This year we plan to visit one new place every month and Seattle made it to the April’s must visit place. Thanks to our friends Aishwarya and Mandar who convinced us to visit the Skagit Valley in Seattle which is world famous for its tulip festival. There are so many more places to explore in Seattle apart from the Skagit valley like Snoqualmie Falls, hogging endlessly in Pike’s Market Place, the must-see Space Needle, gross but fun Gum wall, marvelous Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum, etc. So here comes my Seattle Travelogue.
Skagit Tulip Festival
Tulip Town, also founded by an immigrant from Holland, has outdoor display gardens, an indoor flower show and trolley rides through the tulip fields, weather permitting. Tulip fields are open for walking; be sure to wear appropriate footwear since the fields are often muddy. The display gardens provide tidy, easy walks with up-close views of dozens of varieties of tulips and other flowers in bloom.
We went during last week of April which was the final weekend of the festival. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival draws fans from around the world each spring. Display gardens in the two main festival venues, RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town, have flowers in bloom all month. The acres of tulip fields near the gardens and around the Skagit Valley are expected to bloom around April and the few weeks beyond.
Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde — with display gardens, tulips for sale, tulip fields and other attractions — are the main festival sites. RoozenGaarde, named for the Roozen family — who’ve been growing tulips since the 1700s in Holland and in Mount Vernon since 1947 — is the largest flower-bulb grower in North America, with 500 acres of daffodils, 350 acres of tulips and 150 acres of iris fields in the Skagit Valley.
Located just 25 miles outside Seattle – Snoqualmie Falls is one of the United States most stunning waterfalls. The crashing falls is a sight to behold — and also a major source of naturally generated hydro-electric power for the region. You can view the falls from a convenient park area with a platform giving 180 degree views of the waterfall.
The waterfall is a 268 foot, 82 meter wonder on the Snoqualmie River visited by over 1.5 million people per year. The Falls were featured in the popular cult television show “Twin Peaks”. Snoqualmie Falls is a sacred place for Native Americans culture and spirituality.
At the top of Snoqualmie Falls, there is a luxury mountain lodge hotel — the Salish Lodge. Renowned for 4 star service and Northwestern style, the hotel features a famous dining room looking out onto the falls. Consider taking a break at Salish Lodge for a drink or snack after you visit the falls. Salish Lodge is renowned for its multi-course country breakfasts.
Snoqualmie is the English pronunciation of “sah-KOH-koh” or “Sdob-dwahibbluh,” a Salish word meaning moon. As a spiritual place, it gave birth to many legends. One tells of “S’Beow” (the beaver), who climbed into the sky to bring trees and fire down to earth. The Native Americans who roamed the valley were known as people of the moon.
The Space Needle is an observation tower in Seattle, Washington, a landmark of the Pacific Northwest, and an icon of Seattle. It was built in the Seattle Center for the 1962 World’s Fair, which drew over 2.3 million visitors, when nearly 20,000 people a day used its elevators.
Once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River, it is 605 ft , 138 ft wide, and weighs 9,550 tons. It is built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour (89 m/s) and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude, as strong as the 1700 Cascadia earthquake. It also has 25 lightning rods.
It has an observation deck at 520 ft and the rotating SkyCity restaurant at 500 ft. The downtown Seattle skyline, as well as the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands can be viewed from the top of the Needle. Photographs of the Seattle skyline often show the Space Needle prominently, above skyscrapers and Mount Rainier.
Visitors can reach the top of the Space Needle by elevators that travel at 10 miles per hour (4.5 m/s). The trip takes 41 seconds. On windy days, the elevators slow to 5 miles per hour (2.2 m/s). On April 19, 1999, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board designated it a historic landmark.
The architecture of the Space Needle is the result of a compromise between the designs of two men, Edward E. Carlson and John Graham, Jr. The two leading ideas for the World Fair involved businessman Edward E. Carlson’s sketch of a giant balloon tethered to the ground (see the gently sloping base) and architect John Graham’s concept of a flying saucer (see the halo that houses the restaurant and observation deck).
Victor Steinbrueck introduced the hourglass profile of the tower. The Space Needle was built to withstand wind speeds of 200 mph (322 km/h), double the requirements in the building code of 1962.
The Mw 6.8 Nisqually earthquake jolted the Needle enough in 2001 for water to slosh out of the toilets in the restrooms. The Space Needle will not sustain serious structural damage during earthquakes of magnitudes below 9. Also made to withstand Category 5 hurricane-force winds, the Space Needle sways only 1 inch per 10 mph (16 mm per 10 km/h) of wind speed.
Dinner at Nue
Nue was an unique experience as it served delicacies from around the world. They are not a fusion restaurant. They serve authentic dishes from various countries, for eg Pineapple Cornbread, Brazilian Acarajé, Puerto Rican Mofongo, Chengdu Spicy Jumbo Chicken Wings, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, etc.
The ambience is made of souvenirs which the owners collected while they were globetrotting. It includes Travel books, Lijjat Papad packets from India, Grinder from Mexico, Dolls from Russia, chopsticks from Japan, etc.
It was one of the most creative restaurants I have ever been to.
In owner Chris Cvetkovich – Chef Patron words:
“As avid travelers, and insatiable eaters, we set out to build the same kind of casual gathering, food and drink place we consistently frequent while abroad, but for whatever reason, can never quite find back home. As seemingly diverse as they are, the divey tascas of the Iberian Peninsula, the explosively colorful markets that blanket Asia, the smoky outdoor grills found throughout the Balkans and the vivid town squares of South America all share a lot in common: simple, unassuming, always unique, conspicuously approachable, often times surprising and most importantly, insanely delicious. This is the food we like to eat”.
Dessert at Hot Cakes
We all love hot molten chocolate lava cake but the one which we had in Seattle’s Hot Cakes was mind blowing. The melt in the mouth chocolate cake served with house vanilla icecream was divine.
This place had an interesting item called whiskey milkshake which was something which I never had before.
Pikes Place Market
Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, United States. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople and merchants. Named after the central street, Pike Place runs northwest from Union Street to Virginia Street. With more than 10 million visitors annually, Pike Place Market is Seattle’s most popular tourist destination and is the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world.
The Market is built on the edge of a steep hill, and consists of several lower levels located below the main level. Each features a variety of unique shops such as antique dealers, comic book and collectible shops, small family-owned restaurants, and one of the oldest head shops in Seattle. The upper street level contains fishmongers, fresh produce stands and craft stalls operating in the covered arcades. Local farmers and craftspeople sell year-round in the arcades from tables they rent from the Market on a daily basis, in accordance with the Market’s mission and founding goal: allowing consumers to “Meet the Producer”.
Our agenda of visiting Pikes Place Market was to try food from every store and we totally achieved it.
One of the Market’s major attractions is Pike Place Fish Market, where employees throw three-foot salmon and other fish to each other rather than passing them by hand. When a customer orders a fish, an employee at the Fish Market’s ice-covered fish table picks up the fish and hurls it over the countertop, where another employee catches it and preps it for sale.
The first Starbucks Coffee store, founded in 1971, was originally located at 2000 Western Avenue. In 1977 it moved one block away to 1912 Pike Place where it has been in continuous operation ever since. The store was opened by three partners: Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl and Gordon Bowker. They were inspired by Alfred Peet of Peet’s Coffee to open the store and sell high-quality coffee beans and coffee making equipment and accessories. The sign outside this branch, unlike others, features the original logo – a bare-breasted siren that was modeled after a 15th-century Norse woodcut. It also features a pig statue called “Pork’n Beans,” purchased in the 2001 Pigs on Parade fundraiser. Starbucks now owns the Seattle’s Best Coffee (SBC) brand, which traces its history back to Stewart Brothers’ Coffee, which arrived in the Market several months before Starbucks was founded. On March 8, 2011, the store was the site of a NASDAQ opening bell ringing as Starbucks (which trades on the market as SBUX) kicked off its 40th year anniversary.
The Gum Wall
The Market Theater Gum Wall is a brick wall covered in used chewing gum, in an alleyway in downtown Seattle. It is located in Post Alley under Pike Place Market. Similar to Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo, California, the Market Theater Gum Wall is a local landmark. Parts of the wall can be covered several inches thick, 15 feet high for 50 feet.
The wall is by the box office for the Market Theater, and the tradition began around 1993 when patrons of Unexpected Productions’ Seattle Theatresports stuck gum to the wall and placed coins in the gum blobs. Theater workers scraped the gum away twice, but eventually gave up after market officials deemed the gum wall a tourist attraction around 1999.Some people created small works of art out of gum.
It was named one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions in 2009, second to the Blarney Stone. It is the location of the start of a ghost tour, and it is a popular site with wedding photographers.
A scene for the 2009 Jennifer Aniston film Love Happens was shot at the wall in 2008.
On November 3, 2015, it was announced by the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority that for the first time in 20 years the gum wall would be receiving a total scrub down for maintenance and steam cleaning, to prevent further erosion of the bricks on the walls from the sugar in the gum. Work began on November 10 and took 130 hours to complete, with over 2,350 pounds (1,070 kg) of gum removed and disposed of. After the cleaning was finished on November 13, gum began to be re-added to the wall; among the first additions were memorials to the November 2015 Paris attacks.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Chihuly Garden and Glass is an exhibit in the Seattle Center showcasing the studio glass of Dale Chihuly. The exhibit opened in 2012.
The exhibit opened May 21, 2012 at the Seattle Center at the former site of the Fun Forest. The project includes three primary components: the Garden, the Glasshouse, and the Interior Exhibits, with significant secondary spaces including a 90-seat café with additional outdoor dining, a 50-seat multi-use theater and lecture space, retail and lobby spaces, and extensive public site enhancements beyond the Garden.
The installation inside of the Glasshouse is an expansive 100-foot long sculpture and is one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures. The facility was designed with the help of Owen Richards, an architect and was awarded LEED silver certification from the USGBC.
See all pics on below gallery