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torybruno

Seattle questions and planning help needed

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We are flying in precruise around 5pm on Friday, June 14.  What would be our best option to get to our hotel, the Sheraton Grand Seattle at this time of day on a Friday?

 

What is our best option from hotel to Pier 91 on Sunday morning?

 

ok... need help planning two full tour days of Seattle.  We have all day Saturday, precruise, and all day Sunday post cruise as we are taking the red eye home at 11pm.  We've never been to Seattle.  On our must do list, is Pike Place Market, Chihuly Garden, and the Space Needle.  Is all this possible in one day?  (I'm sure I could spend all day at Pike Place, hubby isn't much of a shopper!)  

 

And our other Seattle day... looking for ideas.  We do like moderate hikes, also thinking of maybe  Snoqualmie Falls and Seattle Winery Tour.  Also, which day for which activities would be best?

 

And lastly, best option back to the airport.  We do plan on using the Port Valet service for our luggage to get to the airport.

 

Thanks in advance for help and suggestions!

 

 

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Getting to your hotel, use STILA, the towncar service located at the airport and discussed here frequently. Just used it a couple of days ago. $45 flat rate. Could not have been easier or more convenient. Highly recommend it.

 

Uber or taxi for your other transport. 

 

Yes, Pikes, Chihuly and Space Needle are quite doable in one day. That is what we did yesterday.

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14 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

Getting to your hotel, use STILA, the towncar service located at the airport and discussed here frequently. Just used it a couple of days ago. $45 flat rate. Could not have been easier or more convenient. Highly recommend it.

 

Uber or taxi for your other transport. 

 

Yes, Pikes, Chihuly and Space Needle are quite doable in one day. That is what we did yesterday.

Do you know if STILA will take us to Hyatt House by the Space Needle for the same price?

 

 

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2 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

Do you know if STILA will take us to Hyatt House by the Space Needle for the same price?

 

 

The sign says $45 to "downtown"...don't know the definition of "downtown". We are in the Hilton, slightly south and east of Pike Place.

 

I think the sign said $65 to Pier 91...so I guess that would be the high end.

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3 hours ago, torybruno said:

We are flying in precruise around 5pm on Friday, June 14.  What would be our best option to get to our hotel, the Sheraton Grand Seattle at this time of day on a Friday?

 

What is our best option from hotel to Pier 91 on Sunday morning?

 

ok... need help planning two full tour days of Seattle.  We have all day Saturday, precruise, and all day Sunday post cruise as we are taking the red eye home at 11pm.  We've never been to Seattle.  On our must do list, is Pike Place Market, Chihuly Garden, and the Space Needle.  Is all this possible in one day?  (I'm sure I could spend all day at Pike Place, hubby isn't much of a shopper!)  

 

And our other Seattle day... looking for ideas.  We do like moderate hikes, also thinking of maybe  Snoqualmie Falls and Seattle Winery Tour.  Also, which day for which activities would be best?

 

And lastly, best option back to the airport.  We do plan on using the Port Valet service for our luggage to get to the airport.

 

Thanks in advance for help and suggestions!

 

 

 

I would take a town car or Uber/Lyft from the airport to the hotel.  

 

As your body clocks will still be on eastern time, I'd suggest hitting the Pike Place market as early in the morning as you can on Saturday.  Go there for breakfast (places open at 6 - 8 AM) then walk around watching the merchants set up for the day.  Visit the "original" Starbucks (it isn't) if you must, but plan to be gone from the market by 10:30 at the latest, after which the crowds will become horrific.  

 

If you want to visit the Space Needle and Chihuly, try to get them out of the way the same morning.  You can walk from the Pike market to the monorail station at Westlake in around 5 minutes; the monorail will drop you more or less at the foot of the Space Needle (also the Chihuly exhibit.)  Again, by late morning things will be getting crowded there, too, so be prepared for some delays. 

 

Now having said that, I'll just express a personal opinion as a resident.  The Space Needle is extremely overpriced, and like many view points around the world, one downside is that you can't see the Space Needle when you're IN the Space Needle.  Seattle is a city of hills and water bodies, and there are umpteen places where you can get fabulous views of the city, the mountains, bays and lakes... for free, and without having to brave the crowds all shoving their money at the ticket-takers.  For the $70 or so that you'd pay for two tickets, you could ride around town in an Uber for quite some time, visiting other viewpoints, or places outside the downtown area that offer terrific sightseeing and a chance to see parts of our city that many visitors miss.  

 

Anyway, assuming you hit Seattle Center (Space Needle, Chihuly, MoPop museum) that morning, here's what I'd do for the afternoon:  


Call an Uber to pick you up at Seattle Center and have them take you to the ferry dock downtown.  Board the West Seattle Water Taxi which will take you across Elliott Bay to Seacrest Park in West Seattle.  

 

P1000136aHs.jpg

 

Right on the dock is a very fun cafe/bar, Marination Ma Kai, featuring fun Hawaiian/Korean food (Spam musubi, loco moco, kalbi sliders, etc.) and excellent drinks in their outdoor patio.  

 

Put some carbs in your belly, then walk them off along the fabulous waterfront pedestrian/bike path that runs 2 miles from the dock around Duwamish Head to Alki Beach.  (You can also rent bikes or kayaks next door to Marination.)  You'll pass Scuba divers getting into their gear, watch passing freighters and ferries, and eventually pass the volleyball nets and kids playing in the sand, until you get to our own wee Statue of Liberty.  Hopefully the Olympic mountains will be in view, too.  There are numerous cafes, fish and chips stands, pubs etc. facing the beach.  

 

P1000161s.jpg

 

P1000154s2.jpg

 

P1000142s.jpg

 

You can walk back to the water taxi dock, or there's a free shuttle bus (details on the water taxi website, above.) Then back downtown.  

 

If you're knackered by this point, go back to the hotel for a nap, then have dinner someplace downtown.  If you still want to see some more things, then my suggestion would be to walk from the ferry dock through Pioneer Square to the International District, Seattle's Asian hub (not just Chinese, but Japanese, Korean SE Asian etc.)  The target here is Uwajimaya, a fantastic pan-Asian grocery and department store.  Play "name that vegetable" in the produce section, ogle one of the best fish markets in town, have a snack or a meal in the cool Asian food court (stalls with Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, Hawaiian... food) and maybe buy some weird Japanese snacks for the cruise or the flights (or even some wine for your cabin.)  Uwajimaya is part of Seattle's soul, and IMO is a "don't miss" place.

 

From there you can walk a block to the International District light rail station (get off at Westlake for the Sheraton) or for around the same money, just Uber back to your hotel and go splat.

 

Here's a (walking) map of this day, not counting the monorail and Seattle Center option - https://goo.gl/maps/xdL4tVtm6hVg87i3A

 

Sunday morning (pre-cruise).  If you're up early and didn't do the Space Needle etc. before, then you could do it now.  Same idea on timing - earlier is better.  Or, you could repeat the previous day - hit the Pike Place market for breakfast, buy some flowers for your cabin on the ship, then back to the hotel and off to Pier 91.  Read the various threads about Pier 91 logistics; I wouldn't try to get there too early.  Or, you could walk a few blocks from the Sheraton to the Top Pot Doughnuts "flagship" store, then walk off those carbs past the Amazon Spheres (aka "Bezos' balls") back to the hotel. Map -  https://goo.gl/maps/JRDcd22RVzKDHMeu9 .  Then it's north to Alaska.

 

amazon-spheres-1.jpg

 

Return day:  I would rent a car for the day.  National, Enterprise and Alamo (same company) have kiosks at the cruise terminals; they will shuttle you (and bags if you have any) to their downtown office to pick up the vehicle.  Or, an Uber from Pier 91 to any number of other car rental locations will be cheap (and the total might be less if the daily rate is cheap enough to cover the Uber cost.)   In any event, I'd look at a plan for the day something like this:  https://goo.gl/maps/jGY1MvU5UdpHHyvU8

 

This would take you to Fishermen's Terminal, home of Seattle's and much of the long-distance Alaska fishing fleets, including some of the big Bering Sea crabbers.  Have breakfast at the Bay Cafe or Chinook's, both with terrific views of the moored fleet.  Burn off some carbs by walking around the piers.  (This might be a second breakfast if you've eaten on the boat before disembarking.  Life is tough 😉 )

 

P1000106as.jpg

 

Then get in the car and drive across the Fremont bridge and visit the Fremont Troll.  From there, head east along north Lake Union to the University of Washington, then head north along Lake Washington to Kenmore and Bothell at the top of the lake.  (Note you can also use the WA 520 toll bridge across Lake Washington.  The toll is collected electronically; the rental car company will just add it to your bill (around $4 tops.)

 

The target is the cluster of wineries in Woodinville.  The map shows Chateau Ste. Michelle, but there are numerous wineries nearby.  (It's important to note that these are wineries, not vineyards.  The grapes are grown in eastern Washington, on the other side of the Cascades, so it's not Napa.)  

 

From Woodinville, you'll travel east into the Snoqualmie Valley.  Wind down the Novelty Hill Road to the valley floor, then navigate to Carnation Farms, the original home of Carnation milk.  Then head south down WA 203 through the town of Carnation to Fall City (farm stands and nice scenery along the way) then follow WA 202 up to Snoqualmie Falls.  See the falls (there's a trail down to the lower falls, quite spectacular) then, if you're peckish, head into "downtown" North Bend for a piece of cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee at Twede's cafe, make famous in the Twin Peaks TV show.

 

By now it's probably mid- to late afternoon.  If time permits, hop on I-90 and WA 18 and head to downtown Tacoma.  The Chihuly Bridge of Glass (free) is next to the Museum of Glass (not free) and both are terrific.  

 

From there, follow the coast north a few minutes to Salty's at Redondo, a waterfront restaurant and bar.  Cool your heels, maybe watch the sun decline toward the Olympic mountains, then make your way north to the airport.  Drop the car, shuttle to the terminal, bye-bye.  

 

This would be a full but far from grueling day; hopefully you'd have stored up plenty of oxygen for the forthcoming red-eye home.

 

All just suggestions, of course.

1 hour ago, DaveOKC said:

Do you know if STILA will take us to Hyatt House by the Space Needle for the same price?

 

 

Should be the same, or maybe $5 more as it's a bit farther north.

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9 hours ago, Gardyloo said:

 

I would take a town car or Uber/Lyft from the airport to the hotel.  

 

As your body clocks will still be on eastern time, I'd suggest hitting the Pike Place market as early in the morning as you can on Saturday.  Go there for breakfast (places open at 6 - 8 AM) then walk around watching the merchants set up for the day.  Visit the "original" Starbucks (it isn't) if you must, but plan to be gone from the market by 10:30 at the latest, after which the crowds will become horrific.  

 

If you want to visit the Space Needle and Chihuly, try to get them out of the way the same morning.  You can walk from the Pike market to the monorail station at Westlake in around 5 minutes; the monorail will drop you more or less at the foot of the Space Needle (also the Chihuly exhibit.)  Again, by late morning things will be getting crowded there, too, so be prepared for some delays. 

 

Now having said that, I'll just express a personal opinion as a resident.  The Space Needle is extremely overpriced, and like many view points around the world, one downside is that you can't see the Space Needle when you're IN the Space Needle.  Seattle is a city of hills and water bodies, and there are umpteen places where you can get fabulous views of the city, the mountains, bays and lakes... for free, and without having to brave the crowds all shoving their money at the ticket-takers.  For the $70 or so that you'd pay for two tickets, you could ride around town in an Uber for quite some time, visiting other viewpoints, or places outside the downtown area that offer terrific sightseeing and a chance to see parts of our city that many visitors miss.  

 

Anyway, assuming you hit Seattle Center (Space Needle, Chihuly, MoPop museum) that morning, here's what I'd do for the afternoon:  


Call an Uber to pick you up at Seattle Center and have them take you to the ferry dock downtown.  Board the West Seattle Water Taxi which will take you across Elliott Bay to Seacrest Park in West Seattle.  

 

P1000136aHs.jpg

 

Right on the dock is a very fun cafe/bar, Marination Ma Kai, featuring fun Hawaiian/Korean food (Spam musubi, loco moco, kalbi sliders, etc.) and excellent drinks in their outdoor patio.  

 

Put some carbs in your belly, then walk them off along the fabulous waterfront pedestrian/bike path that runs 2 miles from the dock around Duwamish Head to Alki Beach.  (You can also rent bikes or kayaks next door to Marination.)  You'll pass Scuba divers getting into their gear, watch passing freighters and ferries, and eventually pass the volleyball nets and kids playing in the sand, until you get to our own wee Statue of Liberty.  Hopefully the Olympic mountains will be in view, too.  There are numerous cafes, fish and chips stands, pubs etc. facing the beach.  

 

P1000161s.jpg

 

P1000154s2.jpg

 

P1000142s.jpg

 

You can walk back to the water taxi dock, or there's a free shuttle bus (details on the water taxi website, above.) Then back downtown.  

 

If you're knackered by this point, go back to the hotel for a nap, then have dinner someplace downtown.  If you still want to see some more things, then my suggestion would be to walk from the ferry dock through Pioneer Square to the International District, Seattle's Asian hub (not just Chinese, but Japanese, Korean SE Asian etc.)  The target here is Uwajimaya, a fantastic pan-Asian grocery and department store.  Play "name that vegetable" in the produce section, ogle one of the best fish markets in town, have a snack or a meal in the cool Asian food court (stalls with Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, Hawaiian... food) and maybe buy some weird Japanese snacks for the cruise or the flights (or even some wine for your cabin.)  Uwajimaya is part of Seattle's soul, and IMO is a "don't miss" place.

 

From there you can walk a block to the International District light rail station (get off at Westlake for the Sheraton) or for around the same money, just Uber back to your hotel and go splat.

 

Here's a (walking) map of this day, not counting the monorail and Seattle Center option - https://goo.gl/maps/xdL4tVtm6hVg87i3A

 

Sunday morning (pre-cruise).  If you're up early and didn't do the Space Needle etc. before, then you could do it now.  Same idea on timing - earlier is better.  Or, you could repeat the previous day - hit the Pike Place market for breakfast, buy some flowers for your cabin on the ship, then back to the hotel and off to Pier 91.  Read the various threads about Pier 91 logistics; I wouldn't try to get there too early.  Or, you could walk a few blocks from the Sheraton to the Top Pot Doughnuts "flagship" store, then walk off those carbs past the Amazon Spheres (aka "Bezos' balls") back to the hotel. Map -  https://goo.gl/maps/JRDcd22RVzKDHMeu9 .  Then it's north to Alaska.

 

amazon-spheres-1.jpg

 

Return day:  I would rent a car for the day.  National, Enterprise and Alamo (same company) have kiosks at the cruise terminals; they will shuttle you (and bags if you have any) to their downtown office to pick up the vehicle.  Or, an Uber from Pier 91 to any number of other car rental locations will be cheap (and the total might be less if the daily rate is cheap enough to cover the Uber cost.)   In any event, I'd look at a plan for the day something like this:  https://goo.gl/maps/jGY1MvU5UdpHHyvU8

 

This would take you to Fishermen's Terminal, home of Seattle's and much of the long-distance Alaska fishing fleets, including some of the big Bering Sea crabbers.  Have breakfast at the Bay Cafe or Chinook's, both with terrific views of the moored fleet.  Burn off some carbs by walking around the piers.  (This might be a second breakfast if you've eaten on the boat before disembarking.  Life is tough 😉 )

 

P1000106as.jpg

 

Then get in the car and drive across the Fremont bridge and visit the Fremont Troll.  From there, head east along north Lake Union to the University of Washington, then head north along Lake Washington to Kenmore and Bothell at the top of the lake.  (Note you can also use the WA 520 toll bridge across Lake Washington.  The toll is collected electronically; the rental car company will just add it to your bill (around $4 tops.)

 

The target is the cluster of wineries in Woodinville.  The map shows Chateau Ste. Michelle, but there are numerous wineries nearby.  (It's important to note that these are wineries, not vineyards.  The grapes are grown in eastern Washington, on the other side of the Cascades, so it's not Napa.)  

 

From Woodinville, you'll travel east into the Snoqualmie Valley.  Wind down the Novelty Hill Road to the valley floor, then navigate to Carnation Farms, the original home of Carnation milk.  Then head south down WA 203 through the town of Carnation to Fall City (farm stands and nice scenery along the way) then follow WA 202 up to Snoqualmie Falls.  See the falls (there's a trail down to the lower falls, quite spectacular) then, if you're peckish, head into "downtown" North Bend for a piece of cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee at Twede's cafe, make famous in the Twin Peaks TV show.

 

By now it's probably mid- to late afternoon.  If time permits, hop on I-90 and WA 18 and head to downtown Tacoma.  The Chihuly Bridge of Glass (free) is next to the Museum of Glass (not free) and both are terrific.  

 

From there, follow the coast north a few minutes to Salty's at Redondo, a waterfront restaurant and bar.  Cool your heels, maybe watch the sun decline toward the Olympic mountains, then make your way north to the airport.  Drop the car, shuttle to the terminal, bye-bye.  

 

This would be a full but far from grueling day; hopefully you'd have stored up plenty of oxygen for the forthcoming red-eye home.

 

All just suggestions, of course.

Should be the same, or maybe $5 more as it's a bit farther north.

Wow, love all these ideas, thank you for taking the time!

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I was just in Seattle on Friday and be flexible on visiting the Space Needle.  The fog can make it worthless going to the top.  I was in town at noon and the fog hide 3/4 of the way up.  So going to the top would have been like looking at a snow storm.  That being said we were there a few years ago and had dinner at the top.  The weather was crystal clear, food was excellent, and the view went on forever.  As the locals say, "if you don't like the weather just wait ten minutes and it will change."

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We did the 2 hr Ballard Locks Harbor Cruise yesterday. Had a great time and good weather. Nice to get a different perspective from the water. We did this with Argosy. 

Hank

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Gardyloo -- thanks for your many suggestions for planning a pre-cruise in Seattle.  Very helpful.  The pictures are great.  DW and myself have a Princess cruise schedule for late September with two pre-cruise days.  Your ideas will really help us. We plan to incorporate some your ideas into our stay.

Thanks, John

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Gardyloo covered mostly everything but a few more suggestions:

  • You can take a 40 minute ferry to Bainbridge Island close to Pier 66 downtown. This is a great option if you don't want to rent a car but want to get out of the city. From there, you can explore Bainbridge downtown which has cute shops, restaurants and wine tasting rooms. The ferry is public transportation so $8.50pp round trip (no fare on the way back from  Bainbridge)
  • If you're not from the West Coast and haven't tasted Salt and Straw, this is a must. The ice cream is some of the best I've ever had (either in Capitol Hill downtown or the Ballard neighborhood)
  • Brewery tour -if you like beer, I recommend Ruebens Brews, Fremont Brewing, Chuck's Hop Shop and Cloudburst Brewing for the best beer Seattle has to offer.  
  • Food  - we always take visitors to Din Tai Fung - and it never disappointing, even if it's a bit touristy. If you like dumplings, you have to check this place out. 
  • For a splurge meal- Canlis for the most romantic view of the city (take advantage of a later seating for a spectacular sunset - right now our last light is around 10pm with official sunset being 9pm)
  • Haven't been in awhile, but I told a vendor visiting to go to Ray's Boathouse, which is on the water. She and her husband are from NY and loved the seafood there. A bit overpriced but you can't beat the view.
  • S.A.M (Seattle Art Museum) Sculpture Park is on the water and a close walk from the touristy waterfront - worth checking out.

Enjoy! 

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On 6/3/2019 at 4:53 AM, CruiserBruce said:

Getting to your hotel, use STILA, the towncar service located at the airport and discussed here frequently. Just used it a couple of days ago. $45 flat rate. Could not have been easier or more convenient. Highly recommend it.

 

Uber or taxi for your other transport. 

 

Yes, Pikes, Chihuly and Space Needle are quite doable in one day. That is what we did yesterday.

Pike Place Market is a nightmare in summer.  A mob scene.  Just an fyi.

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10 hours ago, clo said:

Pike Place Market is a nightmare in summer.  A mob scene.  Just an fyi.

Pike Place Market is quite crowded.  Best to visit early morning.  Also, all the cruise ships will allow flower bouquets on board, so if you want to have flowers from the Market, feel free to buy some!

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On 6/18/2019 at 3:24 PM, psuboater said:

Gardyloo covered mostly everything but a few more suggestions:

  • You can take a 40 minute ferry to Bainbridge Island close to Pier 66 downtown. This is a great option if you don't want to rent a car but want to get out of the city. From there, you can explore Bainbridge downtown which has cute shops, restaurants and wine tasting rooms. The ferry is public transportation so $8.50pp round trip (no fare on the way back from  Bainbridge)
  • If you're not from the West Coast and haven't tasted Salt and Straw, this is a must. The ice cream is some of the best I've ever had (either in Capitol Hill downtown or the Ballard neighborhood)
  • Brewery tour -if you like beer, I recommend Ruebens Brews, Fremont Brewing, Chuck's Hop Shop and Cloudburst Brewing for the best beer Seattle has to offer.  
  • Food  - we always take visitors to Din Tai Fung - and it never disappointing, even if it's a bit touristy. If you like dumplings, you have to check this place out. 
  • For a splurge meal- Canlis for the most romantic view of the city (take advantage of a later seating for a spectacular sunset - right now our last light is around 10pm with official sunset being 9pm)
  • Haven't been in awhile, but I told a vendor visiting to go to Ray's Boathouse, which is on the water. She and her husband are from NY and loved the seafood there. A bit overpriced but you can't beat the view.
  • S.A.M (Seattle Art Museum) Sculpture Park is on the water and a close walk from the touristy waterfront - worth checking out.

Enjoy! 

Great suggestions.  If you are able to get reservations at Canlis, you must dress accordingly.  It is one of the few (maybe only?) Seattle restaurants where appropriate dress is expected.

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If you're at Pike Place Market, there's a super restaurant right across from the main entrance, Matt's in the Market.  Upstairs looking over at the market.  We've eaten there a number of times and liked it a lot.  Seems to be more locals.

 

https://mattsinthemarket.com/

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On 6/20/2019 at 8:02 AM, Ferry_Watcher said:

Great suggestions.  If you are able to get reservations at Canlis, you must dress accordingly.  It is one of the few (maybe only?) Seattle restaurants where appropriate dress is expected.

 

Yes, correct! Was having a discussion with co-workers and that was the only restaurant I've been to in Seattle where everyone was dressed like they were attending a high end meal. Have been to Metropolitan Grill, El Gaucho, Aqua and Bateau and the dress code looks like a modern day cruise ship on formal night - almost anything goes LOL

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1 hour ago, psuboater said:

 

Yes, correct! Was having a discussion with co-workers and that was the only restaurant I've been to in Seattle where everyone was dressed like they were attending a high end meal. Have been to Metropolitan Grill, El Gaucho, Aqua and Bateau and the dress code looks like a modern day cruise ship on formal night - almost anything goes LOL

I'd say you'd find that in all West Coast cities.

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Just another option, we did Needle and Chululy on the day we came back. We had a late flight also and ship did an excursion with plenty of time at both places. Bus had our luggage and took us to airport.  Saved a whole other complete day before the cruise.

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On 6/3/2019 at 11:15 AM, Gardyloo said:

 

I would take a town car or Uber/Lyft from the airport to the hotel.  

 

As your body clocks will still be on eastern time, I'd suggest hitting the Pike Place market as early in the morning as you can on Saturday.  Go there for breakfast (places open at 6 - 8 AM) then walk around watching the merchants set up for the day.  Visit the "original" Starbucks (it isn't) if you must, but plan to be gone from the market by 10:30 at the latest, after which the crowds will become horrific.  

 

If you want to visit the Space Needle and Chihuly, try to get them out of the way the same morning.  You can walk from the Pike market to the monorail station at Westlake in around 5 minutes; the monorail will drop you more or less at the foot of the Space Needle (also the Chihuly exhibit.)  Again, by late morning things will be getting crowded there, too, so be prepared for some delays. 

 

Now having said that, I'll just express a personal opinion as a resident.  The Space Needle is extremely overpriced, and like many view points around the world, one downside is that you can't see the Space Needle when you're IN the Space Needle.  Seattle is a city of hills and water bodies, and there are umpteen places where you can get fabulous views of the city, the mountains, bays and lakes... for free, and without having to brave the crowds all shoving their money at the ticket-takers.  For the $70 or so that you'd pay for two tickets, you could ride around town in an Uber for quite some time, visiting other viewpoints, or places outside the downtown area that offer terrific sightseeing and a chance to see parts of our city that many visitors miss.  

 

Anyway, assuming you hit Seattle Center (Space Needle, Chihuly, MoPop museum) that morning, here's what I'd do for the afternoon:  


Call an Uber to pick you up at Seattle Center and have them take you to the ferry dock downtown.  Board the West Seattle Water Taxi which will take you across Elliott Bay to Seacrest Park in West Seattle.  

 

P1000136aHs.jpg

 

Right on the dock is a very fun cafe/bar, Marination Ma Kai, featuring fun Hawaiian/Korean food (Spam musubi, loco moco, kalbi sliders, etc.) and excellent drinks in their outdoor patio.  

 

Put some carbs in your belly, then walk them off along the fabulous waterfront pedestrian/bike path that runs 2 miles from the dock around Duwamish Head to Alki Beach.  (You can also rent bikes or kayaks next door to Marination.)  You'll pass Scuba divers getting into their gear, watch passing freighters and ferries, and eventually pass the volleyball nets and kids playing in the sand, until you get to our own wee Statue of Liberty.  Hopefully the Olympic mountains will be in view, too.  There are numerous cafes, fish and chips stands, pubs etc. facing the beach.  

 

P1000161s.jpg

 

P1000154s2.jpg

 

P1000142s.jpg

 

You can walk back to the water taxi dock, or there's a free shuttle bus (details on the water taxi website, above.) Then back downtown.  

 

If you're knackered by this point, go back to the hotel for a nap, then have dinner someplace downtown.  If you still want to see some more things, then my suggestion would be to walk from the ferry dock through Pioneer Square to the International District, Seattle's Asian hub (not just Chinese, but Japanese, Korean SE Asian etc.)  The target here is Uwajimaya, a fantastic pan-Asian grocery and department store.  Play "name that vegetable" in the produce section, ogle one of the best fish markets in town, have a snack or a meal in the cool Asian food court (stalls with Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, Hawaiian... food) and maybe buy some weird Japanese snacks for the cruise or the flights (or even some wine for your cabin.)  Uwajimaya is part of Seattle's soul, and IMO is a "don't miss" place.

 

From there you can walk a block to the International District light rail station (get off at Westlake for the Sheraton) or for around the same money, just Uber back to your hotel and go splat.

 

Here's a (walking) map of this day, not counting the monorail and Seattle Center option - https://goo.gl/maps/xdL4tVtm6hVg87i3A

 

Sunday morning (pre-cruise).  If you're up early and didn't do the Space Needle etc. before, then you could do it now.  Same idea on timing - earlier is better.  Or, you could repeat the previous day - hit the Pike Place market for breakfast, buy some flowers for your cabin on the ship, then back to the hotel and off to Pier 91.  Read the various threads about Pier 91 logistics; I wouldn't try to get there too early.  Or, you could walk a few blocks from the Sheraton to the Top Pot Doughnuts "flagship" store, then walk off those carbs past the Amazon Spheres (aka "Bezos' balls") back to the hotel. Map -  https://goo.gl/maps/JRDcd22RVzKDHMeu9 .  Then it's north to Alaska.

 

amazon-spheres-1.jpg

 

Return day:  I would rent a car for the day.  National, Enterprise and Alamo (same company) have kiosks at the cruise terminals; they will shuttle you (and bags if you have any) to their downtown office to pick up the vehicle.  Or, an Uber from Pier 91 to any number of other car rental locations will be cheap (and the total might be less if the daily rate is cheap enough to cover the Uber cost.)   In any event, I'd look at a plan for the day something like this:  https://goo.gl/maps/jGY1MvU5UdpHHyvU8

 

This would take you to Fishermen's Terminal, home of Seattle's and much of the long-distance Alaska fishing fleets, including some of the big Bering Sea crabbers.  Have breakfast at the Bay Cafe or Chinook's, both with terrific views of the moored fleet.  Burn off some carbs by walking around the piers.  (This might be a second breakfast if you've eaten on the boat before disembarking.  Life is tough 😉 )

 

P1000106as.jpg

 

Then get in the car and drive across the Fremont bridge and visit the Fremont Troll.  From there, head east along north Lake Union to the University of Washington, then head north along Lake Washington to Kenmore and Bothell at the top of the lake.  (Note you can also use the WA 520 toll bridge across Lake Washington.  The toll is collected electronically; the rental car company will just add it to your bill (around $4 tops.)

 

The target is the cluster of wineries in Woodinville.  The map shows Chateau Ste. Michelle, but there are numerous wineries nearby.  (It's important to note that these are wineries, not vineyards.  The grapes are grown in eastern Washington, on the other side of the Cascades, so it's not Napa.)  

 

From Woodinville, you'll travel east into the Snoqualmie Valley.  Wind down the Novelty Hill Road to the valley floor, then navigate to Carnation Farms, the original home of Carnation milk.  Then head south down WA 203 through the town of Carnation to Fall City (farm stands and nice scenery along the way) then follow WA 202 up to Snoqualmie Falls.  See the falls (there's a trail down to the lower falls, quite spectacular) then, if you're peckish, head into "downtown" North Bend for a piece of cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee at Twede's cafe, make famous in the Twin Peaks TV show.

 

By now it's probably mid- to late afternoon.  If time permits, hop on I-90 and WA 18 and head to downtown Tacoma.  The Chihuly Bridge of Glass (free) is next to the Museum of Glass (not free) and both are terrific.  

 

From there, follow the coast north a few minutes to Salty's at Redondo, a waterfront restaurant and bar.  Cool your heels, maybe watch the sun decline toward the Olympic mountains, then make your way north to the airport.  Drop the car, shuttle to the terminal, bye-bye.  

 

This would be a full but far from grueling day; hopefully you'd have stored up plenty of oxygen for the forthcoming red-eye home.

 

All just suggestions, of course.

Should be the same, or maybe $5 more as it's a bit farther north.

 

A HUGE Thank You to GardyLoo!  

 

Your detailed day planning helped us so much.  We actually decided to flip the days.  Flew in Friday night and had a relaxing dinner close to the hotel.  Saturday morning we rented a car and did just about EVERYTHING you suggested!  

 

Started at Fishermen's Terminal and had breakfast at the Bay Cafe (crab benedict!), walked the piers, saw the Freemont Troll, had a fantastic few hours at Chateau Ste. Michelle, went down Novelty Hill rd and bought cherries at a roadside stand, sat outside Carnation milk for a little snack of scones and our cherries, (we skipped the cherry pie, but we had cherries!), went to Snoqualmie Falls and did the hike down, and back up, visited the Chihuly Bridge of Glass and the Museum of Glass, and had dinner at Salty's.  It was an amazing day, beautiful weather.  Dropped the rental after hours and walked a block back to the hotel.  

 

Post cruise, we sent our luggage on ahead to SeaTac, and took a Lyft to Pike Market for  a few hours there (great crumpet place) and made a few purchases, walked through bubble gum alley down to the ferris wheel and took a ride.  From there we Lyfted to Chihuly and did the museum and garden, decided against the Space Needle because it was pretty foggy, and we felt we had a great view OF the space needle from the ferris wheel.  We ate lunch at a local dive, Tavern 5 Point Cafe, good food and great local company.  From there we decided to do an underground Seattle tour becausee we had a few more hours to kill before our red eye flight last night.  We ubered to the airport a bit early and had a relaxing dinner.  

 

Again... thank you so much for all the suggestions.  Especially your rental car day, we couldn't have planned a better day.  This is why I love cruise critic!!!

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