Not was not our first time in Seattle. In fact, it was the second time of the year. We came here in January and did almost all the tourist activist in downtown Seattle such as Chihuly Garden, Space Needle and Museum of Flight. So we decided we missed the seafood and wanted to do some hiking in the National Parks this time.
Day 1. Snoqualmie Falls
This is a must see. Ben and I went there Sunday afternoon. I would say it's best to get there on weekdays or early morning to beat the crowd. If you park across the street, the parking is free. Its a very easy walk over a bridge to the observatory deck. We also went on a hike towards the bottom of the falls. This is a little bit a steep trail but a short hike. There are several platforms to enjoy the view and take pictures. This 270 foot waterfalls is one of Washington state's most popular attractions and more 2 million visitors come to the Falls every year. We stopped here during the winter in January as well and the falls were lit up at night. We were tired from our trip the day before and decided to call it a day.
Day 2. Downtown Seattle.
We walked around the downtown and stopped by several piers along the Elliot Bay. Visited Pike Place Market, Olympic Park, Seattle Center, Pioneer Square and Chinatown.
No visit to Seattle would be complete without a stroll through the Pike Place market. Gorgeous fresh flowers and, of course, all the fresh seafood you can imagine. This time, we got some Russian Piroshki across the street. It's always fun experience to go there.
Across the street you will see the Original Starbucks store back in 1971! A must see if you like coffee... the line for ordering coffee stretched out the door. Today, the only original thing might be their old logo.
When we visited in January we enjoyed looking around the Gum Walls. Really cool place to take pictures if you're at Pike Place. The International Fountain, the water was set to Beethoven Symphony No. 9. You can sit and enjoy the hot summer days.
Day 3. Mt. Rainier and Mount St. Helens Volcanic Monument
Day 4. Washington Park Arboretum and Discovery Park.
Washington Park Arboretum is perfect place for a nice stroll. This amazing arboretum is FREE, except the Japanese Garden. The parking was very easy unlike what we expected it to be. Here you will see dynamic assortment of plants including azaleas, dogwoods, rhododendrons, and magnolias on the path. If you like biking you can rent lime or ofo rent bikes to loop around the park. Just hard to navigate sometimes. You stay or do a small hike to Foster Island where you can enjoy view of the Union bay and have a small picnic.
Day 5. Frye Museum and Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
French Impressionism and What a collections! Frye families invaluable collections and a fine facility. If you need a coffee break check out their Frieda cafe. Make sure you have your good shoes on, not the pretty ones. More surprisingly the museum shop is cute but not relevant to what you saw in there. If you are interested in Contemporary art there will be always contemporary exhibitions, currently they have Mexican immigrant painter Aranda. We saw most Neo-classical Corot who innovated impressionist to impressionism symbol Monet. Impressionism has been always my favorite landscapes paintings. I would say it was perfect size of museum that you can get through in one afternoon. We had a small frame of time before the symphony concert. So went to check out the Amazon Sphere.
It's a work space! We didn't know that. But there is a small public exhibition area which you don't get to see much of the real plants. Btw, I changed my shoes after out museum trip and we think parking in downtown for 10 hours bought us some worry-less time to enjoy the day and the night. Outside the Sphere people and dog owners are hanging out. If you stay there long enough you will feel you want to be employed by Amazon. Last year, Amazon spent 23 billion on R & D. It wouldn't be surprise if the CEO Jeff Bezos who is worth 40 Billion as of 2018 plan to be housing on the Moon very soon.