We always try to make the most out of traveling & get the most for our money. So on our way from Atlanta to Asia for a 10-day adventure, we booked separate tickets & made a stopover for a night in Seattle (saving over $1500 on airfare). We figured it would be great to visit Seattle during a layover and take a break on our long haul to Asia. With so many things to do in Seattle, we had a lot to fit in over a short amount of time.
This was great because being born and raised in the South, I had only heard about Seattle and the cool vibe of the city. Liz is from Idaho so Seattle was her second city growing up. We were looking forward to spending a bit of time exploring Seattle before heading to Asia.
Public Transportation from Seattle Airport
We arrived late in the evening and didn’t want to rent a car, so we took the light rail train from the Sea-Tac Airport direct into downtown Seattle. To make the most of our visit, we booked a hostel right downtown so that we could easily check out the main sights of the city in the morning.
Downtown Seattle Hostel
The Green Tortoise Hostel turned out to be the perfect location, right next to Pike’s Market; we could look out our window and see the neon sign at the market entrance! We were also located right across the street from the original Starbucks. Although we try to support local companies, we figured this counts because it’s the original! So when we woke up the next morning, we headed over for a cup of the original stuff to get our day up and running.
With our cup of coffee in hand, we headed over to Pike’s Place Market. It was barely 6 am on this cool January morning, and there was a light fog covering the street which thickened over the Puget Sound.
All the shops were opening up for the day; trucks were unloading their goods and shopkeepers were putting out their fresh seafood, flowers, and vegetables to sell in the market. Aside from the shopkeepers, we were the only people walking around the market.
Fish Toss at Pike’s Place Market
The world famous Pike Place Market did not disappoint. With the smell of beautiful picked flowers mixed in with herbs, fruit, and of course fish, it’s easy to see that this is the heart of Seattle. As we were wrapping up our visit, we were lucky enough to see some of the workers doing the traditional “fish toss” — a highlight for me, and something that I always wanted to see!
We made our way beyond the market to the edge of the water. We would have loved to visit the aquarium (Liz has been a few times), but it wasn’t open this early. So instead, we walked along the boardwalk on this chilly morning looking out toward the Sound. We could hear foghorns from boats out in the water; however, we couldn’t see more than a 100 feet due to the dense fog.
I was feeling exhilarated this morning, likely due to the combination of the cold and all the coffee we were drinking to stay warm. Regardless, I was really loving Seattle! While walking along the boardwalk and exploring one of the piers, I had a feeling that there would be a Geocache around here.
Seattle is the Home of Geocaching
Groundspeak is the company that invented Geocaching and they are headquartered in Seattle. Due to a lack of time and short layover we were unable to stop by HQ for a visit, but we had to make sure to grab a couple of geocaches while here in the home of geocaching! We located one that had many favorite points on the way to the Space Needle next to the water. It brought us to a really funky sculpture of a bunch of sea creatures, a cleverly hidden geocache! Washington is now checked off our list for geocaching through our states.
Visiting the Space Needle
Once we found our geocache and made another coffee run to stay warm, we headed over for a quick look at the Space Needle. We decided not to spend the money to go up because the fog made it impossible to see anything, but we did take a moment to snap a few funny pictures looking up at the needle. Then we headed back to the Green Tortoise to grab our bags and catch the train back to the airport — time to head to Asia!
Although we didn’t have that much time in Seattle, we were able to mark off a couple of big must sees on the list and get a feel for the city. We always try to make the best out of traveling. Having a night layover with a few hours the next morning to enjoy the city actually turned out to be a great little break on our way to Asia; and we were able to save some money on flights rather than flying roundtrip from Atlanta. Thank you Seattle. You did not disappoint. We look forward to seeing you again soon!
Helpful Websites to Plan Your Seattle Trip
- Seattle Tourism: http://www.visitseattle.org/Home.aspx
- Seattle Light Rail: http://www.soundtransit.org/Schedules/Central-Link-light-rail
- Pike’s Place Market: http://www.pikeplacemarket.org/
- Space Needle: http://www.spaceneedle.com/
- Seattle Aquarium: http://www.seattleaquarium.org/
- What is Geocaching? Click here to learn about it.