It was New Years Eve and I find myself flying out to Seattle, that’s the nature of my job I suppose. Anyway after a long flight I arrived at my hotel, the Sheraton Seattle, a large business type place in the heart of downtown.
After completely missing all the NYE celebrations I woke up really early ready to hit Seattle and see what this great city had to offer. My first stop was coffee. Well I’m in Seattle so I had to hit the original Starbucks, right? Now I know what you’re all going to say, what about all the other, better coffee shops in Seattle, a city famed for it’s coffee. Well I did visit other, better places but I just had to try out the original Starbucks first. You’ll find it at 1912 Pike Street and the corner of 1st Avenue.
I have to be honest I was a little disappointed. I’m not sure what I was expecting but it was very busy with long lines. My advice, go down there, take a picture and leave. I ended up at a fabulous little place called the Crumpet Shop 1503 1st Avenue www.thecrumpetshop.com They serve freshly baked organic crumpets with a load of different toppings and a great selection of coffees, teas and other drinks. It’s nothing fancy but I really liked it, the food was good and the staff friendly.
Having had my fix of coffee and something to eat I was ready to get going and explore. As I was right next to it Pike Place Market was my first stop. This place is amazing, there are dozens of stalls selling flowers, fruit and vegetables, seafood and fish, crafts, baked goods and more. Watch out for the guys throwing the fish around and also for Rachel the bronze piggy bank at the main entrance. I could have spent longer here but with such a short stay I had to move on.
A short walk from the market is Seattle’s waterfront, Although this area is primarily geared up for the main tourist trade it’s definitely worth a visit. Here’s where you’ll find the Seattle Great Wheel (a large ferris wheel, the sort you’ll find in most big cities these days). There’s also a good selection of the usual tourist shops and food outlets. My primary reason for being here was to take in the view and get some pictures.
From here you can also head into the Olympic Sculpture Park. As my time was short I walked up Broad Street and headed for the famous Seattle Space Needle. Built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair the Space Needle stands 520 feet tall and gives you a 360 degree panorama of the city and beyond. I have to say the view was impressive.
In this area you can also find Chihuly Garden & Glass, the Children’s Museum and the Pacific Science Center. I headed back into the downtown area and on to Pioneer Square, part of “historic Seattle”. My next hour was spent underground with a small group on the Beneath The Streets Tour exploring five city blocks of subterranean passageways from the 1890’s. The guide was full of stories which made the tour interesting and fun, for example did you know that some of the old buildings use the first floor as their ground floor as the original ground floor is now underground. For more information visit www.beneath-the-streets.com
I really enjoyed my whistle stop tour of Seattle, with an hour or so left I even managed to squeeze in some time for shopping.
“Hello, can I order a Sheraton burger and fries”, “yes sir, it’ll be around 25 minutes”. Just enough time to have a quick shower before my room service arrived. Exhausted I ate my food, crawled into bed knowing that I’d sleep soundly tonight ready for my return home tomorrow.