Arriving into Seattle at 3:30 in the afternoon, I had arranged for a Town Car to pick me up to take me to the University area. www.towncarseattle.com I called their office on arrival, and they were there in 5 minutes to pick me up. Cost was $50.00+$10.00 tip. Possibly a little more than a cab, but a straight shot with no stops.
The University Hotel was a good choice pricewise---a one bedroom apt, full kitchen, and garage parking included, very clean, for $93.00 a night. I was on the third floor and no elevator, but wasn‘t a problem. It was within a block of a Walgreens, Safeway, and many restaurants. I picked up my rental car the next morning--I needed it to drive to Vancouver--and made the mistake of driving into downtown Seattle instead of parking it in the garage and taking a bus. After looking for 30 minutes, I found a garage and parked for the afternoon. 12:30 PM until 7 PM----$28.00. I walked to Pike Place Market, took a leisurely stroll thru there---an amazing place. The iced fish, organic vegetables, and flowers were awesome. Many local artisans also had booths with some interesting displays. I arrived at 1PM, but would suggest arriving as early as possible. The lunch crowd was in full force.
A stroll thru Pioneer Park was next, and the sculptures and totem poles were very impressive. A very relaxing place to just stroll around and sit on a bench for a few minutes to catch your breath. The Water Park was beautiful, but the bronze lifesize sculptures at the memorial for fallen firefighters was awesome. A really beautiful place.
Next was the observation deck at the Smith Tower. The lobby is quite a sight---all the old solid brass elevators, marble, and attendants to run the elevators. The view from the top of the tower is absolutely beautiful, tho I found it difficult to get a camera thru the bars that enclose it. They are spaced about 6” apart. The Chinese Room is quite beautiful, especially the ceiling, and there was someone there to tell you the history of the room. Very interesting, but I think I was expecting more. A worthwhile stop if you’re in the area. $7.50 admission charge.I did some shopping downtown, and took the monorail from the Seattle Center to the Space Needle. No one should leave Seattle without going there. It IS Seattle. Admission is $16.00, but the view from the top is astounding. Beautiful views of downtown, Mt. Ranier, and the Cascades. There is a restaurant, and snack bar at the top, and prices are reasonable in the snack bar considering where you are. Grabbed a hamburger there and just sat on the deck and enjoyed the view. Took the monorail back downtown, and wandered off to find my car and return to the hotel and crash. A great day, but LOTS of walking.
I was surprised to find Seattle very clean, but VERY big. I would suggest getting a downtown map and planning your visits in order of location. I didn’t do that, and probably walked 5 miles running in circles, but saw a lot in a one day visit. Wear some comfortable shoes, as some of the hills are steep walking.
Off to Mt. St. Helens the next day. Separate report on that.