CittyPass - Seattle, Culture in Seattle, EdgeWater Hotel, EMP Museum, Food and drink in Seattle, Football in America, H, Holiday on West coast of America, Museums to visit in Seattle, Pacific Science Center, Seattle, Sounders FC, SPace Needle, Things to do in Seattle, Victoria Clipper
Back in September 2014 we went on a fabulous holiday to Canada and America. I’ve written all about our time in Vancouver and Victoria but I haven’t got around to writing about Seattle and New York until now…
After seven amazing days our time in Canada was over and it was time to move on to America and the next part of our adventure. Again we decided to travel by ferry, this time we caught the Victoria Clipper for the journey from Victoria to Seattle and really it is the only way to travel as it is much more pleasant than catching a plane and probably much cheaper. We booked our tickets before we travelled and found the website both quick and easy to use and we had no issues while travelling.The hotel: We arrived in Seattle early afternoon and we got off to a bad start as the hotel is literally a five minute walk from the ferry terminal. That is… if you turn right. We on the other hand turned left and continued to walk in the blazing sun for a good twenty minutes before realizing we had probably gone the wrong way. So 45 minutes later we arrived at the hotel hot and sweaty and I have to admit to being more than slightly disappointed with the Edgewater hotel. Classed as a four star this was supposed to be the best hotel out of all of the ones we chose as we were staying here for five nights, but I’m sorry to say it ended up being the worst and I couldn’t wait to leave.
- the staff were very friendly and helpful
- the main reception was nicely decorated
- it had a decent gift shop
- it had a comfortable bed and support pillow
Although the Edgewater has a lot of history it has to be the ugliest looking hotel I’ve ever stayed in with an even uglier view. And if you’re looking for somewhere peaceful and quiet then this hotel is not for you because this hotel is both noisy and busy. And after five days with the cargo trains, traffic noise, three weddings in two days as well as the other guests I was more than ready to leave as it gradually takes a toll, especially if you’re suffering with jetlag. And even if we’d upgraded to a water view I wouldn’t have been thrilled to see this huge cruise ship in front of my window!
With our previous hotels we were spoilt in terms of room size. Again, this was another disappointing aspect as you couldn’t swing a cat and the room didn’t have a safe so it was a pain to have to go to reception each day and wait for a member of staff to escort you to the safe.However, the location wasn’t too bad as it was only a 10-15 minute walk to the public market. But if we ever return to Seattle we would look to stay in a more central location.
Food and drink: We enjoyed the food in Seattle immensely and although we didn’t go to any fancy restaurants during our stay we didn’t feel like we’d missed out. We tried to time most of our evening meals during Happy Hour to try and save some money, so in the end most of our meals ended up being great value as well.
We had the best breakfast of our holiday in Fonte Café and Wine Bar, which is described as the best coffee house in Seattle and we couldn’t fault the four big slices of French toast, blueberries and cream, which we washed down with some fantastic coffee. In fact it was so filling we didn’t eat anything else until our Happy Hour evening meal.
I’m a big fan of sourdough so when we came across the sourdough pizzas at Vons Gustobistro I couldn’t wait to give them a go and of course we had to go back and try some more as they were so light and tasty!
Sandwiches in Seattle are massive so luckily for us we were able to share some meals. We also found a great cupcake and ice cream shop. The ice cream here was amazing and I just wish we’d found it sooner. However, the cupcakes were pretty disappointing. They looked great, but unfortunately the flavours weren’t anything special and we both found them a bit dry, so much so that I threw half of mine away, something almost unheard of for me.
Things to do in Seattle:
Seattle is a mix of mountains, city living and water and is a great place to visit if you like culture. It is also surprisingly steep so you’ll certainly get a good workout while exploring the city.
Pike Place Market is probably one of the most famous attractions in Seattle and it’s not difficult to see why as it had a really good buzz about the place and has some lovely places to eat and drink. We enjoyed walking round the market most days although we ended up giving the food tour and some of the shops a miss as it was so busy that queues were snaked along the pavement most afternoons.
We did a little bit of shopping in Seattle (our favourite shop was called Watson and Kennedy), but not much as it was all about making the most of the culture on offer and there was certainly lots of attractions that appealed to us. We ended up buying a CityPASS for $64 each, which is a must when visiting Seattle as it is such great value. It allowed us entry to the Space Needle, the Seattle Aquarium, the EMP Museum, the Argosy Harbour Tour and the Pacific Science Center.
One of the best things about all the attractions is that they’re all within easy walking distance of each other so you’re not spending time and money trying to get to each of the venues. We came across the International fountain, which uses recycled water which it shoots in synchronization to a selection of music, by accident and we really enjoyed watching the display.
Although scared of heights I must admit that I really enjoyed visiting the Space Needle. Back in September we had nothing but blue skies, which I understand is quite rare in Seattle, so the views were fantastic. The EMP museum, which is all about rock music, science fiction and popular culture, is incredibly interactive and was perhaps the biggest surprise and one place I’d recommend visiting. We found it so much fun and it is definitely a great place to spend a few hours, especially if you’re a big kid like us!
Another place for kids and adults alike was the Pacific Science Center which was like revisiting your childhood again. We spent a fair amount of time taking part in all the science activities before going to watch a 3D documentary on dinosaurs.
If the weather is good then the one-hour harbor tour is a must and something which is really enjoyable and means you can get some great city, mountain and sea shots as well as learning more about the city.
Out of all the activities there were two which stood out and completely blew us away. The first was the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. This isn’t included in the CityPass which is a shame, but you can get a $5 discount on the entry fee, and so we nearly gave this a miss, but it’s just the most beautiful exhibition and I’m sad that I almost missed it. I think if I lived in Seattle I would visit this museum all the time as I love blown glass and some of the pieces are trully stunning. I’m just glad I managed to get some good pictures which will be going up in our living room.
Whilst in Seattle we were also very lucky enough to catch a soccer game. Having worked for a soccer club in the past I have been quite a few matches but this experience was something else. I love night games so this just made it even more special and the people of Seattle didn’t let us down.
The ground holds just over 38,000 for MLS games and it is an amazing stadium and although all the fans were home supporters the atmosphere was just incredible, with streamers, fireworks and a fantastic brass band all adding to the occasion.
Soccer in America is a real family affair and the food on offer is really good. In fact I was surprised how much people eat while at the game, from foot long hot dogs, garlic fries and pillows of popcorn to enormous pretzels they eat it all.
The game ended 3-2 to the Seattle Sounders and I would love to return one day. I think it would be really interesting to see an English club play here with some away supporters as I would love to see how the two sets of fans would interact, but one things is for certain they’d be as blown away as both my husband and I.
So to sum up Seattle is a vibrant, modern city, which is easy to get around. It has some beautiful buildings and there is always something interesting to do. The food is great and the culture is just amazing.