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4th July Fireworks and Dinner, and Next Day Itenerary

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socalcoug
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4th July Fireworks and Dinner, and Next Day Itenerary

We (DW and 4 kids ages 8-16) will be arriving in Seattle (by car) late afternoon to early evening on July 4th. Our hotel is the Holiday Inn Express a block east of Space Needle. If we walk or take the SLU.T (which do you recommend?) to South Lake Union park, would this be a good place to watch the fireworks? If not, where would be that would be reasonable for walking, parking, etc.?

Where would be a step up from fast food but reasonably priced (say $10-$20) dinner option in this area?

We only have the next day to see/experience Seattle, and the next day I am planning on using City Passes for the following itenerary:

Space Needle 9:30am

Monorail to Pike Market

Argosy Harbor Cruise (11 am)

Pike Market/lunch

Seattle Aquarium (maybe an hour, we've been to monterey and LA aquariums recently)

Monorail back to Seattle Center (hopefully by mid-afternoon)

Pacific Science Center (couple of hours- we've been to SoCal science center recently)

EMP (hour or two??)

dinner (your suggestions would help)

Space Needle for night view of city.

Am I biting off more than I can chew with an overly ambituous itenerary for the day?

Is there something in the area that you would do instead of some of the above?

Edited: 01 May 2013, 05:28
Port Angeles, WA
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1. Re: 4th July Fireworks and Dinner, and Next Day Itenerary

Just a few things. The Holiday Inn Express is a very comfortable, well run hotel, but it is not a block from the Space Needle. It's about a ten minute walk. Also, the monorail does not get you to the Market; you will have to walk several blocks. The monorail stop is far from the Aquarium, and it is uphill.

In general, I think you are sending too much time in the Seattle Center area. The Pacific Science Center is rather tired and, frankly, I think it will disappoint you. I enjoy the Aquarium but compared to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, it is very small and limited. I am glad that you are taking the Harbor Cruise. You will enjoy that.

What are the sorts of things do you and the children like to do? The posters here will have lots of suggestions.

socalcoug
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2. Re: 4th July Fireworks and Dinner, and Next Day Itenerary

Thanks for the info and your thoughts. 10 minute walks to Seattle Center or Pike Market no big deal for us. You've confirmed my fears about the aquarium and science center, and I probably wouldn't even try to go if not for the fact that they are part of the City Pass and immediately in the vicinity of other venues we are interested in.

What are your thoughts on the EMP?

We will be coming from Glacier National Park, and going to Columbia Gorge and Central Oregon Coast, so we will get plenty of outdoor scenery, hikes, etc. on those legs of the trip. Looking for things uniquely Seattle.

Thoughts on the fireworks?

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: 4th July Fireworks and Dinner, and Next Day Itenerary

Lake Union Park is at the south end of Lake Union adjacent to the Wooden Boat Center & MOHAI. I've never watched the fireworks from there, so I have no idea how early people arrive to stake out their territory for watching the show. There are some grassy areas, tiered cement seating areas between levels & a wooden boardwalk right on the water.

Please don't drive anywhere near Gasworks Park that day as it can take hours for traffic to clear the surrounding residential streets after the show. There are eastern viewpoints of the Lake from Capitol Hill and Western viewpoints from Queen Anne, but I can't specifically recommend any. I just go up on my roof to watch! Note that the fireworks display will start close to 10 PM as soon as it's dark enough.

I think your hotel is within easy walking distance of the Space Needle & Lake Union. Google maps: http://goo.gl/maps/ziagT I'm not sure about watching from your hotel or if it even has a view of the Lake. It may be visible from upper floors.

4. Re: 4th July Fireworks and Dinner, and Next Day Itenerary

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Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: 4th July Fireworks and Dinner, and Next Day Itenerary

Yes, you're trying to cram way too much into one day. I agree that cutting out the Science Center and the aquarium is a good start. EMP on the other hand is something unique to Seattle, so I think worth doing. And I think you'll enjoy the harbor cruise. Pike Place Market can easily take a half a day, but at least allow a good hour to explore plus time for lunch.

Also be aware that while Pike Place Market may look like it's right next to the waterfront on a map, it is actually up a steep hill, so it would not make sense to go back & forth from the Market to the harbor cruise to the market to the aquarium and back up to the monorail.

Renton, WA
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6. Re: 4th July Fireworks and Dinner, and Next Day Itenerary

A new service that begins May 17 is Emerald City Trolley (www.emeraldcitytrolley.com). They sell two-day passes and have three different routes, so maybe it would mesh with some of your city pass stops. All I know about it is what I read on the web site.

Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: 4th July Fireworks and Dinner, and Next Day Itenerary

Here's another plan for July 5th:

The Space Needle opens at 9am on Fridays

Take the Monorail to Westlake Center. It's a 15 minute walk to the waterfront.

Argosy Harbor Cruise (11 am)

On the waterfront, there's a carousel and the new ferris wheel, as well as a bunch of quirky little shops.

Hike back up the stairs or take the elevator up to Pike Place Market for lunch. You could easily spend 3-4 hours wandering around here.

If you're not going to do the aquarium or science center: Close to Pike Place market is the Seattle Art Museum with its Hammering Man, or Chihuly's glass garden by the Space Needle.

Monorail back to Seattle Center.

EMP/Sci Fi Museum is fun.

Dinner:

Sky City at the Space Needle is good for a night view of the city. There are several along South Lake Union with lake views, like Daniel's Broiler. There are a lot of other view restaurants back on the waterfront or the market, like 67, Anthony's, Matt's in the Market, and the Crab Pot.

socalcoug
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8. Re: 4th July Fireworks and Dinner, and Next Day Itenerary

Thanks all for your input. We have a couple of great suggestions for dinner (not sure why the one post was removed), and will be rethinking some of the attractions given our time constraints. Very helpful and I appreciate your time and consideration, and welcome any additional thoughts over the next few weeks.

9. Re: 4th July Fireworks and Dinner, and Next Day Itenerary

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