Connect with us
ADVERTISEMENT

Home Accents

Seattle City Guide: Travel tips and recommendations

ADVERTISEMENT

Wilmot’s ghost

Dine inside Amazonian canyons, triple domes containing more than 40,000 cloud forest plants from around the world. Star Seattle chef Renée Erickson applies her talent to a Roman-inspired menu in this cool pastel space, named after botanist Ellen Wilmot, who likes it. Plant flowering thistles in her friends’ gardens. Start with appetizers, then move on to dishes like halibut in tapenade or fresh mozzarella pizza. Reservations are recommended.

Seattle, WA: Visitors enjoy fall colors along Burke Gilman Road in the Fremont neighborhood.

Burke Gilman Trail

Paul Christian Gordon/Alamy Stock Photo

AARP Top Picks

Ballard and the Burke Gilman pathway

The Scandinavian-settled neighborhood of Ballard still houses the off-season North Pacific fishing fleet, including boats in The deadliest hunt a series. But today Ballard is equally well known for its bars, restaurants and shops, along with the fantastic National Museum of the North. Walkers and cyclists will enjoy the paved trail along the 19-mile Burke Gilman Trail, which begins at a sandy, saltwater beach in Golden Gardens Park.

Preservation methods: In the Ballard neighborhood, the quintessential Seattle experience remains free: the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, where boats cross up from sea level into the ship’s canal and lake system north and east of downtown. The city’s three underground windows show migrating Pacific salmon (sockeye, chinook, coho) species, with peak views from mid-June through September.

Boating on Lake Union

Long ago, a glacier sculpted this body of water, creating a water playground the size of Monaco, just two miles north of the city center. It offers views of the Seattle skyline, the Space Needle, and the exciting industrial ruins of Gas Works Park, while Kenmore Air planes splash and take off.

Dive right into this bustling scene with a rental from the Wooden Boat Center, which rents classic craft from rowboats to Blanchard Jr. Knockabouts: sailboats built right on the edge of this lake from 1933 to 1947. Want a little extra ease? The neighborhood also has heated, enclosed electric boats and even six-passenger kayaks with hot tubs.

Allison Williams, author of the guide Moon SeattleHe says, “I really like renting kayaks from Agua Verde [Paddle Club], then follow it up with margaritas and tacos on the patio. Pro tip: Don’t do it the other way around.

Preservation methods: Reserve a free hour-long canoe through the Wooden Boat Center as part of the year-round Peapod Public Program. Or try a 45-minute ice cream ride around the lake. The narrative touches on highlights such as the birthplace of Boeing, one of the busiest drawbridges in the world, and houseboats, including the famous Sleepless in SeattleFirst: the dog-friendly short cruise is $15 for adults, compared to Argosy Cruises’ two-hour lock cruise for $49 ($46 for people 65 and over) round-trip.

Chinatown International

Located one mile south of downtown, this vibrant neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its highlight remains the Wing Luke Museum, the first branch of the Smithsonian Institution in the Pacific Northwest and a National Park Service area. Exhibits usually include a nod to local legend Bruce Lee, and walking tours help travelers explore the area. Favorite spots include the only surviving restaurant from Seattle’s Japantown, Maneke, listed as one of America’s Classic Restaurants. by the James Beard Foundation. Saigon Viet Nam Deli serves some of the best ban mi sandwiches in the country; and the famous The Hood Café & Bakery highlights barbecue from the Philippines, along with a wonderful and delicious cheesecake made with yam (bright purple Japanese yam).

Preservation methods: Meet the elderly at Hing Hay Park, a popular venue for card games, chess matches, picnics, meditation, outdoor exercise, and cultural performances in an ornate Taiwanese pavilion. If you work up an appetite, head half a block east on South King Street to one of actor Bruce Lee’s hangouts: Tai Tung, Seattle’s oldest Chinese restaurant. His favorite dishes were Garlic Shrimp and Oyster Sauce.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT
Climate Pledge Arena, Civic Center, Seattle, WA, USA

Climate Pledge Arena

Amanda Ahn/Alamy Stock Photo

Climate Pledge Arena

This new stadium hosts events, concerts, and games for the city’s new National Hockey League team, the Seattle Kraken, and is also home to the four-time Women’s National Basketball Association champions, the Seattle Storm.

The square itself deserves some applause. Eco-friendly touches include channeling rainwater to resurface the snow, and the building is on track to be the world’s first professional sports venue to be certified by the International Future Institute for carbon-neutral living. It is open year-round for events; Book a tour to learn more about our sustainability efforts.

Preservation methods: You can access via the monorail, a 90-second ride between Seattle Center and the arena. Tickets are $3.50 for adults and $1.75 for travelers over 65.

Explore Seattle’s big and beautiful backyard

The Emerald City may be the gateway to Alaska cruises, but it also has plenty of nature. Wander through 20 acres of Kubota Garden, blending Japanese landscape design with native Northwest plants. Located in the Rainier Beach neighborhood of South Seattle, it is accessible via light rail, bus 106, as well as by car (admission is free, donations welcome).

Or really stretch your legs at vast Discovery Park, six miles northwest of downtown. This lush green expanse extends from slopes overlooking snow-capped peaks to meadows, forest groves, and even sand dunes. Not comfortable strolling down bluffs? People over 62 — and anyone with a physical disability — can view free beach parking passes at the visitor center.

Journey 90 miles southeast of Seattle for an alpine experience: Mount Rainier, the tallest glacial peak in the contiguous United States, rises 14,410 feet above sea level there, protected by Mount Rainier National Park.

Stretching a hundred miles north, the San Juan Islands are a peaceful natural area protected by National Monument status known for their resident orcas. And the 1919 lighthouse here remains one of the best places in the world to watch whales from shore: Lime State’s Killen Point is a scenic side park connecting the two largest islands, Orcas and San Juan.

Head west to experience sandy spits, sea stacks, and temperate rainforests along the Pacific coast. Olympic National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a two- to four-hour drive from the city, depending on where you’re heading in the nearly million-acre reserve.

Preservation methods: Seattle-based REI and the Mountaineers community both offer outdoor classes and day trips. The Mountaineers website provides information about carpooling to reduce your gas cost and spare you the expense of renting a car. REI also offers free lessons and courses; Check the website for event details.