing had as a huge part in Seattle’s history, plus you might get to see JFK’s presidential plane – Air Force One if it is still there on loan!

Air Force One – JFK’s Presidential Plane.

Hey, guess what?! It is happy hour again! This time at Local 360, the most hipster of hipster restaurants. What is a hipster restaurant? Well, you can expect great food creations, unique drinks, usually terrible service (Local 360 had fantastic service I must say!) and a strive for local ingredients with great quality. I like hipster restaurants.

My drink was a lavender honey syrup with tequila and ginger. It was called the Loco Bee’s Knees. It was very good. I also had the No. 9 Smash which was vodka, all spiced simple, cranberries and ginger beer, amazing!

 L had the gin flight and discovered that while the gin is good, he prefers it mixed with something else. I have to say the few sips I took were really good, so if you are into gin, whiskey or vodka, try their flights which are all from distilleries in the North West.

We had the beet salad (flora cheese, hazelnuts, cider vinaigrette), the pear salad (chicory, preserved onion, rogue bleu) as well as the rootbeer glazed pork belly and baked beans and L had the burger.

 Picture from http://www.cornichon.org/

Picture from http://www.cornichon.org/

On Saturday we went to a Sounders game at Century Link Field. You should go, it is a lot of fun and really energizing. Seattle really stands behind its sports teams.

Yes, I know the garlic fries really aren’t amazing, but they are amazing at the same time as being not-amazing. So just get some of those too, especially when you are going to be flying for 4 hours later that evening, your significant other will love you. They even have apple slices so they are a complete meal! Notices how the stadium filled up to see the Sounders thump Colorado 4-1…

Home of the 12th (wo)man!

Photo from http://seattletales.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/zeitgeist-kunst-kaffee/

After the game we headed back towards Pioneer Square and got a coffee at Zeitgeist Coffee. It was fantastic, I had the morning glory chai which is a bit spicier than a regular chai. Seattle is known for Starbucks, but do venture off and check out amazing coffee shops like Zeitgeist. These people know what they are doing.

Well that escalated quickly, didn’t it? Coffee to the can! This is actually part of the Underground Tour of Seattle. I have wanted to go a few times and I was happy we found the time to go. The toilet really is relevant here…

“Sky lights” from the underground.

Seattle’s history really began with the lumber industry and the close proximity to the water. The only problem is that the early residents wanted to live as close as possible to the water, so that meant living on mud flats because of the tide. They decided to fill it in with the wood shavings from the lumber industry and that proved to be a bad idea, I thought it would work too, they were so resourceful! Right?

Anyway, they eventually had a few things built, but ended up burning that down in 1889 because of trying to melt glue over a gasoline fire and using water to try to put it out. Luckily no one died, so we can joke about it!

As you can tell, things weren’t really working anyway. Seattle had a terrible reputation for poor sanitation because of the tides and lack of waste water construction. Toilets used to flow back up with sewage and tide water that came up from the wooden pipes they built to connect the “crapper” to drain into the sound. Did you know that the toilet was invented by Thomas Crapper? There ya go.

So, how did they make this city cool? They decided to wash out the rock and dirt from the hills into the mud flats so that they could form a solid base. Well that would take 10 years or so, and some of the merchants couldn’t wait to build. They ended up building and putting entrances on the second floor because the intent was to raise the city up! Here is where the city’s underground was born and that is why you should go on the tour. It is such a cool step back in history.

There are so many funny stories that the guides share with you about the underground, it really is a cool place. This is a family friendly tour! However, they also offer an “R” rated tour. Prohibition, prostitution, and probably many more illegal acts happened under the streets, I can’t wait to find out about them the next time!

We were hungry afterwards and while we were on the tour, I spotted a delicious looking deli. We popped over to Delicatus, because I know there is nothing more my guy likes than a wicked sandwich, and this looked like the place to get it.

Photo from http://ericriveracooks.com/2010/05/26/delicatus-seattle-wa/

This place literally has mass amounts of meat and sandwich porn. It was amazing and they turned my sandwich into a big salad. I can’t blame them for not carrying gluten free bread because the sandwich never tastes as good, the bread is a huge component.

Photo from http://www.seattlemag.com/

That is all for this installment of Seattle. Next time I head out there I will be sure to show you around places like Gasworks Park and Fremont. We will go to Senior Moose and try to show you the city outside of the downtown.

Here is a map of the places featured in this post, I hope it helps you to plan your adventure in Seattle’s downtown core!

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