Is travel worth it if you can only be in a place for a few hours? I say, heck yes!
I recently traveled to Seattle to meet with a client, and had a few hours to explore the city. As the Director of Social Media for Global Image Creation, I’m not out on the client circuit as much as Creative Director Jeremy. So, when I am out I make sure to pack in my travel experiences in each city.
Every travel experience starts with the Uber ride from the airport which gives me an initial sense of the city. I always sit front seat in an uber/lyft/taxi ride, I highly suggest you do too. For one, it keeps me from getting car sick, but really, it sets a tone with the driver. Sitting up front says, “hey, I’m social and I’d like to get to know you and your city.” You don’t become a driver and do a good job if you don’t like to talk. Most are happy to chat, give some tips and just a few are ready for a good sing-a-long and car dance. And one other thing – if you aren’t in a time crunch, use the Uber Pool option. Uber Pool means your driver will pick up other riders along your route, and the cost is cheaper. It’s a fun way to meet others travelers and locals with great tips.
My Seattle drivers were some of the best – handing out tips, talking about pop culture and adding cultural diversity to my everyday conversations. I laughed at a building topped with a huge Starbucks head, and a driver noted it was the Starbucks headquarters without any patronizing tone. Another helped me plan a walking tour from my hotel, the Hotel FIVE, and we counted the number of blocks it would take.
Explore Seattle On Foot
Jeremy and I set out the first morning headed south on Fifth Avenue from Hotel FIVE, past West Lake Shopping Center to Pike Place Market. I was eager to see fisherman toss salmon, on everyone’s Seattle must see list. Quintessential guys staffed the first fish stand we came to – all maintained scruffy beards, orange aprons, wellies, and a fun attitude. Fishermen banter and random yelling to fulfill orders for online shoppers lured tourists in to watch the show. The famous fish toss was all hype. Yes, fish are thrown. No, there is no real need to throw the fish, except for tourist cameras. I felt let down but the festive atmosphere picked me right back up.
An extra hot coconut milk chai tea latte ignited my spirits as well. In downtown Seattle plan on stopping at every corner for a Starbucks. And, don’t overlook the original Starbucks located at the end of Pike Place Market. Grab a coffee and head across the street for beautiful views of Puget Sound.
Watch our live video below and walk your way through the market. Join us as we stop for a bite of a delicious Opal, Washington apple!
The Big Seattle Draws
After meetings during the day, I took a quick night trip to the Seattle Space Needle, another big tourist draw. Several random people, including one of my Starbuck’s baristas and a passerby on the street, thought the $22 ticket was worth it for a trip to the top of Seattle. Either they all lied or their expectations are far lower than mine.
From 520 feet up the view of the city was beautiful at night. But, the view wasn’t worth the price tag, to me. The Space Needle’s history notes scattered around the walkways kept the attraction intriguing. The original concept for the structure was conceived on a dinner napkin, and was made to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 9. I asked if there were stairs you could take to the top, which I thought would make the trip up more meaningful, but was denied the request. If people were allowed to climb the 98 stairs, how many people would have to be medically rescued?
A successful sassy dinner restored my Seattle experience. Walking past the 5 Point Cafe, I suddenly hit Jeremy exclaiming that the front desk staff at the Hotel FIVE recommended this diner for good food with a side of attitude. They didn’t lie and my non gluten free burger and fries were delicious.
With a few hours to explore Seattle, I didn’t go to every place on my wish list, but I got a small taste of the city. On my Lyft back to the airport, the driver and I planned out my next visit. Must come in June and rent kayaks. Did you know you can kayak out in Puget Sound and see killer whales – real live large breathtaking amazing orcas?! See ya later, Seattle.