June 21, 2013

A Bookwormy Vacation (Including my Top 10 Things to Do / See in Seattle)

Noel and I had a great few days in Seattle, as I alluded to the other day.

I got to stop by Shelf Awareness headquarters and meet some of my colleagues, which was awesome, because for the last two years we were only email-acquainted. 

And, we spent quite a bit of time at the Seattle Central Library. It has such amazing architecture - read more about my take on it here.

And, now, after two trips to Seattle, here's a list of our 10 favorite things about the city. Obviously we're not experts, but we do love this city and thought we'd share what we like. A couple of you asked me on Twitter / Facebook what we enjoyed - so here you go!

Quirky Bookworm: My Top 10 Seattle things to do -- (Seattle attractions, Pike Place, Bainbridge Island, Space Needle, etc)

  1. Bainbridge Island - the ferry ride is cheap and fun, and the island is adorable. Be sure to check out Mora Iced Creamery and Harbor Public House and Blackbird Bakery food-wise. The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum is small but interesting, and the waterfront trail is lovely.
  2. Pike Place Market - this is a no-brainer, right? You'd go anyway. But we especially love the apple fritters at Three Girls Bakery, the cheese at Beecher's, the bread at Le Panier, and oh the bacon and caramelized onion pizza at Alibi Room. Plus there are tons of cute shops, a nice little park area, and countless photo ops.
  3. Lake Union Park - the MOHAI is located there; you can take short cruises around Lake Union, rent a kayak, or sail a tiny boat in the sailboat pond. The views of the lake, and back toward the Space Needle and downtown are both nice. The cafe at the museum has great views, and tasty little snacks available. (And Feierabend is only about a 12 minute walk away...)
  4. Space Needle - It's super pricey, but awesome. We went up in the day and the night - I think I liked the day views better. (You can get good, much cheaper views from Columbia Tower, but you're behind glass there, it's not quite the same).
  5. Seattle Center -  While you're at the Space Needle, wander around the Seattle Center. The science museum is neat, there's an IMAX theatre, the Chihuly gardens are beautiful, the monorail to downtown shopping areas is fun, and I hear good things about a couple of the other museums there.
  6. Pioneer Square / Central Library - the library is definitely worth a walk-through, and it isn't far from the historic Pioneer Square area. We took the Underground Tour the last time we were there, and it was a lot of fun. Noel highly recommends Elysian Fields Brewing; which is a bit farther down next to Century Link Field. The appetizer we got there was tasty, and he was in love with their beer selection.
  7. The Locks / Botanical Garden - the Chittenden Locks were super cool for these desert kids; we were fascinated to watch the boats move through them. We were there in December, so the Botanical Garden wasn't too impressive, but I bet it's amazing in the summer. Also, while you're in Ballard, head to Delancey for some fabulous pizza, and perhaps a glimpse of Molly Wizenburg.
  8. Woodland Park Zoo - this is a really great zoo. I liked it even better than the San Diego Zoo, although Noel said he'd give San Diego the edge. If you have a zoo membership in your town, be sure to check for reciprocal tickets - it has agreements with lots of museums around the country. We wandered around the Fremont area a bit too - there are some adorable houses nearby.
  9. University of Washington campus - I am kind of sad I didn't look into UW for college. The campus is gorgeous, and there are great restaurant / shopping areas located on two sides of it.
  10. Cinerama / shopping - If you're a movie buff you have to check out Cinerama. I don't recommend 3D there, it made me dizzy, but I tend to be motion sensitive. The theatre itself is really cool though, and the concessions are deeeelicious. Plus it's quite close to the downtown shopping areas, so it makes for a fun afternoon or evening.
I know I'm missing gazillions of things - we haven't really been to many museums in the city, and I want to go to Discovery Park and Capitol Hill and maybe the aquarium and some of the other islands around. We decided that we'll have to go in a couple of years when the kids (!) are older, and see how different Seattle is with kids in tow!

Have you been to Seattle? Seattle natives: what's missing from my list?

P.S. While in Seattle I read The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag and A Red Herring Without Mustard (pictured above) - both highly recommended. I also read A Spear of Summer Grass and The Boyfriend , both kind of meh. Titles are affiliate links, thanks for supporting Quirky Bookworm!