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Travel Logs January 2013

Compulsive Traveler

Visit Seattle – The Emerald City

By Sandra Scott

Check out Air Force One which is only one of 150 planes on exhibit at the world’s largest private air and space museum. Several simulators allows visitors to experience an aerial dogfight or what it is like to operate a glider or match skills with an astronaut trying to link up with the Hubble Space Telescope.

vt_scott13janWith its impressive location on the Puget Sound backed by the mountains Seattle has a lot to offer tourists. The largest city in the Pacific Northwest was once known as the “Queen City” but more recently the “Emerald City” in reference to the evergreen forest that surrounds it. Many see it as the “Gateway to Alaska.” Regardless, there is plenty to see and do. Seattle CityPass is a great way to save big on admission tickets to the most popular attractions.

  1. Space Needle: Fifty years old in 2012, the 605-foot Space Needle is the iconic image of Seattle. When it was completed for the World’s Fair it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. It is the best place to get a view of the area. An elevator whisks visitors to the observation deck with viewing from both the inside and outside, plus there is a snack bar, gift shop and a revolving restaurant.
  2. Chihuly Garden of Glass: The works of Dale Chihuly make up an eye-popping, magical display of color. This newest attraction at Seattle Center is truly amazing. The large, colorful artwork in the Exhibition Hall, the 40-foot tall Glasshouse, and the Garden create an enchanting experience. The unique Garden has four monumental glass sculptures amid the trees and plants.
  3. Pacific Science Center: Learning is fun for visitors of all ages. Learning about the tiniest insects to the largest dinosaurs is fun. Wander through the butterfly house for a surreal experience. There are more than 300 interactive exhibits, two IMAX theaters, and a plethora of hands-on activities along with scheduled demonstrations.
  4. EMP Museum: The free-flowing building creates the perfect setting for music that allows the energy flow. Exhibits explore the most definitive aspects of rock music, science fiction, and popular culture. Check out their On Stage interactive experience with guitar, drums, and keyboard just waiting for you to create your own music video complete with hot lights and screaming fans.
  5. Argosy Harbor Tour: Water defines the city of Seattle so no visit can be considered complete without at least one water tour. For starters take the one-hour harbor cruise of Elliott Bay to learn about the changing scene of the city’s waterfront with the Cascade and Olympic mountains as a backdrop for the city’s spectacular skyline. Another one of their great tours includes locking through the Chittenden locks that connects the salty Puget Sound with the fresh water of Lake Union.
  6. Seattle Aquarium: Located on the waterfront, the aquarium is up close and personal with the denizens of the local waters. A huge tank replicates the Washington shore filled with more than 800 fish and invertebrates indigenous to the local waters. Two large exhibit pools have touch zones. Learn about the uniqueness of the tidal pools. Check out the 12-foot high glass donut where visitors are surrounded by ethereal jelly fish and can watch octopus feeding at various times.
  7. Woodland Park Zoo: Lions, tigers and bears – oh my! Only New York’s Bronx zoo has won more Best National Exhibits awards from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Don’t miss the award-winning Tropical Rain Forest with a habitat for jaguars, Tropical Asia with an Elephant Forest, and the African Savanna which is entered via a model African village. Check the daily program schedule that includes exciting feeding times for a variety of the animal residents.
  8. Museum of Flight: Check out Air Force One which is only one of 150 planes on exhibit at the world’s largest private air and space museum. Several simulators allows visitors to experience an aerial dogfight or what it is like to operate a glider or match skills with an astronaut trying to link up with the Hubble Space Telescope. Check the schedule for free docent-guided tours and informational talks by veterans.
  9. Wining and Dining: Seattle is a culinary nirvana with the emphasis on farm- and sea- fresh ingredients creatively prepared. Libations range from Seattle-born Starbucks’s coffee to micro brews to wineries. Don’t miss Pike Place Market for fresh food and more.
  10. And more: Name your pleasure – gambling, golf, hiking, spas, performing arts, street entertainment, professional sports, and shopping – and you will find it in the dynamic city of Seattle. Check out visitseattle.org for more information.

 

Sandra Scott travels the globe recording the top attractions at every destination.

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