What’s the best part of having family and friends move to another place? Being able to visit them and experience a new area. Sure, having a place to rest your head and have an occasional home-cooked meal is great, but what better way to get the sense of another city than with a local? I found this to be the case when visiting my cousin Eric and his family and my friend Shanna in Seattle. Not only did I get to explore with people who live in the area, but I got a personalized tour of Seattle. So, if you’re looking at Seattle as your next destination, wander with me on a personalized tour of this Pacific Northwest city.
Starting with the touristy elements of Seattle, head to Pike Place Market to explore the booths of flowers, local produce and food, and crafts. In need of a snack? Enjoy a crumpet from The Crumpet Shop, a stop Shanna and I found to be a great break after walking from the Klondike Gold Rush (Seattle Unit) in Pioneer Square to Pike Market Place.
Once you’ve purchased smoked salmon to taste and seen all the food and crafts Seattle has to offer at the booths, head to the Seattle Center and stop at the Chihuly Garden and Glass to take in this artists’ extraordinary work and vision. After experiencing Dale Chihuly’s exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens, I had this on my “Must-See” list and was not disappointed. From the Glass Forest to the outdoor Garden, each display shows how Chihuly takes common themes and evolves shapes, colors, and patterns from their original form to create his art. Each piece is a transformation of shape and architecture into the natural world with organic movement. Shanna, Dan (Shanna’s husband), and I marvel at how Chihuly’s assistants translate his Picasso-like technical sketches into actual glass pieces. As theatre workers, we’re used to taking a designer’s renderings and figuring out how to actualize it, sans magic wands. Whether the drawing is a Chandelier from a Venice installation or a Glass Boat from the Ikebana and Float Boat, Chihuly had a unique vision that must have required a great deal of patience to interpret.
Looking to escape downtown? Take the opportunity to check out the Ballard Locks. Although Eric and I missed the chance to see tons of salmon, Eric took the time to entertain his daughter, Hana, with the solo small baby fish swimming among the currents. If you head to Seattle in the summer, hopefully you’ll have a bigger gathering of salmon. Crossing the bridges and past the boats you’ll see why I fell for the Pacific Northwest for its abundant greenery and beautiful gardens. It’s something I thought only existed in fairy tales. And, if you want to soak up more of nature, look up a place to go kayaking, you won’t regret it.
Do you want a more authentic taste of Seattle? The Fremont Troll will definitely give you the feel of Seattle’s alternative artistic mentality. A reminder of “Billy Goat’s Gruff,” you might be intimidated thinking this troll will eat you up, but fortunately he’s only stone. Nearby, enjoy organic fair trade chocolate from Theo. There’s plenty of flavors from salted caramel to chili to marshmallow. It’s a chocolate lover’s heaven.
Even though Seattle is known for rain or “Grey’s Anatomy,” there’s plenty to see and experience. If you’re an enthusiast of alternative art, the outdoors, or enjoy cities that support their local artisans, markets, and products, add Seattle to your bucket list.
This post is a part of Weekend Wanderlust hosted by A Brit and A Southerner, A Southern Gypsy, Eat Work Travel, Justin Plus Lauren and One Modern Couple, Monday Escapes hosted by My Travel Monkey and Packing My Suitcase, City Tripping hosted by Wandermum and Mummy Travels, and Weekend Travel Inspiration hosted by Reflections Enroute, The Crowded Planet, Contented Traveller, Albom Adventures, Safari 254, FamiliesGo!, and Malaysian Meanders.