9 Places we Learned were Seattle Slam Dunks for Visitors

by - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

1. Bill Spiegel's Underground Tour-So many poop jokes. Just so many. I took Pagmanda (my dad and his wife) on this tour because I remembered it being rich in historical information and silliness, both of which my dad appreciates. I think this wowed them over everything else we did in their week long visit, because the tour guides seem to be having a great time, you learn a ton about Seattle's bizarre, hilarious, and resilient history, and it changes the way you see the city (and wood buildings) as a whole. I liked it just as well the second time, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is hosting.

2. Smith Tower- Just up the hill from Pioneer Square, this tower, the oldest and, for a long time, the tallest in the city, is a art deco beauty with a killer view. Perfect for guests who aren't keen on the Space Needle's glass external elevators. Watch out for people afraid of old elevators though.
3. Pike's Place in July (only if you buy Cherries)-You know if you are having guests, you are stopping here, so buy something fresh! I have tried some delicious apple cider, and I think Pag loved the fresh cherries and raspberries we tried. If nothing else, buy an apple.

4.The Crab Pot-This restaurant, right on the waterfront, is slightly overpriced, but it's worth it to put on a bib and dig through a giant pile of crab legs, mussels, and shrimp. As long as you have seafood eaters, you can't go wrong here. Plus, the waffle cones next door actually taste as good as they smell.

5. The Wonderful Touristy Land of Seattle Center- Much like Pike's Place, you are bound to land in Seattle Center when you have visitors. My advice? Cut the disdain, get some cheesy treats (my dad found this awesome stand with chocolate-covered strawberries), and go watch kids play in the International Fountain. If you want to be really awesome, just go play in it yourself (I know I always want to). Life is too short to be too cool for anything, and that includes tourist magnets.

6. Toulouse Petit- A quick walk from Seattle Center in Queen Anne, this creole restaurant quickly rose to one of our Seattle favorites for its delicious spicy food and quirky, beautiful decor.. Depending on the foodie status of your guests, I would probably recommend brunch/lunch, which is cheaper and less intimidating. Bright side of dinner? These scallops. Take your guests or go yourself!

7.Chilhuly's Gardens at Seattle Center- In fact, go when it is raining or dark, because the museum boasts a wide collection of Enya videos dressed up as artist films where assistants rowed the Artist back and forth in a canoe. More importantly, the museum section boasts thoughtful and magical lighting. Chihuly made friends with the right lighting design people.

8. Snoqualmie Falls- Very pretty and shockingly close to the city. I know you can hike all the way down to the water, but then you have to hike up, and it was hot. Maybe next time?
9. Duvall- This cute little town is not far from Snoqualmie, and is one in a series of these sweet, not all that old small towns on the Eastern side of Puget Sound. You could probably spend a day just bouncing between them, looking in stores and the like if you are into that kind of thing.

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