Spring time in the Northwest still consist of layers, gortex, and, well… rain. Last year during Spring Break, I ran off to central Mexico with 2 friends for an epic week-long road trip through the highlands. But this year, I stayed local and visited my friend (1/3 of the Mexico road trip crew) up in Seattle.
Being from the Pacific Northwest, it is only natural that I have spent several family vacations, a few road trips, and a sprinkling of random visits up in Seattle over the years. And this latest trip allowed me to revisit some of my favorite sights, seek out new ones, and navigate the city via my favorite mode of transportation: walking!
Arriving via Bolt Bus, I navigated to my friend’s work downtown, near Pike Place Market, grabbed her house keys, and made my way just past the Space Needle to the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood.
That evening we ate at Seattle’s oldest Mexican Restaurant: Mama’s Mexican Kitchen, in Belltown. This was the last week Mama’s would be in business– the building and property were sold to build apartment buildings. So we did our best to fully enjoy our burritos and live mariachi.
Elliott Bay & Olympic Sculpture Park
Myrtle Edwards Park is a 4+ acre park near Belltown, which follows the coast line of Elliott Bay off the greater Puget Sound. The park connects the city to the waterfront, which in recent past was cut off from easy public access, and now boasts bike and walking trails and good wildlife spotting.
The Olympic Sculpture Park, is free and open to the public 365 days a year. Wiki says: “The former industrial site was occupied by an oil and gas corporation until the 1970s and subsequently became a contaminated brownfield before the Seattle Art Museum which operates the park, proposed to transform the area into one of the only green spaces in Downtown Seattle.”
I had free range to wander around the 9 acres of sculptures, framed by the iconic Seattle skyline… and no rain!
Probably my favorite area of the city, the Fremont District has that perfect bohemian, Pacific Northwest vibe with great eateries, bars, eclectic shops and plenty to discover. From a bronze statue of Lenin–Vladimir not John, to rocket ships, and a giant, car-crushing troll under the Aurora Bridge, this neighborhood has little something for everyone. I fueled up on a pint and some pub food from Brouwer’s Cafe before continuing to explore the neighborhood.
Volunteer Park & Capitol Hill
I decided to take a Lyft ride up to Volunteer Park to save some time, and I was dropped off in front of the Seattle Asian Art Museum 15 minutes later. The park is almost 50 acres of rolling meadows and mature vegetation, and aside from the museum, you can climb a water tower to an observation deck, walk through the conservatory and gardens, and enjoy summer time wading pools. The Lake View Cemetery is located next to the park, and is the final resting place of Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee.
Capitol Hill is known for its coffeehouse culture and some of the city’s steepest streets, and I enjoyed a balmy walk down from the park through the neighborhood, ogling the early to mid century craftsman houses in all their moody, northwest glory.
I met up with my friend and her old roommate downtown and we started the evening with happy hour food and drinks at Palomino, and ended the evening at a bar near the apartment, laughing over travel stories and drinking too much wine.
However, no trip is complete without a sensational news story… #manintree was ours. He became the topic of every conversation for at least a few minutes each day while the drama played out. In the end, man in tree came down from his perch, and I boarded my Bolt Bus headed back for Portland, with a little more love for Seattle.