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Seattle Washington - An Exceptional Pre- or Post-Cruise Destination
by Roy Witman © 2008

With a feel slightly reminiscent of San Francisco; Seattle, Washington is a delightful city surrounded by the best Mother Nature has to offer. In addition, this ultra-modern town is one of only three gateways to the Pacific Northwest, so those who cruise from the U.S. to Alaska will almost always find themselves with a layover in Seattle. With all this city has to offer, you may want to book several nights in advance or at the conclusion of your cruise to allow time for sightseeing, shopping and more.

Pike Place Market

Duck! Among the many vendors at Pike Place Market are the fishmongers. At any given moment, you may find yourself in the midst of airborne fish whizzing above your head. Located seaside at the edge of downtown, the market is one of Seattle's most popular attractions. Just as with Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, Pike Place Market hosts countless vendors of all varieties as well as restaurants, shopping and access to downtown stores within walking distance.

Spring brings an abundance of locally grown tulips and other fresh flowers that drape the Market like a brilliantly colored carpet. As far as the eye can see, you'll find bouquets of freshly picked posies at prices so reasonable they may cause reverse sticker shock! Wander the cobblestone streets and you'll also encounter fresh fruits and vegetables, street performers, craftsmen selling their wares, jewelers, art and practically anything else you might want.

Hungry? Restaurants are on-site to fill you with whatever delights you might want from fresh seafood to burgers and fries.

Fisherman's Wharf has the Ghirardelli chocolate factory, but Seattle has the Rocky Mountain chocolate factory. Watch as fresh apples become golden, caramel-dipped copper kettles. Witness the creation of their world-famous fudge. Of course, you can't leave without a free sample and a box for the road.

Space Needle

Built in 1962, Seattle's Space Needle has stood tall for over 40 years. Originally created for the World's Fair held in Seattle that same year, the Space Needle has seen some wonderful events in addition to the thousands of visitors that flock to its doors. Numerous weddings and a jump by six parachutists have marked the exciting history of the Needle.

The perfect starting point for any visit to Seattle, the Space Needle allows you to view most of the city with a bird's eye view. When you've finished checking out the scenery, eating in the restaurant and shopping in the gift store, visit the Seattle Aquarium, Children's Theater or Woodland Park Zoo nearby.


Of course, being seaside, Seattle boasts some of the most fabulous seafood available. One local favorite is Dungeness crab. Served whole, these crabs (steamed in their shells) are usually pulled straight out of Puget Sound and delivered to local restaurants. Within just hours they are on your plate.

With a gorgeous red shell, the Dungeness crab offers a mild flavor and tons of meat found primarily in its body, but also in the legs and claws. Whether dipped in drawn butter or a tasty homemade seafood cocktail sauce, you're sure to agree these local delicacies are a special treat.

If crab isn't your favorite, you'll also find other delights at local Seattle restaurants including shucked oysters, white sturgeon, swordfish, scallops and more. Landlubbers can look forward to many varieties of chicken and steak to choose from. You'll also find an abundance of Starbucks restaurants seeing as Seattle is the home of the first Starbucks, which opened in 1971.

When your ship departs from Seattle to Alaska or any other destination, make a point to book a pre- or post-cruise vacation while you're in the neighborhood. The sights, sounds and tastes of Seattle will leave a memorable impression you'll think on fondly for years to come.