"Seattle Visits 8, 8.1, and 9 through 14" Top 5 Page for this destination Seattle Travelogue by glabah
Seattle Travel Guide: 3,209 reviews and 7,970 photos
The timing of my Trip 8 to Seattle was actually based on my wanting to visit the Museum of Glass during their Third Thursday event, in which there is no admissions charge and generally there are some special arts things going on around Tacoma as part of their Third Thursday Art Walk.
Because of the location right on the water, and the fact that I was only going to be there one night, I decided to splurge a little and got a room in the Silver Cloud Inn, right on the water. I arrived on the first northbound train of the day, and after storing my stuff in the room I grabbed a wonderful bowl at the seafood store next to the hotel. I then explored a few of the parks around the hotel, making a long circle to Puget Park, a small native plant garden at a power substation, the War Memorial, then Titlow Park, a long looping bus ride back downtown, night photographs of the glass art and dinner at the pub nearest the hotel.
The hotel delivered the newspaper the next day, and one cover story was that day would mark the grand opening of the North Dock Overpass at Chambers Bay. I was on my way there, but when it started raining fairly hard, I decided to visit the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, as I figured that it was too cold and wet for most people to want to go there. This turned out to be a great decision as there were only several other visitors wandering around, and the staff was very friendly. I was able to visit the beautiful Chambers Bay Park complex later in the month on a day trip from Portland, when the weather was clear and the spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains were available. In the evening I headed to downtown Tacoma and to the Glass Museum and my Seattle friend and I spent some time visiting their exhibits. We had dinner in a brewpub just south of downtown.
On Friday I explored a little bit more of West Seattle including the tiny Log House museum and several parks and viewpoints I had not visited before, including Me-Kwa-Mooks Park and Emma Schmitz and Schmitz. Lunch was at the Alki Cafe.
Saturday involved a trip by bus to Snoqualmie and a visit to the Northwest Rail Museum and a trip on their tourist railroad. While I was up there I also walked a portion of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail.
A number of local activities on Sunday included a visit to Fisherman's Terminal and finding a great bakery north of Ballard.
On Monday I took a quick day trip to Port Townsend and upon my return my Seattle friend and I had dinner at Maggie Bluff's.
Visit 8.1: While passing through Seattle on my way to Port Townsend in October, ate lunch in neat Irish Pub near the workplace of my Seattle friend and Lake Union.
This trip to Seattle was incorporated into a trip to Victoria, BC. I came to Seattle on the train, spent a night at a friends house (I walked over the hill to Pronto Pizza and Pasta for dinner, and had dessert at Seattle Pie Company), and then took the Victoria Clipper to Victoria BC at winter discount rates. You can find more about that portion of the trip on my Visits to Victoria page.
I returned to Seattle on the Victoria Clipper on Thursday evening.
Friday, I spent searching out wintering birds around the Union Bay Nature Area and East Montlake Park, working my way south through the Washington Park Arboretum, and eventually wound up watching a performace by Twelfth Night Productions at Kenyon Hall in the evening, after dinner in Red Star Pizza.
On Saturday, I visited the Georgetown Powerplant Museum, and on my way back decided to visit the Wing Luke Museum and had dinner at Ga Ga Loc. In the evening I took a MEHVA Christmas Lights Tour.
On Sunday morning my Seattle friend and I ate breakfast at Toulouse (their Beignets are really good!), and then we went over and toured the Science Fiction Museum / Experience Music Project. Dinner was a wonderful pizza from ZAW.
On Monday I made my way over to Bellevue to explore one or two of the parks and pathways they have over there. Most of my time was spent at Mercer Slough Nature Park and nearby. Dinner was at Time 4 Pho, which is only a two block walk from where my friend lives in Seattle.
Tuesday morning saw my departure on the first train going south.
Trip 9.1: In January, I visited Seattle again to take advantage of winter specials, but only made use of Seattle as a stopover on my way to and from Victoria, BC.
My Seattle friend was busy with various family matters from January through September of 2011. Thus, it was October of 2011 before I visited again. This trip was made all the more sweet by a lingering summer weekend and a trip to Mount Rainier.
On Thursday, my friend needed to make a work trip to Bremerton, and I joined in as far as the Bremerton Ferry terminal. From there, I grabbed bus route #21 going north to Illahee State Park. After spending some time exploring the park, I grabbed bus route #29 and then #11 to get back to downtown Bremerton.
By then it was getting close to lunch time, and I decided to explore some of the local options. I found a wonderful smell coming from a neat little booth called Boogaloo's sitting right on the water, and it just so happened there was enough sunlight coming through the mostly cloudy day to make it worth sitting outside on the waterfront walkway to eat.
After a thoroughly wonderful meal, I decided to explore the waterfront walkway a little bit. I had noticed a sign saying something about public access to the breakwater. I had thought, due to the heavily guarded piers, that the marina area had no public access. However, one of the walkways is open, and it goes all the way out to a walkway along the top of the breakwater, which is publicly accessible to any who care to go all the way out there.
Upon our return to Seattle (we both took the same ferry over - though my friend returned to the office) I explored the South Lake Union area a little bit, including the new Lake Union Park. Among other things, I wound up walking over to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation building. It is just an office building, but quite a building indeed.
Friday saw a visit to Bellevue and the Botanical Gardens there, and a few city parks. Even incomplete, Downtown Park is quite a place.
On Saturday, I wandered through the Magnolia neighborhood. As it was a nice day I decided to get a photo of Mount Rainier from the park near my friends house that has such a spectacular view. I then wandered down to the bike path and Elliott Bay Park.
Upon my return to the house, we departed to the Lake Union area, took a trip on the Queen of Seattle, ate lunch at a nearby Mexican place, and then headed to Mount Rainier. The Mounthaven Cabins seemed like a decent place to spend the night up there, away from town.
Sunday morning was a lazy wakeup day, and the relaxation was wonderful for both of us. We spent the rest of the day going as far as Box Canyon and then Paradise, returning to Seattle in the evening. Wildlife was seen in a number of places this day.
On Monday morning I took the first train of the day back to Portland, making use of the WiFi connection to e-mail a few of my photos from the trip to my friend.
For my Seattle trip in late January of 2012, I didn't visit any of the major tourist sites, or even minor ones for that matter. Instead, I visited a few of the local hidden parks that would not be of normal tourist interest.
I arrived on the first northbound Cascades train out of Portland, which arrives in Seattle around noon. As my friend works on the south side of Lake Union we met for lunch and went to The Cactus, which is a very popular lunch spot near the new Amazon headquarters. The day had turned to partly cloudy, which was a very welcome change from the typical Pacific Northwest January weather. Thus, not wanting to spend any more time indoors than I had to, I decided to walk up the east side of Lake Union and see if there was any interesting bird life wintering in the lake.
I found several pie-billed grebes and a horned grebe diving into the water near several of the marinas, but other than those the lake was pretty lifeless.
I had remembered seeing a few city parks on the east side of the lake, further north of the one little park I had discovered on a previous trip. So, I wanted to explore further north to see what other interesting things might be there.
Unfortunately, just as with the bird life, I didn't discover too much of interest, though the two new parks I visited are unusual. I walked through the open walkway through the marina on the southeast side of the lake (which was preparing for some huge boat show), continuing north on the floating walkway (where there were a few more pie billed grebes). I went past Terry Petus Park (which I had visited previously) and kept going north until I wound up at Lynn Street Park and then the Eastlake Bouledrome.
By then it was late in the afternoon at it was time to head back to my friend's house.
Thursday was much like Wednesday afternoon: not much of extensive tourist interest was explored. I went to Seward Park to see what birds might be wintering there. While there were a fair number, there wasn't anything out of the ordinary there. After a walk around the perimeter of the peninsula, I paid a brief visit to the Washington State Audubon Society office that happens to be in a building in the park. I then wandered north on the Lake Washington Boulevard Trail and then spent some time exploring Genessee Park.
Thursday night dinner happened at El Ranchon, a small Mexican place near my friend's house in Magnolia.
Friday turned out to be an even clearer day, and after spending some time at a work-related meeting at the south side of downtown Seattle I decided I would visit Dash Point State Park. Unfortunately many of the trails were closed due to an ice storm a little over a week previous to my visit having taken out quite a lot of trees. However, I was still able to enjoy the sunlight, the beach of the park, and what areas were open. The bad news was the sheer amount of time it took to get there on the transit routes available.
Saturday was an outing to a few local outdoor areas, including the Green River Natural Area, the Fort Steilacoom Park, an abortive attempt to visit National Shellfish in Luhr Beach (its closed on weekends) and a visit to the community of Steilacoom. The day was colder and darker than Friday, but at least there was no rain. I was able to get some decent photos of the sunset from Cahmbers Bay Park.
Sunday started with breakfast at Alexa's Garden Café, and ended with an outing at The Garage (a bowling alley, pool hall and night spot).
I returned to Portland on a morning train, but not the first one of the day. Instead, I decided to sleep in a while and take the Coast Starlight (one of the long distance trains serving western Washington) somewhat later in the day.
was part of the 2012 Seattle Worldmeet, and has a an Entire Traveloge for it. This trip included A Trip to Bremerton as there is really no better and cheaper way to see Seattle than from a ferry. This was also my first trip to the Space Needle and actually happened twice to get night and day views. It was also my first trip on the very new Seattle Great Wheel on the waterfront.
A single overnight trip in late August was entirely to visit Everett and a small island park that is only open two months a year. I count this as visit 12.1 since I really didn't do all that much in Seattle itself.
Visit # 13 was made in late September, in order to go on one of the last Victoria Clipper Whale Watch trips of the year.
I originally had booked a trip to Seattle on the train, but decided at the last minute to get off in Tacoma instead. Here, I explored things of local interest including the Tacoma Farmer's Market and a few local parks. Significant progress had been made on The Chinese Garden and Reconciliation Park and that is one of the places I visited. I took a SoundTransit express bus to continue to Seattle.
The next day I decided to go the opposite direction, and continued north to Edmonds.
Visit #13.1 Happened in late October, and was oriented around visiting some fellow railway enthusiasts. It was a single overnight stay. I visited a few parks of local interest only, and thus really wasn't something to write about extensively.
The King Tut show at Seattle Center was a bit of a big deal. Some of the artifacts being shown were supposedly never exhibited outside Egypt before, and supposedly some special concessions were made because 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of the World's Fair which brought some of the King Tut artifacts on international exhibit for the first time.
In any event, I wanted to see the show, but not at the peak of summer tourist season. So, I waited until December.
As per my usual practice, I took the the train north. This time I got a morning train and arrived in time to have a late lunch at Specialty's in the Lake Union area. After leaving my stuff at my friend's house, I then headed to Discovery Park to see what wildlife I could. As it turned out, not much since by the time I got there not much daylight remained.
We had dinner at the Highliner.
The next morning I thought I would attempt a few other wildlife areas and started off trying to get to Yarrow Bay Wetlands, which isn't very accessible. Construction has made it even harder to access due to closed bus stops. After some wandering around, including a visit to George F Meacham / Morningside Park I returned to downtown Seattle.
After lunch at Taste (good food but expensive) I wound up exploring the International District a little bit, and wandering as far south as Dr. José Rizal Park.
Dinner was at La Palma
Saturday consisted of a visit to a trail along the Green River in Tukwila, and a visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass, with dinner at BigFood.
Before breakfast I explored the Magnolia Blvd Viewpoints. Sunday morning breakfast was at Ozzie's and a walk through the local craft show at the Seattle Center.
Monday was devoted to seeing the King Tut show at the Pacific Science Center though I did take a little time to see a few of the other things in the building. I then headed back to Discovery Park to see what I could of wintering bird life.
I headed back home on a Tuesday morning train.
Other than very short trips (stopping by on my way through to the San Juan Islands or elsewhere), my next real multi-day adventure to Seattle happened in June of 2013.
Breakfast started off the trip, and it was at Salmon Bay Cafe in the Ballard area. A few small adventures were had in the Discovery Park area, and I finished the day with a round trip to Tacoma and back on Sounder that was sort of a work related trip.
Saturday was a day to watch naked people bicycle past as the Fremont Solstice Festival was going on. It was fairly hot, and so the morning had been spent at Golden Gardens Park, which can be quite crowded on days like this.
Sunday was oddly much more temperate and even with a little rain. While a welcome change from the heat of the day before it was an abrupt change. A day trip to Bellingham ensued, with a visit to Whatcom Falls Park one of the various places visited.
Monday started with breakfast at Serendipity in Magnolia, and explored more of Discovery Park in the afternoon. This included a visit to the Fort Lawton Cemetery, which I had not visited before. I also stopped by Daybreak Star and the lesser known trails nearby.
Finishing off the day and the trip, a visit to Anchor's Down in Ballard and an early evening movie at Majestic Bay Theatres nearby.
As usual, the next day I was headed home on the Tuesday morning train.
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