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Old 05-22-2009, 09:51 AM
 
161 posts, read 387,589 times
Reputation: 101

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My family and I are visiting Seattle for the first time July 4th-13th. Typically we like to stay somewhere a night or two move on see something else and come full circle. I get the impression we may be able to operate out of one hotel during our stay maybe two.

I would like recommendations. We are Holiday Inn, Ramada, Clarion Inn type folks price wise. Appleby's, T.G.I.F., Logan's (all Tennessee chains) mid priced family restaurants with kids menus.

1. Where about would you recommend staying that was family safe, several reasonable restaurants, and maybe a nice mall for the teen?

2. What activities would you recommend? I know you can spend yourself silly on tickets for museums, Space needle, cruises. What is a must do in your opinion maybe top 5? Even things like the "walking coffee tour" sounds cool.

3. I would love to take one of the ferries to Victoria or more so Alaska but they all seem pretty pricey. Is there any ferry ride that you might go out for the day on to an island and return just for the ride and day trip? Or even spend the night and ferry back the next day?

4. Whales. I see they may be around during our time frame. Is going on a boat trip essential or can you drive anywhere along the coast and get good views if you are patient?

5. Finally, tours. Other than the Boeing are there any fun factors or naval bases? We were in CA. a couple of years ago and stopped at the Jelly Belly factory tour and it was a lot of fun.

Sorry for so many questions but our yearly vacation is a big event and I like to do as much as possible to make a good experience for the kids. Especially in this economy we need to make our vacation dollar go as far as possible.

Thank you for any suggestions and help. Also, if there are any things I could request ahead (coupons, tickets, entertainment books, etc.) that would help I would do that too.
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Seattle
807 posts, read 2,175,683 times
Reputation: 471
Quote:
Originally Posted by 62mike View Post
My family and I are visiting Seattle for the first time July 4th-13th. Typically we like to stay somewhere a night or two move on see something else and come full circle. I get the impression we may be able to operate out of one hotel during our stay maybe two.

I would like recommendations. We are Holiday Inn, Ramada, Clarion Inn type folks price wise. Appleby's, T.G.I.F., Logan's (all Tennessee chains) mid priced family restaurants with kids menus.

1. Where about would you recommend staying that was family safe, several reasonable restaurants, and maybe a nice mall for the teen?

2. What activities would you recommend? I know you can spend yourself silly on tickets for museums, Space needle, cruises. What is a must do in your opinion maybe top 5? Even things like the "walking coffee tour" sounds cool.

3. I would love to take one of the ferries to Victoria or more so Alaska but they all seem pretty pricey. Is there any ferry ride that you might go out for the day on to an island and return just for the ride and day trip? Or even spend the night and ferry back the next day?

4. Whales. I see they may be around during our time frame. Is going on a boat trip essential or can you drive anywhere along the coast and get good views if you are patient?

5. Finally, tours. Other than the Boeing are there any fun factors or naval bases? We were in CA. a couple of years ago and stopped at the Jelly Belly factory tour and it was a lot of fun.

Sorry for so many questions but our yearly vacation is a big event and I like to do as much as possible to make a good experience for the kids. Especially in this economy we need to make our vacation dollar go as far as possible.

Thank you for any suggestions and help. Also, if there are any things I could request ahead (coupons, tickets, entertainment books, etc.) that would help I would do that too.
1. Pretty much any downtown hotels will fit the bill for this. Theres restaurants and shopping for your teen just about anywhere (namely Pacific Place) Try to stay in the proximity of Westlake Center for the most convenient walking. Anywhere along Pike/Pine/Union/Stewart Streets downtown are the major tourist areas. The restaurants tend to be mid-range. Try Mexico Cantina in Pacific Place and get a seat outside if its warm out.

For some good ol' Americana, explore the waterfront from about Spring Street, north. There's a video arcade pier with a merry-go-round! I like taking my out of town friends there for a kitschy good time.

3. Take the Elliot Bay Water Taxi to Alki Beach. Its about $2 per person.
Or take the Ferry to Bainbridge Island. About $8 a person I think. Theres a little town it takes you to with some cool little shops and such. Try to time it so that your return trip into the city is around or just after sunset. Its breathtaking.
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
857 posts, read 4,005,044 times
Reputation: 527
Whales: I've seen them from the beaches at Kalaloch (on the Olympic Peninsula), but only because I was STAYING there. You'd have to get pretty lucky to just see one at random without sitting and staring for a long time.

You can take a tour, but it's kind of expensive. I've done this one twice: Whale Watching in the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound, Washington State and I really enjoyed it both times. It's a 2-hour drive up to Anacortes, then a 5-6 hour boat trip out into the San Juan Islands or the Straight of Juan de Fuca, wherever the whales are. You will see orcas and other sea life. Saw a condor, an eagle, sea lions, otters, all kinds of wildlife out there. It's a full day, and not cheap, but definitely a great trip.

There's a Seattle Underground tour. Haven't done it yet, but will.

For full-on tourist fun, you can ride the Ducks. We went with a big group and it was hilarious. They can give you a schpiel about the city, so you can orient yourself (and see just how many Starbucks there are in town). They're not free either, but a better deal than a trip up the space needle.

I also recommend eating at Ivar's on the waterfront. I don't know about the indoor part -- we always eat outside. The seagulls will come snatch a fry out of your hand if you hold it out for them. My 2-year-old loves it, and my 34-year-old (husband) loves it. I love it too. Just fun. You can walk the waterfront too, like Jesse mentioned.
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:37 PM
 
161 posts, read 387,589 times
Reputation: 101
Default Thanks jenlion

The tour looks awesome but you are correct it is pricey for sure! I would love a nice boat ride though.

I will check out the Ducks and Ivar's too.

I would really like to check out the Seattle Underground from what I have heard, however, I have heard it is for mature audiences? If that is the case probably my two need to avoid it.
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:55 PM
 
3,970 posts, read 13,040,771 times
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deleted

Last edited by pw72; 05-22-2009 at 09:15 PM..
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:06 PM
 
3,970 posts, read 13,040,771 times
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Alaska is atleast a 5-day project. Instead take a WA ferry across the sound. Official Washington State Ferries Homepage You probably won't see whales, but it is a fun trip.

Explore the waterfront before or after your ferry ride. The Seattle Center/Space Needle and Pike Place Market are the usual tourist suspects, but they live up to the hype. If anyone has interest in aviation, you mentioned the Boeing tour, but even more interesting is the Boeing Museum of Flight just south of downtown at Boeing Field.

Seattle is not a big chain restaurant town, but there are many, many alternatives that are completely welcoming to kids. Just ask locally.

The Underground Tour is perfectly fine for kids. The tour guides are professional and know their audience. However, this has never been one of my favorites...kind of underwhelming IMO.

Holiday Inn Express has a location very near Seattle Center. But you'll pay more the time of year you are visiting. Hippest mall is probably Bellevue Square, across Lake Washington, about a half hour drive with no traffic.

Have fun.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Greater Seattle, WA Metro Area
1,938 posts, read 6,258,867 times
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We moved to Seattle two years ago and because there are so many things to do here, we act like tourists and get out our guide books all the time. My kids are younger than yours (6 and 9) but these are the things we like to do:

1) Go eat fish tacos at Aqua Verde on Lake Union and rent kayaks from them and paddle a bit
2) Go to Kerry Park in Queen Anne and catch the sunset and then head up further into Queen Anne and find a good restauarnt. We would recommend Chinoise. It's Pan Asian, reasonably priced and fabulous!
3) Cruise to Bainbridge Island on the ferry or taking the Water Taxi to West Seattle would be high on my list because the view of the Seattle skyline from the water is a sight to behold.
4) While we are on the subject of West Seattle, Alki Beach is a good spot if you aren't coming from somewhere with a beach. It's not a swimming beach mind you, more of a play in the sand and enjoy the view beach. Lot's of restaurants right on the boardwalk.
5) Would highly recommend the Duck Tours!
6) Friends who have visited would also recommend the walking coffee tour and Underground Tours.
7) Of course you will visit Pike Place Market.
8) If you go to the Mt. Rainier area, Northwest Trek is always a fun way to see Washington wildlife.
9) Woodinville has the wineries (Chateau St. Michele being the most prominent) and the Red Hook Brewery. Also a really pretty area right on the Sammamish River. If you could find a place to rent bikes, the Burke Gilman trail is fun to ride.
10) If you are getting out of town a bit, Snoqualmie Falls is spectacular. About 25 miles from downtown Seattle. Gets you out into the Cascades a bit. The town of North Bend is also cute and I would recommend the North Bend Bar and Grill. Tons of terrific hikes out that way so let me know if you need suggestions.
11) If you want to do a terrific scenic drive, drive to Leavenworth or so the Route 11 Chuckanut Drive.
12) I also like Silver Cloud Inn. Check them out.

Have fun. There is no place like Seattle in the summmer!!
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:18 PM
 
Location: WA
4,246 posts, read 8,434,906 times
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+1 for previous suggestions. I've just added a few of those to my "fun weekend things to do" list.

My favorite factory tour is of Theo Chocolates in Fremont. Its a small, local chocolate factory that makes bars and truffles. They talk about the history of chocolate, its production, etc. It only takes about an hour, and there's LOT of free samples along the way.

Last edited by seattlenextyear; 05-22-2009 at 10:55 PM..
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale
467 posts, read 1,149,652 times
Reputation: 767
Default Wine!

Texastrigril recommended winery in Woodenville...great idea.
There is an out of the was little winery at make a small batch every year and they are not one of those big winery. So you will not see those big box prices that keep them afloat.

This little winery is worth the trip. The owner signs each bottle by hand right in front of your eyes. Plus, you can taste all of the wines he makes. His wines have own major awards for the last 10 years. You will love this guy!

Welcome to Facelli Winery
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:44 PM
 
Location: North of the Eastside
265 posts, read 1,031,463 times
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You have to Ride the Ducks, do the Argosy Harbor Cruise, see Hurricane Ridge and Hoh Rain Forest at Olympic Nation Park, see the Pacific, see Mt. Rainier up close, see Mt. St. Helens (including Ape Cave), see Snoqualmie Falls, visit Microsoft and Nintendo visitor's centers, see the Space Needle, Experience Music Project, and Sci-Fi Hall of Fame, Pike Place Market, the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, and maybe the Woodland Park Zoo. You should see the Fireworks over Lake Union on the 4th. I did a similar trip over similar time frame in 2005 and did all that. Afterwards, I WANTED TO MOVE HERE, and 3 years later, I did!!! Yeah, I put 1000 miles on the rental car in 1 week. I stayed at the Courtyard Marriott on south Lake Union. It was a great and cheap place for sight-seeing! There is also a good Outback Steakhouse and Bocca di Beppo italian restaurant around there. There used to be a Bonefish Grill but it moved to Bothell. (yay for me since I just bought a house next to it) The nicest mall for a teen to visit might be Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood. It's got two Gamestops. But really, I think the teen will be wowed by the experience without wanting to go to a mall. If they're a gamer they'll love the Nintendo and Microsoft visitor centers and gift shops.

I had SO much fun on that 2005 vacation that I think next year or maybe later this summer I am going to try to completely re-create it!
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