Having visited Canada countless times since childhood, I became suddenly aware on a trip to Vancouver that I was yet to cross over the border into America and decided that that was something I wanted to rectify. I soon found out that Seattle lay just 114 miles from the Canada-United States border and decided that was the perfect place to visit. Going online that night, I booked last minute flight tickets and couldn’t wait to travel that weekend for my short break away.
The birthplace of Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks and Nirvana, Seattle is an innovative city with a deep and varied history which is widely celebrated. With only a short amount of time to spend here, we knew that we’d have to begin exploring from the moment we had checked into our hotel so we decided to stay downtown to have great access to the city. Nearby was Pioneer Square, the birthplace of modern Seattle and home to the Smith Tower Skyscraper. Built in 1914, this gothic building is a breathtaking piece of architecture.
Before we traveled, we purchased a Seattle City Pass which for $69 gives you access to six of Seattle’s main attractions: Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, Harbour Tour, Pacific Science Center, EMP Museum and then the choice of either the Woodland Park Zoo or The Museum of Flight. Not only did it save us lots of money, but it also ensured that we made time to visit all these attractions.
First on our list was the Seattle Centre, originally home to the World Fair in 1962. Our eyes were immediately drawn to the Space Needle which looms large over the park. With my heart pounding, I took the elevator up to the observation deck and at 520ft up, looked out across the park and the city for quite a view. Also here is the Experience Music Project, the brainchild of Microsoft co-creator Paul Allen. In this gloriously colorful building, we saw the remains of Jimi Hendrix’s destroyed Stratocaster guitar and marveled at the Nirvana exhibition which celebrated the city’s finest band. Before we left, we also jumped up on stage to rock out and have our time playing to an imaginary crowd recorded for us to treasure forever on DVD. Taking the futuristic monorail, we took the one mile journey back to the heart of the city.
For me, Seattle really came to life at Pike Place Market in Elliott Bay. This market dates back to 1907 and is a constant hive of activity. The Pike Place Fish Company is definitely a must see and is one of the most famous ‘stalls’ here and you can also visit the very first Starbucks which was opened in 1971. My favorite thing to do here was to head underground to explore all the stalls selling collectables and old books. It was like a secret haven and I was utterly in my element and made the pledge to pay a return visit one day.
Natalie Likness love of travel was introduced to her from an early age due to a trip abroad before she was even born! Having close family and making friends across the world, she has continued to travel ever since.