Road trip to Seattle! Woot wooot!!

I know, I know… of all the places to take a road trip to, why Seattle? It’s just going to be one of those crazy university student road trips to the States during reading break and we don’t want to wander TOO far. Plus, there’s a Vans Shoe outlet that we can’t miss. We’re going to hit downtown Seattle, but I have no clue what to do there. We’re just going to piss around for a couple of hours and then leave again.

Any Seattle (or in the vicinity) dopers that can tell me what we shouldn’t miss? And most importantly, where are the Krispy Kremes?!?!

A few random thoughts:

No Krispy Kremes near downtown Seattle. You might want to go to Top Pot Doughnuts, which is on 5th at about…umm…Blanchard, I think. I’m not real keen on 'em myself, but a lot of people like 'em.

Considering the nature of Seattle traffic, a couple of hours isn’t very much time.

The standard touristy thing is to go to the Pike Place Market.

If you’re carnivores, you might want to stop at Salumi for lunch (it’s fabulous Italian food, but is only open Tuesday through Friday 11am-4pm).

If you have a little more time, you might want to go on the Underground Tour.

Check out the Stranger for info on what’s happening.

Where are you coming from? What general sorts of things are you interested in? And what the heck is “reading break”?

Your downtown adventure will depend on how much money you want to spend. If you want to look at something cheap, visit Pike Place Market. If you have some money to spend, visit the Experience Music Project. I went there for the first time a few months ago and I can’t wait to go back. I am assuming you are coming south from BC, you will find a KK in Burlington, which is just south of Bellingham. They are also in North Seattle and Issaquah.

If you’re just toddling down, as opposed to jetting on I-5, consider taking Chuckanut Drive south out of Bellingham. It’s Highway 11, and it runs right down the coast of the Sound, you’ll see it on a map. Short, too, only a 20 mile or so detour if you want to stick mostly to I-5. When are you coming? Because if you’re interested in secondary roads close to the coast (in other words, “the slow way”), and you’re coming in later spring you, can drive through the Skagit County Tulip Festival (late March - May), when all the commercial tulip fields are in bloom. It’s nothing you have to stop for if you don’t want to, but it’s cool to see the fields. And if you’re into little antique-y towns (and lots of tourists) you can stop in LaConner during tulip time. Kinda fun.

Heading south again, the Boeing Company tour facility is in Everett. It’s way cool, and I say that as a person who doesn’t generally give a rat’s ass about planes.

And further south to Seattle . . . The best free attraction is unquestionably Pike’s Place Market. For cheap(er) clothes, if you like to shop, Nordstrom Rack is right up the street. And Nordstrom proper (and the Bon Marche – sorry, Bon Macy)are just a little further up the street. There’s a fabulous book store in Pioneer Square, the Elliott Bay Book Company. If you want to drive around a bit, there a great view of downtown from a cute little park on Queen Anne (one of Seattle’s seven hills) callled Kerry Park. Another fun free thing to do, though it’s not downtown, is to go to the Ballard Locks. You can watch the boats come through and you can go down to the windows that look out on the fish ladders, though this isn’t the best time of year to see the fish moving through. And Discovery Park is in that same area – a great place for a walk if the weather’s nice. If you have a couple free hours and want a bit of a drive – though road-trippers may not – consider driving out to Snoqualmie to see the Snoqualmie Falls. And I think one of the funnest (most fun?) cheap-ish things to do in Seattle is ride the ferry, like just over to Bainbridge Island and back, though that may not seem like much of a treat to someone from B.C.

Then, if you’re not in a hurry, consider heading north again on Highway 9, which is east of Seattle. You’ll pull through some pretty farmland and some nice small towns but, again, it’s not the fast way to go. I think you end up a good piece east of Vancouver when you cross into Canada, but, hey, from western Washington, basically all roads lead to Vancouver. Anyway, have fun. I think Washington is great, can you tell? :slight_smile:

If you’re interested in culture, you should note that the bars all close at 2am and the strip clubs don’t serve alcohol.

(Information garnered on a trip in 1996. When faced with the horror of no more booze in the early hours, we were almost enticed into a strip club until we realised it was dry. The guy trying to persuade us to come in obviously had no understanding of the priorities of the Irish male. I can still hear him shouting after us, “but we got naked laydees”.)

There is a Krispy Kreme in Issaquah, and one in Tacoma. If you’re coming from the east, go for the Issaquah one; if from the south, the Tacoma one. (You do plan on hitting the place ASAP, right? :))

I’m coming from BC, just to let those who are curious know. We basically know we’re going to pass through Burlington, that’s where the shoe outlet is. So I guess we’ll pick up the Krispy Kremes there. We’re actually heading down there next Monday, so no tulips for us. Experience Music Project sounds interesting, I think I’m going to look into it more since my friend and I are both music fanatics. And a reading break is kind of like a spring break, except it’s in the middle of February, and according to my Econ prof “It’s a time for you to read and study, not for vacationing and partying.” But whatever, he’s boring anyway :stuck_out_tongue:

If you’re a Krispy Kreme fan, Top Pot probably isn’t gonna do it for you. KK and Top Pot take up opposite ends on the doughnut spectrum: light and sweet vs. heavy and cakey. I’m a Top Pot fan myself, and Krispy Kreme leaves me indifferent.

EMP is worth a trip through, and it’s right next to the Space Needle. Granted that’s the most touristy thing you could possibly do, but the Needle’s worth a look if you’re there. EMP and the Space Needle skirt the edges of downtown.

If you like art and want something free, skip the Seattle Art Museum and head to the Frye, which is always free.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I’m talking to my friend right now and apparently, she’s fickle about driving to downtown Seattle. She’s suggesting that we bus there or something. Is there some sort of suburb or a little bit out of downtown we can go to park the car, and then take a bus down there? Do your transit systems work like that?

Thanks for all the suggestions. I’m talking to my friend right now and apparently, she’s fickle about driving to downtown Seattle. She’s suggesting that we bus there or something. Is there some sort of suburb or a little bit out of downtown we can go to park the car, and then take a bus down there? Do your transit systems work like that?

There are many transit centers around where you can park and take buses wherever you need to go. They are called Park & Rides.

Check out this site:

IMO downtown Seattle traffic really isn’t all that hard to drive in, though if you get caught in rush hour it can be a pain. I’d take I-5 to the Stewart St. exit, head down Stewart to 7th, turn left onto 7th, and go a couple blocks (I forget the exact number) to the Pacific Place parking garage (the entrance will be on the right–it’s just after 7th becomes a two-way street). That’ll put you in the shopping district, plus you’ll be about a block from the monorail terminal (the monorail goes to the EMP and the Space Needle), and about six blocks from the Pike Place Market.

Shh. I was trying to lure them away from the vileness that is Krispy Kreme. Incidentally, if you like Top Pot donuts, you should try the donuts at the Madison Park Bakery–they’re the same cakey style as Top Pot, but I think they’re better. They’re certainly much less greasy.

Okay, we’ve decided to drive to downtown town and not park and ride. How much is parking at Pacific Place going to cost us? Are there any places that will let us park for free, or will that be all gone by the time we’re there?

Also, my friend and I are young, so we’re not going really enjoy looking at antiques or stuff like that. Can anyone point out any “funky shops” where they sell knick knacks and other stuff that’s neat but we have no use for? And also, any worthwhile second hand stores? I’m not a second hand store person, but my friend’s a junkie for that stuff. If there aren’t any in downtown, are there any close by worth checking out? We’re also going to be in Burlington (for the Krispy Kremes, heh) so if there are anything else there worth seeing, suggestions are very welcomed!

Info on Pacific Place parking. I don’t know of any free parking that would be available during the day on a Monday (I’m assuming that’s when you’ll be there), but there may be others who are more familiar with downtown Seattle parking than I am. There are other parking lots and parking garages, but Pacific Place is the one I habitually use.

There will be some funky stalls in the Pike Place Market, but you might also want to head up to Capitol Hill. Go up Pike Street (“up” is east, and also uphill, natch) till you hit Broadway, turn left on Broadway, and go a few blocks till you see the shops; then find a place to park and walk around Broadway; there should also be some shops on Pike and Pine just below Broadway. Oh, and watch out for the junkies.

As far as I’m concerned, Pacific Place is by far the best place to park downtown – there’s plenty of it and it’s actually reasonably priced. Pacific Place itself is a fun mall, and not a bad walk from the Market. You could spend hours at Pike Place Market, it’s so interesting!

There is a KrispyKreme at 130th & Aurora (Hwy 99), which is much closer than Issaquah. Still not terribly convenient, though - alas!

For funky places, check out the neighborhood of Fremont if you have time. It’s Seattle’s “artist’s colony” and there’s plenty to see there – including the famous troll.

Have fun! Seattle’s a great place. :slight_smile:

Ooh, and if you have time, check out Uwajimaya. (Pronounced around here “WA-juh-MY-uh”) Fabulous for Asian food, groceries, and doo-dads.

Alright, I checked out the Pacific Place parking, and it looks promising. Thanks Hunter Hawk and everyone else too, for answering all the questions. By the way, how big is a “block” to you guys? It is one of those, “take three steps, and that’s a block” or are they like “take five millions steps, and that’s a block” kind of blocks? My friend’s a bit of a whiner when it comes to walking. :rolleyes:

I think the blocks are about the same size as they are in Vancouver. At any rate, I think you’d be better off telling your friend to shutthehellup than to do more driving than you really need to.

From Pacific Place:

The monorail terminal is a block away. The monorail will take you right to the EMP (it literally goes through the building), and the Space Needle is right next to the EMP, just across the lawn.

The Pike Place Market is, I dunno, a few hundred meters away. Yes, you could park closer, but no, it’s not worth the hassle.

Uwajimaya is driving distance, especially if you plan to buy stuff. Incidentally, if you’re familiar with Vancouver, I don’t think there’s much of a point going to the Seattle Chinatown, since you have the same or better in Vancouver.

Since your friend’s a wimp, you’d want to drive to Broadway. I think it’s walking distance on a nice day, but if it’s raining or if you’re carrying stuff, you should drive it.

Fremont is probably about 30 minutes by car, depending on traffic.

I’d skip EMP… there’s just not much to it, and the overwhelming feeling is probably going to be closer to “I paid how much for that?” than “how cool.”
For funky stuff that you don’t need, Pike Place Market - go to the lower floors (not the stalls, the lower floors)… (I once got an 4-foot, inflatable beer bottle there. My mother tossed it when I went to college. Mothers are like that.) Also, try the waterfront. (one block farther down) more than a few stores there that have the nothing you’re looking for.

As far as distances, Pacific Place is between 6th and 7th, Pike Place would be on 0th (it’s one block west of 1st). Broadway really isn’t that far, I’ve walked it several times - and there are a lot of cute shops on the way up…but it is straight uphill. The #7 bus will take you from downtown to Broadway and down Broadway. (should you not want to move the car again.)