Known as the Emerald City for good reason, Seattle bursts with colorful flora and fauna for even the quickest pre- or post-cruise jaunt. On the waterfront, Olympic Sculpture Park (*2901 Western Ave) combines towering sculptures and expansive vistas of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains; uphill from there, just north of Seattle Center, Kerry Park (211 W Highland Dr) boasts similarly incredible views plus an iconic look at the Seattle skyline. If you have more time, don’t miss dipping your toes in the water at one of the city’s gorgeous beaches. Rent a cruiser or tandem bike from Wheel Fun Rentals (2530 Alki Ave) on Alki Beach (1702 Alki Ave SW; seattle.gov) and pedal leisurely down this happening strip in West Seattle, or simply enjoy the sunset and sand between your toes at Ballard’s Golden Gardens Park (8498 Seaview Pl).
Connoisseurs of all things delicious can enjoy the local bounty within steps of the ship. Right on the water, staples like Ivar’s Acres of Clams (*1001 Alaskan Way) and Anthony’s Pier 66 (*2201 Alaskan Way) highlight Northwest favorites like salmon and oysters, while The Crab Pot (*1301 Alaskan Way) offers heaping shellfish feasts for family-style sharing. A few blocks inland, Pike Place Market (First & Pike) has everything from oversize biscuits to cheeses made in full view of visitors to fine Italian dining. In the heart of downtown, be sure and get a taste of the city’s deep Asian roots with a made-from-scratch banh mi at Mr. Saigon (215 Pike St) or savory Osaka pancakes from TanakaSan (2121 Sixth Ave).
Dive headfirst into Seattle’s past at The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) (*860 Terry Ave N), with exhibits covering everything from the city’s culture of innovation to its maritime roots. For an exclusive look at the maze of tunnels underneath the city along with some quality jokes from tour guides, take a 75-minute walk with Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour (*614 First Ave) in Pioneer Square, the city’s oldest neighborhood. In the same area, enjoy a cocktail from the speakeasy-themed bar on historic Smith Tower’s (*506 Second Ave) 35th floor. And for those who want to learn as much as possible in a short time, Seattle Free Walking Tours (*2001 Western Ave) provides the chance to see many of the city’s major icons for free in just one to two hours.
Whether you’re a Trekkie, gamer, or Nirvana nostalgic, the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) (*325 Fifth Ave) has an exhibit for you, while Seattle Art Museum (*1300 First Ave) showcases nearly 25,000 works from international and local artists. Music lovers also have plenty of venues to choose from. Right near Pike Place Market, The Showbox (*1426 First Ave) is your go-to for rock acts, while The Triple Door (*216 Union St) offers dinner theatre featuring live bands, duos, quartets, and orchestras. For bold productions with modern themes, head to A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) (*700 Union St); for a trifecta of comedy, dance, and music, find a show at Paramount Theatre (*911 Pine St).
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