For my birthday this year, my sister Stephanie and I traveled to Washington state. Neither of us had been to the west coast and it was a trip I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
Washington has great scenery and a lot to do. The weather was a little funky. We woke up to clouds, fog, and a chill in the air each morning, but then enjoyed a hot and sunny afternoon. Lucky for us, we never got caught in the rain.
Driving along the evergreen trees while spotting snow-covered mountains in the distance was a cool experience. Some areas are a lot different than Long Island, like the 60-70 mph speed limits on most highways and the steep hills in the city.
The 5-day trip was a combination of time in Seattle and the San Juan Islands. Below are some of my favorite spots in Seattle.
What better way to see the city of Seattle than from 520 feet above? The Space Needle was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair to symbolize humanity’s Space Age aspirations. The famous landmark stands at 605 feet, with an observation deck at 520 feet. Just below at 500 feet, there is a revolving glass floor, called The Loupe, giving tourists a 360-degree view of Seattle.
The Space Needle is located in Seattle Center, an arts, educational, tourism and entertainment center in the city. It’s just a short 2-minute monorail ride away from downtown Seattle. Traveling at 45 mph, The Seattle Monorail is the nation’s first full-scale commercial monorail system.
Fun Fact: The Loupe is the world’s first and only rotating glass floor.
This is THE market of Seattle. It’s lined with all different vendors selling goods like fresh fish, fruit, nuts, cider, flowers, handmade jewelry and crafts, clothing, etc. The fish markets are fun to watch, as the men chant and throw fish every time someone places an order.
There are also restaurants and live music along the cobblestone streets. We especially enjoyed pastries from Piroshky Piroshky, a Russian bakery, and lunch and drinks at The Pike Pub – Pike Brewing Company.
The market is also near the waterfront overlooking several different piers, including Pier 57 where we rode The Seattle Great Wheel.
Fun Fact: Pike Place Market covers nine acres and is one of the country’s oldest farmers markets
Life is too short to let anything burst your bubble.
The Gum Wall is pretty self-explanatory; it’s an alleyway, stretching more than 50 feet, full of thousands of pieces of chewed gum. People have been sticking colorful gum on the wall since the early 1990s. Some may say it’s gross, others will argue it’s a work of art.
Fun Fact: 2,350 pounds of gum were peeled off back in 2015, the only time the Gum Wall was ever cleaned.
Glass art like you’ve never seen before. Chihuly Garden and Glass is a beautiful indoor and outdoor glass art exhibit. Designed by artist Dale Chihuly, the pieces are unique, captivating, and display vibrant colors and sophisticated designs. Chihuly Garden and Glass is located in Seattle Center, not far from the Space Needle.
Fun Fact: The centerpiece of the exhibition is the Glasshouse, which features a 100-foot long red, orange, and yellow sculpture, one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures.
I don’t drink coffee, but I workout a latte. Luckily, for me Starbucks serves non-coffee drinks like Frappuccinos and passion tea lemonades. The original Starbucks was founded in 1971 and is located in Pike Place Market. To mine and Stephanie’s surprise, the line outside was not too long (we went on a Tuesday afternoon). While waiting, we were given a sample of the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher and listened to live music being performed outside the door.
Inside is a lot smaller than one would expect. It operates just like any other Starbucks, with the exception of old logos, history on the walls, and cup throwing. Once you order, your name is written on a cup, which is then thrown across the bar to the barista who will make your drink. The bar was built higher than the rest of the store so you can watch your drink being made.
Fun Fact: This location is only one of two spots you can buy Starbucks’ Pike Place Special Reserve coffee. The other is the Heritage Starbucks at First and Pike.
We paid Rachel the Piggy Bank a visit, literally. She is a 550-pound piggy bank that sits in the center of Pike Place Market. She’s been raising money for the Market Foundation since 1986. She was named after the pig who won the 1985 Island County Fair.
Fun Fact: We also visited her cousin, Billie the Piggy Bank.
Perfect place to go to breakfast when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. When I found Biscuit Bitch during my research of Seattle, I knew it was a must go, just because of the name.
Biscuit Bitch is a breakfast hotspot infused with southern hospitality and the word “bitch” casually thrown around (in a lighthearted way). Stephanie and I both ordered the “Bitchwich,” a delicious egg sandwich on a biscuit. Waiting on line just to get in, was definitely worth it.
Fun Fact: All three locations strive to create a welcoming environment for all tourists and locals, a goal made by the owner and founder.
Yeehaw! “Hat ‘n’ Boots” is a former cowboy-themed gas station that is now a great spot to take fun pictures. It was built in 1954 as “Premium Tex.” The hat covered the station office and the boots were men’s and women’s bathrooms. In 1988, the station closed and Hat ‘n’ Boots fell victim to vandalism. In 2003, a community fundraised to restore and relocate them to Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Not visible from the main road, but once you find them; they’re hard to miss!
Fun Fact: The hat stands 19 feet tall.