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Places of Interest

Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square's historic district of Seattle offers a wealth of art galleries, bookstores, antique shops, cool restaurants, and buzzing nightclubs within easy walking (or free bus) distance of most downtown Seattle hotels. The cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages are a reminder of life a century ago.

Pioneer Square is Seattle's oldest neighborhood, adjacent to the new, massive sports stadiums for the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks. The classic red brick buildings give a warmth to the area not found in most sprawling US suburbias.

Pioneer Square is the busiest after dark, when dancing, live music, and spicy food shake up the City. The area's shopping is particularly good for used or classic books and antiques.

Pioneer Square is a ninety acre historic district, devoted to art, history, culture and entertainment. Here you will find a Park Service museum, an observation tower and a vintage streetcar, in addition to many of Seattle’s bookstores, and quite a few art galleries, coffee shops, and restaurants. The bars in the square are very popular for live music, and one cover charge gets you into most of the venues. One word of caution, Pioneer Square is near the city and county courthouses as well as the county jail. Almost every time you walk through the area, you see something or somebody that seems a little off. The area is also popular with the homeless. It’s not a threatening environment, but is definitely one where you are better off staying aware of your surroundings. After dark in particular you should think twice about leaving the 1st Avenue corridor. The folks in the bars are pretty harmless. The same may not always be true up around the bus stops on 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

Seattle Public Library

This downtown location is the hub for all of the Seattle Public Library branches, and it circulates more than a million books annually. It has a large computer area and a 200-seat auditorium where literary programs, workshops and events for kids are held (all free of charge). Other services include an area to assist deaf, deaf-blind and hard-of-hearing patrons, a genealogy desk for those researching family history, and a writer's room to encourage new writers.

Pike Place Market

One of Seattle's most famous landmarks, this is the oldest continuously working public market in the country. Shop for fresh vegetables and fruits. Stop by Pike Place Fish to see fish fly. The market has numerous shops, including a health food and herb store, craft stores, and flower stands. Stop by Sur la Table, where you'll find tools with which to prepare your recently purchased ingredients. Don't forget to pick up fresh-baked pastries for dessert, and stop at one of the restaurants for lunch or an authentic Seattle latte before heading home.

Lincoln Park

Hidden away in the southern reaches of West Seattle, this park is, in many respects, the ultimate archetype of a Seattle park. Big but not too big, woodsy but not too densely forested, everything is just right. The beach is perfect for exploring, the meadows just right for Frisbee and the picnic areas nicely sheltered. And, Colman Pool (open only in the summer) lets you experience the salty waters of Puget Sound without the icy temperatures or the filth. If that doesn't provide waves enough, walk out of the park to the south and hop the ferryboat for a scenic 15-minute ride over to Vashon Island.

Alki beach

West Seattle is an oft overlooked part of Seattle that offers one of the few destination beaches on Puget Sound. Alki Beach has a two and a half mile long pedestrian walkway, and in the summer is populated by beach volleyball players, sun worshipers, and beachcombers. Most of the beaches on Puget Sound are covered in rock and shells, but on Alki you can get sand between your toes, get some exercise, learn about Seattle’s earliest settlers, and take in a great view of the Seattle skyline.

Second only to Green Lake in Seattle as the place to see and be seen participating in something athletic, Alki beach provides great people watching, as well as sand to relax on, and hopefully some sun to bask in. This maybe the only place in Seattle where you will see the natives in bathing suits. The water is cold, but on a hot August day, it can’t be beat. A great place to let the kids burn off energy, and to enjoy walking, rollerblading, beach volleyball, or just eating fish and chips are watching others burn calories.

Salty’s on Alki Beach

Salty’s is something of a Northwest institution. The view is spectacular, and the romantic atmosphere can’t be beat. This is the only restaurant in town with a view of the Seattle skyline from the SW side, and they charge accordingly. It is a favorite destination for couples and those celebrating special occasions. As you might guess from the name, they specialize in seafood and it rarely disappoints. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, Salty’s offers a great brunch to start the day. From Sea Crest park, where the water taxi docks the restaurant is less than a block to the south along Harbor Ave SW.


Arbor Heights