In May we checked a huge destination item off our travel bucket list: an Alaskan cruise (read about our Alaskan cruise here). We left hot and humid Houston for cold (to us) and rainy Seattle, and spent 48 sleepless hours exploring the city. I love planning trips, and I love cramming as much excitement into the shortest amount of time in order to make the best of our time in any given place. Seattle was no exception. We enjoyed five major attractions in and around Seattle before our cruise.
1. Space Needle
We flew into Seattle in the afternoon, so after a day of airports and airplanes, we took it easy(ish). The first thing we did after checking into our centrally located Seattle Marriott Waterfront was walk to the Space Needle. I felt like seeing the needle in person was a right of passage for anyone traveling to the area. Instead of burning several hours on a formal dinner, we ate on the way and opted for wine and scotch tastings in the Skycity Restaurant. The wine tasting was a good introduction to wines from the Pacific Northwest region and a nice night cap after a day well traveled.
2. Underground Tour
Another touristy right of passage (in my opinion) is Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour, which is a rugged tour of the original ground level, now underground, of downtown Seattle from its pioneer days in the mid-1800s. Long story short, Seattle burned to the ground in 1889, was elevated and rebuilt with more durable material, and the original ground level was abandoned. During the tour, you can see discarded building materials, pipes, and items that just fell out of use. We took this tour first thing in the morning on our first full day in Seattle. My favorite part of the tour was the dual purpose skylights/sidewalks with their beautiful amethyst colored glass prisms that let natural light in from above.
3. Woodinville Wine Country
After our underground tour, we had a quick lunch and proceeded to Woodinville Wine Country, which is only 30 miles east of Seattle, but vastly different in scenery. Visiting wine country in the Pacific Northwest is a must for any wine lover, and Woodinville is conveniently close and accessible without burning more than a half or full day. Read all about our Wine Trail to Woodinville from Seattle here. We visited four wineries in a half day. Very efficient!
4. Seattle Waterfront
One of the most densely populated and urbanized areas is Central Waterfront in Downtown Seattle. There are a ton of restaurants, bars, and sights, so of course we took a stroll! We tried Copper River salmon, salmon fish & chips and other seafood. I even went for a two mile run along the waterfront on our last morning in Seattle. Surprisingly, it wasn’t raining, so the weather was what us runners consider ideal (temperatures in the 50s).
5. Pike Place Market
And finally after my morning run and before boarding the cruise ship, we scheduled a VIP walking tour of the world famous must-see Pike Place Market. This place, which covers several city blocks, is a foodie paradise! Since this is the most visited tourist attraction in the area, we skipped lines by letting our tour guide escort us around the market. Read all about our Foodie Tour of Pike Place Market in Seattle here. We tried a little bit of everything in the span of about two hours.
A 48 hours in Seattle well spent, if I do say so myself. Is there something I should see next time I visit Seattle? Next up…Alaskan cruise!