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Become A True Seattleite, Check Out the Neighborhoods!
While everyone loves a trip to downtown Seattle, just a 10 minute drive or 20 minute express bus ride from our Seattle WA, Bed and Breakfast, with the Pike Place Market, the waterfront, the Seattle Aquarium, great shopping and all the other fun stuff…to get a sense of the true Seattle one should experience the neighborhoods. Our Seattle B&B is located in and adjacent to some of Seattle's finest neighborhoods. Below you will find a taste of each one and a couple of ideas on what to enjoy when you visit each one. Near us you will find, Greenlake, Wallingford, Ravenna, Sandpoint, and View Ridge, and not too far away, Capitol Hill, Fremont, Ballard and of course there is our very own University District.
University District, Our Neighborhood
Home to the Chambered Nautilus Bed and Breakfast Inn and the University of Washington campus. Within a 10-minute walk of our Bed & Breakfast in Seattle, you will find, shops, movie theaters, great restaurants, coffee shops, a park, the Burke-Gilman jogging and biking trail and the University of Washington campus! At one end of our street, the UW Campus is a great place for a stroll, known for its fabulous view of Mount Rainier, glorious cherry trees, and mixture of stately old buildings and amazing new architecture. The campus and the accompanying UW Medical Center, encompasses several blocks and we have maps here at our Seattle Bed & Breakfast to guide you to and around the campus. Consider a visit to the Burke Museum (anthropology oriented, and always a good special exhibit) and the Henry Art Gallery (specializing in Modern Art). Both are on campus, about a 15-20 minute walk from our Seattle B&B. The University Book Store is a must, not just textbooks here, but also a great independent bookstore, selling new titles and the best place to buy all your UW Husky paraphernalia. The book store is in the heart of the University District, right on University way or as we call it, "the Ave."
Great restaurants abound in our neighborhood!
In addition to the ethnic food found up on the "Ave" and those in the University Village, there are a few others near us that we must mention. For steak lovers, Jak's Grill is a 5-minute drive from our Bed & Breakfast in Seattle. PAIR is a short walk/drive and a wonderful neighborhood place, with great wines and a "small plate" menu with lots of choices to share, and the Sand Point Grill is one of the best neighborhood places in town with a varied fresh daily menu and great cocktails! Restaurants come and go all the time so be sure and check with your Innkeepers for the best new choices and great standbys. Catering to the college crowd, there are the funky coffee shops, interesting clothing and handicraft shops, and almost any type of ethnic and inexpensive food one can want! Cafe Solsticeis our favorite coffee shop, featuring great coffee, great smells, baked goods and lots of students using the Wi-Fi. As for the "hole in the wall" local eateries, Big Time Brewery and Pizza (they make their own beer), Shalimar (Indian), and Thai Thom where you can watch the cook make your food, are our favorites.
Around the corner from the park and, just a 10-minute walk from our Seattle Bed & Breakfast, is the University Village shopping area. An upmarket place with good restaurants and yes, lots of great shopping, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, a huge grocery store the QFC, North Face for clothing, Barnes and Noble books and many local shops and more. We like Mrs.Cooks for kitchen gadgets - this will keep the shoppers in your group busy. Our favorite eateries, from so many to choose from in here are Piatti (Italian), Zao Noodle House (Asian), and the Ram Brew Pub (Casual), with a little bit of everything on the menu and, yes, they brew their own beer too.
At the other end of our street is the other side of the U-District, is beautiful Ravenna Park, located on the edge of the Ravenna Neighborhood. It is complete with a playground for kids, a dog walking meadow, and hiking trails through the woods and beside Ravenna Creek. This is a great place for a pre dinner walk, to help the kids burn off some energy or take your furry companion for an early morning stroll.
If that is not enough, a very short drive away (or easy bus ride) away are several of our favorite Seattle Neighborhoods, here are some of the highlights...
Just a stone's throw away, at the end of Ravenna Blvd. is Greenlake, the lake and the neighborhood. Pick up a latte at the Starbucks (you have to go to at least one while you are here), have a seat and enjoy the best people watching in town or Take a Walk. Join the Seattleites walking themselves, their dogs, their kids, or rollerblading on the 2.9 mile inner loop around the lake. Or just go partway and have a great lunch at Dukes Chowder House, one of our favorites and a Seattle institution.
Just south of the Inn, on the way to downtown it is easy to detour through this great urban neighborhood, home to Seattle University, Volunteer Park, and the fabulous eateries and unique shops of Broadway, the Pike/Pine corridor and 12th and 15th Aves. A visit to Volunteer Park with the Asian Art Museum, Conservatory, and the famous water tower (climb the 106 steps for an amazing view) is always fun. Our top eateries here are the Coastal Kitchen (on 15th), Café Presse (on 12th Ave by Seattle U), Quinn's Pub on Pike, and for a great dessert at a Seattle tradition visit the Dilettante Mocha Café on Broadway. We do also enjoy a coffee from the Victrola folks (a local coffee roaster) on 15th.
Just across the freeway from your home in the University District is Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood. The main drag here (and the # 44 bus goes right along it) is 45th Street. Stroll along, visit the shops, many are located in and around a remodeled school house at 45th and Wallingford Ave and see Seattleites out and about. Here we have to recommend a stop at the very popular Molly Moon's Ice Cream Parlor, you can find it by the line outside the door, a visit to Wide World Books and Travel a wonderful independent bookstore, and for eats, your innkeeper's favorite place in town for yummy casual food any time of the day, the Blue Star Café and Pub. This neighborhood also has our recommendation in Seattle for sushi and Japanese food, the Kisaku Sushi Restaurant - a great neighborhood place.
Located a bit further west of Wallingford and a little south is Fremont, or as they like to call themselves, the "Center of the Universe." Lots to do here, and home to lots of Public Art. Be sure to take along a Fremont neighborhood Walking Guide available in our living room and you can also check out fremont.com. Make sure to see The Fremont Troll - lurking beneath the Aurora Bridge since 1990 and is a cornerstone in Fremont's character, and the Statue of Lenin - Yes, Vladimir Illych Lenin. Visit Theo Chocolate, the only premium organic, Fair Trade, bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the US! Take a free tour! This is a chocoholic's dream! Stop by the Fremont Bridge to see the statues waiting for a bus--sometimes they are dressed up! Places to eat here are numerous! For a quick and very memorable sandwich we like the very famous Paseo's well known in Seattle for their Messy, spicy Cuban sandwiches and entrées. This is one of the Chambered Nautilus's top Staff Picks for Seattle eateries. Fremont is home to the unique and Norm's Eatery and Alehouse fits the bill. Described as a laid back, dog friendly (yes you can bring your furry friend to dinner here), Fremont joint it features great pub grub, (try the burgers) and trivia night on Thursdays. We also like a more refined meal sometimes at the 35th Street Bistro. For coffee in Fremont, we like the Lighthouse Roasters Fine Coffees, another local coffee roaster with an awesome fun environment in a yellow house in a small neighborhood. Fremont has no shortage of Bars and Taverns, many with live music. We picked as favorites The George and the Dragon Pub, Seattle's only authentic English Pub. They serve cocktails, fine ales, and even outside seating for dinner and drinks! You can watch soccer games, and play pool. The Red Door, a preppy "hip" place to go for younger, pop-your-collar-type, and a Fremont institution, it has been around almost as long as Fremont itself, but it doesn't look it. Live Music Bars we recommend are the Nectar Lounge, featuring a vast array of music shows and drinks and The High Dive a popular venue, it is easy to find the marquee outside has a larger woman diving off a board.
Just a little bit further west of the Inn is Ballard. This neighborhood is mix of the old, with an industrial area, great bars and a lot of live music mixing in with lots of new trendy restaurants, new condos and shops. You must see The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks where you can take a stroll through the botanical gardens and watch the boats travel through the waterway. Experience the famous salmon run as they journey upstream to spawn at the underwater Fish Ladder. Stop by Golden Gardens Park, one of Seattle's popular beaches right on the Puget Sound with a great view of the Olympic Mountains. Get your coffee in Ballard at the Café Verite & Cupcake Royale, a great coffeehouse known for their especially scrumptious cupcakes! While Ballard has lots of new restaurants (more than this innkeeper can keep track of) we still recommend 2 Seattle standards when hunger strikes. Ray's Boathouse offers the best seafood in town, best mountain and water view in town, and is located right on the water! Enjoy the casual atmosphere upstairs or partake in a fine dining experience on the lower level. Sit on the deck in the summer, when the sun goes down... no need to leave, they bring you blankets! Plus they have convenient valet parking. The Lockspot offers a laid-back atmosphere, and is located adjacent to the Locks. Local fishermen hang out here and it was made famous for its appearance in Discovery Channel's TV Show "Deadliest Catch". The Fish 'n Chips are a must!! Ballard too is known for its live music venues. The Sunset Tavern is extremely popular and the Tractor Tavern features a vast array of music shows and drinks. A little on the folk music side of things with square dancing on Monday nights! Egan's Ballard Jam House is a Jazz club tradition offering dinner and drinks!
|DAY 1 - Downtown Overview
Get an early start, you are headed downtown, about a 10 minute drive or just catch the 71, 72, or 73 express bus at the corner of University Way and 45th street. This will, in about 20 minutes, take you to Westlake Mall in the center of downtown. Take the escalator to the street level and head west about 6 blocks to the Pike Place Market. The Pike Place Market is our local farmer's market, and has allowed urban dwellers access to fresh produce, fish, meat and much more for over 100 years. In the mid-70s, the market was in danger of being demolished for the development of condominiums, but a group of local professors and students, including one young architectural student by the name of Patrick Duffy, managed to save the market. Today it stands as a microcosm of the diversity and spirit of the northwest. In addition to fresh food and produce, there are also many local craftspeople and restaurants. Stop by Pike Place Fish to watch the acrobatic antics. Every time a fish is sold, one vendor throws it across the counter while another catches and wraps it. Oh yeah, don't forget to say hi to the Monk fish. As you wander through the market, you will likely see many types of produce that are unfamiliar to you. Don't hesitate to ask the vendors any questions you might have. As you finish your tour of the market, this would be a good time for lunch. There are lots of great places for lunch, whether you want a quick snack or a full meal.
After leaving the market, head south on 1st Ave. to Pioneer Square. The walk will take about ten minutes, or you can hop on a bus. This is a free ride area, so don't worry about the fare. Pioneer Square is the oldest part of the city, and was part of the original settlement in the mid 1800's. When you arrive at Pioneer Square, a visit to the Elliott Bay Book Company is essential. This bookstore is one of the oldest in the city, and is a wonderful spot to spend a few minutes or a few hours surveying the stacks of this eclectic collection. Follow the spiral staircase near the entrance to the basement coffeehouse. Enjoy an espresso and a scone while you survey your purchases.
For a slightly quirky historic adventure, take the Underground Tour. Tickets and information can be found in the center of Pioneer Square. This 1.5 hour tour will take you beneath the stores and streets of historic downtown Seattle. For the baseball fan, continue to walk south to Safeco Field, where you can take a behind the scenes tour of this beautiful ballpark. This tour takes fans through the dugout, into the pressroom and up to the luxury suites. For more information visit the Mariners at www.seattlemariners.com.
By this time you will probably be ready to take a break. Head back to Westlake Mall and catch the 71, 72, or 73 bus back to the University District and make the brief walk back to the inn. You might want to freshen up, have a cup of tea and a cookie before you venture out for the evening.
The perfect conclusion to your whirlwind one day tour of Seattle is an evening at Ray's Boathouse. Ray's is located about 15-20 minutes west of the inn by car, and about a $20 taxi ride. Here you can find some of the freshest seafood around, with great service and a friendly and comfortable atmosphere. You can choose to dine at either Ray's Café, a less formal and more relaxed experience, or at the more formal dining room. The dining room is a bit more expensive and the menu is a little more sophisticated. Both spots have great views of the Olympic Mountains and a parade of passing ferries. After a relaxing meal, return to the inn for a cup of tea and a relaxing nights sleep.
|DAY 2 - More Sightseeing and Culture
After day one, today you can relax a little. Head down to the Westlake Mall, and go to the top floor to the monorail station. Take the two-minute monorail ride from Downtown's Westlake Center mall to the Seattle Center. Head up the Space Needle for 360-degree city views; a drink from the SkyCity coffee bar is the perfect complement. Afterward take in one of Seattle Center's many ground-level attractions: the Pacific Science Center, the Children's Museum, the Experience Music Project, or the Science Fiction Experience Museum. Have lunch in Queen Anne or Belltown, and then walk southwest down Broad St. to the water and the Olympic Sculpture Park, an amazing outdoor museum with great water and mountain views. Hop a bus now and go past the docks and through Pioneer Square to the International District. Wander around the slim shaded streets, absorbing the Asian culture and picking up goodies at fruit stalls, tea shops, and knickknack stores. Tour the Wing Luke Museum, and then head up to Kobe Terrace Park for a look at Elliott Bay. For dinner, try a neighborhood joint along 12th Avenue South or dine at Uwajimay, the Asian superstore with a Pan-Asian food court that will enable you to eat your way from Japan to Vietnam. See what's happening at the Nippon Kan Theater, or head east to the Capitol Hill for restaurants, shops and bars, or perhaps dessert at the Dilettante Mocha Café on Broadway is in order. Note that on Monday, the Wing Luke Museum is closed.
|DAY 3 - Explore the Neighborhoods
Since you've covered Downtown, today you can explore the vastly differing neighborhoods around the Inn and just outside of the downtown area. Grab a quick coffee at a Greenlake café, then take a stroll around the water to watch Seattleites -- and their dogs -- waking up with a jog. Visitors of all ages find both the Woodland Park Zoo and the Hiram Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks) captivating, so consider rounding out the morning with a visit to one or the other. Have lunch in Wallingford, then head down to Fremont for a little shopping. Cross over to the University District and the University of Washington's Waterfront Activities Center, where you can rent a kayak to enjoy views from the water -- or head to the Kenmore Air Terminal for a seaplane flight over the city. Relax back at the Inn and then head down to the University Village for some evening shopping and/or a great dinner.
|DAYS 4, 5, 6... Here are some extra ideas you might want to add to your itinerary...
A Ferry Ride
There is no better way to spend a couple of hours than taking a cruise on the Bainbridge Island ferry. You can board downtown at the water front and you don't even need a car. Just walk on and enjoy the 30 minute ride. Once you depart on the other side, there are places for a quick lunch or a cup of coffee before your return. This is one of the best views of the city, and a great way to spend a couple of hours relaxing on the water. We have ferry schedules here at the Inn or you can go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/schedule/ for all the info on all the ferries.
Ride the Duck
You haven't seen Seattle until you've seen it from a Duck! Travelers of all ages love Ride the Ducks! Our hilarious, Coast Guard-certified Maritime Captains will take you on a fun-filled, musical tour of the Emerald City. Amphibious World War II vehicles will show you Seattle from both land and water! You'll see Downtown Seattle, Pike Place Market, historic Pioneer Square, and funky Fremont, then SPLASH into Lake Union for a spectacular view of the city skyline, luxurious yachts, and Sleepless in Seattle Houseboats! Buy your tickets and board the Ducks at the northeast corner of 5th & Broad, across the street from Experience Music Project and the Seattle Center. Walk ups are welcome, advance purchase is recommended.
Day Trip to Victoria Island
Just two and a half hours away via the Victoria Clipper, are the world famous Buchart Gardens. Spend the day wandering through the gardens and touring the quaint English town of Victoria. The gardens can be reached via public transportation, or the staff of the Victoria Clipper will gladly arrange for your transportation for a price. Arrangements can be made at www.victoriaclipper.com or on the boat. Victoria is located on the island of Vancouver and is within the boundaries of Canada, so bring a passport or copy of your birth certificate and be prepared for a lovely day, a relaxing high tea and a great trip. For more information on ferry travel, visit The Ferry Traveler at www.ferrytravel.com.
Day Trip to Whidbey Island - An Innkeeper Favorite!
Looking to escape the city for a day, go on a ferry ride, and see what the islands are like? Then a day trip to Whidbey Island is in order! This can be a short trip or take the full day. To visit the Island, Drive north about 30 minutes to Mukilteo and catch the WA state Mukilteo to Clinton Ferry.
Once on the island drive up the Scenic Hwy 525 and make your first stop the historic town of Langley, home to great galleries, antique shops, and an equally wonderful beach walk, that is as long as the tide is out. Enjoy great views over Saratoga Passage to Camano Island, keep your eye out you might spot a bald eagle or blue heron out fishing. On the outskirts of Langley you can stop at the Mukilteo Coffee Roasters and Café, the same coffee we serve at the inn. Drink some great Java , get a snack, learn and see how great coffee is roasted.
Further up the road there is lots to do, stop at Greenbank Farms with its fields, wetlands, and hiking trails, check out the wines at Greenbank Cellars, and see the Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens or keep going up the island to one of our favorite places, Ebey's Landing and Fort Casey State Park. Many a bald eagle has been sited from the bluff at the landing and at the bottom of the bluff and at the park there are great beach walks and views of the Olympic Mountains.
Across the main highway from Ebey's Landing is the town of Coupeville, a quaint seaside town situated on Penn Cove, known for Penn Cove Mussels. Have some for lunch at a Coupeville restaurant.
Back up the main highway, drive through the navy town of Oak Harbor (the biggest town on the island) and keep going to Deception Pass, one of the most beautiful places on the island. Enjoy the State park with a hike on both sides of the pass and you must walk across the bridge. Beautiful views of land, water and mountains are in all directions. Get back in the car, continue over the pass, and follow the signs to Hwy 20 East, then back to I-5 South and home to Seattle!
Check out www.whidbeycamanoislands.com/ and we have brochures and maps here at the Inn for you as well.