Mar 3, 2015

A Day in Seattle With Kids In Tow

With the kids in tow, we recently explored Seattle, Washington for the first time as a family.  Not normally huge fans of urban areas, we limited our visit to just one full day.  So what did we do?  Plenty!

We started our day by exploring the historic and iconic Pike Place Market.  Entering by the stairs off Western Ave, we meandered our way up through the three lower levels, which have kitchy stores full of facinating treasures from the past.  In particular, the Magic Market provided a bit of fun for the kids and a walk down memory lane for us adults.  

Discovering and creating

Ascending up to the main arcade of the Market via the creaky old staircases, we arrived at the main Fish Market and Flower Market sections.  Sights, sounds and smells of all sorts vied for our attention.  The beautiful floral bouquets and fresh tulips begged for our appreciation.  Similarly, we were entranced by a duo of hillbilly buskers who were playing traditional instruments.   We found that we could not really get very far before something else stopped us and demanded our attention.  Luckily we were there on a quiet weekday morning, so the normal crowds were not an issue.

A busker at Pike Place Market

Across the street from the Market's main entrance, we came across more interesting  shops, including  Beecher's Cheese Factory where we learned about cheese making and got to sample freshly made cheeses and the humble first Starbucks Coffee shop (where we just had to order a Pike Place coffee!).  Lots more interesting buskers entertained us too along the way.

Watching as a worker collects freshly set cheese curds at Beechers

Entertaining buskers

First-ever Starbucks located on Pike St, Seattle, Washington

 With our senses thoroughly saturated during our two hours exploring Pike Place Market, we walked towards Westlake Centre, in search of the infamous Food Trucks.  While we only found one, we did find a small outdoor playground and a shopping centre instead.  We also discovered we could board the Monorail here, which would take us to Seattle Centre.

Urban playground at Westlake Centre

Front Seats on the Monorail

Easily distinguished by the iconic Space Needle, Seattle Centre was originally built for the 1962 World Fair.  Among its 74 acre grounds are a plethora of the city's cultural attractions, including the Pacific Science Centre, Children's Museum, and the spectacular-looking Chihuly Garden and Glass MuseumUnfortunately as we were only spending the day in Seattle, we didn't feel that we could give any of these museums the time nor attention that they would require. A good reason for another visit!

Outside the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

After riding the Monorail back to Westlake Centre, we hit the street again, in search of the 'new' Seattle Central Library, which was opened in 2004.  The unusual design of this building has earned it a place among the American Institute of Architecture's list of Americans's 150 favourite structures in the US, with only one other Seattle building making the list.  Its interior spaces were as intriguing as it's exterior design and we enjoyed admiring it at the end of our long day.  In particular, we enjoyed riding the stomach-dropping high speed elevators to the highest 10th floor and admiring the view of both inside and out.

Looking out from the 10th Floor
Looking down!
Back on the street, we headed to the historic Pioneer Square, too late unfortunately to catch the last tour of the Underground Seattle.  Oh well, another one for next time!  From there, we continued down to the waterfront where we boarded the ferry to Bainbridge Island, where we were staying the night.  (More on that next post!)  The 35-min ride was a nice way to end our day.

Whew--all in all, we walked approximately 14kms on our day in Seattle!  There was so much to see that it was surprisingly painless to accomplish, even for the kids.  Having visited on a weekday not during the peak tourist season of summer was also an advantage.  So will you pack your walking shoes and hit the streets on your next visit to Seattle?  Try it!  

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1 comment:

  1. Great place for travel .
    So like this post. Thanks a lot for sharing!