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5 Mistakes to Avoid when Visiting Seattle, Washington

Updated on September 19, 2015

I would like to preface this article by saying that I've never been to a city that I didn't love, so I was sad to discover that, after a recent trip to Seattle, I think I've finally found one that I really don't care for, and it's all because of a few simple mistakes.

Over the summer, my family took a wonderful trip that we had been planning for many years. We spent two weeks in northwest Washington where we were completely awestruck by the beauty and grandeur. We stayed for 4 days in Olympic National Park, 4 days in Mt. Rainier, and a highly anticipated grand finale of 2 days in Seattle. Unfortunately our visit to the "Emerald City" didn't go exactly as we had hoped it would.

I thought I'd let you know what we did wrong, so when you are planning your visit to Seattle, you'll have a better time than we did.

5 mistakes to avoid when planning a vacation to Seattle Washington
5 mistakes to avoid when planning a vacation to Seattle Washington | Source

Mistake #1: Staying in the suburbs

After spending an eternity looking around for a hotel in Seattle, we decided our best bet would be an option outside of the city. This was mainly because of the cost. Seattle hotels are expensive, and I mean really expensive, and because we didn't make our plans in time, any ones that weren't outrageous were booked.

We stayed about 10 minutes south of the airport, foolishly thinking that it would be easy to park our rental car at the train station, hop on a commuter train and be in the city in about 20 minutes. We were wrong. Commuter train stations don't have a huge number of parking spots so they were all taken long before we got there.

Having realized that the only way we were going to get into Seattle was by driving, we got on the road, I-5 northbound to be exact. Well my guess is that pretty much every other resident of the state of Washington was going into Seattle at the same time, so it took about 2 hours to get to a parking garage next to the Space Needle. By this time our nerves were frayed, my husband and I had gotten into a fight, and my daughter just wanted to go back to the hotel pool. We didn't even get to Seattle until 11:00 am, and we'd left around 7:30 am.

The lesson learned here is that it's worth it to spend more money and stay in the city. Check out some of the lesser known hotels and bed and breakfast places in town, and don't wait until the last minute.

The guitar sculpture hanging from the ceiling of the EMP museum in Seattle, Washington.  I cannot begin to count how many instruments make up this amazing art piece.
The guitar sculpture hanging from the ceiling of the EMP museum in Seattle, Washington. I cannot begin to count how many instruments make up this amazing art piece. | Source

Mistake #2: Paying for attractions separately

Since we were parked next to the Space Needle, that was the first stop we made. We paid our entrance fee, went up, and got a breathtaking view of the city. After we came down we decided to head over to the EMP museum. The clerk asked us if we wanted to get the Seattle City Pass which we had never heard of. The pass gave us entry to the top tourist attractions of the city at a discount. We bought them, but only after we had already spent about $100 on the space needle.

If you are planning on visiting all of the top attractions, get this pass. It will be one of the best bargains you'll get.

5 bright spots in Seattle

Attraction
Reason
Space Needle
What a view. We were lucky to have spectacular weather.
Harbor Cruise
By far our favorite attraction. The cruise provided 1 1/2 hours of relaxation and a terrific view of the city.
Pike Place Market (after the rush)
Once we went back after the crowds were gone we were able to see the traditional fish toss and buy a few souvenirs before the stalls closed. If we hadn't been flying home in 2 days I would have gotten one of the gorgeous $5 flower bouquets.
Monorail
It may only be a few minutes, but it was fun, took us through a small part of the city and got us where we wanted to go for a small price.
EMP Museum
It's a hard place to describe, but it's one of the coolest museums I've ever seen and great fun for all ages.
The city of Seattle and the Seattle Aquarium from the vantage point of our harbor cruise.
The city of Seattle and the Seattle Aquarium from the vantage point of our harbor cruise. | Source

Mistake #3: Planning at the last minute

Preplanning a trip is something I usually like to do, but for some reason all of our planning went into our visits to the national parks, not for the trip to Seattle.

Don't think you can see all of the sites on a whim but don't over plan either. Hotel rooms are hard to find, everything is more expensive than you think it will be, and everything takes about double the time you thought it would to see.

By not preplanning, we lost hours of sightseeing time and a lot of money. One of my dreams was to see the Chihuly museum so we thought we would cap off our first day by visiting it. Unfortunately it was closed that evening for a private function. Had I checked, I would have known that. I was able to peek inside the garden and see a few things, but the disappointment still stings.

The original Starbucks...bypass the wait, take a picture and head to another one close by.
The original Starbucks...bypass the wait, take a picture and head to another one close by. | Source

Mistake #4: Visiting the original Starbucks

I love coffee, so one of the things I really wanted to do was visit the original Starbucks. Let me say right now, don't bother.

The line was huge, the place was small (I peeked inside after giving up hope of ever getting inside) and quite honestly, there is a Starbucks on pretty much every block of the city. Seriously, there are Starbucks everywhere in Seattle.

A better idea is to take a selfie outside of the original store and buy the souvenir coffee mug at another location. Also, find a little independent coffee shop to buy a cup of coffee, or some grounds to take home. There's no line, and I think the coffee is better. I'm still enjoying the cherry toffee coffee I brought home.

Pike Place Market in Seattle is full of sights and sounds, but is completely overwhelming at lunch hour during the height of the tourist season.  Wait until the late afternoon to visit.
Pike Place Market in Seattle is full of sights and sounds, but is completely overwhelming at lunch hour during the height of the tourist season. Wait until the late afternoon to visit. | Source

Mistake #5: Going at the height of tourist season

While this one is a tough one to avoid since summer is a nice time to visit, and it's when most kids have vacation time, try not to go.

We went in late July and it was so unbelievably crowded that there were moments when we had to pause to catch our breaths. I think this surprised me more than anything since I love big cities. I've lived in New York City and Washington D.C. and I've never seen either one of those places as crowded as Seattle was on the day we visited. We asked the lovely lady at the Pike Place Market visitor booth if it was always that crowded and even she was surprised at the number of people.

Another mistake we made was visiting Pike Place Market at lunchtime. Don't do it, just don't. Go later in the day, shortly before the stalls are going to close. It's much emptier and you get a much better feel for the place.

I'd love to hear from you!

Seattle, Washington...What do you think about it?

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A view of the Space Needle from our harbor cruise.  What a great day to be on the water.
A view of the Space Needle from our harbor cruise. What a great day to be on the water. | Source

Disappointment has slowly been replaced by the desire give Seattle another chance

We had planned to cap off our two week trip to Washington with a visit to Seattle for a couple of days. We had hoped to see the top attractions and visit parts of the city that weren't full of tourists.

After the day we had, we were left frazzled, exhausted, and sad. We never made it back into the city on the second day. Instead we choose to drive around to the other side of the sound and visit some quaint harbor towns. In hindsight, there were a number of things we should have done differently.

Having said all of this, and having had time to look back on that day, I'd like to go to Seattle again. I wouldn't go at the end of a long trip. I'd stay in the city and I'd be more realistic in my expectations. I'd explore the lesser known areas of the city and I wouldn't go during the summer. The only thing I wouldn't change is the weather we had: mid-seventies with a slight breeze and a few clouds scattered about a clear blue sky. That was perfect.

I bet if I go back, and not make the same mistakes, I'll like Seattle a lot more, and I can once again say that I've never been to a city that I didn't love.

© 2015 Glimmer Twin Fan

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well the biggest mistake you made was not telling me you would be there. I could have saved you all the headaches and given you a tour you would have seriously enjoyed. I went to school in Seattle, lived and worked there for seven years, and I love that city...but you managed to make just about all the mistakes possible while you were there. :) Next time call me.

      I'm glad you enjoyed Mt. Rainier, though...that's a church to me.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 18 months ago from the short journey

      These are great tips for anyone planning to visit this city! Your learning experience is a real benefit to others.

      When I fly in I grab a rental car and go north for a night before going farther north. Grands are my goal… :) but it's been neat to visit the city a bit with them. And a blessing to have my daughter's experience to guide me!

      If you had purchased a bouquet it could have been one of my hers! She is in the business and sells there.

      Glad you might be able to go back and take advantage of what you learned from the first trip. Who knows, we might cross paths. ;)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      Hi Bill - I thought about letting you know, but we were all over the place and weren't quite sure about time tables. As I was writing this I really convinced myself to give Seattle another shot because there were some bright spots. All I've ever heard were great things so I/we were so surprised at the outcome. As for Mt. Rainier, well, words cannot adequately describe its beauty. The wildflowers were in bloom and we saw a marmot, which may not seem exotic to Washington state natives but was a treat for us, even though they look just like our groundhog. Olympic's coast was inspiring, just amazing. We really did have a wonderful trip but blew it at the end. Thanks for reading!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      Wow RTalloni - At $5 a bouquet I would have bought a whole bucketful. It definitely helps to know someone in a city and I'm glad you like the city. The more I read this and the comments the more I'm convincing myself to give it another shot. Now I just have to save up my pennies! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 18 months ago

      I've never been to Seattle but would love to make the trip one day. Your tips will help me not make the same mistakes. It looks like you still managed to see some interesting places. The photo of city and space needle is impressive.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 18 months ago from England

      Yep I have had a few trips like that too! it starts out well and then goes downhill! lol! just things go wrong, and even though the place itself is fine it just doesn't meld together properly, but at least your tips here will help others and I am sure it will be great the next time you go. I had to look it up, I wasn't sure where it was in America, but the photos look great, so yes I would definitely visit, but take your advice before we do!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      Thanks teaches - We definitely were able to squeeze a lot into that one day so we were exhausted by the end of it. It was also a beautiful day weather wise so that helped and may have been one of the reasons it was so crowded.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      You hit the nail right on the head Nell! It just didn't come together like we had hoped it would, but the majority of the trip was marvelous so we really can't complain too much! If you ever visit you ought to go to the Pacific Northwest. Thanks for stopping by!

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 18 months ago from USA

      Sorry to hear you had an unpleasant trip, but I can see why. I went to Seattle a few years ago and had the most amazing time. I went in early May and the weather was just wonderful. It was sunny and in the mid-70s the entire time I was there (rare, I know). I stayed downtown and walked almost everywhere, including Pikes Market and Pioneer Square. I took city buses to go to the Space Needle and up to the University of WA campus. Too bad your trip did not go better, but now at least you know what to avoid! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 18 months ago from California

      Bummer. Seattle is a lovely city. My son was there last month to visit his friends. They picked him up at the airport and drove him to where they work. Said," Be back when we get off at 5". He did the city on his skate board with his phone for his guide. Had lovely weather, but determined he couldn't live there. No matter what kind of lovely job his friends found for him. He loves rain, but he likes sunny California better. Friends were in Washington for Moose Fest also and they chanced a drive into the city and got seriously lucky. They grew up there so they at least knew what a chance they were taking. Yes, you need to go back. Going to share. This is a really good article.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      See Donna - We definitely should have stayed in the city. I think that would have made all the difference. I have never heard a bad thing about the city. All that being said, it was still a great couple of weeks and that area of the country is unbelievably beautiful! Thanks for reading.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      Hi tirelesstraveler - It will be a while, but I will go back. Sounds like your son had a good visit and honestly while we there, we did not get any rain, bad for them, but great for us. Next time we'll stay in the city, that's for sure. I like California when I went. I was in San Francisco and Santa Cruz. Now San Francisco, that is a great city. I could have packed my bags and moved there in a heartbeat! Thanks for sharing and reading. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 18 months ago from San Francisco

      I feel like every big city needs to be visited at least twice. You have to get the major attractions out of the way to really see the heart of the city. Seattle is one of my favorite cities in the world; the people, the food, the landscape. I hope you go again. If you do, we can chat. We lived there for four years and know the hidden gems. Thanks for sharing your experience. I think the mistakes you made apply to traveling to most big cities.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      Hi Robin - I know, I definitely need to give it another chance and the rest of our trip was perfect! You are probably right, these mistakes probably apply to every big city. I do love San Francisco, loved it the minute I was in the hotel. I'll let you know if we ever go back. Thanks for reading and commenting. The more people tell me how great it is the more I want to give it another shot.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 18 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      Like you, I didn't plan well enough and was disappointed, not with what I saw, but with what I'd hoped to see. Obviously planning is important as it's not so easy to get around when there are crowds of people. I hope you have the opportunity to go again and wish you a great visit next time.

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      kls-seattle 18 months ago

      Sorry to hear about your trip. Hope you try again. I live in Seattle in the Ballard neighborhood.

      One option if you find the hotels too expensive is to look for apartment/condo rentals. You can look at listed rentals on TripAdvisor or use AirBnB. As alternatives to downtown you can try nearby neighborhoods like Capitol Hill or Queen Anne. Make sure you map search wherever possible and determine for neighborhood listings how you will get into downtown. Most neighborhoods have easy bus service to downtown.

      If you plan in advance consider the Silver Cloud hotels (there are three locations on the peripheries of the downtown core -- in First Hill/Capitol Hill, South Lake Union and by Century Link field). They all get good reviews on TripAdvisor (ranked #11, #12 and #16 respectively) and have relatively good pricing. And they offer a local shuttle.

      The Homewood Suites is also a possibility. It is just east of the Convention Center. Technically it is not downtown ... it is in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. But it is still walkable to Pike Place Market and other sites downtown and has the advantage of being close to all of the restaurants in the Pike/Pine corridor.

      And dovetailing with your experience at the oldest remaining Starbucks The Homewood Suites is extremely close to the Willy-Wonka-esque Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. The oldest Starbucks has only a tiny bit of character given that the market has restrictions on what can be done to spaces but keep in mind it is not the original Starbucks (regardless of what it was called). The original was on Western Avenue a few blocks away. It is long closed.

      By the way there are some good local coffee shops affiliated with locals roasters all over downtown -- like Fonte across 1st Ave from Seattle Art Museum or Seattle Coffee Works on Pike just east of Pike Place Market. Cafe Ladro is a chain of cafes associated with a local roaster as well. They have a location between the market and the art museum just off 1st Ave. In Pioneer Square are Elm and Umbria. On Capitol Hill there are numerous indie coffee shops like Victrola and Bauhaus. More and more places are offering multiple options for brewed coffee like French Press or other pour overs like Chemex or Aeropress or clover. Seattle Coffee works offers six options in their slow bar.

      Regarding the Seattle CityPass I don't necessarily recommend it unless you are going to really do most of the things on the pass and I wouldn't necessarily recommend getting it every time you are in town as some of the attractions are really things that you wouldn't want to do on every trip. Amongst other things it includes a day/night visit at the Space Needle when most people would pay less for a single visit. It makes you choose between EMP Museum and the zoo and it makes you choose between Pacific Science Center and Chihuly Garden and Glass (basically it makes you choose between two attractions oriented to your kids and attractions oriented towards adults). And it no longer includes the excellent Museum of Flight. Also keep in mind that some attractions participating in the pass have packages with other attractions like Argosy and the Aquarium have their own discount package deal as do EMP and the Space Needle. But noting that the CityPass always includes the Space Needle and Argosy Cruise and aquarium I wonder whether those are things most people would want to do on each visit. For an on-water experience I would take a public ferry ride to Bainbridge Island and back or take the West Seattle Water Taxi. Instead of doing the Space Needle O-deck again do the much taller Columbia Tower or the historic Smith Tower (or book lunch at the rotating Sky City at the Space Needle, which includes a visit to the O-deck after your meal).

      In terms of avoiding crowds that is getting harder and harder but the absolute peak season spans July and August. You can shave off dollars and crowds by trying May/June or September/October. The latter will still enable you to get up to Paradise at Mt. Rainier (you can go up in May/June but typically the subalpine areas are still melting out). Also count on more rain in both shoulder seasons than in July or August. But there are some interesting things going on all year round in Seattle. Over Memorial Day weekend is the huge Folklife Festival at Seattle Center. The Seattle International Film Festival with its hundreds of offerings runs from mid-may to mid-June. Ballard has its large Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day) parade and associated events on May 17 . At the Summer solstice Fremont has its massive and funky Fremont Solstice Parade and Fremont Fair. September and October are quieter but there are several local music fests, film fests, and Fremont Octoberfest.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      Thanks Blossom! It's funny how one can imagine how a visit to a city is going to be marvelous and then it kind of falls apart. Unfortunately that does happen some times, but I'm still glad I got out to the Pacific North West. Now I just need to go back some day. I'm glad you stopped by!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      Wow kls-seattle - You have loads of info on the city. Thanks for all of the hints. I will go back someday, just not sure exactly when. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Hopefully you guys have gotten rain since we were there. It was all over the news that it was so dry and I've seen the coverage on all of the wildfires out that way. Not sure if the city itself had gotten any respite.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 18 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Glimmer. Sorry Seattle didn't work out as planned. My brother and his family live just outside Seattle and we have visited numerous times. It's a wonderful part of the country and we have come to love Seattle. It does pay to know someone there to help avoid the mistakes. We've been to many of the places you mentioned and loved them all. Next time try the underground tour and visit the Klondike Museum. If you like baseball try to take in a Mariners game, wonderful ballpark.

    • sajupalu profile image

      Sajesh 18 months ago from India

      Thanks for signifying the mistakes generally done by new visitors. I think main problem of Seattle is finding a good place to stay, as the hotels are too much expensive. If anybody wants to pay a visit there, he or she must be certain about this problem and manage accordingly.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      Bill - The underground museum was on our list, but since we didn't go back in the 2nd day we didn't get to it. The Klondike museum would have been interesting. We did enjoy the Museum of Flight, but that was by the airport. Lesson learned, but thankfully the majority of the trip was glorious. Thanks for reading!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      Hi sajupalu - The hotels are definitely expensive but it's worth it to spend the money so one can stay in the city. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 18 months ago from Baltimore, MD

      Thanks for sharing this information. I've never been to Seattle before, but my husband assures me it is one of his favorite cities in the world. He longs to go there again one day. I hope to at least visit it, but I will definitely stay in the city now after reading this.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 18 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      I went to Seattle once, and had a grand time. I stayed with a friend, which made all the difference in the world. The traffic is always bad, but not much you can do about that. Check with a realtor, and many times you can get house rentals for short periods at a reasonable price. Then use public transport.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      Hi Jeannie - I'm now pretty sure that everyone thinks Seattle is a terrific city so I am pretty sure I'll be heading back someday. Just not sure when. I'll be staying in the city too! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      It always helps to have a friend in a city. We did look at small rental apartments but since we were only there 3 nights it wasn't so easy to find. Ah well, next time will be better. I appreciate the visit.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 18 months ago from USA

      I went there several times on business during November/December. I was able to stay in the heart of the city and catch the sites I wanted to see on the company's dime. It's not a place I would vacation, however.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 18 months ago from australia

      It's always the way isn't it? I've done similar things by not researching before I travel. But in theory it ought to work. You make some most valid points and it's refreshing to read of a trip that didn't quite make it. I've never been to Seattle but I'll remember your advice.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      Hi FlourishAnyway - Interesting that you wouldn't vacation there and lucky that you were able to see the main sites on the company dime. That would have been nice for us, but maybe next time. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 18 months ago

      You are right travmaj, it shouldn't be that big a deal going somewhere without too much planning, but boy, this time it just didn't work out for us. Hopefully you'll make it to Seattle some time and then let us know how you liked it. Thanks for stopping by!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 17 months ago from New York

      Unfortunately we all learn from our mistakes, however, you sharing your mistakes makes it easier for everyone else. It sounds like a great city and any city has its peculiarities and busy times. Being prepared always makes it better.

      Of course, there's always Bill!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 17 months ago

      There is definitely Bill for next time and you are right, every city has it's peculiarities. I've lived in DC and NYC and love them both, but have talked to folks who totally don't get them. Thanks for stopping by!

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      Leslie Kay 14 months ago

      Great Article ! Mother is coming for a visit. Plan to pick her up at airport and spend the week in Seattle doing the tourist attraction thing. Neither of us have seen anything in Seattle. I wondered about the Underground City if that was a must see or not? I am disable, so I know we will run into snags along the way just because of that. So we are really trying to have all pre-planned so we can ready set go when we get there.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 14 months ago

      Thanks Leslie Kay - I hope you and your mother have a nice visit. The Underground tour was on our list for the 2nd day but because we didn't go back in we didn't get to do it. I've heard good things about it. I'm not sure about what kind of accessibility the sites in the city have. Thanks for reading.

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      Jodi 13 months ago

      I visited Seattle in September, and didn't want to have to rent a car. I stayed halfway between Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. Best decision ever. I was able to walk to everything but the Fremont Troll/Theo Chocolate factory, and loved the city. I would love to go back. Fyi, I was traveling alone so the walking might not work for everyone.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 13 months ago

      Jodi - We definitely should have stayed in the area you stayed in. It would have made those days much better. Oh well, live and learn as the saying goes. I'm thinking I'd really like to go back now. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • breathing profile image

      Sajib 13 months ago from Bangladesh

      Seattle is a very much anticipated place for most of the tourists. But by reading this post the tourists will be realty benefited by knowing how to make the journey a fruitful one. After all who likes to make a visit to a place like Seattle an awful one? You can enjoy the different historic and cultural places only when you are free of all kinds of problems and this post has guided us exactly how to do that. So if you are planning to go there, just list these thing in your to-do list and enjoy the tour.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 13 months ago

      Hi breathing - I hope this article helps people when they are planning their vacation and I thank you for stopping by to read and comment.

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      Kray 12 months ago

      Where did you purchase the Cherry Toffee coffee?

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 12 months ago

      Kray - I'm trying to remember, it was at the Pike Place Market in an Italian Store on a corner, really near where they throw the fish. It was a 2 story store with coffee and wine upstairs. I think it was DeLaurenti's. Boy was that good coffee!!!! Thanks for reading.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 12 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Glimmer....Superb hub for anyone planning to visit Seattle. Very thorough and well written! I am shocked you only "thought" about telling bill you would be there! He's right you know, think of what he could have saved you. Plus just the opportunity for the 2 of you to meet.

      I only know of Seattle what a friend of mine has told me, but she LOVED it. Bill seems to agree. Plan to go again? Peace, Paula

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 11 months ago from London England

      Co incidently, Sydney Australia also claims the title of Emerald City.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 11 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glimner, congrats on another HOTD! This was a great travelogue hub for those who wish to go to Seattle. Hopefully your mistakes will prevent future travelers from making others for doing the same thing as you did for their trip. Hope you can go back someday to enjoy it. This is real insightful and full of interesting tips to make the most of your trip.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 11 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Glimmer. Congratulations on the HOTD. Well deserved. Seattle is one of our favorite places so seriously consider giving it another chance. And let Bill Holland know next time, nothing like having a local to guide and assist.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 11 months ago from Canada

      Hi GTF...I think we can all say we have had similar visits to one or more places in our lives. Sometimes just luck and timing, or lack of both, can turn a trip into a horror show. I have never visited Seattle, but will be sure to remember your advice if I do.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 11 months ago

      Hi Paula - Nice to hear from you. I'm finally getting around to responding because of weird computer problems. I would have let Bill know I was coming, but we were only in Seattle 2 days so didn't have the time. Next time I'll know better! As time goes on, I definitely want to go back, I just need to plan the trip better. Thanks for reading!!!!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 11 months ago

      Interesting limpet, I did not know that. Thanks for letting me know and for reading the article.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 11 months ago

      Hi Kristen - I appreciate the kind comments. I also hope folks find a little help from this article and have great trip when they visit Seattle. Have a good weekend.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 11 months ago

      Hi Bill - We are definitely considering going back but it will be a while before we do. We have a long list of places we want to visit. If only we could win the lottery and retire.....thanks for stopping by.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 11 months ago

      You are so right Kaili, we do all have a trip or 2 that didn't work out. I guess that the old saying "live and learn" applies here, but have rarely heard anything but good things about Seattle so we will probably give it another try sometime in the future. Thanks for reading.

    • Discordzrocks profile image

      Gavin Heinz 11 months ago from Austin TX

      nice hub, congrats on HOTD

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 11 months ago

      Thanks Discordzrocks...I appreciate it.

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      mary 10 months ago

      cherry toffee coffee?

      don't eat at pike place market for lunch, too crowded.

      thanks so much, sorry for your loss - u are still fortunate though!

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 10 months ago

      That coffee was the best. Wishing I had some now and definitely realized that Pike Place was the wrong place to be in the middle of day!. Thanks for reading.

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      Allison 9 months ago

      I've loved Seattle all my life. If you love quirky and crowded then go! If not go to quirky less crowded Portland.

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      Anon 8 months ago

      Go during Thanksgiving! My family and I went for four days during the Thanksgiving break. Although it's on the chilly side, there were much less crowds and we were able to watch the game in a small pub by the water.

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      Jason 7 months ago

      I recently visited Seattle with my family and we somehow avoided all these mistakes. It was awesome,we all loved it and I would like to live there. Oh,I did wait in the line at the first starbucks and it was about 30minutes for me. I thought it was worth it just to say I'd been there.

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      LizM 7 months ago

      The problem was it was a sunny day. You not only had to maneuver through all the other tourists but also all the locals! Those of us who live in western Washington go a little crazy when the sun shines. While we love our rain, we are always overjoyed when the sun comes out to bless us. ;)

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      Warren 7 months ago

      Not so easy to get around? Public transportation in Seattle is top notch. I live in Los Angeles and we are getting better but the busses there are better, get the app on your phone and it will tell you not only how and where but when. Not only that you have to give this city some real time, two weeks or more . The next time I am there I am going to try Airbnb. I do think you're correct your timing was off but if you go any other time it will rain. So I don't know what is more important to you.

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      Randy 7 months ago

      My favorite time to visit the Pike Place Market is in the morning when all the vendors and crafts people are setting up., say around 8 to 10 AM. Its magical.

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      Billie Kelpin 7 months ago from Newport Beach

      Great article! Helpful! I liked the personal point of view. Planning is everything, I found out, but I am definitely not a planner. I have very low expectations therefore when I travel!

      This year, we visited my husband's son for just a day. He lives right in downtown Seattle. In spite of having been to Seattle several times, this was the first time I took the underground tour. It was interesting to learn how the city was built on top of the original and to view the structures. It was a bit less exciting than I anticipated but I am so glad to have gotten an overview of the history and to check this off my bucket list. So next time, you might want to try that tour. I like kls-Seattle's suggestion to take the trip to Bainbridge. Next time, I'm going to try to visit more of the islands because I adore the water, so getting there is half the fun for me!

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      Gardensofwa 4 weeks ago

      A tip for garden lovers:

      If you want to see a truly spectacular garden without hordes of people, try Kubota Gardens in Seattle's south end. This is a beautiful Japanese garden started before WWII. The Kubota family ended up in a camp during the war but came back to continue gardening; it is now a city park. There is next to no publicity, no playground equipment, no dazzle that doesn't come from landscaping, pools and streams, or flowers. A lot of the care of the park is done by volunteers. There are quite a few weddings there, which gives the park a source of income. They also have plants sales.

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      Gardensofwa 4 weeks ago

      Here's an idea for people on a tight budget who want to see Seattle.

      One of the best things to happen in this area recently is the rapid transit that now links Seattle and Tacoma. Between the two large cities are several smaller cities where the train stops: Auburn and Kent are old towns that have had growth spurts but still have downtown business districts that look like they are still in the 1950's. In these cities, housing is half or less than what you would pay in Seattle. There are hotels and motels an easy walking-distance from the train station; the trains will shoot you to Seattle or Tacoma in much less time than it would take you to drive. Tukwila is another stop on the route; it has less old-fashioned personality but the station is close to a big shopping mall. Auburn, by the way, has a mall called "The Outlet Collection". Worth a look.

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      Karen 4 weeks ago

      Raised in Seattle and work in the city! Our traffic will turn the nicest people into demons! Stay south of the city near the SouthCenter shopping mall. Do not take I5 ever, use airport way and always after 9am. Or, park at Sea-Tac Park at south 200th. Light rail has been expanded and will take you into the city while enjoying the sites of the suburbs. Late July until early September is the height of the tourist season. Stay away. May-July, bring an umbrella, it's just a drizzle or buy a cheap one here. You must visit our international district! Seattle is diverse! Enjoy!

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