After my visit back in Wisconsin, I decided to treat myself to a little “added” adventure, so I narrowed it down to Seattle, Washington.
Paul was still in Europe and I had a couple extra days left before heading back to work so I headed west on my first real solo trip. I was super excited. I had never really gone anywhere new by myself before, so this was going to be a first on many levels!
Knowing I was going to be in Seattle, I had booked my hotel quite a bit in advance. I had no plans to rent a car or to use public transportation, so I chose a really nice hotel that was right in the middle of it all. I was ready to explore!
Seattle is the largest city in both Washington state and the Pacific Northwest with a total population of around 4 million people (metro) and is nicknamed “The Emerald City”.
By the time I landed it was hitting early evening, so I had to grab my bags and hit the light rail to take me to the nearest stop by my hotel. Once I got above ground, it was only about a 10 minute walk to my final destination where I would unpack, have a quick bite to eat and turn in for the night. I had the next 5 days to explore and I wanted to rest up so I could hit it hard in the morning!
So begin by myself, I had absolutely no time schedule to keep or anyone else to think of so when I wanted to do something, I just did it! It was nice because when I woke up around 5 am, I decided it was time to start the day! I didn’t want to waste one single minute!
When in Seattle, what else is on the top of the to do list other than Pike’s Place Market! I thought as long as I was here a couple of days, I might as well hit this first just in case it really is as neat as they say it is and I needed to go back again! (Turns out, yes! They were right!)
Off I go!
The one true advantage of being up so early? You can have the whole city to yourself! (For a little while anyway!)
Pikes Place was only about a 20 minute or so walk from my hotel. I had my map on my phone and was thankfully headed in the right direction!
It was an incredible morning out there! Not a single cloud in the sky and the temp was perfect for everything outdoor! As I got closer to the market, I could tell the city was starting to become alive! The sound of traffic was getting louder, more people started to appear, coffee (Starbucks of course!) in hand and the sky was turning a magnificent shade of light blue!
By the time I reached the market a few clouds had rolled in, which didn’t bother me in the least. This was Seattle after all, it had to rain at least once during my stay!
And here we are! Pikes Place Market.
Pikes Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliot Bay waterfront. Opened in 1907, it is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States. It draws more than 10 million visitors a year making it Seattle’s most popular tourist destination and the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world.
So with that in mind, it was pure heaven being there so early before the masses decided to arrive and join me!
Let me just say this. If you are into photography, even in the slightest, be prepared to continually snap away. This was simply awesome! Anywhere you pointed the camera made you want to click the shutter.
Anything and everything was here. You could literally spend hours just walking around looking at every little thing. You would have to if you wanted to see it all.
It was splendid!
Of course, the other famous attraction is of course the worlds first Starbucks.
Founded in 1971, Starbucks was originally located at 2000 Western Avenue. In 1977 it moved one block away to 1912 Pike Place where it has been in operation ever since.
Now I am not one for coffee. Have never had a cup in my entire life. To be frank, I hate everything about it! BUT… Begin as my other half drinks about 3 pounds of coffee per day, I had to stop not only for pictures but to get him some coffee from the original!
Again, if you want to see this place and not wait in line all day, get up early! You’ll thank me for the advice later.
The line never quits… never!
After spending an hour or so walking around, I wanted to find the other main attraction that was near by, the gum wall.
Off we go!
Now this place is quite tricky to find. If you’re using GPS, it says your always getting close but never quite close enough… The trick is, you need to go down!
Find this spot and follow!
Under the Public Market Center sign, you need to go downstairs! I can’t tell you how many times I did loops trying to find this place! (I would, but it would be highly embarrassing!)
Finally, I had found it!
Market Theater Gum Wall is a local landmark where parts of the wall can be covered with gum several inches thick, 15 feet high for 50 feet. Sounds absolutely disgusting!
And here we come up on the main event!
A not so surprising fact, this was named one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions in 2009!
In November of 2015, the wall received a total scrub down and steam cleaning removing over 2,350 lbs of gum. But do not fear, shortly after gum began to be re-added to the wall. Among the first were memorials to the November 2015 Paris Attacks.
So needless to say, it will take several years to get it back to where it once was, so be prepared for “less gum” if you visit in the near future.
Onward I go!
It’s time to see the waterfront!
Another must see while in Seattle is the Seattle Great Wheel.
With a height of 175 feet, it was the tallest Ferris wheel on the West Coast when it opened in 2012.
Another benefit of traveling by yourself? Being able to do anything you want when you want! Ready for a ride?! Let’s go!
The ride is fantastic! A Must Do while you are here! The views, incredible!
The building in the above picture (blue building in the lower section) is the Seattle Aquarium. We will go there tomorrow, and let me tell you, another wonderful stop!
After an exciting ride, which I really wanted to pay for another round but didn’t, it’s down the road we go!
After walking for a bit, I decided it was time for another ride. But this time, let’s go out to the water!
Puget Sound (a sound is a large sea or ocean inlet larger than a bay, deeper than a bight and wider than a fjord) is an inlet of the Pacific Ocean and is also the second largest estuary in the US behind Chesapeake Bay. For those of you who don’t know and want to, an estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it.
So I spot a place where the ships are heading out and I decide to go for it!
Let’s board and take off!
As you can see, the clouds have completely vanished and it’s a spectacular day to be on the water! You didn’t need a coat while walking inland, but once the boat sped up, a jacket was a good thing to have!
One of the most interesting places we went was to the shipping yards!
Seattle is the fourth largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2015, and the machinery proves just that. This was an amazing sight!
We slowed down to enjoy some of these views for a while. You can always tell when someone is into photography. There were a few of us on the boat that did nothing but walk back and forth trying to get as many pictures as we could. The more you take means the better chance of at least one or two being presentable!
It was a quick ride, but it was surly an incredible one. I was sad for our little trip to be coming to an end, but before we even got back to shore I swore to myself another water adventure needed to happen while I was here!
And with that, I will say goodbye for now.
My time here is worth so much more than just one post so I will be returning with more Seattle adventure soon!
If you haven’t gathered yet, this is one incredible place to visit. It’s a living dream. I don’t believe any other city in the US feels more alive than this one. Yes, there is New York, the city that never sleeps and Las Vegas otherwise known as Sin City, but there is something about Seattle that touches you like nothing else.
If you’ve never been, I suggest adding it to your list. You won’t be disappointed.
More to follow, so as always, stay tuned!