Back again with a long weekend getaway, this time in the emerald city.
DAY ONE: Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Ferris Wheel
I landed in Seattle around 11:30am, took the Link Light Rail into downtown, and checked into the Green Tortoise Hostel around 1pm. You truly can’t beat the location—literally across the street from Pike Place Market, and for ~$30 a night in a mixed 4 bedroom dorm, you also get a variety of free goodies (walking tours, free breakfast, free beer night(s), surprise free dinner, etc).
After dropping my stuff off, I walked over to the Space Needle. I bought a ticket at a kisok for $34, walked through a super basic security screening, and got on an elevator straight to the top. I spent about an hour up there walking around the platform.
I really enjoyed the selfie station near the northern portion of the platform, where you basically scan your ticket, stand on a sticker, and look up at an iPad mounted to the roof. I thought it was a great touch, especially for a solo traveler!
I then got a “Seattle Dog” at a hot dog at a cart near the Museum of Pop Culture which was a surprisingly delicious combination of cream cheese and grilled veggies.
I then decided to go into the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum for $26. I originally thought that the museum was primarily outdoors, but it was so much more. The iconic glass greenhouse-like structure was absolutely beautiful, and so were all of the amazing sculptures and chandeliers indoors.
I really enjoyed watching the creation of a blown glass piece. In about an hour, they created a beautiful vase.
I then got a decent happy hour deal on dinner at Ivar’s Acres of Clams—fish tacos and an autumn mule (think spicy, gingery apple cider with vodka) for $20 including tip. I walked around the waterfront for a little while before heading back to the hostel to partake in free beer night and meet some other travellers. Around 10pm, 9 of us headed over to the city’s ferris wheel and payed $14 for 5 extremely underwhelming rotations. The view was lackluster and the cabin panels were very foggy and smudgy with the breath marks of all of its previous passengers. Not worth in the slightest, would not recommend.
The rest of the night was pretty fun, got to exchange lots of solo travel stories and ended the night with a round of washington apple shots and food at the Pike Place Bar and Grill.
DAY TWO: Pike Place Market, Kerry Park, MoPOP, Capitol Hill
I had free breakfast at the hostel, and then decided to go on a free walking tour. The tour guide, Joe, was very funny and took us through some really neat parts of the market. These kinds of tip-based walking tours aren’t very popular in the US, but I thought they were often some of the best parts of my stays in European cities. This tour, while relatively limited in scope, was really neat and I had no problems at all leaving a nice tip.
I then walked all the way up to Kerry Park and enjoyed the views of the city and the surrounding neighborhood for a couple hours.
I then walked over to the Museum of Popular Culture (MoPOP) and got a measly $3 discount (better than nothing, but still) on a ticket including the featured Marvel Superhero exhibit.
I then walked over to the Capitol Hill district and got some of the most delicious ice cream I’ve ever tasted from Salt & Straw: sweet potato casserole with maple pecans, and roasted peach and sage cornbread stuffing. Cornbread. In ice cream. Truly revolutionary.
I then got a really nice dinner at Ayutthaya Thai Restaurant—a bowl of hearty green curry noodles and a strong cocktail for $22 including tip. The rest of the night was very chill, just hung out with new friends at the hostel and experienced people engaging with the hostel’s karaoke night.
DAY THREE: Downtown, Fremont, Gasworks, UDub
I woke up pretty early again and explored a bit more of Pikes Place. I got a pack of really beautiful smelling incense from Tenzing Momo and spent a lot of time looking at all the little craft stalls in the northern portion of the market before walking around the downtown area and snapping some shots.
I then bussed up to the Fremont district with Jack, an Englishman traveling up the west coast during a gap year between college and uni in the UK. We stopped at a cute record shop, then ventured onwards to take obligatory shitty pictures of the Fremont Troll. I much preferred the opposite view.
We then decided to Lyft over to the University of Washington (by this point we’d already walked over 8 miles), and wandered around through the neighborhood and its copious thrift shops.
We then took the Lightrail to Capitol Hill, then walked all the way back to the hostel and had some free dinner. I ended the night midway through a hostel-led pub crawl (s/o to Sonya’s for incredibly strong, affordable drinks and Screwdriver for great shot/beer combos) because I felt the need to be responsible the night before an early flight.