The Seattle Waterfront is a wonderful place to spend the day.
Whether you're looking to indulge in a fresh seafood dinner, pick up a memento of your time spent in the Emerald city, or just enjoy the breathtaking views, it can all be found along the Seattle Waterfront.
The Seattle Waterfront makes up the west border of the city, with the waters of Puget Sound's Elliot Bay bordering its west side and the neighborhoods of Pioneer Square, Downtown and Belltown on the east. Pike Place Market sits just above the waterfront, easily accessible by a set of stairs leading up from the piers. Parking is available, on the street and under the Alaskan Way Viaduct, but it can be pricey... up to $4 an hour in some places.
The best way to see the sights and shops on the waterfront is to walk along it! From Pier 70 and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the north end to Pier 46, the northern-most pier of the Port of Seattle. The length of the waterfront is a little less than 30 blocks, or about 2 miles. In a 30 minute walk you can see, hear and smell all the Seattle waterfront has to offer.
The Seattle Waterfront is rich in history. In the late 1800's, a two-year gold rush to the Klondike River in Canada's Yukon Territory put Seattle on the map as the "Gateway to Alaska" and eventually lead to the creation of the Port of Seattle in 1911. Today, Seattle's Waterfront is home to the West Coast's second busiest port. During the summer, you can even catch a glimpse of Alaska-bound cruise ships getting ready for their voyage.
The ferry terminal is located on the south end, at Pier 52. Here you can hop a boat to Bainbridge or Vashon Islands or the Kitsap Peninsula. The ferries are a great way to see Puget Sound and the Seattle skyline, without breaking the bank. Chartered cruises and tours also depart from the waterfront, making it a gateway to thousands of things to see and do in the northwest.
For the seafood-lover, there's an abundance of restaurants, both causal and elegant, to fill your stomach with the freshest seafood Puget Sound has to offer. Most sit down restaurants are located on the piers and have stunning waterfront views. If you're in a hurry or just want to take your lunch to the end of the pier and watch the sun go down, there are also plenty of walk up food stands serving traditional take-away food. Pike Place Market is just a couple of blocks up from the waterfront, where you can find an abundance of delicious delis and international fare.
If the sounds of seagulls lull you to sleep, there are lodging options right on the waterfront piers. Or, you can head east a couple of blocks and you find a multitude of hotels, from high end, to boutique, to chain, in both the Belltown and Downtown neighborhoods of Seattle.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Moon Seattle (Moon Handbooks) by Allison Williams. Written by a Seattleite, this guide offers everything you need to know about the Emerald City. Discover unique landmarks, points of interest, quirky curiosities and hidden secrets through photos, maps and provocative descriptions to make the most of your trip to Seattle. Order now...
Frommer's Seattle Day by Day, 3rd Edition by Donald Olson. This compact guide gives a thorough introductions to popular tourist highlights and provides itineraries with expert advice for hotels, restaurants, nightlife, shopping and sightseeing. Four colored maps are also included. Order now...
Scenic Seattle: Touring and Photographing the Emerald City by Joseph Becker. Find descriptions, travel and historical information along with specific advice on capturing the best shots on over 100 destinations throughout Seattle featuring viewpoints, seascapes, landscapes and cityscapes. Order now...
Seattle Travel Guide: Sightseeing, Hotel, Restaurant & Shopping Highlights by Jerry Wallis. Discover the quirky neighborhoods, culture and climate of Seattle, the best times to visit, recommendations on where to stay, eat and shop, and what to see and do. Order now...
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