Renovated Hotel Overlooking Seattle Skyline
Like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Seattle's Space Needle was originally built for a World's Fair in an effort to show off the city's architectural and engineering prowess. Today, Seattle’s 520-foot spire has become an emblem of the skyline. It’s crowned by a rotating restaurant and an observation deck, which overlooks Puget Sound and Mount Rainier. Five blocks to the southeast, Hotel Five Seattle lies within easy walking distance of the Needle and other downtown landmarks.
The recently renovated hotel has funky, modern décor that fits in nicely amid its ultra-urban location. The deluxe queen rooms have artsy touches such as red accent walls, rainbow-hued canvases, and a window shade printed with creative typography. However, the focal point in many of the rooms is the view: most Fifth Avenue rooms overlook the Seattle Monorail as it zips back and forth, and in most city-view rooms, you can peer out toward skyscrapers to watch young King Kongs intern at the city’s supervillain bureau. Bathrooms also lend to the posh feel of the place, as they’re lined with Italian tile, an all-glass pedestal sink, and a rain-style showerhead.
In the morning, Max's Cafe (open 7 a.m.–1:30 p.m.) brews blends of Starbucks-brand coffee; the omnipresent coffee company began as a tiny joint just steps away in the Pike Place Market. Breakfasts include a signature five-cheese omelet ($9), and lunches feature plates such as smoked-salmon chowder ($5) and halibut beer-battered in a regional Red Hook brew ($16).
Belltown, Seattle: Trendy Galleries Near Downtown Waterfront
Sandwiched between the downtown business district and the waterfront of Elliot Bay, Belltown has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years; Money called it "a walkable neighborhood with everything you need." Aside from restaurants and boutiques, there are many art galleries here, and they showcase contemporary paintings, bronze sculptures, and fire drills led by ballet dancers. There's also the Olympic Sculpture Garden and the Seattle Art Museum, which has an extensive collection of carvings from aboriginal Australia.
Meanwhile, there’s prime people-watching at the Pike Place Market as around 10 million visitors file through it yearly. The market was founded in 1907 in the wake of a growing outrage at the skyrocketing price of onions, and there’s still a wealth of affordable fruits and veggies for sale today. For many, though, the bazaar's main attraction lies in its fish mongers, who chant orders to one another and fling salmon across the stalls.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.