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Where is the best place to stay in Seattle?

Patchogue, New York
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Where is the best place to stay in Seattle?

Spending Sunday, Monday and most of Tuesday in Seattle and I'm wondering where is the "best part of Seattle" in which to stay. Would like to go to the Space Needle and not sure what else to do. Prefer a hotel chain with at least 3 diamonds (AAA rating) at between $250 and $300 per night. Thank you.

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Where is the best place to stay in Seattle?

Suggest you read this here:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60878-c83685/Seattle…

Renton, WA
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2. Re: Where is the best place to stay in Seattle?

Go to visitseattle.org/Essentials/Seattle-Maps.aspx and click on Stay under Visitors on the left side of the page. Or try www.hotels.com and insert "downtown Seattle" in the search box.

Newberg, Oregon
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3. Re: Where is the best place to stay in Seattle?

The Mayflower Park is our favorite hotel when our Worldmark timeshare is not available. The MP's downtown location can't be beat -- in the heart of top shopping and dining options (including its own Andaluca restaurant, plus several of Tom Douglas' restaurants within a couple blocks), Pike Place Market is a short downhill walk to the west. The monorail terminal is just a few steps from the hotel lobby and its brief trip lets you off at the bottom of the Space Needle in Seattle Center. Prices are well within your budget.

Green Valley...
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4. Re: Where is the best place to stay in Seattle?

Select "Things to Do" in green bar, top of this page and review that very long list. Pick those things that appeal to you, which we of course would not know at this time, and post back for our advice. Many of the things are iconic Seattle, e.g., Ballard Locks, which usually are considered a "must see".

Are you open to a full day trip outside of Seattle?

Edited: 09 July 2014, 20:01
Seattle
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5. Re: Where is the best place to stay in Seattle?

Stay in downtown Seattle. That's the most convenience and where most of the hotels are located anyway.

Mayflower Park hotel is classic and in a perfect central location.

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Where is the best place to stay in Seattle?

Stay Downtown at Hotel 1000, Westin, Sheraton, 4 seasons, the list goes on......easy to get to all neighborhoods and you can ride the monorail to the Space Needle. Go on the ferris wheel, pike market, etc. but be sure to check out nightlife and restaurants on Capitol Hill which is an easy 20 minute walk up the hill.

Seattle
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7. Re: Where is the best place to stay in Seattle?

Alexis is another great downtown hotel, I always forget about but was there for Happy Hour in The Bookstore earlier this week, it seems like a wonderful place to stay.

Newberg, Oregon
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8. Re: Where is the best place to stay in Seattle?

Speaking of happy hours -- if you're a fan of such, the Mayflower Park's bar, Oliver's, has an excellent happy hour which includes a complimentary hearty dish along with other nibbles. Drinks are among the best. Oliver's bartenders are perennial winners of martini competitions in the city. Salud!

Patchogue, New York
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9. Re: Where is the best place to stay in Seattle?

Thank you to all of you for your great advice!!

Seattle, Washington
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10. Re: Where is the best place to stay in Seattle?

For the Alexis (a 4 diamond hotel that is a Kimpton property) you will not be able to get a room for the rate you are looking for I think. This is the most expensive time of year in Seattle.

The Westin and Sheraton are not in the top tier of Seattle hotels in terms of overall reviews but they get good reviews overall (4 out of 5 on Tripadvisor). They are very large and centrally located. The Westin completed a $35 million renovation a little over a year ago. The Sheraton completed a $130 million expansion & renovation including a new 25 story tower in 2007. The Sheraton should be at the lower end of your price range. The Westin will be closer to the higher end of your price range. They are both AAA 4 diamond. The Sheraton is .3 miles south of the Westin. The Westin is at the northern edge of the downtown core nearer to the border of the Belltown neighborhood. The Sheraton is in the high rise central downtown core in the middle of the big retail area. More on location in just a second.

Another 4 diamond property that is higher rated on Trip Advisor is the Arctic Club -- a doubletree hotel. The location is not as good (on the north edge of Pioneer Square) but is also reasonably convenient to everything downtown you would want to see. It averages 4.5*/5 on tripadvisor and is ranked 14 of Seattle hotels. You should be able to get in at the high end of your price range.

So back to location, at either the Sheraton or Westin in particular the hotel will be close to a large number of restaurants, coffee shops and bars plus the main retail core of downtown. The Arctic Club is close to the emerging restaurant scene of Pioneer Square and not inconvenient to the retail core.

The Westin is maybe 3/4 of a mile south of Seattle Center complex (the old World Fair complex where the Space Needle, Experience Music Project/Sci Fi Museum, Chihuly Garden and Glass, opera house, theaters and other attractions are located. If you didn't want to walk you take a bus or hop on the monorail at Westlake Center -- which is only about .1 mile away. From the Sheraton you would have a walk of more than a mile but you could take a bus or walk maybe .2 miles to the Westlake Center monorail station. From the Arctic you will be a mile and a half from Seattle Center. You could take a bus or cab or drive. The hotel is about .7 miles from the Westlake Center monorail.

The world famous Pike Place Market is about .4 of a mile from the Westin or Sheraton. It is about .7 miles from the Arctic. It is key that you at least take a walk through. It has been in Seattle for more than 100 years. There are all kinds of producers, coffee shops (including the oldest Starbucks location), the flagship Sur La Table, Beecher's cheeserie, art galleries, food counters/restaurants, Pike Brewery and much more. There are often musicians busking throughout the market and from Steinbreuck Park there are great views over the waterfront and Puget Sound. From Pike Place Market it is just a series of stairs or elevators down to the waterfront where the aquarium and great wheel and some of the large seafood restaurants are located (maybe another .2-.4 miles). The ferry dock is about a half mile from Pike Place Market. The Arctic is about .3 miles via a more direct route to the ferry dock. It is .7 miles to the aquarium or great whee.

The Westin is also reasonably convenient to South Lake Union where the Museum of History and Industry, Center for Wooden Boats and historic ships wharf is located. The view from Lake Union park next to MOHAI is great with float planes, lots of boats if you look carefully you can also see the East lake houseboats. The walk is about a mile (20 minutes). Or you could take a bus (for example the 70) or at Westlake Center you can catch the light rail (98) which is perhaps easiest. By public transportation you are looking at maybe 10-11 minutes. From the Sheraton walking to catch the light rail or taking a bus would be easiest (15-16 minutes). From the Arctic it is about 2 miles. By public transportation through downtown you are looking at about 20 minutes. Driving is a possibility and parking is available down there but just fair warning South Lake Union is a construction mess right now as is transforming rapidly into a sleepy light industrial area to a major tech and residential neighborhood. Amazon and Paul Allen are the major players. I would add generally that the neighborhood is filling rapidly with residents and along with the increased population density restaurants, bars, coffee shops etc.

In terms of other things to do you have many many options.

If you wanted to see the locks in Ballard there are a number of nearby bus routes that will allow you to get out there easily. The easiest would be the 40, which also goes through the Fremont neighborhood. Both Ballard and Fremont are north of the ship canal that connects Puget Sound with Lake Union, Portage Bay, Union Bay and Lake Washington. The neighborhoods are 3 miles (Fremont) to 5 miles (downtown Ballard) from downtown Seattle. You could also drive as you are driving to Seattle right?

The Ballard locks keep the fresh water of the ship canal and lakes separate from and elevated above Puget Sound. The locks complex is a lot of fun to see. The Alaskan Fishing fleet is based just East of the locks between Ballard and Fremont -- mostly at Fisherman's Terminal. The locks often have fishing vessels and tugs going through the locks with other working boats, research vessels and many many sailboats and yachts. There is also a fish ladder at the locks to allow returning steelhead and salmon runs to bypass the locks. The sockeye run is going on now. The grounds are attractive with small gardens and a small museum and visitor center (all free).

You said in your other post that you are coming in July. Are you going to be arriving this next Sunday? The reason I ask is that this weekend is particularly busy with special events. Ballard will be having its 40th Annual Ballard Seafood Fest with a salmon bbq, other seafood vendors, live music, eating contests, and a large beer garden featuring Seattle and Oregon breweries (and heavy in breweries from Ballard which has 10 at present). On Sunday Ballard is also having its large farmer's market on historic Ballard Avenue.

Ballard was its own city with a sizable industrial base of lumber mills (mostly cedar shingle mills) fishing and boat building until it was annexed by Seattle in 1907. It retains a number of buildings from the turn of the 20th C. on Ballard Avenue and also retains its notable Scandinavian heritage. The neighborhood has a nordic central park (Bergen Place), a Sons of Norway hall, a scandinavian modern grass roofed public library, a nordic heritage museum, one of the largest Syttende Mai parades outside of Norway each year in May and on the Puget Sound waterfront a Leif Erikson statue and immigration memorial. You can get to Ballard by bus and parking during the festival is a pain in the neck but it can be done. With a car it would be much easier to see the Leif Erickson statute and immigration memorial if that is something you wanted to do. Just a bit north along the Sound is Golden Gardens beach a beautiful sandy beach with big views across the sound, picnic areas and a wetland area which the beavers have been damming.

Another option would be to visit Pioneer Square and the International District/Chinatown. This coming weekend in the ID they are having Dragon Fest. There will be food, music and cultural activities.

The Smith Tower (once the largest building in the West) is celebrating its centennial. The inexpensive visit to the observation deck includes a ride in an old hand operated elevator and visit to the tower's Chinese Room.

The Underground Tour (which I think is more silly than educational) shows some old storefronts that were buried when they shored up the waterfront. There is also the NPS Klondike Goldrush historical park Seattle unit and the neighborhood has some great architecture and public art -- plus a burgeoning gallery and restaurant scene. As a warning though for years it was a hardscabble area with homeless shelters and criminal justice infrastructure and many homeless will be out in Summertime in Seattle.

In the center of downtown Seattle Art Museum was very substantially enlarged and received significant additions to its collection in the last 10 years. They have some very nice exhibitions. Right now there is an exhibit on NW modernism. Their widely acclaimed olympic sculpture park (free) at the northern edge of the waterfront is also worth a visit. There is a Trimpin exhibition right now as well as a new addition to the permanent collection, Echo by Jaume Plensa.

With a car you might enjoy driving to Discovery Park (more than 500 Acres on a decommissioned military installation in the Magnolia neighborhood between downtown and Ballard). You can park and walk over the meadows to the bluff for great views over Puget Sound, take a forest trail down to the lighthouse and driftwood strewn beach, or do the longer loop trail which is largely forested. They do have a visitor center at the park.

With a car you could go to West Seattle which has a great beach at Alki with a lighthouse and tidepooling. This weekend they are having their large West Seattle Summerfest in the Junction neighborhood (in the center of the northern part of West Seattle). You could also take the water taxi from the downtown waterfront. There are free shuttles near the West Seattle terminal that will take you to Alki and the lighthouse or to the Junction.

Another ferry option would be to take one of the bigger iconic state ferries over to Bainbridge Island -- either just for the round trip or to get off and walk around the downtown Winslow area which has a small historical museum, a free art museum, a number of galleries and winery tasting rooms, restaurants and coffee shops.

As another active option you could kayak on lake union. Recent threads have discussed the options. NW Outdoors Center and Agua Verde are two companies on Lake Union that rent kayaks and stand up paddle boards. That is a great way to get on the water, see the houseboats (really better called floating homes ... some are operable boats and others are fixed homes on a floating dock/foundation. Very near NWOC you can see the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat but there are dock on Westlake, Eastlake and Portage Bay. You can paddle up to Gasworks Park (which is unique in its incorporation of architecturally interesting rusting structures from the decommissioned gasworks formerly at that location). In that area there are actually a few restaurants you can dock at including Westward and Ivar's Salmon House.

With a car you could also go visit the U.W. Arboretum and the Japanese gardens. The Madison Park, Madison Valley and Madrona areas are characteristic with some good dining.

I would also recommend getting outside of downtown for dinner one night. A few big neighborhoods for drinking and dining are Capitol Hill (just east of the center part of downtown), Fremont and Ballard.

Hope that helps

-K