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A quick guide to Seattle


STEPHANIE SMITH
Posted 08/20/2010

Travel to "Emerald City" for an hour or a week and you will want to stay forever . The city is surrounded by so much natural beauty and outdoor recreation, you will need to make sure you have your hiking boots handy at all times.

Don't worry, if you forget your supplies, the flagship REI Store has plenty and is conveniently located just a five-minute drive from Seattle's Landmark, the 605 foot high Space Needle. It's the best view in town with prices ranging from $18 for adults, $11 for kids and $16 for seniors . Check out the observation deck and grab some "Seattle Souvenirs" from the gift shop in the sky!

A visit to Seattle would not be complete without visiting the world-famous Pike Place Market. This is a completely authentic farmer's market where the locals line the street and sell everything from fish to flowers. The merchants are fun to watch and ready to entertain and pose for pictures. Once you've worked up an appetite, stop by Pier 57 where the Crab Pot awaits. Prepare to experience some of what I think is the best seafood the Pacific Northwest has to offer! Don't be offended when the waiter/waitress dumps a steaming seafood buffet on your butcher paper tablecloth, just be prepared to dig in and get dirty!

When you are ready for a visual buffet, hop or drive aboard one of Seattle's many ferries for a little sightseeing or island hopping to the San Juan Islands. Be sure to check the ferry schedule since it changes frequently with the seasons. If land is your preferred mode of travel, head to Olympic National Park , a huge sprawling haven located west of Seattle on the Olympic Peninsula. "Roadless" is the best way to describe most of the park, which makes it perfect for nature lovers and hikers alike.

If the kids are along for the ride, you will want to visit the Children's Museum or Odyssey,where there is a little bit of something for everyone. Pricing is very reasonable starting at $7.50 for adults and children, and grandparents get a dollar off admission. If you're one of our Military Heros, be sure and ask for your discount as well! The unique eateries, neighborhoods and outdoor activities make Seattle the perfect weekend getaway, but even better if you can stay awhile.