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Seattle on July 4/5th...where to stay w/college age kids

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dayton,oh
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Seattle on July 4/5th...where to stay w/college age kids

We are a family of 4 traveling through Seattle to Vancouver then back to Seattle...by train.

My husband booked this train trip, with only a stopover (few hours) in Seattle then we head to Vancouver for 2 days. We are returning to Seattle on July 4th and then fly our late/sat early/sunday am. So, essentially we have one night in Seattle...friday the 4th. We have 2 kids with us, 20 and 17...and they love being in the thick of things (within reason).

Considering we are only staying one night we are willing to spend plenty on a hotel to have an awesome location (walking distance to lots of sights) and maybe the best place to try and make reservation to see fireworks. We love vintage type shopping and/or record stores...anythingthat isn't a chain department store or too touristy.

Any advice someone is willing to share...if the space needle would just be ridiculous then we will skip it...or maybe go saturday?

need advice how to spend 36hours in Seattle!

thanks

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Seattle on July 4/5th...where to stay w/college age kids

Seattle's fireworks show is staged over the north end of Lake Union. A barge anchored in the lake is used for launching the shells; Gasworks Park at the north end of the lake is where the biggest crowds are located, but basically the entire lake is surrounded by people, as well as the hills that ring the lake to the north, east and west.

There are three hotels with decent proximity to the lake, the Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn (also Marriott) and the Silver Cloud Lake Union. (Silver Cloud is a regional mid-range chain.) These are all comfortable but not deluxe, but they might suit you.

Lake Union can also be reached by a streetcar that runs from Westlake Center, in the middle of things, down to the south end of the lake, through the rapidly-developing office/condo district (I call it "Amazonia" because of the principal tenant.) Closer to the downtown end of the streetcar line is the Pan Pacific Hotel, a very high-quality place built on a podium with several restaurants and retail places, including a Whole Foods market, below. That might be worth looking at, or you can get closer in to the core where there are plenty of other hotel options. Be warned that in cruise season Seattle hotel prices are jacked way up.

Twice we've taken a boat to the Lake Union fireworks show and we think it's terrific value, and might be a good thing for your high-speed visit. Argosy Cruises - http://www.argosycruises.com/ - runs tour boats from the downtown waterfront through the harbor and through the Ballard Locks and Lake Washington Ship Canal to Lake Union. They park quite close to the barge (near all the houseboats including the "Sleepless in Seattle" one, and give a spectacular view of the fireworks as well as all the other (hundreds) of boats parked in the lake. After the show they moor at a dock on Lake Union where buses take you back to their own dock on the central waterfront. It's tremendous fun and really excellent value (IMO).

For a real splurge, you could stay at one of the hotels on the central waterfront, the Marriott or Edgewater, and walk to/from the Argosy dock.

Some pictures from a fireworks cruise a couple of years ago -

Passing through the ship canal past the Alaska fishing fleet at Fishermen's Terminal - http://gardyloo.us/20110705_19s.JPG

Entering Lake Union under the Fremont (open) and Aurora (high) bridges - http://gardyloo.us/20110705_35s.JPG

Past some houseboats - http://gardyloo.us/20110705_45s.JPG

Mount Rainier over the top of Capitol Hill - http://gardyloo.us/20110705_50s.JPG

Waiting for the show - http://gardyloo.us/20110705_64s2.JPG (Note Residence Inn sign visible left of center)

The crowd at Gasworks Park - http://gardyloo.us/20110705_72s.JPG

Last light - http://gardyloo.us/20110705_91s.JPG

Kaboom - http://gardyloo.us/20110705_157s.JPG http://gardyloo.us/20110705_214s.JPG

dayton,oh
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2. Re: Seattle on July 4/5th...where to stay w/college age kids

Wow, thanks for all the information! So I was originally looking at the Andra? Hotel...which was slightly less than the Edgewater...but I took your advice and decided to splurge if you think we could see fireworks from here. It just looked more quaint to me.

if you have any other tips...please feel free to keep sharing!

thanks again

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Seattle on July 4/5th...where to stay w/college age kids

You can't see the fireworks from the Edgewater - it overlooks Elliott Bay (salt water, Puget Sound) while the fireworks are over Lake Union (fresh) about 3/4 of a mile inland. What you CAN see from the Edgewater is sunset behind the Olympic Mountains.

dayton,oh
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4. Re: Seattle on July 4/5th...where to stay w/college age kids

Hey there, yes I see what you meant... I obviously wasnt paying attention. I booked the edgewater but now Im concerned I should pick a more central location?

I read somewhere that this hotel is not close to the train lines...are there plenty of restaurants and things closeby in walking distance? We are not afraid to walk, we actually prefer it or public transit to getting taxis but I am thinking of my teenagers and dont want them to feel stranded or bored.

Also, can you give me your opinion of what we should definitely try to see? Certain neighborhoods or shops? My son plays guitar and obviously loves music, especially old record stores and vintage shops.

any insight you have I would appreciate...

5. Re: Seattle on July 4/5th...where to stay w/college age kids

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