Seattle, Washington is a beautiful city in the Pacific Northwest to visit, especially if you are the outdoorsy type with an active lifestyle. Not only are there fun things to do within the city itself, but the surrounding area is gorgeous and full of opportunities for adventure and nature photography. Here are a few tips to help you make the best of your time there:
- No matter what time of year you visit, pack for every kind of weather. It often rains in the area and the temperature can change rapidly. Dress in layers, when you are out and about and bring at least a small backpack with you for extra clothes or for when you shed layers. A Goretex or other type of waterproof jacket is nice to have along.
- Explore the tourist areas downtown, along the waterfront. You can take a trip to the iconic Space Needle building, ride a giant ferris wheel for great views, see gorgeous views and watch boats of every size and shape. A must see is Pike’s Market, a long multi-level mall with many unique shops and the famous fish market, where employees entertain people by throwing around giant salmon fish.
- Go a few miles to North of town and visit the quaint town of Snoqualmie, just off I-90, and see Snoqualmie Falls, which is right in the middle of town, next to an historic lodge. It is over 300ft tall and at times has a tremendous volume of water pouring off its crest. There is a viewing platform a mere 100 yards from the parking lot, which is great for photos, or you can take a path down to the base, which is a mile and a half down and back. If you love trains, there are a large number of antique trains on the main street, along with nice shops and eateries.
- Get out in nature. If you love rock climbing or mountain climbing, rafting or kayaking, fishing, snow skiing or water skiing, you are in luck. The whole area to the east is the cascade mountain range full of tall, forest covered mountains with streams and raging rivers and even Mt Rainier, the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states is quite close to Seattle.
- Go get a massage. There are lots of great places in Seattle to get a therapeutic massage to recover from all that strenuous exercise and fun you have been having.
- Visit Olympic National Park and the Olympic Peninsula. Parts of the area are temperate rain forest with massive old growth trees, thick moss, giant ferns and lots of wildlife. It’s a hiker or photographer’s paradise. There are many trails, but be safe and bring proper gear and a survival kit, should you get lost or caught out there overnight. A nice drive is Hwy 101 which passes through many small towns and fishing villages and has great views of the puget sound.
- If you are in the area for a few days, bring your passport. Victoria, BC, Canada on Vancouver Island is but a ferry ride away. You can either walk on or bring a car on your crossing. The boats are large and comfortable and the views are spectacular. If you don’t want to leave the country, there are lots of local ferry rides to islands in the Puget Sound.
- If you time your trip right, take in a game. Seattle has pro soccer, basketball and football teams. If you go to a Seattle Seahawks NFL game, at CenturyLink Field, you may want to bring along some earplugs. The fans have set the world record for the loudest crowd of any stadium. The fans are called the “12th Man” of the team, because their deafening cheers keep visiting teams from hearing play calls and cause many “false start” penalties. You will see many flags flying around town, with simply the number 12 on them, because it is a town full of team pride.
Whatever the weather or season, Seattle is sure to please. Have a great time!