Whether Seattle is your starting point for a cruise to Alaska or a stop on a cruise along the West Coast, it’s a city you’ll love to explore.
Perched between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, the peaks of the Cascades and the Olympic Peninsula, Seattle is set in an area of stunning natural beauty. It’s often cloudy, but the locals will tell you it doesn’t rain all that much – and when it does, there’s sure to be an inviting coffee house nearby. The rain also feeds the city’s cloak of evergreens, the source of the nickname “Emerald City.”
Ships dock at the Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal in downtown Seattle, or at Terminal 91, where you can catch a taxi to downtown’s attractions.
There’s a lot to see, including the Pike Place Market, America’s oldest continually operating farmer’s market. In addition to the Fish Market, where fish are tossed through the air before being wrapped for customers, Pike Place features fruits and vegetables, handicrafts, collectibles and cut flowers.
Seattle’s music scene is captured in the Experience Music Project, an interactive museum housed in a building designed by Frank Gehry. There’s lots of music memorabilia, live performances, and the opportunity to create your own music in a state-of-the-art studio.
For a look at historic Seattle, visit Pioneer Square, the city’s first neighborhood, with cobblestone streets and landmark buildings like Smith Tower, which was for many years the tallest building on the West Coast. The original buildings of Pioneer Square were mostly destroyed by the Great Seattle Fire of 1889; in rebuilding, the streets were regraded one to two stories higher than before. Some original sidewalks and storefronts are still intact beneath the current streets, and you can tour this mysterious “Seattle Underground.”
The Space Needle, an observation tower built for the 1962 World’s Fair, is an irresistible attraction. The observation deck provides a 360-degree view of Seattle and its beautiful surroundings.
If you’re traveling with kids, visit the unusual Gas Works Park, fashioned from an old gasification plant on the shores of Lake Union. Many of the original buildings still stand, and some of the old equipment has been reconditioned and painted so that kids can climb on it.
For more ideas about things to do in Seattle before, after or during a cruise, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.