I’ve wanted to visit Seattle for a long time. Growing up, I was such a fan of the Seattle grunge scene music and cool, rainy weather seemed like a dream during the hot Texas summers. But interestingly enough when I visited this spring, the weather was warm and sunny. After gushing about how much I was loving Seattle, a store clerk was happy to hear that, but told me: “Don’t let this weather fool you! It’s usually grey and cloudy.” Maybe. But I’m happy with what I got.
By design, I had one full day in Seattle before I moved on to explore more of the state. I know I only scratched the surface, but I did try to do a couple of things that just seemed like Seattle. These were the things I thought of when I thought of the city.
Pike Place Market
As my first stop on my “introduction to Washington” trip, I counted on the time change to really help me get up and out early in the morning. I’d heard how crowded the Pike Place Market could get – that weekend the market hosted a flower festival and it was Mother’s Day – so I wanted to get there quite early. I found myself walking through the stalls as the fish and produce vendors were setting up and the inner shops were still quiet and dark. And I was more than okay with that. There’s an excitement with the set-up and preparing for the day ahead like that.
And I am happy to report it was not too early to not see the fish throwing.
While I loved seeing the vibrant produce, smelling the fresh flowers lining the main thoroughfare, I honestly think my favorite part of the market was out back. I had already eaten a flaky croissant with my coffee from Le Panier before I stumbled onto a back patio overlooking the water – otherwise I would have brought my breakfast right across the street! – but I still sat there for quite some time watching the sea gulls, the ferry make its way across the water, and taking in the snow capped mountains. When I left a little later to explore more of the city, I knew for sure I’d be back for my breakfast the next day before leaving the city.
I have to admit, I was on the fence about actually going to the Space Needle. I couldn’t wait to see it, and loved the glimpses I caught of it through various buildings. While I still had the day ahead of me, I found myself close by and knew that I’d really love to see those views – so I went.
And I loved it.
I probably walked around a couple of times, able to find a few pockets of space where I could stand a bit by myself to enjoy the view and not be in anyone’s pictures. I also probably took too many photos of Mount Rainier, trying to get a good picture in a bright, sunny, nearly cloudless sky. I don’t think I succeeded there, but at least I have the memory.
The lower level rotates, which I thought was cool, but some people were less than thrilled (so, just a warning). Upper or lower level, it was kind of hard to leave those views, that cool breeze (when on the upper deck) and seeing that water and those snowcapped mountains. I’m definitely glad I did make the time for this on my first visit. I thought there was a cool option to get tickets to the Space Needle and the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum next to it, and I kind of wished I’d done that. I didn’t think I’d have time so I only visited the Space Needle.
One of the things I love trying in a big, new city is the food. I don’t often plan in advance where I want to go, but will look up what sounds good once I’m somewhere sightseeing, or just look in the windows at what looks like a cool place to stay awhile for a meal. Seattle did not disappoint on that front.
I admittedly didn’t have as much coffee as I’d expected in one of the coffee capitals, but the food I had was so incredibly delicious. And I could not wait to have some seafood. From a nice restaurant by my hotel for a vegetarian Greek dinner, grilled salmon on my salad the next day, or a bagel and lox from the Pike Place Market and eaten on the patio overlooking the water, it was all delicious.