My first visit to Seattle was part of a month long road trip around US mainland and Canada. The trip was part of a screening for Phil Schlieder’s big wave surf movie “Journey to the Reef”. Our first official stop was Vancouver Island, but because I had never been to Seattle we decided to make it a small stop before driving closer to the ferry.
Seattle tend to have a bad rep for being a little dark, rainy and gloomy, but the city is also known for its thriving culinary scene and love for good coffee. Many call Seattle the Emerald City because of its lush evergreen forests. Seattle is without a heaven for nature lovers.
Unfortunately, we ended up arriving to Seattle a little late due to a small incident with the car. Okay, so this is not something I’m particularly proud of, but we literally didn’t make it more than 4 hours away from Portland before we ran out of gas. It was pretty ridiculous and a good way to start a month long road trip (or not). Note to self: Cars run on fuel.
As a result of us leaving a little too late from Portland and because the car ran out of gas, it left us with minimum time in Seattle. Since we didn’t have much time we had to take some quick decisions as far as to what we wanted to see the most. Phil had already been to Seattle plenty of times, and therefore it was pretty much up to me. This is what I choose to do with only 4 hours in Seattle.
Seattle in 4 hours
Pike Place Market
Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market is a must when visiting. It was therefore also the first place we went to. The market has captivating surprises and local flavors everywhere you look. The market is a “follow your nose” kind of place and you can quickly lose track of time when you walk around exploring the endless stalls and shops. When you are there make sure to take a picture with the iconic market sign. I know I did!
Where: 1st Ave and Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
The Fish Market
When walking around Pike Place don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the “flying fish”. The place is known for the fishmongers throwing the purchased fish before they get wrapped and given away to the customer. The fishmongers are known to be putting on a show and very entertaining to watch. Sadly, I didn’t see a single flying fish as a punishment for being too late. Instead, I was left with empty stalls and some smelly melted ice. Better luck next time, I guess.
The First Starbucks
As a previous Starbucks Supervisor and Coffee Master the “original” Starbucks store was a must do for me. The first ever Starbucks opened in 1971, but was actually located somewhere else. In 1976 they relocated the store to this location. It is therefore, technically still the oldest Starbucks ever opened. It was no surprise to me that the line to get a coffee here was long and as a previous Starbucks partner I couldn’t help feeling a little sorry for the hard working staff. Poor them! I heard rumors that the coffee here is supposed to taste a lot better than the usual Starbucks coffee, but I honestly couldn’t taste any difference and I’ve had my share of Starbucks coffee.
After visiting Pike Place Market we decided to enjoy the cool breeze at Seattle Waterfront. The piers are super close to the market and it only takes you a few minutes to go here. A lot is happening around the piers and walking along the waterfront is without a doubt a perfect way to soak up some Northwest atmosphere. If you are not afraid of heights you can enjoy a trip in one of the tallest Ferries wheels on the West Coast. Tickets are $9 for kids (ages 3-9) and $14 for adults (12 and up).
The Gum Wall
The gum wall is probably one of the most disgusting tourist attraction and yet I was super excited to go. Guess it says more about me than anything, haha. Well, If you are like me and drawn to this disgusting sight then don’t worry it is easy to find. The wall is located near the market entrance. Walking around the alley you will notice a strong bubble gum scent. The wall was cleaned in 2015, but as you can see the gum was back, thriving and even more gooey than ever now in 2018. Did we contribute to this disgusting behavior and left some ourselves? Of course! Remember to buy gum, ya’ll!
The Space Needle
The famous Space Needle was originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair. It has since then become the iconic symbol of the Pacific Northwest. You can’t really visit Seattle without taking a few snapshots of this tall building. If you don’t will people even believe you’ve been to Seattle? You can go to the top if you desire. We decided not to go up and enjoyed the view from the nearby park and snapped a few pictures from there instead because of the long lines. If you do wish to go up in the space needle you can find the prices here and even book ahead.
Where: 400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
Do you have more time?
If I have had more time I would have loved to go to Kerry Park. This is supposed to have one of the best viewpoints of Seattle city and the space needle. It’s not a big park, but it has amazing views of the city and on a clear day you can see majestic Mt. Rainier, which can only be an amazing sight!