Four Days in Seattle
I’ve always wanted to visit Seattle, and when a very good friend recently invited me to his wedding there, it seemed like the perfect excuse to go. It just so happened that his wedding was on July 4th, the most patriotic of American holidays, so my girlfriend and I figured it a great chance to spend an extended weekend there to explore the city. I knew that Seattle is known to typically be one of the rainiest places on Earth, but of course our visit had to coincide with one of the hottest periods ever recorded in the city’s history and they haven’t seen a significant rainfall in several months. Weather aside, I had an enjoyable time exploring the city, not to mention having the honor of witnessing my friend and his lovely wife on their wedding day.
We stayed at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, a historic hotel in downtown Seattle. Built in 1924, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. What I found interesting is that the hotel and the land it sits on are owned by the University of Washington. The hotel is also committed to some great environmentally friendly initiatives, including maintaining rooftop bee hives that are home to a half-million honeybees. The executive chef is also their chief bee keeper and they have harvested approximately 400 pounds of honey this summer alone which means they can offer delicious & sustainable honey for use in their restaurants. A great side affect of the unusually warm summer means that the honeybees are thriving and producing a lot of honey!
Of course I wanted to squeeze in some of the more touristy things during our trip – and being an architecture lover (and a HUGE Frank Gehry fan), I wanted to visit the EMP Museum, the Chihuly Garden & Glass and the Space Needle. A terrific perk of staying at the Fairmont was their VIP Experience package which includes VIP tickets (meaning no waiting in the long lines) at ALL three! I believe the VIP tickets are also only available through the Fairmont and not to the public. I’m also not a fan of huge crowds and of course the weekend that we visited was during a national holiday, so I can’t entirely advocate for visiting the Pike Place Market, but if you’re in Seattle, it’s almost mandatory that you at least walk through. The Seattle Public Library’s 11 story glass & steel construction also provides some great photo opportunities too.
Although we did technically spend four days in Seattle, on our last full day there we had the unique opportunity to take a seaplane ride from Seattle harbor to San Juan Island. Regretfully we could only make it a day trip and we both walked away yearning for more. The island is so lovely and there is so much to discover, you can easily spend a weekend there by itself. They have some great spots for whale & orca watching, great national parks and the amazing Pelindaba Lavender Farm. Although several wildfires occurring in nearby Canada saturated the sky with an eery orange and pink tinge, I really enjoyed our visit and I hope I get to return someday to do a proper extended stay.