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What sites are good to visit in the afternoon?

Ellicott City...
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What sites are good to visit in the afternoon?

I keep reading advice to visit sites early (Pike Market, Space Needle, etc.). There must be somewhere that is okay or maybe even best to visit in the afternoon. What can you suggest?

Do cruise ship crowds overwhelm every day of the week?

Port Angeles, WA
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1. Re: What sites are good to visit in the afternoon?

You really are over thinking this. Every tourist site will be less crowded in the morning. This is true virtually everywhere from Paris to Cairo. However, just because a time is not optimal doesn't mean it's not possible. Just pick a destination and go. You will survive the crowds.

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2. Re: What sites are good to visit in the afternoon?

"You will survive the crowds."

Er, umhh, well maybe not in Cairo right now!

But seriously, just go for it. Even when Pike Place Market is choked with tourists, you can cope by stepping away from the cattle and moving around by walking the streets.

We are dedicated street walkers!!!

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3. Re: What sites are good to visit in the afternoon?

You can visit the Pike Place Market in the afternoon. Go whenever you want (seriously). It does start to close up around 5pm so don't wait too late in the day.

I have never once been "overwhelmed" by cruiseship passengers, and I live here and shop at the Market pretty regularly on my lunch-hour.


Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: What sites are good to visit in the afternoon?

We have regular cruise ship traffic and when there are several ships in port big day crowds can be expected downtown. But of course the Summer is the peak tourist season generally and Seattle attracts large year round convention crowds.

The attractions most likely to be heavily crowded in Seattle are Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. The latter may have long lines to get up to the observation deck but their system seems to ensure that the experience at the top is not massively crowded. The last couple times I have been with out of town guests during peak summer periods there were long lines but the experience at the top was fine. The Space Needle is also open late. I have never tried late afternoon or early evening but when I ate dinner at the Space Needle last and went up on the observation deck afterwards there were not a lot of people up there.

I think crowds at Pike Place Market can be off-putting during peak season days and weekends from 9 or 10am and thereafter often for much of the day until the shops start closing. The main arcade and north arcade and the sidewalk on the West side of Pike Place are too narrow for the crowds resulting in bottlenecking in places (the fishmongers who toss fish, the busking stations, etc.). That being said there is no data that I am aware of on peak crowd periods and the crowds are going to vary according to season, special events, number of cruise ships and conventions in town, weather etc.

I would say that people tend to congregate along the main drag of the market along Pike Pl. and particularly around Pike St. the main arcade and the north arcade. You will find that when you get away from the main drag into some of the market buildings and on the lower floors of the market between Pike Place and Western Avenue you will get away from the crowds. There are definitely some quiet getaways in the market area.

In July you cannot predict a time where any of the attractions around town will definitely not be crowded (however you define that) -- except first thing in the morning or perhaps late, as in the last hour or two that an attraction is open.

That being said some attractions are less busy than others. Like Olympic Sculpture Park (which gets busy but it rarely tremendously crowded. I rarely find Seattle Art Museum to be significantly crowded except for during certain of their big exhibitions. The Gates Foundation visitor center does not seem to get tremendously crowded. I went to MOHAI last Saturday at about noon and it was comfortable, even in the special exhibitions. Experience Music Project and the Sci Fi Museum can be crowded for special newly opened exhibitions and in the music lab but I rarely find the exhibits to be uncomfortably crowded. Also most attractions outside of downtown are less likely to be crowded -- like the Henry, the Frye, the Nordic Heritage Museum etc. The locks in Ballard can be crowded but except around the walkways spanning the tops of the lock gates there are rarely bottlenecks in the spacious grounds. Parks like Discovery Park, the Washington Park Arboretum and Volunteer Park are popular but they aren't crowded like any of the downtown attractions.

western WA
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5. Re: What sites are good to visit in the afternoon?

I also don't care for the market on summer weekends, but I have the luxury of going anytime. The main level is the busiest but it has several levels, with more shops down on Western Ave and across the street up Post Alley. Don't wait in line for coffee at the original Starbucks, foe example.

6. Re: What sites are good to visit in the afternoon?

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