Seattle has been on my wish list for several years, especially since I became an avid Grey’s Anatomy fan. The Seattle tower always looked so romantic against the rainy skies in those opening pano shots, with the Pacific stretching out in the back. And after realizing how close Seattle was to Vancouver (just under 2 hours) I knew that a road trip was required!
Seattle is a large, historic American city build on hills. This does make it challenging to walk and/or bike however the Seattleites seems to have mastered this. The locals are super active and the city has responded to this lifestyle by creating numerous trails and parks in the city, which gives Seattle the nickname of Emerald City, due to the green trees and mountains that surrounds it. I opted to drive around the city which is also very simple, although this city has numerous districts. Traffic wasn’t an issue and I became familiar with the downtown area quite easily. Seattle has the most amazing scenic drives!
Pioneer Square located in the downtown area is where the Underground Tour took place. This was a very informative tour that took me down to the original Seattle from 1889, before the Great Fire of Seattle burned 120 acres of the original city down. The current Seattle is literally built on top of these ashes. Visiting the underground is a very cool introduction to understanding this city and its people.
The waterfront had heavy construction taking place, although it is a major hub for cruise ships. The sunsets on the Pacific Ocean is divine and I was lucky to catch these from the rooftop of my air bnb apartment. The Olympic Sculpture Park is also located by the waterfront, perfect for a sunset stroll or a jog. The downtown core isn’t too busy for a big city, although it does feel unsafe at night due to the large homeless population.
Alki Beach located in West Seattle is a drive away, with panoramic views of the city. Here is where the locals come to hang out by the beach, play beach volleyball and take in the salt water. I enjoyed spending a whole day here, eating fish and chips and people watching. Another popular tourist hangout is Pike Market Place, also home to the infamous Starbucks (this was the first one ever opened) with lines down the street. Pike is great place to stroll around but it is busy and uneventful.
Snolqualmie Falls is an hour (scenic) drive from Seattle and one of my highlights on this trip. It’s an easy walk from the parking lot to view the falls. You can also walk below to see the Snoqualmie River and get a different perspective of the falls. This popular photo spot can get crowded so arriving early is important. Along the drive there are also numerous outlets malls, convenient for breaks along the road.
Seattle stole my heart from the minute I saw the stunning views of Mount Baker on my way into Washington State. The people are friendly, smiling and active. The city has a laid back vibe and perhaps the legal pot shops have something to do with it.