Spring break is one of the most popular times to go on vacation. I went to Seattle for a week, myself. If you should happen to find yourself in Seattle over summer, there are a few things you should be aware of beforehand, and a few attractions to look forward to.
First, there are a few general tidbits about Seattle you should be wary of. These warnings should definitely be heeded, but whether Geoduck should be considered a warning is for you to decide.
Food: One of the first things we learned before we went to Seattle was to not eat the Mexican food. My mom went to Seattle a few years ago for work, and everyone said that your best option for Mexican food would probably be Taco Bell.
Geoduck: Seattle is one place where you can buy Geoduck, a large Pacific Ocean clam often noted for its savory taste and phallic appearance that sells for $20-30 per pound. You can find restaurants that serve this clam in Chinatown or buy one at a fish market to cook yourself. I don’t understand the craze myself, but it’s a bit like how if you go to Maryland and feel like you have to try soft-shelled crab.
Parking and Traffic: It’s a bit hard to describe how traffic and parking are in Seattle. Many roads were wide enough to only have parking on one side, but instead of being sensible about it, someone decided to just have parking on both sides and let the drivers decide who has the right of way. Not to mention the prices for some of the public parking. The best comparison is Los Angeles. The smartest option is to invest in a ride-share app such as Lyft.
Now, with the warnings out of the way, let’s move on to the fun part: attractions!
Pike’s Place Market: Pike’s Place is a sprawling local market where small businesses can rent booths to sell their wares. With six levels of shops, anything can be found there from flowers to high-quality jewelry to mini donuts, brisket, or freshly caught fish. Two of the more famous attractions there are the Pike’s Place Fish Market, where the workers sing and toss fish to each other every few minutes to the delight of the crowd, and Rachel the Piggy Bank, a gold life-size pig with a slot in her that’s been fundraising for the market’s social services since 1986.
The Space Needle: The Space Needle is a well-known tourist hot spot in Seattle. It is certainly interesting to go up, but there isn’t much to do there other than look around, so it isn’t the best attraction in the area (in my opinion, anyway). Fortunately, there are tickets to visit the Space Needle and several others on the same day.
Chihuly Garden and Glass: Just next to the Space Needle is Chihuly, a museum showcasing the incredible glass art installations of David Chihuly. If you like photography, this is the attraction for you.
Museum of Pop Culture: On the opposite side of the Space Needle, this museum’s exhibits include Fantasy, Sci-fi, Nirvana, and Horror. There is also a display of guitars and a sound lab to try out various instruments. Each exhibit is engaging and informative, and new exhibits are opened often.
Seattle Chocolate: This local company’s tours are excellent. The tour includes a small venture to see the production line, a sample of fresh liquid dark chocolate while learning about the production of chocolate, and a sampling of seasonal chocolates. We also learn about the company’s philanthropic work, particularly in supporting food banks. With good chocolate and charity built into the brands, what’s not to like?
Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour: This is one of the best tours to learn about the Seattle Underground, a series of small tunnels in one of the oldest parts of Seattle. These tunnels are parts of the original Seattle; the city was poorly planned in every aspect, so when a fire leveled the city in 1889, they ended up raising the city a story in the rebuild. A bit of walking is involved but if you like history, scandals, and funny tour guides, this is the place to go.
Lemay Car Collection: Located in Tacoma, this is one of the largest car collections in the country. Founded by Seattle’s first garbage collector, there is just about every car you could want to see and passionate tour guides to share the stories behind them. This is just the private collection from the late Harold Lemay; there is also the nearby Lemay car museum that holds over 3,000 cars.
I do recommend a visit to Seattle; I don’t even particularly like travel, and the only thing I didn’t like was the traffic.
There’s something for everyone in Seattle- just remember to get Lyft or Uber first!