Pike Place

1-Day Seattle: Downtown

Located between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a place where bike messengers share elevators with world-renowned researchers. From a jet engine to an espresso machine to grunge rock, Seattle’s world-changing events have all had a distinct sound. Summer time is my favorite time to visit. This is when the city is absolutely gorgeous and beaming with life.

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Stay downtown at Hotel Monaco, a 4-star boutique Hotel situated 4 blocks from waterfront & Pike’s Place Market. Hotel.com beats the hotel’s own published rates at $165/night.

Pioneer Square is the first stop of the day. It was once the heart of the city and the early wooden structures were mostly burned in the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. Today the neighborhood features 20 city blocks of Victorian Romanesque architecture, built after the Great Seattle Fire.

For a tour with a twist, take the Underground Tour of Pioneer Square. The guided walking tour beneath Seattle’s sidewalks and streets shows the subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle.

After the tour, head north on 1st Ave toward Pike Place Market. Established in 1907, Pike Place Market was established as a public street market that would connect farmers directly with consumers. Today the market is home to nearly 190 craftspeople and 120 farmers who rent table space by the day.

Stop at Pike Place Chowder for lunch. This cozy establishment has never lost the Great Cook-off in Newport, Rhode Island. Choose from eight varieties of clam chowder and while you’re at it, order a Dungeness Crab Roll too!

Continue north to the Olympic Sculpture Park. This 9-acre green space features 21 sculptures by renowned artists, most of them acquired for the park. This admission-free public outdoor sculpture park is a unique institution in the United States.

The last stop of the day is the Seattle Center, the site of the Space Needle and Experience Music Project. See Seattle from Space Needle’s observation deck. At 520 feet high, visitors can see Downtown Seattle skyline, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands.

At Experience Music Project, make sure that you take a turn with one of the interactive exhibits. Designed by Frank Gehry, this rock ‘n roll museum features the Jimi Hendrix special exhibit as well as rare artifacts from popular music history.

Once finished at the EMP, hail a cab and travel back toward the hotel. Dinner awaits at the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. Its menu blends classic American styles, seasonal Northwest ingredients and Mediterranean themes. Wine is the big draw, with the restaurant’s 20-foot tower of 5,000 wine bottles.

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