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Tag: Seattle

Pacific Northwest Trip Recap

Clouds over Crescent Lake

Our trip to the Pacific Northwest this summer checked off two more states, one Canadian province, and two more national parks in an unforgettable nature-filled two week trek. We visited Seattle, Vancouver, Sitka, Juneau, Skagway, Haines, and the Olympic Peninsula.

I would love to take another Alaska cruise, but I think it would have to be on a larger ship. Sure, the Serenade can get into smaller ports that the big ships can’t, but there just wasn’t much going on during the sea days. I would look at ships that were purpose built for Alaska like the Norwegian Bliss that have more indoor areas for people to hang out on sea days.

Serenade of the Seas in Juneau

Cruise Ships in Juneau

I definitely want to explore different ports on my next Alaska cruise and I think I would look for a cruise that visits Glacier Bay. I’ve heard that park rangers get on the ship and talk about the nature. And it would cross off another national park! Ketchikan is another Alaska port I really wish we got to see!

I would definitely plan strategically if I ever cruise out of Vancouver again. I would make sure to pick the earliest check in time and arrive maybe even an hour before that. I might even look at cruises that start in Seward (Anchorage, Alaska) before looking at cruises out of Seattle.

Cruise ships in Sitka Sound

Cruise ships in Sitka Sound

You can call me crazy, but I would fly in/out of Seattle for a Vancouver cruise again. Amtrak is running the Cascades route again so the train is an option to get from Seattle to Vancouver again. Yes, it was two additional border crossings, but Quick Shuttle was easy and comfortable and honestly, you can’t beat the price of Greyhound. Is it my new preferred means of travel, no, but it got the job done!

I would definitely wait until later in the season to really get to explore Washington’s National Parks. I really don’t know if I can count visiting Mt. Rainier if I couldn’t see the mountain! I’ve been told the fog is less common later in the summer so that is when I would plan my return trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Hoh Rainforest

Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park

All-in-all, our 2-week Alaska cruise, Olympic National Park trip was another epic vacation! There were many firsts and experiences I can’t believe we got to do! Where will we explore next? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out!

Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip check out my Planes, Buses, and Boats Trip Report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

Wordless Wednesday: Chihuly & Space Needle

Chihuly in front of the Space Needle

One Day in Seattle

Chihuly in front of the Space NeedleWith our crazy plan to get to Alaska, we had one day to explore the highlights of Seattle. It was a dreary day, raining on and off. I feel like we got an authentic Seattle experience.

Chris stayed at a Citizen M hotel in Los Angeles a few weeks before and he really wanted me to experience it, so we changed our reservation in Seattle to the Citizen M in South Lake Union. The hotel really caters to business travelers with small rooms and workstations scattered around the lobby. I think it would be a great hotel for a solo traveler, but there were a lot of things about it that made it challenging for two. But, the good news is it is within walking distance of both the Space Needle and Pike Place Market.

Port from the Space Needle View from the Space Needle

We headed first to the Space Needle. The most well-known of Seattle’s attractions, the Space Needle is synonymous with the Pacific Northwest. Built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Space Needle is 605 feet tall and was built to withstand a category 5 hurricane and a 9.1 magnitude earthquake. At the top, there is an observation deck and “the loupe”, the world’s first rotating glass floor. It was a great way to get a view of the city, but because of the cloudy weather, we weren’t able to see as far as possible on a clear day.

Boat of Glass

What I was most excited to see in Seattle was the Chihuly Gardens and Glass. I have loved Dale Chihuly’s work since I first saw it in 2012 at Meijer Gardens but this museum highlighted it best. The galleries were made for these unique glass structures and the lighting really made the artwork pop! In the gardens, it was cool to see the glass blended with the flowers in a way that glass additions to an already established garden just can’t do. Combination tickets are available for the Space Needle and Chihuly Gardens and are a great way to see both Seattle Attractions.

Pike Place Market Interior

From the gardens we walked a mile to Pike Place Market. Pike Place Market is the oldest continuously operating farmer’s market in the United States and is famous for the fishmongers throwing fish. Today the Market is home to over 200 stalls selling everything from flowers and fish to local art and souvenir t-shirts. We had planned to eat at the market, but got hungry along the way so there wasn’t anything we needed during our visit. We did stop at Three Girls Bakery for amazing peanut butter cookies and Rachel’s for a ginger beer.

Glass Ceiling Chihuly’s Persian Ceiling

After our day exploring the city, we headed to the Greyhound Station for our bus to Vancouver. The bus station is not in the nicest part of town, but I never felt unsafe while waiting. The drive was almost five hours with traffic and the bus seats were more uncomfortable than I expected, but customs in Canada was a breeze. I heard horror stories from people on our cruise about the lines for customs at the Vancouver airport taking two hours. We were in and out of there in less than 30 minutes for the whole bus. You do have to take everything you brought with you off the bus, including under bus luggage, so it’s a little more of a hassle than in the airport, but it was not bad at all. Overall, the next time I have to go to Vancouver, I will book a direct flight, but if for some reason I had to get somewhere and Greyhound is the only option, I would do it again for a short (less than 5 hour) ride.

Chihuly Glass Chihuly Glass Garden

Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip check out my Planes, Buses, and Boats Trip Report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

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