Post written by Laura
Seattle is a city on the west coast of the USA up in the north of the country and not far from the Canadian border. I’m here at the start of a 9 day cruise to Alaska and having never visited Seattle I decided to arrive early and spend three nights here. Chris wasn’t able to come on this trip so this is a post on visiting Seattle from a solo traveller perspective!
Of my three days I spent one of them on a day trip to the Mount Rainer National Park which is covered in a different post. I spent the remainder of my time exploring Seattle on foot.
Downtown Seattle is a 40 minute light train ride from the international airport and costs just $3 for a one way ticket.
I stayed in the centrally located Hyatt Place which was only two blocks from the Seattle Space Needle. Seattle is hilly so only good to explore by foot if you don’t mind some exercise although the hotel offered free shuttles to some of the key tourist areas if required.
Seattle seems to have similar weather to what we experience in the UK. When I arrived it was 24 C with lovely blue skies although it was cloudy on the other days.
Above is the ‘Great Seattle Wheel’ which is located at a place called ‘Miners Landing‘. It was a bit touristy but I had a pleasant stroll around this area of the waterfront.
I walked past the Space Needle on my first day (the photo on the left) but when I decided to go up to the top (my third day) the sky wasn’t quite so blue! There was also renovation work which meant the main city view of skyscrapers was difficult to see which was a little disappointing.
My slight disappointment of the Space Needle was soon overcome with a visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass centre. I had purchased a combined ticket for these two attractions for $44 which was a slightly discounted rate.
The Glass centre contained a huge display of the works of the glass sculptures of the International artist Dale Chihuly and I really enjoyed looking at these unique and incredible displays… this was something very different to what I had seen before. I wasn’t expecting it to be this good!
One exhibition was inspired by marine life (the picture above on the right) and I immediately recognised this as being similar to the glass sculpture my daughter Zoe and I had seen in the lobby area of Atlantis the Palm in Dubai! Sure enough, this was a Chihuly sculpture!
One ‘must visit’ area of Seattle is the Pike Place market. This was around a mile from my hotel so fairly easy to walk to. Within this area there are several specialist shops… one that caught my attention was a chocolate shop, as above. I tried a sample of dark chocolate fudge and salted caramel fudge and ended up with a small chunk of the latter which was delicious.
Nearby I found another chocolate shop called ‘Indy Chocolate’ which was offering free samples of vegan chocolate.
Pike Place market was a covered in market and quite a tourist magnet. The market was lined with several stalls selling pretty bunches of beautiful flowers.
Many of the stalls offered tastings and I tried chocolate flavoured spaghetti with the idea being it turns into a chocolate pasta dessert! Also available was a range of flavoured balsamic vinegars contain flavours such as vanilla, raspberry… and you’ve guessed it… chocolate! (Something of a theme going on…)
I had a wander around the market for a bit before heading off towards Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. The Starbucks empire began in Seattle in 1971 so coffee and Starbucks are a big theme of this city! The roastery has displays of coffee being ground and you can indeed buy taster coffees. There are special blends on offer each day and you need to select three of them. I enquired about a taster session but unfortunately these are for two people… and I didn’t want to be on a caffeine high for the rest of the day…
Well… this is a short summary of my visit to Seattle which I found to be an attractive city which felt very safe for a solo female traveller…. next up is the Alaska cruise!