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Seattle - October 2015

Hi Guys

I'm from Christchurch New Zealand and I'm making my dream come true this year.... Finally

My dream destination has always been Seattle (not because of the movie) - I don't really know why, but it calls to me

I arrive in Seattle, WA 30.09.2015 (or in American - 09.30.2015)
I have booked my accommodation on AirBnB and would like some input on recommendations of not the normal things to do.... tell me your secret "behind the scenes" Seattle destinations

Of course I am doing the Space Needle and Boeing and Pike Place, but I want to really experience Seattle

My dates are:

Seattle -- 30.09.2015 - 07.10.2015

Colorado Springs -- 08/10.2015 - 14.10.2015 (my best friend lives here - she married a kiwi, that's how we met)

Vancouver -- 15.10.2015 - 18.10.2015

19.10.2015 - train to Seattle - Awesome!!
Seattle -- 19.10.2015 - 22.10.2015

Depart Seattle 17:50 - 22.10.2015

So please, let me know what to do, where to go, who to talk to.... I love to meet people so if you know someone who wants to meet a friendly Kiwi woman, 42 years of age .... who wants to make the most of this dream vacation, then please contact me


Posted by
1175 posts

Each city has a specific forum on which can be a great help to you from those that live there. It's not a good idea to include your email. Rather you should ask for people to send you a private message on here or on trip advisor. You should probably edit your posting to remove your email.

Posted by
4637 posts

Excellent choice. Seattle is one of two most beautiful cities in the USA. And if I include surrounding area then it is #1. I would add Pioneer Square, International District, Ballard Locks, Capitol Hill with Asian Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Benaroya Hall, Waterfront, Olympic Park, Tillicum Village, John Smith Tower. Seattle is hometown for many companies: Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, In Greater Seattle area in Edmonds: Rick Steves headquarters with the store, library, offices. You can visit. If the weather cooperates then nearby Mt.Rainier with about 600 km of trails. Usually July, August and September are beautiful months here. The rest of year is mostly cloudy and rainy. We have a joke: How do you know that it's summer in Seattle? Rain is warmer.
In reality most of summer there is no rain.
cj, look at google, trip advisor, guide books, if you have any questions feel free to ask. If I am around and not traveling at the time you are here I would gladly show you my beloved Seattle and maybe have some questions myself because we are thinking of visiting New Zealand in February.

Posted by
8645 posts

I also encourage you to go to the trip advisor forum for Washington. There is lots of information in the frequently asked questions section and some sample itineraries. You may want to try that approach for each city you plan to visit.

Posted by
32268 posts


A few thoughts and questions......

  • I assume you're using flights from Seattle to Colorado Springs to Vancouver?
  • I assume you're referring to Vancouver, B.C.? If so, which part of the city were you planning to stay? If staying in the downtown area, SkyTrain is the easiest way to travel in from the airport (about 30-45 minutes to Vancouver Centre station at Georgia and Granville).
Posted by
15684 posts

As someone who's only been a tourist, and briefly in the area, I'm going to jump in and hope I don't offend anyone. Some of my memories are from visits more than 10 years ago - just one more caveat.

I spent a great day driving through Whidby Island. I really enjoyed the Boeing tour. When I was there, there were 2 or 3 facilities that had tours - I chose the one where the "big birds" are assembled.

I was less than impressed by Vancouver. On the other hand, I loved Victoria and Butchart Gardens are a true must-see, and afternoon tea there was very good.

Colorado has great natural sites - I hope your friends are taking you to some of them.

Posted by
16894 posts

The [Experience Music Project[( and Sci-Fi Museum, near the Space Needle, is owned by Paul Allen. The Bill & Melinda Gates Charitable Foundation is across the street and offers a tour three afternoons per week.

There are good restaurants all over, but for more of a bar-hopping or nightlife scene, I'd look at Capitol Hill, Ballard, or Fremont.

Posted by
369 posts

One other experience that we thoroughly enjoyed which hasn't been mentioned was the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit near the Space Needle. Stunning! And just riding a ferry (downtown to Bremerton and back) is a lovely way to spend a morning or afternoon, and to see a bit of Puget Sound.

Posted by
16919 posts

Welcome to Seattle! We had a wonderful visit to New Zealand's South Island last January, including time in Christchurch. I wish I could return the hospitality, but we will be in Italy during both of your stays here. So I will just have to make some suggestions.

A ferry rides a great idea but I would go to Bainbridge Island rather than Bremerton. The ride is shorter and the little community is very nice. We were over there two days ago to visit the new art museum. There are interesting shops and nice restaurants within easy walking distance of the ferry, and the people welcome visitors.

The Seattle waterfront is normally a nice place to walk but unfortunately it is a huge construction project now. The north end, toward the Olympic Sculpture Park, is not affected, so that is where you can enjoy a waterfront stroll.

The Underground Tour in Pioneer Square is touristy but surprisingly fun.

You can kayak on Lake Union, dodging seaplanes and gliding past the houseboats.. There are several places to rent----I will have to look them up to make sure they are all still currently in business. But one we like ( and have used recently) is Agua Verde Kayak Club---a combination Mexican restaurant and Kayak rental.

It is not easy to get to Mount Rainier without a private car, but if you get a really nice day, itis well worth the effort to get there. Itis gorgeous in autumn, with the bushes turning red and gold.

I do know some people who would love to meet a Kiwi and will put you in touch when it gets closer to the date.

Posted by
1840 posts

Now you know why so many people have decided to live in Seattle. We love it too.

Posted by
1108 posts

Hi CJ,

Washington is also kind of a big deal in the wine and food scene. Woodinville, Washington has tasting rooms for many of the major wineries (most of which are actually in Eastern Washington). The restaurant options are endless too.

And of course, if you have the Rick Steve's office just 20 minutes northern Seattle. :-)

Posted by
9 posts

I was wondering if you lovely Seattlites would like to organise a couple of outings. I'm available Friday Oct 2nd to Wednesday Oct 7th.... I would love to meet some locals and hang out... I will be doing some excursions, but coffee, drinks and dinner would be lovely... You can pick the brains of a kiwi who has been over nearly all of New Zealand... Let me know your thoughts :o)

Posted by
110 posts

I hope this helps.
By Boeing do you mean the Everet plant (I beleive they have tours but I have never been on one) or Boeing Field in Seattle (Museum of Flight)? if you are in Seattle the museum of flight is a lot easier to get to and still has lots of planes to check out.

If you want to go to either Olympic or Mt. Rainer national parks I would go to and search either name. The website gives directions, activites and hours and you can read what what to do in each park and then pick the one that interests you the most. But you really should consider renting a car to go to either park.

If you like chocolate I recommend the Theo Choloate factory tour, Its a local fair trade and organic chocoloate factory that makes bars and confections. Free samples!

If you are willing to go south of Seattle The Museum of Glass in Tacoma is really nice, They have live glass blowers, guest artists, glass art on display.

If I think of anything else I will try to remmebr to post it for you.

Posted by
10402 posts

So many good suggestions. I will be in Seattle in September, before and after spending a week in Victoria. I've always had a car there, but this time we are flying up. For me and others in the same boat, is it possible to get to the RS headquarters in Edmonds without a car?

Posted by
110 posts

Yes it is possible to get to RS headquaters by bus from Seattle. But it will take one or two transfers. Search for Metro King county tripplanner or Community Transit trip planner on the internet.

I have done it so I would recommend doing during the work week when you can use commuter buses and avoid weekends when there is less bus service. I would also plan on the trip taking most of a day.

Sorry I do not remember the bus route numbers I used.