On a recent trip to Victoria, BC I had a few hours in Seattle before the Victoria Clipper left the pier for Victoria, BC and we waved to the fading shore. I was taking my mom to Victoria to have tea at the Fairmont Empress. Well, that’s what started the idea of going there, but that’s another story.
We flew into Seattle the day prior, thanks to American Airlines switching our flight times around. Upside? We spent the night in an incredible hotel, the Edgewater, and then had several hours to mill about the Emerald City.
So what did we do with our 6 hours in Seattle? After a satisfying (as in stick a fork in me, I’m done!) Lodge breakfast while overlooking the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains at the hotel restaurant Six Seven we hopped a short shuttle ride to the Chihuly Gardens & Glass.
Dale Chihuly, y’all. I don’t remember when I discovered him or how even, but I’ve been a fan of Dale Chihuly for years. The thought of being so close and not getting to this museum was not an option. It was everything I imagined and more.
In the summer of 2007 I was living in Bowie, MD while doing my internship with NASA and would regularly visit the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) in DC. The USBG had a traveling Chihuly exhibit in the pond on the garden grounds while I was there. The internship sounds impressive (it wasn’t really), but what was impressive was the boat filled with yellow and orange hued glass floating on the water feature in the outside garden.
The Edgewater was next to the pier where the ferry was departing and only minutes from the Seattle Center, home to the Space Needle and the Chihuly Garden and Glass. As you pull up to the Seattle Center the Space Needle looms large. The Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum borders the base of the iconic World’s Fair landmark.
Inside, the Chihuly museum was filled with several themed galleries and the 4,500 square foot glass house. The conservatory is filled with a huge glass sculpture suspended from the arch of the structure. These stunning works of art literally left my mouth hanging agape as I walked from gallery to gallery. With so much colorful and unusual glass in my midst, I could barely contain myself.
As if the galleries weren’t fantastic on their own, you emerge outside to the gardens which are full of, what else, strategically placed blown glass. For me, this was the ultimate pairing: gorgeous gardens filled with lush and colorful plants accented with vibrant glass sculptures. This, y’all, was heaven. Around every corner of the winding path was something new and unusual.
I could have stayed all day, but with a short amount of time before having to leave for Victoria, we had to move on to, what else, the Space Needle. You cannot go to Seattle and not take in the 360 degree view from 520 feet above the city.
The best thing about being there during Memorial Day weekend is that it wasn’t crowded, surprisingly. I bought a dual ticket for the Space Needle and the Chihuly Garden and the nice thing about purchasing tickets in advance is that you select your entry time. This cuts down on wait time for getting up to the top.
Once you take the zippy elevator to the observation deck and step out you’re greeted with views for miles. Want to see a 360 degree view for yourself? Check it out at www.spaceneedle.com/webcam. If you’re going to be in Seattle the See it All app is one way to find out about more of what the Emerald City has to offer; no need to go see the Wizard of Oz.
Perhaps the best view from the Space Needle was, for me, of the snowcapped Mount Rainier in the distance. The volcano is impressive from 54 miles away: I can only imagine how breathtaking it is up close and in person.
Seattle is a cool city and I wish we had more time to spend seeing different sights. Unfortunately after our tour of the Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Space Needle, our time was short. We wanted to get a bite to eat, but also had to retrieve our luggage from the hotel so we opted to eat at the hotel again. I am notorious for being late and I didn’t want to push it and literally miss the boat.
The best thing about eating at the Six Seven was eating right on the water, as in the hotel is on the pier over the water and the restaurant faces the Puget Sound. That, and the food was flavorful and fresh.
What better way to round out the day with a plate full of citrus and beer battered cod and chips? not much, except the steaming, creamy bowl of mac & cheese my mom ordered, which gave it a run for the money.
Before we knew it our time in Seattle had come to a close and we sat on the ferry watching the city slip away in the distance.