Today we decided to start with the Grey Line Seattle Sightseeing Hop-On-Hop-Off City Tour. These tours are a great way to become familiar with a city by taking a guided tour that supplies you with history and allows flexibility for exploring the sights.
While on the tour, our guide pointed out several notable locations between stops. One of the most noteworthy was the Edgewater Hotel, built on Pier 67. It was originally constructed for the World’s Fair in 1962, but wasn’t completed until five days after the fair ended. It has a unique history nonetheless. The design of this hotel is quite distinctive, as it was built on and in such a way guests could fish from their hotel room windows. Over the years many famous musicians have stayed at this hotel, from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin. In fact a famous photograph of the Beatles was taken here as they fished from their hotel room window.
Our first stop of the day was Pike Place Market. It’s home to over 200 commercial businesses, from bakeries to restaurants and has been in operation now for over 100 years. It’s even home to the original Starbucks, hence the name of their Pikes Place coffee.
Looking for fresh produce or a fresh bouquet of flowers, this is the place for you. And if sea food is your thing, there are a plethora of vendors to choose from; some even put on a small production with the sale of each fish. (Check out the Pike Place Fish Co.) The market is loved by both locals and visitors alike, attracting approximately 10 million visitors a year and a must see in Seattle.
Our second stop was Pioneer Square, the oldest section of Seattle and home to the city’s oldest bar, The Central Saloon. There is much to do in this part of town as well with many unique restaurants and shops (check out Utilikilts) lining the streets. One also finds a number of sightseeing tours in this area, too such as The Underground Tour and the Spooked in Seattle Tour.
Our main focus in Pioneer Square was to explore a few used bookstores in the area. Our fist top, Seattle Mystery Bookshop, this store has a great mix of both new and used mystery novels to choose from and the staff is friendly and very knowledgeable of all things mystery, crime or thrillers. Next we explored Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers, this store specializes in rare, hard to find and out of print books, but don’t let that stop you from venturing in. They do have a good selection of newer books, too.
Our final stop of the day was the Downtown Shopping District. Here you will find many conventional stores, including the very first Nordstrom’s department store and an old theater converted into a Banana Republic.
While you are in this area make sure to visit Westlake Park public plaza. This plaza is surrounded by shops on one side and a Westlake Center all on the other, but its best known for its buzz of activity. If there is any reason for public awareness or a political protest this is the place to be and it’s where we saw the one year Occupy movement march assemble.
Directly across from this plaza one can visit the most expensive Starbucks store in the world, purchased for its prime location for media coverage due to all of the political activity nearby. Did you know, there are 192 Starbucks in the downtown area of Seattle alone!
Check out more of our pictures on Pinterest!
Want to experience some of the sights mentioned throughout the blog series on Seattle? Contact Ingenious Travel today to book your long weekend!
Look like you are having a great time… Enjoy it, and can’t wait to hear about that Expensive Starbucks LOL
I’d love to see photos of the first Starbucks!
Enjoy every moment! And yes, we are curious about Starbucks!
WOW! I always enjoy reading your posts!! Love the pics, descriptions etc. I feel like I’ve already been there! Thank you so much for providing such detailed information!
I almost feel like I am there! I would love to visit the original Starbucks…so cool!
Know I want to see the first starbucks ! That’s very cool! My online dating business has a headquarters in Seattle and I need to go visit! Now I know all the best places to visit while I’m there!
Absolutely! Please let us know if you have any questions about the attractions.
I love Seattle. We visited there a few years ago, and I really enjoyed it. I like the Pike Place Market as well. They were busy throwing fish around when we stopped by – fun to watch.
We always hear about how grey and rainy it is in Seattle … but from your pictures it looks like a sunny day. Hope they were all like that! The hop-on-hop-off tour sounds ideal; you have a guided path but do it at your own pace … what a great idea!
As a long time Washingtonian, I love seeing places in Seattle I haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet. Now I’m going to have to find a way to check out Wessel & Leiberman Booksellers!
It’s a unique bookstore. The staff is very friendly and helpful. They even recommend other resources to help find what you’re looking for.
How fun! I’ve never been to Seattle but now i simply HAVE to! Fantastic review!
Seattle looks like a great place to visit and do some site seeing. I hope that you enjoy your trip. Thanl you for sharing !
It is a great place to visit. Hope you get to check it out.
Enjoy your trip. Always heard Seattle was a very wet , rainy place but your pics look like it would be fun.
We were amazed as to how dry it was, too. The Grayline tour guide told us Miami actually got more rain than Seattle. The difference, Miami gets a downpour and Seattle gets a long lasting drizzle.
I would really love to visit Seattle and take a tour with you as my guide! These are beautiful places to visit!
Thank you! I’d be happy to, just let me know when!
Maria, Lucky you! I would LOVE to go to Seattle and to follow this itinerary. Looks like a blast!
It’s on my bucket list!! Seattle is one place I would love to visit especially after reading this post! I have heard so much about the Pike Place Fish Co.! I’m hopping over to Pinterest to see more pictures!!
It’s truly amazing and thought the pictures are great, it doesn’t beat seeing it in person. Enjoy the pictures!
OK, I’ll bite, why was that one the most expensive Starbucks?
I have never been to Seattle, but it sounds great! I love your photos and descriptions of things you did. Sounds like the things I would want to do, especially the bookstores!
It looks such a fabulous place to visit! Thanks Maira!
Looks like an amazing place to visit!
I was going to share this to Facebook, but the sharing buttons are not working.
I couldn’t get the facebook/twitter share buttons to work either
Thanks for the heads-up. I’ll look into it.
OK, so I’m curious, why is it the most expensive Starbucks? 🙂 Was it the “original” one and you pay for ambience, etc.?
Thanks for asking. This Starbucks is at Westlake Center and is directly across the street from Westlake Plaza where many demonstrations and protests are held. The press is always there covering the political activity with this store in the background. This use to be a Seattle’s Best Coffee location. Starbucks wanted it. They offered several millions for that one location, but Seattle’s Best said no. They went back and forth for a while with many negotiations. Since they couldn’t get location, Starbucks bought the company. All this for one location! It’s amazing what one will pay for publicity.
Great photos to go with great info on Seattle. I’m guessing that’s the *Bucks that figured out how to overroast the beans to make them more addicting first 🙂
OK, as I am sitting in Starbucks, writing this comment, I realize that I need to make that pilgrimage to the original Starbucks. Gotta see where it all started!
Along with the original, you’ll have another 191 of them to check out down town! We were quite surprised to learn there were that many.
Thanks for the tour! Looks and sounds like a great time.
Love Seattle! Great virtual visit with your post.