Last weekend a couple of my chums and I took a low budget and absolute blast weekend trip to Seattle, WA. Here are some of the highlights from our two-day, one night adventure! It wasn’t until I was compiling this list that I noticed that we visited quite a few parks. Seattle seems set up for enjoying nature and being immersed in it.
Pike Place Market – Pike St. & 1st Ave.
This eclectic and vibrant market area, where locals and tourists mingle, offers all sorts of goods to look at and buy. Fresh flowers, seafood, tea, coffee (first Starbucks location!), all kinds of food, clothing, collectibles, souvenirs and so much more from over 500 vendors please the crowds daily. Despite being packed like a cat in a small box, we ended up with 3 large bouquets of flowers on our drive home – couldn’t resist!
- Free to wander and explore
- Reasonably priced food and finds
Sam Olympic Sculpture Park – Western Ave. & Broad St.
A city park and green space along the Puget Sound with interesting large sculptures and well-maintained gravel paths connected to Myrtle Edwards Park by a walking bridge.
- Free to wander
- Free western Sound view with art to admire
Kerry Park – W. Highland Dr. & 3rd Ave. W
On the paper map it’s labeled Bayview Kinnear Park. This small neighborhood park overlooks the Puget Sound and the Seattle downtown skyline with a great view of the Space Needle and, on a clear day (which we didn’t have), Mount Rainier.
- Free and often photographed view (think quintessential postcard)
- Play structures
Lake Union & Lake Union Park
Water and waterways surround and interconnect Seattle. This particular lake, one of the smaller bodies of water, offers plenty, including sights of the Space Needle and historic Gas Works Park.
- Center for Wooden Boats – free half hour sailing excursions on Sundays
- Fremont Avenue Seattle Ferry Service – low cost tours of Lake Union
- Free to wander and watch the boats sail
Mystery Pop Machine – E. John Street between 9th and 10th
In front of the Locksmith shop resides an old soda pop machine. Its six selection buttons all labeled “Mystery” give you no clues to that day’s flavor choices. You could get Coke or you might get Pepsi. We tried all six buttons and got six different drinks.
- $.75 for a random pop
Seattle Central Public Library – 5th Ave. & Madison St.
A striking structure designed by Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus of the Netherlands and built in 2004, the abstract-looking building has caught my imagination numerous times. This time we actually went in and took a quick tour. Wow! It was more impressive on the inside than the outside! I’d never been in a library with escalators and spiral levels instead of floors. I loved how all the glass allowed for so much natural light.
- Free self-guided tour of the 11 levels of the library
Jack Perry Park – near S. Massachusetts St. on Alaska Way S.
A small, little out of the way, park and public water access next to the Coast Guard Station. It took us some time to actually find it, but if you get on Alaskan Way South and drive south, it’s on the edge of town, on the right, down an unassuming drive.
- Free to park and hang out
A few miscellaneous thoughts on keeping costs low without sacrificing a good time:
- Parking – It turned out to be cheaper on the street than a garage for the most part – for the areas we were parking. Street parking was between $1-$4.50 an hour, and Sunday was free to park on the street. However, we did find parking in garages with charges as cheap as $10 a day.
- Gas – Our estimation was not too off, but we learned to estimate a little higher on the next trip.
- Food – We packed most of ours and only bought dessert, drinks and snacks.
- Lodging – We chose to stay at a place through Airbnb. It was not exactly cheap, but divided among friends the one we stayed at was reasonable for a safe and clean place to stay.