Clean and green enough to be dubbed the Emerald City, misty Seattle offers it all: food, culture, and outdoor adventure.
It's a city famous for its drizzle, but no one in Seattle stays inside. (You'd be hard-pressed even to find a local carrying an umbrella.) The port city is all about embracing nature, with its 6,200 acres of parkland, its miles of coastline, and a skyline that's as much about the Cascade Mountains as the skyscrapers. You'll also find buzzing restaurants served by high-energy food markets with just-caught seafood, as well as no shortage of community coffee shops (hello, birthplace of Starbucks). And to entice the kids, try these words: "Space Needle"; "fish flingers"; "Kite Hill." We've chosen the three neighborhoods that are ripest with options, whether or not you brought your wellies.
Seattle's downtown runs along the edge of Elliott Bay, which is filled with passenger ferries, cruise liners, and container ships. Up north at the Olympic Sculpture Park, you'll find nine acres of enormous pieces from the likes of Alexander Calder, Richard Serra, and Louise Bourgeois. About a dozen blocks south is Pike Place Market, the unofficial soul of the city, where you'll find the famed fish flingers, the flower stalls, a slew of places to eat, andyes, indeedthe original Starbucks. Downhill at the waterfront, you can board a ferry for a 30-minute ride to peaceful Bainbridge Island (a perfect spot for a picnic). Or wander a few blocks south to explore historic Pioneer Square, home to Seattle's first settlement, and its waterfall garden. Just east is the bustling Chinatown-International District. (Keep an eye out for the fiberglass dragons on the light poles.)
1 ETTA'S SEAFOOD
2020 Western Ave., (206) 443-6000
The crab cakes are the rage at celebrity chef Tom Douglas's sleek joint, but don't leave without sharing a massive slice of coconut cream pie.
2 LOWELL'S RESTAURANT AND BAR
1519 Pike Pl., (206) 622-2036
Try the hearty breakfast quesadillas or a burger with Tillamook cheddar.
3 ANTHONY'S FISH BAR
2201 Alaskan Way, (206) 448-6688
Grab fish and chips at the walk-up bar, then watch the boats from the cafA[c] tables outside.
4 FLORA AND HENRI
717 Pine St., (206) 749-9698
You'll covet everything in this Seattle-based kids' line, from the sweet knits to the canary yellow silk party dresses.
5 HANDS OF THE WORLD
1501 Pike Pl. Market, #428,(206) 622-1696
Look for beaded necklaces from Kenya and Tanzania, handmade instruments, and colorful Peruvian stuffed animals.
6 SEATTLE AQUARIUM
1483 Alaskan Way, Pier #59, (206) 386-4300
Stand under the 12-foot glass ring filled with moon jellyfish, and check out the touch tanks.
7 OLYMPIC SCULPTURE PARK
2901 Western Ave., (206) 654-3100
Twenty-one works line the park's Z-shaped path, which slopes down to the water.
The University District & Wallingford
Northeast of downtown, Seattle's "U district" is home to the University of Washington, and these neighborhoods have the largest concentration of outdoor activities. "The Ave" (University Way) is lined with inexpensive ethnic restaurants and cool consignment shops, and on Saturday mornings, you'll find Seattle's oldest and largest "farmers only" market at 50th Street, with fresh produce, cheeses, nuts, ciders, and more. Rent kayaks behind Husky Stadium and set off to explore Lake Washington, or spend an afternoon chasing the wind with the high flyers on Gas Works Park's Kite Hill. West on 45th Street is residential Wallingford, with its cute bungalow homes and sweet boutiques.
1 PORTAGE BAY CAFA
4130 Roosevelt Way NE, (206) 547-8230
At brunch, let the kids hit the toppings bar (fruit, whipped cream) for pancakes and waffles, and order yourself the eggs Benedict with Dungeness crab.
2 AGUA VERDE CAFA AND PADDLE CLUB
1303 NE Boat St., (206) 545-8570
Perched right on the water, this place makes a mean Baja-style fish taco and yummy "mangodillas" (mango quesadillas).
3 TROPHY CUPCAKES AND PARTY
1815 N. 45th St., #209, (206) 632-7020
Try the triple coconut, red velvet, or chai cardamom.
4 GAS WORKS PARK KITE SHOP
3420 Stone Way N., (206) 633-4780
The superstocked shop, which feels like a kaleidoscope inside, sells both basic and trick kites.
5 CRACKERJACK CONTEMPORARY CRAFTS
1815 N. 45th St., #212, (206) 547-4983
Find irresistible marionettes and Bella Luz night-lights in this 1916 former schoolhouse.
6 BURKE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY AND CULTURE
17th Ave. NE & NE 45th St., (206) 543-5590
Check out the fossils in the Discovery Lab and the giant totem poles at the entrance.
7 WATERFRONT ACTIVITIES CENTER
3900 Montlake Blvd. NE, (206) 543-9433
Rent a vessel to paddle out to Washington Park Arboretum.
Queen Anne & the Seattle Center
The top of Queen Anne Hill is lined with casual restaurants and stores, cozy coffee shops, and pricey Craftsman and Victorian homes. In lower Queen Anne, which gives way to a more urban vibe, are edgier shops and hip bars. Just a bit farther south is the Seattle Center, built for the 1962 World's Fair and home of the iconic Space Needle. (The wait for a trip to the top is worth iton a clear day, you can see all the way to the Cascade Mountains, almost 100 miles away.) You'll also find the Pacific Science Center and the International Fountain, which just begs for a splash-fest.
1 RACHA THAI CUISINE
23 Mercer St., (206) 281-8883
A short walk from the children's museum, this place has great chicken satay.
2 5 SPOT
1502 Queen Anne Ave. N., (206) 285-7768
Come for breakfast and order the loaded egg scrambles, which are big enough to share.
3 BOUNCING WALL
2225 Queen Anne Ave. N., (206) 285-9255
Find fashion and home items from nearly 100 local artists.
4 URBAN KIDS PLAY
1805 Queen Anne Ave. N., (206) 285-7529
Peruse enviro-friendly toys and baby gear from Eco Tots, Automoblox, Infantino, and more.
5 BLUE HIGHWAY GAMES
2203 Queen Anne Ave. N., (206) 282-0540
Even grown-ups can't resist the floor-to-ceiling selection of board and card gamesall of which you can test-play.
6 CHILDREN'S MUSEUM
305 Harrison St. NW, (206) 441-1768
Permanent exhibits include a drop-in art studio, interactive storybooks, and a play forest.
7 PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER 200 Second Ave. N., (206) 443-2001
Check out five buildings of interactive exhibits, including the Tropical Butterfly House.
For hotels, more restaurants and shops, and printable maps, visit cookiemag.com/go/seattle.
The University District & Wallingford
Queen Anne & the Seattle Center
The original Starbucks
Crab cakes at Etta's Seafood
The Olympic Sculpture Park
Pike Place Market
Flora and Henri
The Seattle Aquarium's Underwater Dome
Fish flingers at Pike Place Market.
S. ROYAL BROUGHAM WAY
Kayaks for rent at Aqua Verde CafA[c] and Paddle Club
Gas Works Park
Dinos at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
The 50th Street farmers' market
Jars of toppers at Trophy Cupcakes and Party
Burke's totem poles.
N. 45TH ST.
NE 65TH ST.
The International Fountain
Spring rolls at Racha Thai Cuisine
Blue Highway Games
The Space Needle.
15TH AVE. W.
ELLIOTT AVE. W.
W. BLAINE ST.
AURORA AVE. N.
QUEEN ANNE AVE. N.
Donahue, Jennifer Q. "Over The Rainbow." Cookie Dec.-Jan. 2009: 67. Popular Magazines. Web. 26 Nov. 2009.
Gale Document Number:A193087482
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