Back in 1991 my wife and I traveled to Seattle, Washington for the first time. While we only spent a weekend in the city, we packed it full of some exciting adventures. Below are some of the highlights from our trip. Hopefully, they inspire you to pack your bags and visit one of the Pacific Northwest’s best cities.
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is one of the oldest farmers’ markets in the United States. In 2014 Travel + Leisure reported that Pike Place Market was the 33rd most popular tourist destination in the world. The Pike Place Fish Market is one of the market’s most popular destinations. It’s famous for its employees who throw three-foot fish to one another. The tradition started when the owner realized it was a quicker method of giving customers their fish. One of Starbucks’ oldest continually operated stores opened in Pike Place Market in 1977. This store still features the brand’s original logo.
In 1889 the Great Seattle Fire destroyed most of Seattle’s business district. City leaders decided to rebuild above the decimated buildings, and in the process, they created a series of underground ruins. In the 1960s Bill Speidel realized that people may be interested in exploring the ruins, so he began giving tours. Today subterranean Seattle is one of the most popular tourist activities. Speidel’s “Underworld Tour” is an adult-only experience that discusses the darker past of Seattle’s history. To learn more about both tours take a look at the Underground Tour website.
Mount Rainier National Park and the Northwest Trek
Mount Rainier National Park is a two-hour drive south of Seattle. If you are a nature enthusiast, the trip is well worth it. No permit is required for hiking; however, if you want to camp overnight, you will need a permit. There are also a number of ranger-led programs that visitors can enjoy throughout the seasons. The programs include guided walks and lectures.
The Northwest Trek is another option for nature lovers. This wildlife park is located a little over an hour south of the city and features a tram tour that travels through the free-range area of the park. On the tour, visitors are likely to see bison, moose, and deer among other animals. There is also a walking tour where visitors can see animals such as bears and bald eagles in enclosed spaces.
Seattle’s Space Needle is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. The Space Needle was originally constructed for the 1962 World’s Fair. Since its opening visitors have been able to ride elevators to the Observation Deck which sits 520 feet above the city. Visitors can also dine at SkyCity, a revolving restaurant that specializes in local cuisine.