9 Free Things To Do in Seattle in 3 Neighborhoods Every Weekend

Spring is in the air. Get out and explore Seattle for free. Go find something new. Here are 9 free spots to get started. Click on the links for more detailed information about each location. If you have questions or would like some ideas for places to stop along the way to grab a bite, cup of coffee, or a cocktail shoot me an email. Happy Jaunting!

Capitol Hill

Visit Bruce Lee’s grave. Lake View Cemetery, 1554 15th AVE E, Seattle WA 98112

This scenic cemetery was established in 1872 and is the resting place for many of Seattle’s historic figures. It is also located right  next to Volunteer Park which is a great free place to explore.

Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

This museum is always free and also provides free parking directly across the street. The Frye is one of my all time favorite Seattle Finds. They showcase both permanent collections and temporary exhibits. The cafe may not be free but the food is delicious and reasonably priced if you need to fuel up.

Compline Service at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1245 10th AVE E, Seattle WA 98102

Every Sunday at 9:30pm.  Since 1956 this service has been completely sung by an outstanding choir. Join hundreds of others in a beautiful setting for this peaceful time of contemplation and reflection. Doors open at 9:00. Casual dress is fine. You can even bring blankets to lay on the floor.

Pioneer Square

Klondike Gold Rush Museum 319 2nd Ave South, Seattle, WA 98104

This is America’s only indoor national park. Is it the smallest? Ask a ranger for the answer on your visit. Admission is always free and in the Summer free walking tours are offered too! Interactive exhibits and films make this a fun place to learn about Seattle’s history.

Intrigue Chocolate Company 157 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104

Absolutely love this place. Go visit for a free tasting anytime they are open. I almost hate to tell you this is a free stop because I can never leave here without purchasing at least one truffle bar. Thankfully they have punch cards so you can earn a free bar! Say Hi to owners Karl and Aaron.  Ask them anything you want to know about chocolate.

Glasshouse Studio 311 Occidental Avenue S, Seattle, WA 98104

Handblown glass was made famous in Seattle by Dale Chihuly. Good luck finding a place to watch him work. At Glasshouse Studio you can purchase all kinds of affordable handblown glass but, what I really love is watching them make it for free. Enter the storefront and walk straight to the back. There is a viewing area where you can watch artists at work.

 

Seattle Waterfront

Ye Old Curiosity Shop Pier 54,  Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104

This one is a bit of a tease. Due to construction on the Waterfront Ye Old Curiosity Shop has been open and then closed several times. I just spoke with them on the phone and they are not open this weekend (2/27-28) but expect to be open next Tuesday (3/1/16) in their new permanent location 150 feet from their original location on Pier 54. Save this one for a later date. Looking is always free and believe me along with the real mummies, shrunken heads and whale penis there are heaps of things for curious minds of all ages. Established 1899!

Copperworks Distilling 1250 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101

Seattle has become home to numerous distilleries. Check out this local space for free tastings of Gin, aged Gin, vodka and coming soon single Malt Whiskey.

Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Walk, run, stroll, photograph, and play on a breathtaking jaunt through this park/art exhibit along the shore of Elliott Bay. Start at Pier 70 for a photo op with the newest installation, Echo. Walk down Pier 70 towards the restaurant Aqua. Stop halfway down the pier, lean up against the railing and take a selfie with Echo. Give her a great big smooch.

Kiss Echo

Kiss Echo

 

Posted in Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square, Seattle, seattle waterfront, Things to do Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Free and Low Cost Things to Do for the Holidays in Seattle 2015

Whenever I take a jaunt into Seattle I feel like I’ve taken a mini vacation. Go explore using these free and low cost holiday spots as a launching point. Seattle is an incredible city plus the walking is great exercise! If you need the holiday calories stop in at Fran’s chocolate on 1st just outside Pike Place Market or Intrigue Chocolates in Pioneer Square for free samples.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy 2016!

Stacy

P.S. I create this list as a holiday gift for members of my PRO Sports Club classes.  Unfortunately I am not able to give the free guest passes to non members.

Free and Low Cost Things To Do Over The Holidays In Seattle 2015

Bring a friend to PRO Club:

Attached you will find a complimentary guest pass good through 2016! Go enjoy any of our amazing free classes or pay for a single session at any of our fee classes. Either way their entrance to the club is FREE! I will have more passes in class through next week. Come see me for yours.

Teddy Bear Suite Fairmont Olympic Hotel 

Take a ride up the elevator to a suite of rooms decorated for the holidays and filled with teddy bears of every variety.  The Teddy Bear Suite raises money for Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Runs thru December 30, 2015, 11 AM-5PM Monday-Thursday and 10 AM-7PM Friday-Sunday (and Christmas Eve).

Gingerbread Village Sheraton Hotel

The theme this year is Star Wars Each year local architects and the culinary staff at the Sheraton try to out-do each other with wondrous creations. You’ll mostly wonder how on earth they made such amazing things out of gingerbread and candy! Donations go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. The Gingerbread Village is open 24 hours per day from November 24, 2015-January 3, 2016. If the lines are long go inside and look at the village from outside the ropes. You can still see almost all of the displays and there is no waiting. 

Westlake Holiday Carousel

http://www.downtownseattle.com/mid/events/holiday-carousel/

This wooden carousel is a Seattle tradition! Take a spin through January 1, 2016. Located in downtown Seattle at Westlake Mall.

Hours of Operation                                                            Special Hours

Mon. – Thurs.  11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Nov. 27 – 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri. – 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Dec. 13 – 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sat. – 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Dec. 24 – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun. – 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Dec. 25 – Closed
  Dec. 31 – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jan. 1 – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

ONGOING WINTERFEST EVENTS: Seattle Center

http://www.seattlecenter.com/winterfest/

Winter Train & Village
Nov. 27 – Dec. 31
10am – 6pm daily
Special Hours: closed at 4pm, Dec. 24; closed, Dec. 25
Seattle Center Armory, FREE

A Winterfest crowd favorite, an exhibit featuring an enchanting turn-of-the-century village and train. Take a turn “conducting” the model train between 10:30am – 12 noon, 1pm– 2:30pm, and 3:30pm – 5:30pm daily. $2 suggested donation.

Winterfest Ice Rink
Nov. 27 – Jan. 3, 2016
Sunday – Thursday 11am – 8pm
Friday – Saturday 11am – 10pm
Special Hours: closed at 4pm, Dec. 24; closed, Dec. 25; open until 11:30pm, Dec. 31
Fisher Pavilion

Admission: $7 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 – 12, $2 children ages 5 and under, includes skate rental. Cash only.

Winterfest Student Showcases (over 100 performances)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 20, various times
Armory, FREE

Seattle Center Student Showcases fill the Armory Atrium with the sounds and sights of the season as they offer public and private schools and youth groups the opportunity to share their artistic accomplishments with family, friends, and the public. Check the website above for more details.

Winterfest Ice Sculpting
Saturdays: Nov. 28; Dec. 5, 12, 19, 26
12 noon – 2pm
Outside Fisher Pavilion, FREE

Watch internationally acclaimed, award-winning artists at work as they create seasonal sculptures — or stop by later to see the glistening result. Each Saturday an ice master will carve a different design.

Wild Lights Woodland Park Zoo

November 27, 2015 – January 3, 2016 | 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Closed Dec. 24 & 25. Zoo grounds open until 9:00 p.m. No entry after 8:30 p.m.
FREE Parking during Wild Lights Event.
Ticket Information: Adults (13+) $9.95, Children (3-12) $6.95, Toddlers (0-2) Free

Snow Showers Inside Pacific Place
Get into the holiday spirit, amid a flurry of snowflakes, indoors each night in the atrium at Pacific Place. Enjoy free musical performances on the weekends, from traditional choirs to upbeat jazz ensemble,  from noon-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-7 p.m. as well as during the week of Christmas. View the performance schedule here.

http://www.pacificplaceseattle.com/event/pacific-place-holiday-entertainment/2145464349

Location: Pacific Place, 600 Pine St., Seattle Wa, 98101

Dates: Nov. 27-Dec. 24, 2015
Time: 6 p.m. (snow showers last approximately 10 minutes)
Cost: Free

SAM Lights: A Winter Evening of Art, Music and Lights
This year, SAM debuts a magical light and luminary display at Olympic Sculpture Park. It’s a one night only deal on Dec. 17 and it’s where art lovers of all ages can walk the paths alight with luminaries, hundreds of lights and the looming shadows of your favorite outdoor installations in the background. Once you’ve walked the grounds, warm up inside the Pavilion and let your little artist play with blocks and create his or her own delightful artwork at the Kids’ Play Station. All that’s left is a little music to set the mood and some food trucks to fill your tummies with good eats and hot cider to sip. This event is free, but RSVP’s are requested in the form of online tickets.

Location: Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave, Seattle, Wa 98121
Dates: Dec. 17, 2015
Times: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Cost: Free (RSVP tickets required)
Onlineseattleartmuseum.org/visit/calendar/events?EventId=35594

St. Mark’s Compline

This service takes place every Sunday all year long at 9:30pm. It’s a beautiful contemplative service that is entirely sung. You can bring blankets to lay down on the floor or sit in traditional pews. Casual comfortable dress is totally OK. It’s a beautiful church on Capitol Hill and a nice place to pray, meditate or just have some quiet reflective time listening to beautiful voices. Complinechoir.org

Getting downtown:

Metro bus is a great way to go. Park at the Eastgate Park and Ride by Bellevue College or the South Kirkland Park and Ride over by 520. Visit tripplanner.kingcounty.gov to plan your route. I take the #255 from the South Kirkland Park and Ride. It will drop you right underneath Macy’s, the heart of Pioneer Square and the International District without having to transfer. Plus, it only takes about 20 minutes.

Parking

Driving downtown doesn’t have to be a parking nightmare! Visit http://downtownseattle.com/parking

Locate parking garages that offer $3 per hour parking up to 4 hours in any downtown neighborhood. You can even check to see how many spaces are available before you drive into the garage.

The waterfront offers easy access to Pike Place and the downtown retail core. Take advantage of this FREE valet parking! Now through Dec. 31, receive FREE valet parking for up to 3 hours when you shop, dine or enjoy an attraction on Seattle’s Waterfront.

Follow these steps to get FREE Valet Parking:

  • Click on this link.
  • Follow steps to download the Luxe app and create an account.
  • You will be asked to upload a credit card, but you will not be charged for parking fees.
  • Press “Request Valet” before you start your car no matter where you are. This ensures a valet is ready for your arrival.
  • You’ll see your drop-off pin is automatically set to Waterfront Park.
  • Your blue jacketed valet will be waiting to park your car when you arrive at the Waterfront.
  • Visit a participating Seattle Waterfront business and obtain a Parking Voucher.
  • When you need your car back, you can:
    1. Schedule a time and we’ll have you car waiting for you at the destination and time you specified OR
    2. Request a return on-demand (please allow 25 mins for return).
  • Hand the Seattle Waterfront Parking Voucher to the valet.

 

Posted in Seattle, Things to do, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

Ever heard the Pike Place Market opening bell? Experience this and 7 other unique Seattle Finds in one fun morning!

The Market is waking up.

The Market is waking up.

There is something magical about morning at Pike Place Market. It feels personal and intimate. The sleepy market pulls back the covers as vendors start to arrive. It’s quiet. There is room to move about freely and see things usually hidden behind the flood of people who arrive later in the day. Crates of produce, fresh off the smattering of delivery trucks, litter the walkways. The formation of colorful fruit, veggie and flower bouquet displays build energy and coax the Market to life. I love the hustle and bustle of the Market when it’s brimming with people but, there is something special about these early hours. It’s a bit like chillin’ back stage with The Rolling Stones before they perform for an excited crowd.

Pike Place Market’s official opening bell was the catalyst for this Seattle Finds jaunt. I have visited the Market many times in the morning and have never heard a bell. So when I read one is rung at 9am each morning I knew I had to go find it!

This jaunt ended up including Storyville Coffee, a stroll through the awakening Market, a walk down to the Waterfront and through the Olympic Sculpture Park, a quick greeting and photo with Echo, opening bell, Sosio’s Produce, Market Spice, and the Urban Garden. Take off and find the bell on your own or read on and plan for 2 1/2 hours for this jaunt,  not including transportation.

Heading into the Market - Inn at the Market

Heading into the Market – Inn at the Market

We arrived at the Market uncaffeinated. Not a good state for me. First stop; coffee! No one else in our group had been to Storyville Coffee before. I happen to be a fan of their salted caramel cinnamon rolls and their gorgeous space perched over the cobblestone street that runs through the middle of the Market. They also have comfy couches and a fireplace for for those chilly wet Seattle mornings. Located in the Corner Market Building, they open at 7am everyday. Climb the stairs  to the top floor and they are at the end of the hall. We wandered past the Inn at the Market through Post Alley on our way there.

Storyville Coffee Company

Storyville Coffee Company

Staying in or near the Market overnight is a great way to experience it in the early morning.A couple years ago my thoughtful mom sent my husband and I to the Inn at the Market for 2 nights. If you have the opportunity to stay here it is well worth it. The hotel is top notch. Many of the rooms have views of Elliott Bay. In warmer weather you can take full advantage of the amazing outdoor deck that looks out over the Market.

Grab your coffee and stroll. Take your time. Find a few things you want to come back and see when they are open. This is also a good time to find the Roll Call Board located at the North end of the North Arcade. (click here for MAP) This is where you will want to be a few minutes before 9am to see and hear the Opening Bell.

Roll call Board

Roll call Board

Pick up your pace and continue out the entrance to the right of the roll call board, down the sidewalk, go left across Western at the crosswalk and over to Victor Steinbrueck Park. There is a nice view of Elliott Bay here if you want to come back later. Turn right on Western and continue North for one block.  Take a left on Lenora.  Follow Lenora to the top of a staircase. This will take you down to the Waterfront. There is also an elevator if you need it. Once at the bottom take a right and continue North on Alaskan Way. At the very end you will see a fountain with a man and a boy, continue straight. This is the beginning of the Olympic Sculpture Park. The trail goes for 1.25 miles each way but you won’t have time for the whole trail. Keep an eye on the time. There are a lot of great finds here. We strolled the small strip of beach, looked at some of the art and enjoyed the scenery. On the way back we took a few photos of Echo.

Kiss Echo

Kiss Echo

At 46 feet high, this sculpture of Echo was modeled on the 9-year old daughter of a restaurant owner near the artist’s studio in Barcelona. With computer modeling, Plensa elongates and abstracts the girl’s features. The sculpture references Echo, the mountain nymph from Greek mythology. As told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Echo offended the goddess Hera by keeping her engaged in conversation, and preventing her from spying on one of Zeus’s amours. To punish Echo, Hera deprived the nymph of speech, except for the ability to repeat the last words of another. Plensa created this monumental head of Echo, listening with her eyes closed or in a state of meditation. The artist envisions Echo to look out over Puget Sound in the direction of Mount Olympus. (Seattle PI, Scott Sunde) Echo was donated to Seattle Art Museum by local dweller, and art collector,  Barney A. Ebsworth. Thanks Barney!

For some added Seattle Finds fun as you exit the park turn right and walk down Pier 70 towards the restaurant Aqua. About half way down the pier turn around and give Echo a kiss. My friend Monty, a huge fan and regular patron of Aqua, discovered this photo op during Echo’s installation. Clever fellow that Monty. I should add that Aqua is a phenomenal restaurant with one of the best restaurant views in Seattle, complete with a large outdoor patio, fire pits, and all day happy hour on Sunday.

From here we walked briskly back to the Market the way we came and ended up at the Roll Call Board about 8:50am. There were lots of vendors gathered there and not many tourists. At 9am sharp a woman standing in front of the Roll Call Board waved a hand held brass bell above the crowd exactly one time. Not a lot of fanfare. I had hoped to video tape the bell ringing and put it here on the blog but it happened faster than a greased Sasquatch sliding down the Space Needle. Having said that you might think I was disappointed by my Seattle Find. On the contrary, I loved it!  The ringing of the bell is a traditional part of actual business at the Market. I’m glad they don’t gussie it up as a tourist attraction.

Official Opening Bell with Vendors

Official Opening Bell with Vendors

While we were standing there a pleasant gentleman in a tan fedora hat approached to see if we knew what was going on. He introduced himself as Rob, the unofficial Ambassador of the Market. Rob has been a craft vendor for over 10 years selling his handmade puppets. A wealth of information, he explained how the white board worked, showed us where vendors sign in every morning to let the organizers know they are there and then wait to see if their seniority will secure them a spot that day. Although there are a few vendors who are grandfathered in, most vendors must sell handcrafted locally made items. Visit Rob at Planet of the Puppets located on the Desimone Bridge. He would love to chat you up and answer any questions you have. He told me so himself. Tell him Seattle Finds sent you. I should mention that the same craft vendors are not at the Market every day. If you see something you like; buy it! It may not be there if you come back on another day.

Vendor, Kenneth, photobombing Rob the Puppet Maker

Vendor, Kenneth, photobombing Rob the Puppet Maker

I missed capturing the bell but if you are interested here is a short video that includes the bell and tells you a bit about the artists at the Market. Rob makes a brief appearance with a couple of his puppets.

After chatting with Rob we wandered South towards the produce vendors and made a few purchases from Mike at Sosio’s. I’ve met Mike on other jaunts and his produce stand is my favorite. He is always hospitable and even though they were starting to get busy he took the time to talk with us about his famous and hidden artichokes and how to cook the garlic spears I was purchasing. Talk to the vendors and ask them questions about their wares. People are the best Seattle Finds!

Continuing south we headed into Market Spice to try a sample of their famous tea. They always have a pot brewed with sample cups on a table in the back. If you like cinnamon you will love it! They also carry my favorite herbal tea, An Evening in Missoula, and have an unbelievable assortment of spices.

Our last stop is a new find for me. Truly, this is what I love about jaunting through the Market. No matter how many times I come, there is always something new to discover. One of the women with me had previously stumbled across the Seattle Urban Garden while dining at Maximilien. As you exit Market Spice go left towards the entrance to Maximilien. Before you get there turn left down a short hallway and exit onto an outdoor deck. This is a wonderful spot to sit with your coffee, breakfast or some other snack you purchased in the Market.  Don’t eat anything from the garden. It’s purpose is to help feed low income residents of the Market. Grab a little breakfast as you wander out to the rest of your day.

Pike Place Market Urban Garden

Pike Place Market Urban Garden

Market Spice

Market Spice

That’s the end of this jaunt. As always I encourage you to veer off my path, make discoveries of your own and meet people along the way. Post what you find in the comments section.

One final nugget, Pike Place Market is where you are visiting. Not Pike’s Place. The location is referred to as Pike Place Market, Pike Place, or just The Market. Using the apostrophe S is kind of like when people call me Tracy and my name is Stacy. I’m probably not going to correct you but that one letter  kind of hangs there in the air between us. My friends call me by my real name. Get friendly with Pike Place.   No matter what you end up saying; Go find it!

Tracy Stacy

Posted in Pike Place Market, Seattle, seattle waterfront, Things to do, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Seattle’s International District and Pioneer Square: Filled with Hidden Gems

International District
20150312_124511

International District

Seattle is full of nooks and crannies housing some of our most interesting assets. This Jaunt will take you to a few of those off the beaten path places in the International District, and Pioneer Square.

If you follow my jaunt exactly, plan on exploring a full 4 hours. You can easily spend 4 hours in each of these areas for an all day experience. If you are short on time pick one of the neighborhoods and spend 2 hours. As always, this is a guide for your own Seattle tour. You can follow it exactly but veering off my path can be more fun. There is so much to see and do you can come back to the same place over and over again and have completely different experiences. Let me know if you find something you loved in the comments section. I am always looking for more great Seattle Finds!

This jaunt will take you to a speakeasy sushi and noodle bar (515 S. Main Seattle), Panama Hotel, The Pinball Museum, Mystery Bookshop, E. Smith Mercantile back bar, Waterfall Garden Park, Intrigue Chocolates and several other shops along the way. Go ahead and get started or read the detailed jaunt below. Clicking on the links will take you to more information about each destination.

Transportation for this jaunt was by King County Metro bus and on foot. Since I live on the Eastside we took the 255 bus all the way into the International District transit tunnel station. You can follow the link HERE to plan your own route.

If you drive there are several garages in Seattle that offer $3 an hour parking for up to 4 hours. Watch the time. If you go beyond the 4 hours, even by a couple minutes, the rate is substantially higher. The other option is street parking. Watch where you park some locations only allow 2 hour parking maximums. In my opinion if you are going to be parking at either place for more than two hours you are better off parking in one of the $3 garages listed on this SITE.

And we are off!

Tsukushinbo

Tsukushinbo

Friends happened upon a small Sushi and Noodle bar while they were staying downtown last summer and challenged me to find it. I did. The restaurant does not have any signage and they do not advertise but they were packed. The photo here is of the outside so that you will recognize the door but I will leave the interior for you to discover on your own.

While we were waiting in line outside I stepped into Plus 45 Design, an interesting shop next door filled mostly with housewares. Rob was very helpful and nice to visit with. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times, people make jaunting a rich and memorable experience. Make sure you meet some folks along the way. Ask them where you should go, what their favorite spot is, or how they ended up in Seattle and why they stay.

Plus 45 Design

Plus 45 Design

After a wonderful meal at Tsukushinbo, they have business cards inside with their name, we headed up the street and saw the Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee House. We hadn’t planned on tea or coffee so soon after lunch but how could we pass this up. Turns out this is the hotel in the book The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a book based in Seattle. It is also a National Historic Landmark. Located in the basement of the building is the only in tact surviving Japanese public bathhouse in the United States. They used to give regular tours but I was told they don’t do that anymore. However, if you call and talk to Jan, the owner, she may be able to arrange something for you. While you are there for a cup of tea or coffee look through the window in the floor. Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Many of them stashed their belongings in the basement of the Panama Hotel and never returned to claim them. You are peering into a slice of Seattle and American history. The hotel is still open to guests for overnight stays. This was my favorite find of the day. I’m planning on returning for a tour of my own and the tea was wonderful.

Panama Hotel

Panama Hotel

From here we wandered down to the Pinball Museum. A place I have wanted to come find for a while. For a flat fee wanna be pinball wizards can play on all of  their over 30 machines dating from 1930 to present. Wow! This would be a really fun stop for families or a group of friends. Since we weren’t planning on staying for too long we only took a peak at the machines for a future visit. Even that was fun. There is a lot of history inside and it brought back some good childhood memories.

Pinball Museum

Pinball Museum

Uwajimaya is another place that brings back childhood memories. Everyone in my family loved Sushi, except me. Hard to believe I was a picky eater as a kid.  My mom shopped at the Bellevue location a lot when I was young. The Bellevue store of my youth has moved to another location and is bigger and nicer but, the Seattle store is Bellevue on steroids. Head inside and look around and you will see what I mean. This is a good place for lunch or a snack. Pick up a box of melt in your mouth rice candy. Yum!

After walking around a bit head back to the metro tunnel to ride into Pioneer Square or walk there. It’s not far. If you are visiting Seattle for the first time walking to Pioneer Square down and around 2nd AVE can be a bit unsettling especially if you are not from a big city. We have a large homeless population and one of our, in my opinion, best shelters in the area is located here. Just walk like you normally do. If you are asked for money it’s OK to smile and say not today. More often than not, no one says anything to me. If you feel led to give, give to the Union Gospel Mission not to people individually. After working for almost 10 years with homeless young adults and teens this is the best advice I feel I can give. Seattle is a wonderful city in great part due to our diversity. Remember every person has a story.

Once in Pioneer Square pace yourself. There is a lot to explore here. Our purpose for visiting today was to peruse the Seattle Mystery Bookshop for the first time. I love bookstores and I had never been in this one before. I’m bringing my daughter next time. She loves True Crime and mystery books. This place is filled with them. Lots of local authors too. I have The Beaumont series by JA Jance listed on my Books page. I found the one I needed used for $3. Score!

Seattle Mystery Bookshop

Seattle Mystery Book Shop

Next stop Diva Dollz. This is one of the shops I like to pop into in case they have that perfect something that I didn’t even know I was looking for. They carry pin up style dresses, tops, skirts and pants in unique fabrics that you won’t find elsewhere. Unfortunately nothing today. But I will be back. Next door is Utilikilts. Have fun browsing the diverse kilt styles. All the males in our friend pack get a kilt on their 50th birthday. My husband has 2 more birthdays to go. Which one will he choose?

The shopping is ridiculously diverse down here. All the way from the world’s largest bass guitar store, Bass Northwest, to The Belfry selling taxidermy and other oddities.

Before you leave the area in front of Utilikilt, take a look around. This is the heart of Pioneer Square. Take notice of the Iron Pergola and Tlingit Totem Pole. The site was originally the city’s first mill built in 1853 by Henry Yesler. The totem pole was originally stolen in 1899 from the Tlingit tribe in Alaska and the Pergola was built in 1909 as a stop for cable cars.

Peak around the corner from the Totem and Pergola up James Street and see what appears to be the bow of a sinking ship. Considered one of the ugliest buildings in Seattle, its creation prompted the preservation act that made Pioneer Square an historic district.

Take a walk down Yesler Way. There are shops and restaurants to visit here but the more significant thing about Yesler is its history. Known as the original Skid Road (Skid Row), lumber literally was skidded down this road to the waterfront. The term Skid Row became related to poverty and debauchery because it was along this street that many of Seattle’s poor and unemployed spent their time drinking and hanging out.

History buffs will enjoy The Underground Seattle Tour that departs from 608 1st AVE and the Klondike Gold Rush Museum. The only indoor national park in America. It’s Interactive, interesting and FREE. It is located entirely within a brick three-story building at the northwest corner of Second Avenue South and South Jackson Street. The building is poorly signed. Look for a sidewalk sandwich board at the corner of S. Jackson St and Second Ave South. The Cadillac Hotel sign is on the park building. We did not go to either of these places on this jaunt. If you do allow at least a couple more hours for your jaunt.

E. Smith Mercantile Back Bar

E. Smith Mercantile Back Bar

From the Pergola head South on 1st to E. Smith Mercantile. This is one of my favorite shops and cocktail spots in Seattle. It looks like a shop you might find during the gold rush. Apothecary on the wall, and a cozy prohibition style back bar. Owners Jessie and Kate are very hospitable, great jewelry, craft cocktail makings and other unique items. Happy Hour from 3-6pm and all day Monday. Small bites from 3pm on. They are also offering classes and chef dinners in their cellar. They sell out so sign up quickly when you see something that interests you.

After a beautiful cocktail and a little snack, more exploring. Two other places I can rarely pass up are the DRY Soda tasting room and Intrigue Chocolate. DRY Soda, a local Seattle company,  offers a free tasting of all their 11 flavors. They have a limited edition flavor coming out in August 2015. Don’t know what it is yet. So exciting! Open 11-5 M-F. Go visit Conner and tell him Seattle Finds sent you. I’ll say it again; it’s the people you meet that add heart to your jaunt and make it memorable.

Intrigue Chocolates down the hall on the left!

Intrigue Chocolates down the hall on the left!

Intrigue Chocolate,  also locally owned, is a little trickier to find. The shop is located in an old Chinese laundry building. You have to go up a flight of stairs and then down a non descript long hallway to find them. Look for the sandwich board on the sidewalk. Partake in the free tasting offered to visitors. Don’t leave without purchasing one of their amazing truffle bars. After a recent visit I was informed they will be opening a storefront with more space and easier access very soon. I am currently enjoying the Lavendar and smoked salt truffle bar. People, this is why I walk everywhere. Too much good food and drink in this city!

More wandering took us to Bon Voyage Vintage on S. Washington. I love places that bring back memories. Looking for that favorite concert T shirt you wish you still had or your Super Sonics sweatshirt? This may be the place.

Assemblage was our last stop on this jaunting day. Two floors of antique and vintage furniture, art, and housewares. I didn’t find the piece I was looking for but we had fun hunting.

Assemblage main floor

Assemblage main floor

This would be a great time for a little respite. Stop in one of the many coffee shops in the area or open one of the DRY sodas I’m sure you purchased and sit for a spell next to a hidden 22 ft. high waterfall. Waterfall Garden Park 219 2nd AVE S.

Bottom line? Get out there! It’s a great big wonderful city. My next visit to either of these places will look very different. There are so many great places. Go make your own Seattle Finds. Post them here in the comment section for others to enjoy too.

Not all those who wander are lost. JRR Tolkien

Thanks for stopping by!

Stacy

 

 

Posted in International District, Pioneer Square, Seattle, Things to do, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Explore Seattle; Follow the Coffee!

Imbibing

Imbibing

Seattle is all about the coffee. It’s a reputation we have earned for good reason. Why not jump on the coffee bandwagon and experience some of the essential Seattle experiences in a Jaunt or two?

The majority of this jaunt is on foot starting at Pike Place Market. Participation in the last stop requires transportation into the University District, or as it is locally known the U-District. Prepare to be caffeinated!

Plan for a full 4 hours. I’d start this jaunt in the morning but, starting at lunch would work too. The jaunt includes Pike Place, the Original Starbucks, Fran’s Chocolates, Seattle Coffee Works, a walk to Capitol Hill, 5 local roasteries with cafes, a few lunch suggestions along the way, and a trip to the oldest espresso bar in Seattle (It isn’t Starbucks) located in the U-District. Non-caffeinated bonus jaunting material is at the end. Launch now with the short list or read on for more details. If you can’t possibly drink this much coffee buy whole beans along the way and indulge later.

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Start at the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market, open from 6am-9pm every day. There are so many Starbucks around town you will have ample opportunity to get a beverage from them another time. You can pick up coffee mugs here that are exclusive to the original store. Loads of people would say not to bother going to this Starbucks with all the other great options. Plus, Starbucks are everywhere. I disagree. Starbucks put Seattle on the map for coffee and there is only one original store. I agree there are better places to enjoy your coffee but if you want the whole coffee experience you have to include the big guy, even if you only take a photo and buy a mug. Beginning Spring 2015 you can take a shuttle between this location and the newly opened Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room on Capitol Hill. You will be walking there for a visit on this jaunt. Head over to Seattle Coffee Works at 107 Pike Street. This small batch local roaster consistently gets mentioned as one of the best places for coffee in Seattle for good reason. Enjoy any type of espresso beverage or geek out at the slow bar for single origin coffees prepared a variety of ways.

If it’s after 9:30am and you are a chocolate lover Fran’s is a block south of Seattle Coffee Works on 1st AVE. This is one of many local chocolate makers. Fran’s is where the salted caramels made famous by President and First Lady Obama come from. You will get a free sample just for going in. Many people do not know this location has an espresso bar.  A friend of mine helped inspire a drink. It’s named after him and is called the Dark Monty. Petite, rich and delicious, it’s not on their regular menu. You have to ask for it. Warning: You better like chocolate! Jeremy, the drink’s creator, will take good care of you.

Jeremy crafting a Dark Monty at Fran's Chocolate

Jeremy crafting a Dark Monty at Fran’s Chocolate

One of my favorite things to do is grab a pastry or other breakfast item from one of the shops inside Pike Place Market. You can wander through the Market, sip your coffee, nibble on your breakfast, and purchase some fruit from one of the local vendors. My favorite produce guy is Mike at Sosio’s. There are covered places to sit throughout the Market. If it’s nice sit in Victor Steinbruek Park overlooking Elliott Bay.

Once you’ve wandered around a bit here head up Pike towards Capitol Hill. You are going to work off that pastry. It’s about a 9-block walk to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, Victrola, Broadcast, and Bauhaus. Each of these local coffee roasters have cafes.

Victrola photo grid

Victrola FREE Cupping and Tasting

If you are lucky enough to do this jaunt on a Wednesday and want to learn more about the journey of the coffee bean to your cup visit Victrola Coffee Roasters Pike Street location at 11am for a FREE cupping and tasting. No reservation needed. Show up a few minutes early and let them know you are there. CNN did an article on the worlds 8 best coffee cities. Seattle is on the list and Victrola is one of 3 shops to visit.

After your cupping you can hit 3 more local roasters within 2 blocks. The new Starbucks Roastery is right down the street. My advice? Go inside Starbucks and have a look around, it will blow your mind and it’s free to look. The line to order drinks is often out the door and onto the sidewalk. In my opinion, it’s not worth the wait when so much great coffee is literally steps away. Go check out Broadcast Coffee and Bauhaus. Both are around the block. If you are looking for respite, the upstairs at Bauhaus offers a quiet book lined place to chill.

Capitol Hill is worth exploring and after your cupping you have no shortage of food offerings. Melrose Market around the corner has multiple choices; Terra Plata even has a roof top garden for nice days. Mamnoon and Trove are Seattle hot spots and Seattle restaurateur and celebrity chef Tom Douglas opened a Serious Pie inside the Starbucks Roastery.

Baguette Box

Baguette Box

A great lunch spot is Baguette Box.This small shop offers unique, affordable and delicious sandwiches, salads, rice bowls and truffle fries. It’s not usually on the must visit restaurant lists in Seattle but it’s an amazing find.

If you aren’t hungry yet for lunch keep jaunting up Pike. Cross over Broadway and head into one of my favorite areas on Capitol Hill. Once you get to 10th AVE start exploring. You can take a left and visit Elliott Bay Book Company (café in the back), Everyday Music, and a multitude of other shops. Oddfellows Cafe is one of my favorite lunch spots in this area. But I digress. This jaunt is about coffee. So head to Molly Moon’s after lunch and get your Stumptown coffee inside a scoop of locally made and sourced ice cream.

Molly Moon's

Molly Moon’s

Everyday Music

Everyday Music

You can visit 2 more local roasters; Caffe Vita and Stumptown. Stumptown has two locations in this area,E. Pine and 12th AVE. The Roasting plant is on 12th and offers free tastings at 3pm daily. Although they roast here now they hail from Portland.

2015 marks 20 years of roasting for Caffe Vita. This popular company is definitely doing it right. Keep your eyes open ’round these parts. You may spot Jimmy Hendrix or Elvis. Did you know Elvis made a movie in Seattle? There are fantastic shops and a great park to explore. Jaunt about and dispense some of that caffeine-induced energy.

Herkimer coffee is another Seattle roaster that I love. Although they don’t have a shop in this area you can purchase a cup or whole beans while getting in one more hip Seattle coffee spot. Stroll over to Porchlight Coffee and Records on 14th between Pike and Pine. This should be about the end of your 4 hour jaunt.

For the real go getters you can continue on or save this next bit for another day. If you have been moving at lightning speed and staying focused only on coffee, it happens to be Summer so it’s light until 10pm, or you are the super energetic type, then grab a vehicle (Uber, Lyft, taxi, Metro bus or your own) and head over to the U-District.

Cafe Allegro. Seattle's oldest espresso bar

Cafe Allegro. Seattle’s oldest espresso bar

Contrary to popular belief Starbucks is not the original espresso shop in Seattle. The oldest, still running shop, is Café Allegro in the U-District. It’s worth a trip down this unassuming ivy lined alley to sip on your favorite caffeinated beverage. They are open until 10pm everyday. Explore the AVE, let the caffeine buzz subside a bit and then stop in for your espresso nightcap. Check out Scarecrow Video before you head home in case you can’t sleep after all that coffee. FYI this Mecca of video stores with over 120,000 titles also has an espresso bar. This is Seattle after all.

BONUS:
non-caffeinated jaunting material for the U-District

If you have time while you are in this area, take a walk through the University of Washington’s (UW) beautiful campus. It’s a cornerstone of Seattle culture. They offer free tours, mostly for potential students but anyone can tag along. I suggest making a reservation for the tour since they do fill up. Definitely visit the Suzzallo Library Reading Room. If you visit UW in the spring the cherry blossoms are stunning!

Did you read The Boys in the Boat? If it’s a gorgeous day rent a canoe or a rowboat from the UW Waterfront Activities Center and glide across the same water as the 1936 Olympic champions. Rentals are seasonal so check the website first. You row out to Lake Washington across the entrance to the Montlake Cut and into the Arboretum. A big part of Seattle culture is our parks. We love them and this 240 acre oasis is one of our best. When it’s over 60 degrees and sunny the parks become vibrant hubs of activity. Pack a picnic lunch or pick up something from one of the local delis or markets, pull your boat a shore for a picnic and then paddle back. It’s a very Seattle way to spend time on a leisurely sunny day.

I would not be a good person if I neglect to share with you an amazing resource. Check out Seattle Coffee Scene; A blog about Seattle coffee shops, roasters, and Seattle coffee culture. Truly an excellent site to visit if you plan on drinking more coffee in Seattle. They also did a really nice podcast on Café Allegro and an article on America’s most experienced barista. Who, as you may have guessed, pulls shots in Seattle.

Happy sniffing, slurping and sipping,

Stacy

Posted in Capitol Hill, Coffee, Seattle, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Things to Do in Seattle over the Holidays (FREE and Low Cost)

Seattle Waterfront

Seattle Waterfront

Happy Holidays!

This is my gift to you. In addition to playing around with blogs and jaunting about Seattle I am a fitness instructor. I like to find gifts for my members that are low calorie. This compilation of fun things to do around Seattle was my 2014 gift. It seemed appropriate to share with readers here too. If you are headed out of town have a great time! Many of these things you can still do when you get back. If you are sticking around like I am I hope you take some time to get into Seattle and enjoy our amazing city.

Whenever I make a jaunt into Seattle, even if it’s only for a couple hours, I always feel like I’ve taken a mini vacation. I find something I know I want to do and then walk around and explore just like I do when travelling. There is always something new to find. Plus walking is great exercise! Take some photos, meet some people, and explore.

I’ve included the websites with the links below. Check them before you head out as some places adjust there hours during the holidays.

Wishing you a wonderful break with family and friends,

Stacy

Pinball

Did you know we have a pinball museum in Seattle? For a flat fee they allow play on all of their over 30 machines dating from 1930 to present. I believe the flat fee is $13.

Seattle Pinball Museum – International District. Find them on Facebook and Trip Advisor. Doesn’t look like they have a website up anymore or call them at (206) 623-0759

Also check out:

Flip Flip Ding Ding – Georgetown. All ages but they serve beer as well as sodas. Great neighborhood to explore too. http://flipflipdingding.com

Full Tilt (Ballard location) not all Full Tilts have pinball but they all have locally made ice cream. http://fulltilticecream.com/

Cinerama

www.cinerama.com

This Seattle landmark was just remodeled by Paul Allen. It has new seats, new sound system, and new screen. All seats are reserved, you pick your exact seats; no waiting in line. Plus there is chocolate popcorn, local beers on tap, Theo chocolate and Tom Douglas’s Bravehorse Tavern pretzels.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room
Hours: 7 am to 11 pm, daily
1124 Pike St.

Starbucks latest creation opened two weeks ago in a 15,000 square foot space. Even if you are not a fan of “The Man” this place may still blow your mind. Tastings, classes, coffee brewed 6 or 8 different ways, and Tom Douglas does all the pastries here. Yowza! www.starbucks.com/roastery

Seattle Center Winterfest

Loads of free concerts in the armory, Christmas train, art installations, ice skating rink, and lots of other fun holiday things to do. Check the website for events and times. seattlecenter.com/winterfest

Downtown Westlake Carousel

Take a spin on A Christmas Story’s Holiday Carousel presented by KING 5 with your $3 suggested donation per rider.

Carousel Hours
Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm
Friday 11am-10pm
Saturday 10am-10pm
Sunday 10am-9pm

Special Hours
Nov. 28 10am-10pm
Dec. 14 8am-9pm
Dec. 24 10a-5pm
Dec. 31 10a-5pm
Jan. 1 10am-2pm

Klondike Gold Rush Museum

This is the only indoor national park in the country. Located in Pioneer Square near about a million other things to do. This is a great interactive museum. http://www.nps.gov

10am-5pm daily FREE

Frye Art Museum

FREE admission and FREE parking directly across the street.

Located on Capitol Hill, this museum was donated to the city of Seattle as long as it was kept free to visitors. It’s small but good. They have an amazing café. I highly recommend getting lunch here when you visit. They also have a pretty good gift shop if you need last minute gifts. http://fryemuseum.org/

St. Marks’s Compline

This service takes place every Sunday all year at 9:30pm.

This is a beautiful contemplative service that is entirely sung. You can bring blankets to lay down on the floor but they also have traditional pews. Casual comfortable dress is totally OK. It’s a beautiful church and a nice place to pray, meditate, or just have some quiet reflective time listening to beautiful voices. complinechoir.org/

Seattle Bathhouse

Best Christmas Pageant Ever Dec. 13-24

This is one of our families favorite Christmas stories. If you have never been to the Bathhouse Theater at Green Lake it’s a really cute small venue. Take a stroll around Green Lake before or after.Seattlepublictheater.org

22nd Annual Gingerbread Village

Seattle Sheraton. FREE open every day 24 hours a day thru Jan 5 gingerbreadvillage.myevent.com

 

Theo Chocolate Tour

$10 per person and I highly recommend making a reservation. They fill up. Located in Fremont, which is one of my favorite Seattle neighborhoods to jaunt, this tour includes lots of sampling and a 10% discount on anything in the confection case at the end of the tour. I’ve been several times and my guests always love it. This is excellent chocolate! theochocolate.com

Rheinhaus

Bocce Ball – Minors are welcome in our front dining room and on our bocce courts until 10pm each night, space allowing. Weekend brunch and early evenings are particularly family friendly, especially on the bocce courts. rheinhausseattle.com

Pike Place Market

http://www.pikeplacemarket.org/

I’d be negligent if I didn’t mention this. I go here at least once a month, usually a lot more. It’s so much fun and there are just so many nooks and crannies to explore.

I enjoy taking the 255 bus from the South Kirkland Park and Ride. It takes 19 minutes from there to the bus tunnel underneath Macy’s. Then it’s just a 3 block walk down to the Market, you are right there at the Carousel, and the Cinerama isn’t too far to walk to either.

If you prefer to drive check out downtownseattle.com/downtown-parking/ for all day $7 parking and/or $3 an hour parking.

For free parking in Pioneer Square check this out:

First Two Hours FREE Parking in Pioneer Square

How to Get Free Parking:

  1. Park your car at the First and Columbia Garage (721 First Ave).
  2. Keep your ticket issued from the garage.
  3. Shop, dine, and enjoy holiday events in Pioneer Square
  4. Go to Milepost 31, the SR 99 tunnel project information center at 211 First Ave S (Hours: Tues-Sat, 11 am- 5 pm), to pick up a free two-hour voucher ticket.
  5. After retrieving your vehicle, drive to the exit and put the garage-issued ticket into the machine FIRST for balance, then insert the free parking voucher ticket to apply discount.

The Fine Print:

Valid ONLY at First and Columbia Garage (721 First Ave, Seattle, WA 98104). You may park for two hours for free. After that, posted rates apply. Not valid when special events or gameday rates are in effect. Valid through 12/31/2014. No cash value. Limit one per car per visit. No purchase necessary. While supplies last.

Posted in Seattle, Things to do, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , ,

3 hours in Georgetown

This was about a 3 hour jaunt . Included in the jaunt time is the  round trip drive time from downtown Seattle. The  jaunt will take you to Fundamental Coffee Company, Brass Tacks for lunch, Georgetown Music Store, Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery, Georgetown Records, Flip Flip Ding Ding, Button Makers, and Fran’s Chocolates for a secret beverage. You can easily spend another hour on this jaunt if you want to linger at any of these places. One of the things I love about jaunting to new places in my hometown is feeling like I’ve been on vacation. If you live in the area. I hope you will feel that way too. If you are visiting, then Welcome! I hope you enjoy our amazingly diverse city and all it has to offer.

If you want more details and want to follow the jaunt we did keep reading. Otherwise, pick a launch point from the list above and head out on your own adventure. Here is Google maps to Georgetown. Let me know what you find!

Scott, owner at Fundamental Coffee Company

Scott, owner at Fundamental Coffee Company

Our jaunt day was really cold but gloriously sunny. A perfect day for jaunting in and out of warm places. My mom worked for Starbucks corporate 15 years. Two of her friends from there started a roasting plant a few years back called Fundamental Coffee Company. It’s located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle. Knowing that I love to find new places she invited me to join her for their Friday Open House and tasting. In true Seattle Finds jaunting form we explored the area. I haven’t been to Georgetown in a couple years. This is such a cool little neighborhood.

After purchasing our beans and tasting some Guatemalan single origin coffee we strolled down the drive and peeked into Seattle Cider and Two Beers. It was early in the day and neither was open but I will make a trip back to visit these two places and explore more of Georgetown in the process.

Brass Tacks. Yum!

Brass Tacks. Yum!

A few minute drive landed us on 12th street where we drove around the block to check out lunch options and then easily found free street parking. Brass Tacks was the first restaurant we came too. The menu looked tantalizing and the interior has a warm, inviting, old west saloon feel so we grabbed a seat. I don’t know if we lucked out or if all the restaurants are this good. We started with an order of pork fries. If you have visited Lardo in Portland you know what I mean when I say I was expecting something along the lines of Dirty Fries. These were totally different.Tender pork morsels packed, breaded, and fried up crispy, not greasy at all, with spiced apple butter sage sauce for dipping. This and a salad will be my lunch next time. The house smoked brisket mac and cheese and the venison sausage were our savory choices. Just come hungry! As if that’s not enough reason to come, they also have live music, burlesque and a pretty good looking happy hour menu.

We left, very full with food leftover for dinner, and headed next door to the Georgetown Music Store. With two musicians in my house I was looking for a Christmas gifts. They have a really nice selection of instruments. Brent, one of the owners, was really helpful in picking out a couple things for my son. We almost walked out with two small accordions for about $20 each. I may be back. I think my nieces need to have them.

Georgetown Music Store

Georgetown Music Store

Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery

Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery

Just around the corner we wandered into Fantagraphics and Georgetown Records. They share a space. If you love vinyl this is a fun stop. Our oldest moved out and took the phonograph with her. My record collection is now gathering dust. Hopefully this will be remedied when I open my Christmas gifts this year.(hint, hint Honey)  Both my kids are graphic novel fans and I can’t wait to show them Fantagraphics. Pretty sure this will bring me some street cred.

Continuing around the block we went into Flip Flip Ding Ding. Pinball! They serve snacks, soda and beer. Plus it’s all ages. You can bring your kids. There is a Pinball tournament every Thursday at 8pm. Another plus, you can have custom buttons made or buy your own button maker at Button Makers. The two businesses share space. We were about ready to call it a day when I remembered Fran’s had moved their headquarters into the original Rainier Beer building back in September of this year.

Flip Flip Ding Ding

Flip Flip Ding Ding

A little tidbit of knowledge: The building was built in 1882. This is not the Old Rainier Beer building that has the giant R next to I-5. I only tell you this because I was born and raised here and thought the R building was the original, as did my Mom and others I have asked about it. We got in the car to drive to Fran’s at the R building only to realize Fran’s was less than a block from where we had parked. Thank you Fran’s for good signage!

Fran’s in the original Rainier Building

Decadent. The interior of Fran’s is jaw dropping. Original staircases, floor, and brick walls, under towering ceilings and natural light. Dreamlike cases and tables flowing with chocolate. They also have an espresso bar and one of the best mochas I have ever had. My friend Monty had spent a staycation downtown this summer and became a regular at Fran’s on 1st. They even named a drink after him called the Dark Monty. I asked Fran’s employee Mike if he knew how to make it. He did not but proved to be a real go getter. They contacted Jeremy at the 1st Ave store and he gave them his secret recipe. I’m not sure how they make it but it is a shot of espresso chocolate perfection. Ask for it when you go in. Tell them you heard about it on Seattle Finds.

What a fun jaunt. Great people, good conversations, eclectic finds in a quaint neighborhood, and one gloriously perfect Seattle November day.  There are a lot of other places I want to go find in Georgetown. I will be back!  Head there yourself. Use these places as a launching pad and then let me know what you find.

Posted in Georgetown, Seattle, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s Get Started!

 

BYOPB - Bring your own paddles and balls

BYOPB – Bring your own paddles and balls

This is it. The first Seattle Finds blog post. After reading, researching and procrastinating I figured I better just go for it. Eventually I should have a format that is easy to follow. However, as I noted in my about me page, this is an organic process. Which means there will be a lot of trial and error. My friends keep asking me to describe what I am doing with Seattle Finds. The truth is I don’t exactly know yet, and that’s OK.  I’m having a blast playing around and sorting it out.  I love to travel and every time I leave to visit somewhere else I come home to Seattle with a new appreciation for the green grass on my side of the fence. Exploring cities and places is a passion. It fuels me and gets my blood racing. I make the 15 minute trek over the bridge at least twice a week. At home I spend a little time each day researching Seattle the same way I research other cities I am going to travel too. You would think I’d get bored with it but, I do not. In fact I am constantly on the look out for new businesses to visit, food to eat, tours to take, places to find, and things to do. My Seattle bucket list is so long I could be jaunting every day for another 50 years.

Jaunting, by definition,  is to go on a short journey, especially one taken for pleasure; an outting. I have done this for years in the Seattle area. Something will spark my curiosity and I will go find it. This might be a product, an event, an oddity, a view, a menu item, an activity, or a piece of art. The list goes on and on. Once you have the one thing in mind; Go find it! Explore along the way. There may be something nearby that looks interesting. Talk with people who cross your path. Not only are people great finds, they can lead you in the direction of more cool stuff. I guarantee if you keep your eyes open for new finds they will appear. Engage with the city. Become a part of it’s fabric. This goes for locals as well as tourists and visitors. You can jaunt alone but, I highly recommend taking others with you. It’s my preferred jaunting method. I will tell you I never have a hard time finding a willing companion. Seattle Finds Jaunting is just so fun.

Seattle Waterfront

Seattle Waterfront

These blog posts will include jaunting itineraries that I have personally done. You can follow themexactly or use them as a launching pad. Please leave a comment if you go on a jaunt. Once I figure out how to add the comments section that is. Organic, remember? Leave info on your discoveries, tips for others, and what you liked or didn’t like about it.

So, Let’s get started!

This was about a  3.5 hour jaunt to the Waterfront, Pike Place, lunch, Seattle Antiques Market, Copperworks Distillery tasting, and The Great Wheel. If you want more details continue reading. Otherwise pick a start point and go discover those places and whatever else you can along the way. Meander a bit.

My husband and I were celebrating our 24th wedding Anniversary so we stayed downtown at the Marriott Waterfront. However you can easily park near the Marriott, ride the Metro, use Lyft, Uber or start your jaunt from another location. When we started the jaunt we wanted lunch near, or in, the Market and we had purchased tickets on line to ride The Great Wheel. Those were our only parameters. Having never ridden the Wheel before I found it helpful to know when you purchase the tickets ahead you avoid the purchase line and go straight to the ticket holders line. Be sure to print tickets out and bring them with you. If you only have the code you will need to wait in the ticket holder line. Tickets never expire. You can use them whenever you want.  I appreciate flexibility when I jaunt.

Steps overlooking Elliott Bay

Steps overlooking Elliott Bay

We left the hotel about 1pm and wandered down the sidewalk. We were going to walk further down and take the elevator across from the Seattle Aquarium up to the Market. It is located inside the parking garage. That was until we noticed a staircase and an elevator tucked in right next door to the Marriott. I had never noticed this staircase before. This is what I love about jaunting. In good jaunting fashion we decided to take the stairs and see where they went. At the top was an amazing viewpoint looking out over Elliott Bay. Perched there is a set of sitting steps decorated in broken tile. What a great find!

Virginia Inn

Lunch stop

We continued on and the steps led us right onto Lenora Street. We walked about half a block turned right on Western and we were at Pike Place Market. *A side note for non locals: this is not plural. Pike’s Place does not exist. It is Pike Place or The Market. This little tidbit may save you some eye rolling. It’s now about 1:15. We walk kinda fast. Wander through the Market. Decide what to eat as you roam. The choices are limitless. On this particular jaunt we ended up on 1st AVE at the Virginia Inn and did not spend much time in the Market. The restaurant sign caught our eye and we hadn’t eaten there in a few years. I still really like this historic restaurant and bar. A scene from the movie Singles was filmed here. I used to be in love with Matt Dillon, so this is kind of a big deal for me. By 2:15 we were on the move again.

Great finds in here!

Great finds here!

Once outside we headed back down the same stairs we came up so that we could explore the waterfront more. Heading South on Alaskan Way we stopped in at the Seattle Antiques Market. I have seen this place a lot driving by but had never gone in before. It was great! We bought a bunch of … I can’t tell you in case my daughter reads this before Christmas. Let’s just say we scored good finds. Back out onto Alaskan Way we hadn’t gone much further and saw Copperworks Distilling Company.

Copperworks

Free tastings

This is a local distillery I have been following on Twitter but, I didn’t know where they were located. Now I know. We went in and enjoyed a free tasting, met Micah, one of the owners and ended up purchasing their award winning gin and some tonic. I’ve never had a gin and tonic before. I have not been much of a cocktail drinker. I’m starting to learn about spirits and cocktails. Distilleries are popping up all over the Seattle area. So this “research” was informative and trying new things is a fun part of jaunting.

The Great Wheel

The Great Wheel

We left and headed to The Great Wheel. There wasn’t any line. We waited about 5 minutes and instead of the 3 times around they said we would do, it was 5. So great! I will say if it is a hot day do this in the morning or at night. We lucked out and had a 70 degree, blue sky, fall day. It still got pretty warm in there. Even with the AC unit going. Upon exiting we walked through the Miner’s Landing building. Not much going on in there now. The Seawall construction has really messed things up down on the Waterfront in that area. We could have taken a spin on the carousel but we weren’t in the mood.

Taking a short stroll back down Alaskan Way we detoured out onto Waterfront Park, which is the large pier. Several plastic Adirondack chairs are strewn about for sitting, enjoying people watching, and taking in the scenery. There was a Ping Pong table in the middle of the pier. Bring your own ball and paddle. A talented bass guitarist was playing some music. Ten or more people were riding around on the pier with the new Pronto Cycle Share bikes. These just officially arrived in Seattle 2 Mondays ago. More info on them in another blog post. Viola! Back at the hotel (or your car) and we are done jaunting.

Pronto Cycles on the pier

Pronto Cycles on the pier

Those are the highlights. There is so much more you see on foot, we passed a lot of places we have jaunted to before and I added some items to my Seattle Finds bucket-list.

Well that wasn’t so bad. I make no claims at being a gifted writer or editor. Please excuse any poor sentence structure and enjoy the content.  Now “Go Find It” and have a great time!

Posted in seattle waterfront, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , ,