Seattle, well known for rain and grunge, certainly took me by surprise. I am now a huge fan. The food was amazing, the weather was spectacular. The people both kind and ridiculously in good shape. Visiting Seattle makes me wish I knew how to recycle and totally reconsider how much I exercise.
Day 1, I hit the touristy spots. No matter where you are, how old you are, or how embarrassing it may seem, tourist attractions are usually worth it. The Space Needle is no exception. Here you get the full panoramic picture of the beauty that is Seattle. On a clear day you can just glimpse the tip of Mt. Rainier (pictured below), it’s spectacular.
Looking down, you see the bustling downtown filled with skyscrapers housing the technological giants such as Microsoft. Amidst the towering buildings you can find high fashion boutiques and cafes. While 15 minutes outside the city you can find mountains and lush wildlife.
In the shadow of the Needle is the brand new Chihuly Glass museum. Opened in May, the museum is really an incredible display of human talent. The enormous glass sculptures will put you in awe. Right next door, you will find the Experience Music Project museum. The collection of exhibits included horror movie props, Nirvana memorabilia, interactive displays based on the movie Avatar, and playable instruments of every kind!
Personally, the Kurt Cobain memorial was a must-see. Due to his cremation, there is no formal memorial but true fans have found their way to pay homage in the form of a graffitied bench. It sits in a small public park, a couple blocks from his previous hollywood-style residence. The bench is covered in love notes, poetry, unsmoked cigarettes, and other tokens for the musician. It was a moving experience for me, as a devoted Cobain fan.
In the evening, I enjoyed dinner with a fantastic view on the marina at the restaurant, Palisade. As the sun set on the water and all of the boats floated in, we enjoyed delicious fresh seafood.
Another important activity: You have to visit Pikes Place Market! Here you can get a latte from the first Starbucks, gaze at the endless rows of colorful fruits and exotic seafood. Don’t forget to put a little money in the piggy bank!
If you are looking for school, the University of Washington has a beautiful campus near the downtown area. The campus is unbelievably green and you can find several food trucks in the central quad.
I also managed to snag a free trial at the David Barton gym. If you want feel like a celebrity, this is the gym to try.
Just across the water from the New York style metropolis you’ll find a beautiful Florida-like Alki Beach. Unique houses and restaurants with patio seating line the water front. As the sun went down the activity picked up. The sand was covered with volleyball games and a cardboard dance floor filled with salsa dancers. In the distance, through the sunbeams, you can see the amazing mountain tops.
Take a drive to the little German town of Levanworth, past the site of the well known TV show Twin Peaks, for a cute touristy destination. On your way there, stop to gawk at the gorgeous waterfalls and raging rapids. On the way back my group stopped off for a local town carnival in Sultan, Washington.
My final night was spent eating at Monsoon (now my favorite restaurant of all time). The fresh oysters, the duck-stuffed squid, and other small plates were all amazingly delicious! For dessert I enjoyed a treat of bananas and coconut milk.
I was well warned by Seattle citizens, the weather I experienced is not a year round occurrence. There are plenty of rainy days just as you might assume. However if you are lucky enough to visit in the summer, the weather will be well worth your trip.
This post has been made possible by the wonderful generosity of a very special uncle, big thanks go out to Robert!