Every city has a Starbuck’s (or two, or seventy-eight) but Seattle boasts the first Starbucks ever to froth a latte.  In April of 1971, the first Starbucks store opened in Pike Place Market.  Back then, the store only sold coffee beans, and occasionally shared coffee samples with customers.  You can visit this tiny landmark at 1912 Pike Place.  But, if you miss the Pike Place location, you can always (and I mean always) head over to the 24-hour Starbucks at the University Village shopping center, near the University of Washington.

Find your way through Seattle’s Underground , guided of course.  This is a fascinating tour that provides a lot of Seattle history.  You’ll tour underground where you will see the original storefronts of Seattle.  You will be above ground as well walking through Pioneer Square.  This tour is definitely not for little ones and their strollers.  You will be up and down stairs and walking through dimly lit areas.  Wear your walking shoes.  The tour begins with some humorous background information in Doc Maynard’s Public House, at restored saloon.  It ends in a museum that only tour guests can visit.  The museum has even more history of the Northwest.

Fremont is Seattle’s neighborhood for artists. (Or at least it traditionally has been; there are currently some concerns about gentrification making studio space too expensive.) Highlights include a signpost identifying the true Center of the Universe, a Volkswagen-eating troll under the bridge, and a controversial statue of Lenin.

Train Buffs (and their parents) may want to consider a visit to the Northwest Railway Museum, located and not quite 30 miles east of Seattle. Excursions typically run every 60-to-90 minutes on summer weekends -- check their web site for current schedules and for directions. A new restoration facility is currently (Feb 2006) under constuction, which will allow the return of steam engines in the next couple of years. While you’re there, take a 5-minute side trip to Snoqualmie Falls, which is higher than Niagra.

Here is a link for a whole list of neat things off the beaten track but well worth investigating:

http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-s...

 

Off-Site Links:

http://www.undergroundtour.com
http://uvillage.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/abulafia...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremont_...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Fr...
http://trainmuseum.org/