My Seattle Experience
I was super excited about my trip to Seattle, Washington for a number of reasons:
- It was my first solo trip exploring West Coast US,
- It was my first time in Seattle. I’d always wanted to visit since I watched Sleepless In Seattle,
- It was my connecting city to Canadian city of Vancouver, a place everyone must visit at least once in their lifetime.
Where I Visited:
When I first arrived Seattle, I was pleasantly surprised that the signs at the airports were in Mandarin. For a quick minute, I thought I was in Asia; I was so excited to have had a sneak peek into what my Asian travel experience would look like. I took the train from the airport to where I stayed. It was very easy to navigate and the trains were clean. It was a pleasant train ride into the city. However, when I arrived downtown Seattle, I was surprised at the number of homeless people I saw, it almost took away from the city’s charm.
I stayed at City Hostel in Seattle. The hostel was decent, nicely located, the staff was friendly and the breakfast was good. My roomies in Seattle were two cool South Korean dudes: one in school for Fashion design, and the other in school studying Computer Engineering. They didn’t speak perfect English but it was good enough for all of us to understand each other and have little roomie conversations. They gave me tips on cool spots to to visit and eat in Vancouver. One day, something really funny happened in the room. While I was tying my silk scarf to sleep, one of the guys was innocently staring at me with a shocking look on his face. I bet he was wondering what I was doing and his face literally read “huh, wow”. That was honestly a priceless moment because I bet he had never seen a girl tie a scarf on her head to sleep. The next morning, when I took out the scarf and brushed out my hair, the corresponding facial expression was priceless. It was almost like I had transformed myself when he saw me the next day. How I Spent My Days:
Day 1: I arrived Seattle in the morning. I spent a few hours setting into the hostel. As soon as I was done mapping out my itinerary for the next 3 days in Seattle, I set out to explore town. The hostel staff gave me recommendations on some of the must do local experiences in the city. A key must do item on my list was to eat Pan-Asian cuisine, so I looked up places in Seattle that had the best and I found Wild Ginger restaurant. I loved the staff here. They were so very friendly and helpful – they made me feel welcome in Seattle. I quickly made friends with the bartender who gave me insider tips to navigate Seattle. I had the Seafood on Flat Noodles and the food was amazing. Wild Ginger Restaurant is haven for anything-fresh seafood. If you didn’t know, Seattle has one of the best salmon farms in the US.After lunch, I walked to Seattle Center, where the Space Needle is located and then visited Kerry Park, a nice water play ground for kids and a great place to relax. Is the Space Needle worth the climb? If you’ve had enough of these things like visiting Sears Tower in Chicago or the CN Tower in Toronto or on a tight budget, then maybe not. However, if this is your first Tower climb, then you can see it. Be sure to check for the off-peak tickets. The Space Needle has an electronic wall, where you can write your name and country of citizenship. It was pretty cool – it shows every country who has visited the Space Needle. I’m glad to say I think I was the first Nigerian entry. I walked to the Chihuly Garden and Glass and enjoyed my experience looking in from outside since I was on a budget. I couldn’t afford to go in. However, if you want to connect with nature, I think it is worth a visit. The flowers were so beautiful. After exploring that area, I walked to the Olympic Sculpture Park which has a great waterfront view for runners and some benches to relax as well. Then I walked to the waterfront side of Alaskan Avenue and what I saw was amazing. Seattle’s multi-street level structures is super incredible, nothing like I’d ever seen in any city. The way the city combined the high level street structures via elevators to the adjoining streets is amazing. The hilly roads and views reminded me a lot of San Francisco but just a little more modern. The deep history of The City of Seattle made me appreciate it even more as I later learned during a walking tour as to why Seattle has multiple street levels. The day was filled with wandering the city street and I don’t remember how my night ended, but I remember picking up fast food from Chipotle for dinner.
Day 2: After breakfast, I joined the hostel for a walking tour of downtown Seattle. I always encourage free walking tours early on in your trip because it is one of the best ways to immediately connect with the city. After the tour, I explored Pike Market Place, which was absolutely beautiful. In one place, you’d go from seeing a variety of handmade goods, artsy products, pictures, and paintings to smelling the aroma of fresh seafood. If you pay attention, you’d notice that the floor of the market has names of people written on it.I grabbed pastries from Piroshki Pastries, one of the best pastries in Seattle, conveniently located beside the first Starbucks store in the US. I spent the morning walking around the city to the different neighborhoods. I went on my first adult carousel ride here in Seattle. I felt like a kid again – it was so much fun. I walked into the underground shops along the corner of 1st & Main and Washington streets. This part of town was so cool, very chic and bohemian, almost felt like I was whisked away to a city in Europe. In the afternoon, I went for an underground walking tour, which was recommended by the hostel and I would definitely recommend this to anyone. It was filled with so much history that bolstered my love for Seattle. After the tour, I continued exploring the city. I walked to Occidental Square Park. This is a nice place to relax and play games and grab some of Seattle’s famous food trucks. I stopped Pike Place Chowder for a greedy lunch and dinner meal. I’d definitely recommend this place for chowder lovers. I spent the rest of the evening relaxing, working and preparing for my trip to Vancouver. Day 3: After breakfast at the Hostel, I set out to Vancouver. I caught the Bolt Bus from Seattle to Vancouver. After a semi-hectic border crossing process, I made it into Vancouver and I immediately was in LOVE. Overall Experience:
I would definitely recommend Seattle. I’d suggest 1-3 days for starters. The city has a great arts, hip and music scene, which I personally loved. Don’t forget to try out your favorite seafood, especially salmon. Of course if you’re a coffee lover, explore Seattle’s famous coffee culture. To make the most of your trip out to Seattle, it is best to combine it with another US West Coast city, such as Portland, Oregon and definitely the Canadian city of Vancouver. It rains a lot in Seattle, however, when I went at the end of August/early September, the weather was pretty good. So i’d definitely suggest to travel there during those months, nonetheless, be prepared in case it rains.