7 Things to Enjoy at Seattle Waterfront Park
The Seattle Waterfront Park is a landmark nestled in some great ocean scenery with a large variety of options for entertainment, sightseeing, and food.
Waterfront Park is a place at the edge of the city of Seattle where you find a unique combination of city elements, such as great food, shops, and hotels. These things, combined with all of the great things you love about being near the ocean, such as the views, the lovely bay breeze and the great sunsets, work together to form an ideal backdrop to enjoying your stay.
Although historically, this used to be more of a commercial zone, it has presently become a great place for tourists and for anyone wanting to relax a little and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere.
1. Seattle Great Wheel
One thing you won't want to miss during your stay in Seattle is the Seattle Great Wheel. And when they say "great", they really mean it! This is not your typical small carnival Ferris wheel. The Seattle Great Wheel stands at one hundred seventy five feet high and juts out about forty feet over the bay. It is also said to be the tallest observation wheel along the whole west coast.
Is your stomach churning yet? You or your travel partners may have a fear of heights, but the great thing about the Great Wheel compartments are that they are entirely enclosed, so it is likely to feel safer than the other wheels you have been on in the past. The gondola compartments are also climate-controlled inside, so you won't have to deal with cold faces and hands in the colder months or heat exhaustion in the summer. And medium-sized groups work fine, as each compartment can fit 8 people inside.
Here are the prices for the carousel:
Adults: $13 plus tax
Children ages 4-11: $8.50 plus tax
Children ages 0-3: Free
This ride also has special accommodations for your important meetups whether it be showing a VIP around town, an activity for a prom, or you just want to treat that special person in your life. They have a VIP gondola that you can claim for a price of $50. The gondola seats you and your guests in luxury with four red leather seats, a glass floor, and a stereo system. It can't be reserved, so make sure to leave some extra time as a cushion before your next activity. It also has other extra perks that come with it as a sort of a package deal. Part of that deal is a guarantee that you will be moved immediately to the front of the line and a promise to seat you only with your own personal group of up to four people, in opposition to the regular gondola seating where you may have to share if the crowds are big. You and your guest will truly feel like a VIP!
*Please note, these winter hours will run from September 2015 until June 26, 2015.
You may call them from 9am-5pm at: (206) 623-8607
Visit this website: seattlegreatwheel.com
2. Carousel at Pier 57
Hello carousel, hello nostalgia! This carousel, located at Miner's landing and not to be confused with the Seattle Great Wheel, is located at Pier 57 and is indoors so it provides a great place to get out of the elements in case of rain, cold, or heat, or. . . just because you want to! There are a beautiful variety of horses on this carousel. Pick your style of beautiful and get ready to feel like a kid again. Or, if you have kids with you, be grateful you have an excuse to feel like a kid again as you both whirl, glide up and down, and wave.
And the question must be asked-what is it about a carousel that causes us to feel so photogenic? It seems that no matter who you are, young or old, the pictures always come out great when they're taken with you on the back of a fabulous replica steed.
Admission costs: $2.50
Hours of operation:
Call: (206) 623-8600
3. Seattle Aquarium
Both children and adults will enjoy the Seattle Aquarium and it's the perfect place to visit if you are at Waterfront Park. And others apparently think so too, as the Aquarium boasted 812,000 visitors just in 2014!
The adults will especially like how fabulous a place this is for picture-taking. Just try taking a picture of the jellyfish and see how amazing those pictures come out.
The Seattle Aquarium has done a good job making things visually appealing for children and must have worked hard to really keep kids in mind when designing it. Among other features, there is a petting tank where people can touch the starfish and also see the sea anemones, which tends to be a hot spot with the kids.
Several exhibits are shown throughout the day at various times. The "Window on Washington Waters" exhibit is shown at 10am, 11:30am, and 12:15pm. In this exhibit you will watch the diver go diving with the fish. The diver is able to answer whatever questions the audience would like to ask through a special mask they wear and answers are then interpreted by the interpreter who shares the answers with the audience. Kids will likely find it fascinating to see the diver swimming around the huge tank in full diving gear with the marine life.
There are several other exhibits, such as watching museum employees feeding the sea lions, and attempting to feed the huge Pacific octopus which will mesmerize the adults as well. And if you want to get a sneak peak of the sea lions, otters, or the octopus, you can check out their live cameras on their website before you go. Beware, you may get a little attached!
Address: 1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101
Hours: 9:30am-5pm daily
Call: (206) 386-4300
4. Washington State Ferries
Looking out over all that open bay can sometimes bring with it a strange sort of magnetism-this strange feeling that you must go and get out on the water. A feeling that you want to be experiencing the gorgeous farther off views of the Seattle skyline, the softly soothing breeze and the sun glinting off the water's surface. So don't just sit there and watch as others glide happily out to sea-get in line and hop in! Cars are allowed to hop in as well for an extra fee (well at least they are allowed to drive in!)
Each ferry ride takes about thirty five minutes. The Washington State Department of Transportation has put together some great online information to help you know the exact times of departure of each ferry. They also have a page with a color-coded diagram that will show you which times tend to be more crowded and which times would be a fabulous time to board the ferry and to enjoy an uncrowded and peaceful ride over to the islands. (See web pages listed below).
Admission cost for round-trip ride: $8.00
To see least-crowded times to get on the ferries:
To see general schedule, visit: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/pdf/2015Fall.pdf
5. Seafood Restaurants With Great Waterfront Views
If you are looking for a place for high-end dining, fresh seafood, and great views, you will find them all at restaurants along the Waterfront.
Six Seven is a perfect choice for a restaurant if you are looking for amazing views of the bay. It's gorgeous during the day with all you can see seated at a window along the water's edge. Go when the sun is setting, however, and you will have yourselves and your guests entranced. Night time is also a great time to dine here with the moon shining off the water, and the dazzling lights of the Seattle Great Wheel in the background.
You will find Six Seven inside the Edgewater Hotel and the great thing is that it's open from 6:30am-9:30pm, so it should fit just about any schedule. The menu has a unique variety of options and many based on great seafood choices. People rave about the cooked-to-perfection lobster macaroni and cheese. Try some the next time you're in-you might just be their next raving fan!
The Crab Pot is another restaurant that is popular with tourists as it also has great views and sits right across from the Seattle Great Wheel at Miner's Landing. It is a fun place where they will set before you marine delectables and a hammer for the crab. This is sure to be a great place to go with a group and is open from 11:00am-9:00pm everyday except for Friday and Saturday. On the weekend, the restaurant is open until 9:30, so this is more of a lunch and dinner place instead of a place you would want to go for breakfast.
6. Olympic Sculpture Park
The Olympic Sculpture Park is a park that is free and open to the public and is located right along the edge of the bay. It has a very unique design, especially when seen from above, and presents many sculptures made of mostly steel, but also wood, glass, and other materials and was constructed back in 2007. The sculptures really are anything but ordinary. This fascinating collection is sure to make you pause, observe, and wonder. And it will surely encourage outside-the-box thinking. With the picturesque scenery of the bay in the background and the great artistic offerings before you, a stroll through this park is sure to be a delight.
Hours: Open Daily from 6:00am-6:00pm
Address: 2901 Western Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121
Call: (206) 654-3100
7. Ye Olde Curiosity Shop
Want some souvenirs, but not your typical ones that will just sit on a shelf and collect dust? At Ye Old Curiosity Shop, you will indeed find these types of memorable and unique souvenirs. And the shop itself will be memorable as it has a lengthy and intriguing history. There you will likely learn that it was established all the way in 1899 near the turn of the century.
Having recently opened their doors again in July of 2015, after the new seawall was built, you will find fascinating and strange things that you would not normally see in other shops! After all, at which other Seattle shops can you find shrunken heads, the amazingly intricate design of costume-making for fleas, and two-headed creature displays to give as momentos? I think you'll agree with me here-not many!
These are just a few of the great things you can enjoy at Seattle Waterfront Park, but there are many more great things to do and see here when you get a chance! What's not to love? Great food, great views, great attractions. But don't take my word for it, go and try them out for yourself!
Lead image via http://www.flickr.com
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