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“We heart the Emerald City” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Seattle

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Seattle, WA
UT
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“We heart the Emerald City”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2009

My husband and I spent a 4-day weekend in Seattle in October and had a fabulous trip. It was very cold (lower 50's) though we only got rained on one morning the entire time and it was a "light" rain. We did lots of research ahead of time on sights we wanted to visit and also transportation options (thanks to the help of tripadvisor). Prior to our trip we had planned which sights/activities we were going to, but we weren't in a time crunch with almost 4 days so we didn't have to schedule a specific daily itinerary. This worked well for us since we were able to choose which sights to see on a particular day depending on the weather, how tired/untired we were, and our mood.

Sights we visited and recommend:
1. Space Needle (of course)
2. Locks boat tour (Argosy line). This was my favorite experience of them all. I've been to visit the Hiram-Chittendam Locks before, but this was my first time going through them. Very interesting. Whether you go on the boat tour or you visit them by land, the Locks are a must-see in seattle!
3. Experience Music Project. This museum right next to space needle is great for music lovers, has a fabulous display of guitars from the 1800's to present including "famous" guitars from your favorite bands, and we loved the hands-on area where you can play/learn to play real electric guitars, base, drums and even make your own song recording.
4. Pike's Place Market (of course).
5. Underground Tour at Pioneer Square. There are many mixed reviews on this tour. We really liked it, though $30 is probably too expensive. But the history of seattle that you learn is SO unique and interesting, which is what makes this tour a "must-see" for me. If you go knowing it is a walking tour and you will be taken to old basements (that are sometimes stinky) then you won't be disappointed.
6. Fremont Bridge Troll. This is not a "must-see," but we were happy we made a quick visit and snapped a photo. It is out of the way from downtown if you don't have a car.

Transportation:
Downtown Seattle is easy to get around without renting a car (plus the bonus is you don't have to pay for expensive parking and you get to walk off all the calories from the yummy seattle food). We were traveling on a budget and didn't mind walking (a couple blocks or up to a mile) to get around to the sights we visited. We used the monorail from seattle center to westlake center a couple times ($2.50 each way), though it isn't a really far distance so you can walk that too. Along with walking we thought the bus system is good in the area. For downtown along the water the waterfront trolley bus line is free, which has a limited area but very easy to use and drops off at some great places (such as Pioneer Square, the Argosy tour boat pier, Ivar's seafood restaurant, and just a block or two from Pike's Place and the Olympic Sculpture Garden). To get from Seatac airport to downtown Seattle we were happy with the bus system (King County Metro express). The ride cost < $3 each way. We waited for the bus <30 mins at the airport and the ride to downtown was only 20-25 mins. I would not recommend using this if you have any tight time constraint between the time you arrive at the airport and when you need to be in downtown; however, for us it was great since we didn't have somewhere specific to be right away. For this trip we didn't make it outside of downtown, though would love to return another time to do so for all the outdoor hikes and activities in that beautiful area.

As for good food, if you like Mexican we HIGHLY recommend Mama's kitchen (on 2nd Ave), a locals favorite (as we were told). For more restaurant recs I would look to other reviewers as we aren't big foodies.

We stayed downtown in two different hotels which we had bid for using Priceline.com. The Hotel Monaco (4 stars) is nice with some great amenities, though the room was very small. My husband and I preferred staying at the 3 1/2 star Renaissance Madison (a Marriott) where we had a king-size bed in a huge room and better amenities than Hotel Monaco. We base our hotel preferences off of the room and in-room amenities rather than other aspects of a hotel such as a gym, restaurant, pool, valet parking, etc.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oregon
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Seattle, Washington”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2009

Seattle is a great place to visit... there is so much to do. We just got back last weekend and we had an awesome time. We went to Pike Place Market, a Mariners game and a show down at Imax. The greatest is the space needle especially if you have kids. Kids love to be able to see the view the space needle offers. The food is good in the resturant too, just a little expensive for a family. Have a great trip when you visit, you will love it.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise, Idaho
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great City to Visit at Sea Level”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2009

Great bus system to get around downtown and then be able to walk everywhere to see everything. Even walking the numerous hills is not so bad at sea level. Numerous of places to visit, some for free such as the UPS Waterfall Park and Klondike National Historic Site, both in Pioneer Square. Great restaurants, especially some hole-in-the-walls where locals go. Ethnic? Try George's Deli on Madison - great Polish food, or Pho Saigon just up the block for great soups. The best: make a restaurant reservation for the Top of the Space Needle - minimum $25 food purchase includes the observation deck for only a $10 difference in price.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green Bay WI
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Seattle Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2009

We flew into Seattle in September to begin our Alaskan cruise. We returned and spent a few additional days there. We loved Seattle. We used Seattle Express to get us to the Pier for our cruise from our hotel and again from our hotel to the airport. They provided excellent service at an affordable price. We stayed near Seattle Center. I would recommend this area to all who are visiting. We could see the Space Needle outside our window. We had beautiful weather and had spectacular views from the top of the needle. Mt. Ranier was easily visible everyday. The arena, museums, theaters, international fountain, and monorail to downtown are within City Center. Everyone is very friendly and there are maps available to help you get orientated to the city. Once downtown, you can walk or there is free transportation along the waterfront. We did a Seattle Food Tour at the Pike Market Place. This is an enjoyable way to learn about the market and sample many of the foods available. We also did an Argosy Locks Tour, where we saw sea lions and salmon jumping since it was spawning time. The Pacific Science Museum is a must stop if you have kids. We also did a Ducks Tour and saw a play at the Book It Repertory Theatre. I had purchased a Seattle Tour Saver Book online prior to our trip, and many of the attractions we did had a buy one, get one free coupon. We couldn't do it all in the few days we were there, so we'd love to go back to experience more of this city.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“I love the Emerald City!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

Seattle is one of my favorite places to visit! It's the perfect place to get away for the weekend or even an extended weekend. We've been there many times and still find new things to do. There's the obvious tourist things to do: Space Needle and the Seattle Underground tour. I recommend them both! I also recommend breakfast at the 5 Spot in beautiful Queen Anne, and a walk around the gorgeous Kubota Gardens. There's a huge variety of restaurants for all budgets and tastes. You'd be hard pressed not to find something you like. And there's also shopping for everyone, from souvenirs to popular stores that you'd find in any mall. Take a ferry to nearby islands, go hiking in a local park, or even sit in Seattle Center and watch the awesome fountain there. I never get tired of visiting the Emerald City!

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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