It has been a long 3 years since we had been outside of BC, so we were extremely excited to venture off to Seattle this August. We’ve really missed visiting the US and couldn’t wait to visit a few old places and some new ones.
There are many ways to get to Seattle – you can either take a train, a plane or a car. We drove approximately 2.5 hours from Vancouver to Seattle, but made sure to visit a few stops before getting there. There are a lot of places to check out along the way; making the drive easier and enjoyable for the family.
Our first stop was to Target in Bellingham’s Bellis Fair. This was our snack, drinks, and entertainment stop. We found some really cheap books with the kids picking two books each. This was great as they brought out the books to read when we were at restaurants or chilling at the hotel.
Our second stop was to Funko HQ Store in Everett. Every time we head to Seattle, we always visit Funko Headquarters on the way. The store has so many enormous displays and the kids love wondering around it. Even though we don’t collect their POP Figures as much as we did before, the kids will always find something to buy. This time, they designed their own personalized POP figure. It’s around $25 US and you get to choose your own eyes, hair, clothing, and more so that it looks like you. It’s a wonderful keepsake.
When we were returning home, we made a stop at Seattle Premium Outlet. The outlet is massive with so many stores that you’ll be there for a while. It’s definitely worthwhile to check it out if you’re looking for something to buy.
Before crossing the border back home, we usually make a visit to Trader Joe’s, in Bellingham. We always stock up on our favourite Trader Joe’s items. My only wish is that we’d have some ice packs to bring back home their frozen goods. Regardless, it’s nice to stock up on our favourite snacks and treats!
For our trip, we stayed at Embassy Suites Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square, which is situated in the trendy, historic Pioneer Square district. It’s close to the King Street Station, Lumen Field Sports and Events Stadium and only a few minutes walk to Chinatown. This is our first time staying at the hotel and we loved it. The food, coffee shops, desserts, and attractions were walkable from the hotel.
We stayed in the two queen beds suite on the 22nd floor and had the most gorgeous view of Seattle. We could see the water, Pike market, and the Seattle Great Wheel. The suite was spacious with a separate sitting area and bedroom. Their fitness centre is enormous and has top notch fitness equipment. The pool had a lovely skyline view with windows all around! One of the major highlight of the hotel is their complimentary made-to-order breakfast and evening reception. For more information about our stay, check out our recent post: Family-Friendly Hotel in Seattle: Embassy Suites Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square (Hosted stay by Embassy Suites Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square. All opinions are my own.)
Instagram video of our walk through at the hotel: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ch-TokopEum/
There are so many things to do in Seattle that it’s hard to choose what to do in the limited time that we are there. This time, we decided to visit a few attractions that we had never been to before and explore Pioneer Square and Chinatown.
Though we’ve been to Seattle countless times, we finally decided to visit the Space Needle for the first time. We went early in the morning, so there were no line ups. The elevator to the top took around 43 seconds and once at the top, you can step outside to their newly renovated, floor-to-ceiling glass view of Seattle and tilting glass benches to sit and enjoy the view. Seeing the city through the glass barriers was lovely, but I think the kids enjoyed the revolving floors one level down. “The Loupe” also features floor-to-ceiling glass, but it has revolving glass floors. I was a bit nervous about the glass floors, but once you step on it, it’s extremely safe. The kids loved how the glass floor revolved, so they didn’t have to walk around to see different part of the city.
After the Space Needle, we visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass which is only a few steps away. We had also never been to Chihuly Garden and Glass and decided to because of the discount available when you combine both tickets (Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass). At first, I wasn’t sure if the kids would enjoy the glass arts, but I read many positive reviews and decided to give it a try. Surprisingly, the kids really enjoyed it. They were captivated with all the larger than life glass art created by Dale Chihuly. They even have his pieces incorporated in the walkthrough garden. This is definitely a nice visit after the Space Needle.
Even though it was expensive to go to both Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass, it was a new experience for the family. I also like the fact you do not have to purchase your photos. At both venues, they had someone taking photos and you just need your ticket code to download it online. I think more attractions should adapt this concept.
Instagram video of Chihuly Garden and Glass: https://www.instagram.com/reel/Ch5N9M1jYS3/
Our oldest child wanted to go to the aquarium as part of his birthday celebration, so we brought him to the Seattle Aquarium. This is our third time here and the kids enjoy seeing all the different sea creatures! The aquarium is situated near the water around Pike Market Center. We spent around 2 hours walking around the aquarium. Some of the highlights include:
(Gifted Experience. All opinions are my own.)
Instagram video of Seattle Aquarium: https://www.instagram.com/reel/Chz6ylmpZ8f/
This is our first time exploring Pioneer Square and it’s mainly because our hotel is walking distance to the Square. I didn’t realize Pioneer Square is Seattle’s “first neighbourhood,” but when you’re walking around, you can feel the rich culture – it kind of reminds me of Gastown in Vancouver. The neighbourhood is full of life with many great restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and art venues. One of our highlight was finding the Waterfall Garden Park in the middle of the Pioneer Square.
Whenever we travel outside of B.C., we make it a point to visit the Chinatown of our destination. We have been to Seattle a handful of time, but this was our first time exploring Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. Similar to our Chinatown, it feels Seattle Chinatown has been modernized. There were lots of foodie spots and places to get bubble tea. The Wing Luke Museum is also there and though we didn’t have time to visit it this time, I hope we can next time. We were excited to check out Uwajimaya, an Asian grocery store and Kinokuniya, the official retail partner of Studio Ghibli. Kinokuniya was definitely one of our kids’ favourite spots as they have lots of stationary, plush toys, anime, and manga. The kids loved it here so much that we went back twice during our stay. For more information about Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, go to: https://www.seattlechinatownid.com/