Seattle was more fun than I had even hoped it would be, and I anticipated a lot of fun. I had read about as many must-see Seattle items as I could cover over a long weekend, and I planned a lot of my eating excursions, but while you’ll find the original Starbucks, Fremont Troll, the Space Needle, and the Public Market in nearly every guide you may need to do a bit more digging to learn about theCenter for Wooden Boats, Metsker Maps, and New Luck Toy Chinese food.
The world-famousSeattle Public Market has exactly the feel, and smell I thought it would. We avoided the insane line at the original Starbucks (because I can get their coffee on any street in America these days) and instead opted to pop into GhostAlley Espresso, located just up the walkway from the famous Gum Wall. Ghost Alley is tiny but delicious, I made it a point to stop back in before leaving town to buy a bag of beans for home use. Aside from the largest lobster I’ve ever seen on display the Public Market has every food item you can imagine, fresh and larger than life, we brought back some fancy jams for my grandma after sampling of course, ate some hot fresh doughnuts, watched cheese curd being made, and had breakfast at “Biscuit Bitch” one morning. In wandering the market, and heading to the street just above I discovered Metsker Maps, a store that was a nerdy dream. This small storefront had maps of the world, handcrafted wooden maps, maps of the stars, maps of the seas, maps of ballparks, maps of how diseases have traveled the world, it was an incredible place and I recommend it to any level of geek in my life. They have a website, but there’s nothing like the real thing. I truly could have spent an entire day perusing the shelves.
The Space needle, the symbol of Seattle is as cool as it looks, and despite my aunt and traveling companion's fears she joined me on the glass floor of the observation deck as long as I promised to tour the Chihuly garden and glass exhibit below. The Chihuly exhibit was not something I was expecting to love, but once I entered the exhibit I was astounded at the scale of his work. The glass rises from the garden like a strange new cross breed of plant. So many pieces looked like they were straight out of Willy Wonka’s candy garden. The capacity to make so many exquisite pieces was astounding. The MoPop or Museum of Pop Culture was hosting a Nirvana exhibit, which personally I think should be a full-time instillation considering the Pacific Northwest is the home of the grunge movement. MoPoP made for an excellent afternoon of modern museum exploration, and the museum offers a bar where one can stay refreshed before heading out to the next adventure.
The Center for Wooden Boats offers a free “public sail” on Sunday mornings. The event is first come first serve, so after a quick coffee and doughnut at General Porpoise (so very tasty) we headed out to wait in line for a sail on Lake Union. TheCenter for Wooden Boats offers these adventures as a part of their mission to educate and promote maritime heritage, our tiny sail boat slowly bobbed throughLake Union as the day was very light on wind, but it gave us the opportunity to see the sights from the lake and learn about the center which also offers sailing and boatbuilding lessons.
West Seattle is home to New Luck Toy a Chinese food restaurant and bar that felt like walking into a Tarantino movie version of a Chinese food restaurant and bar, from the Chinese lanterns hung from the ceiling to the style of the menu. We ordered more food than we could eat because everything on the menu looked perfect, and it was. We got very lucky and did not need to wait long for a table despite the place being FULL.
There’s so much more I could say about Seattle after packing in as much as I could in only4 days. I can’t wait to get back and explore more of this fantastic city. I didn’t even have a chance to ride the ferry because there is so much to do in this awesome metropolis.