Our trip to Portland was a work-centered trip, but we decided to tack on a just-for-fun trip to nearby Seattle for a few days afterwards. We took the Amtrak Cascades train up and it was a gorgeous ride. We’re used to middle-of-the-night train rides with dismal views, but the train line followed a river and everything was in bloom and beautiful. I didn’t get any shots from the train, so these flowers will have to do!

We arrived at King Street Station and our hotel shuttle picked us up. We got a short driving tour through downtown Seattle and settled in. I’d been so busy, that I didn’t really plan anything specific during this trip until we got there. After a little research, I realized that Seattle’s City PASS would give us the best value for what we already wanted to do, and it tossed in a couple of extra activities for free. Usually, I don’t like these kinds of package deals, but we had already decided to see Chihuly Glass and Garden, the EMP Museum, and the Space Needle. So even if we just did that, we would be saving $8 per person. Plus we also got a boat tour and could visit the aquarium. We didn’t have time for the aquarium, but the boat tour was a nice surprise. It wasn’t something I was looking at prior to discovering the CityPASS, but it was the highlight of the trip. We chose a particularly beautiful day, and the sky and water were both unusually gorgeous throughout the ride.

pike place

seattle starbucks coffeetasting

We of course had to stop by the Pike Place Market, which is the oldest daily market in the country. My friend Natalie works there, so we walked around a bit before meeting up with her. A coffee from the first Starbucks was on A’s list, while I prioritized eating a baguette.  Later, we visited the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room and A got a tasting flight of 3 of their super special coffees.

We were staying in a hotel near the Space Needle, and to get to most of our activities, we used Pronto, the city’s shared bike system. It was only $16 per person for a 3 day pass, which was perfect for us. We ended up biking a LOT so it was not only a great way to see the city, it also was the cheapest. There’s a beautiful path along the water that runs along most of the city, and it even has little beaches in certain spots.

The Space Needle was a gorgeous view, but honestly, it wasn’t worth it to stand in line for 3+ hours. There’s a tiny little park (way, way uphill–we literally had to walk the bikes for 2-3 blocks that were at 40-50 degree angles) and it offered THE best view I got the entire trip. It was absolutely exhausting to get there, but was worth every calorie expended. The ride down was absolutely terrifying and I don’t think I could have hit the brakes any harder, but it was way better than a roller coaster.

 

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17327254929_4cb95b6755_kWe also went to a Copperworks Distillery for a free tasting. We were bummed that we couldn’t buy/bring anything back in our carry-ons, but we chatted with the bartender for a while and relaxed. We also popped into Fran’s Chocolates for a quick piece of chocolate and I soon realized it was the same company that makes the best raspberry sauce ever. Seriously, it is the best thing I’ve put on ice cream in my entire life. We also stared at this creepy chocolate art for 5 minutes because it was that intriguing.

The waterfront is one of Seattle’s biggest areas for tourism and great views of the water. It’s under construction right now, but that doesn’t detract from the fantastic views. The construction was only on the road  when we were there, so the pier, bike paths, or any waterfront activities were unaffected.