5 Things – Seattle, Washington

Posted by Jen on February 21, 2009 in 5 Things |

I’ve fallen in love with the city of Seattle.  OK, since I’ve only been there once, it might be a crush … work with me!

Here are my “5 Things” for Seattle and the surrounding area!

1. The weather

I may have mentioned before that at certain times of the year, I just need a change of climate. The Seattle climate is exactly what I’m looking for … partly cloudy/sunny and cool – even the rain is nice. It’s good soup-eating weather and I love it!

2. The skyline

I believe that my crush with Seattle started with the skyline. It’s simply stunning. The water and the architecture and the history of the city make it all very alluring. And, as it turns out, dang near impossible to capture on film.

We saw the skyline from quite a few vantage points … Qwest Field, the waterfront, and the Space Needle. Every time I came to a place where I could, I found myself sneaking a peek. You know, that sort of sideways, flirty glance that’s all flush with that “I just met you and we’re hitting it off” excitement.

3. Nature

snoqfalls400300Seattle is situated in a beautiful part of the country and you can find evidence of what early pioneers to the area might have found within a short drive of the downtown area. Of course, the waterfront is delightful and offers ferry rides to the islands in Puget Sound. But, one of the treasures we found was east of Seattle proper.

Snoqualmie Falls and the little town of Snoqualmie were wonderful stops that took only part of a busy day and added so much to the trip!

The falls and a local railroad museum are the right size and time-frame for a short stop … which makes them nice for little ones!

4. The usual suspectsp1020274400300

There are a few “must see” places for all tourists in Seattle and, for the most part, they live up to their hype!

The Space Needle is expensive, but how can you not do this? I find it very interesting and clever that the buildings in its immediate vicinity are distinctly shorter than this historic landmark that is far shorter than other buildings in the adjacent downtown area!

The Pike Street Market is amazing … so diverse and alive. The colors, sights, and smells make it a wonderful place to spend the morning and grab some lunch in one of the many little restaurants or shops!

5. The atmosphere of innovation

The city of Seattle seems to be dipped in innovation – you can almost feel it as you walk down the street! From the purely capitalistic motives that caused the city’s founding fathers to make disastrous early decisions to the plethora of organizations making innovations in today’s world, it’s hard not to be inspired on some level. [Oh, and the Amazon.com building is just stunning - especially at night!]

The refrain that you hear through much of the city is that they want to do something NEW and, often, BIG. Seattle can make you uncomfortable with the status quo. It’s a perfect place to recharge your creative battery!

  • The Undergroundp1020293200150

Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour in Pioneer Square is a wonderful walk through some of the wackiest and amazing city history I’ve heard yet.  The foundng fathers were eclectic (perhaps nuts) to be sure and they made some really bone-headed decisions. But, today stands a beautiful city on a tide flat. A city bustling with culture and variety – history and innovation – the old and the new. It’s pretty hard not to be amazed and impressed.

This little trip through history isn’t suited to little ones, but teenagers and older are good to go. There are also adult versions of the tour.

  • The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tourp1020428200150

Just north of the city (about 25 miles in Mukileto, WA), this place is frankly just cool and amazing! The sheer size of the aircraft that are produced in the Everett plant can make you somewhat speechless. Boeing has been doing some insane things – and they have been for some time!

To give you some perspective, the tour guide told us that the Boeing plant building in Everett could hold all of Disneyland and still have room for 12 acres of parking.

While there are some very cool exhibits for the kids, this is a pretty grown up tour unless your little one is EXTREMELY interested in airplanes and engines or is EXTREMELY patient!

  • The Museum of Flightp1020591200150

This might be the best designed and implemented museum plan that I’ve ever experienced.

The Museum of Flight is just the right size for spending a few hours learning some amazing facts about air travel and it’s history … and the exhibits are really extraordinary.

If you have an interest in the history of flight … from the Wright Brothers to today, this is a great find. Spend the day. If you have little ones with you, you will not probably get the full effect, but it’s still very much worth the price of admission!

The only negative I could find for this was the cafeteria could have used a bit more choice … really, that’s the only downside!

The folks in Seattle don’t seem to be afraid to attempt something new – never been tried. They also don’t seem to be afraid to fail. That’s a pretty freeing environment for innovation!

This is, admittedly, a rose-colored and romanticized view of a city of over a million people. I mean it ain’t all roses and rainbows in this city (you’ve have to have some more sun for that). There are the homeless toughing it out in an awfully unforgiving climate and the other trials and tribulations that come with a city of this size.

Nonetheless, I was impressed with Seattle’s ability to draw and keep so much innovation. It’s not the meteorological climate that draws this spirit. I think it’s a different kind of climate.

What ever it is, I like it a lot. There is an energy and optimism to it. A feeling that all of us have something to add – and that it’s our civic duty to add it.

They should bottle that! It’s intoxicating … addictive!

I'll be hoppin' along now ...

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