Planning your family’s summer vacation plans? California is a usual spot for most Arizonans and my family loves visiting too. To shake things up, my family recently stumbled upon a new perfect summer vacay spot: Seattle! Make some time to visit summer’s hidden gem.
Seattle hosts the exact polar opposite of our weather trends. When we are basking in beautiful weather, they experience rain and cold temps. When we are sweating buckets and baking in the Arizona oven, they have sunny blue skies, green meadows and tall evergreens swaying in natural air conditioning breezes. Do I need to say more?
In case you want more than just weather to sway you, here’s one additional perk: Seattle hosts a ton of kid centered museums and activities to easily fill a week of fun.
Here are my top picks to plan a great trip to Seattle:
1) Snoqualmie Falls
A gorgeous cascading waterfall sits amidst a lush forest with the beautiful Salish lodge sitting right at the edge of the drop. You can stay in the lodge or just head up for a quick trip (it’s only 45 min drive from Seattle city center). The hike down to the bottom of the falls is a well paved path and great for kids (as well as a walking area on top). I recommend having brunch at Salish lodge. They make their own famous honey on site and offer the most incredible buttermilk biscuits and honey I have EVER tasted.
2) Seattle Center (located downtown and all walking distance from each other)
– Space Needle (absolutely worth it to go to the top!)
– Dale Chihuly Garden & Glass (Spectacular! you can get combo ticket with Space Needle admission)
– Pacific Science Center (great for little kids to have some hands on playtime)
3) Seattle Waterfront (downtown)
– Seattle Aquarium sits on the waterfront and is so much fun for kids. They even have a sea-lion area right next to the inlet’s edge.
– Seattle Great Wheel is a must do. It is the largest Ferris wheel I have ever seen with the fanciest passenger pods to ride in. Ticket price is high (around $10, – kids 3 and younger free) but SO worth it!
4) Pike Place Market (Downtown)
– Both fun to watch the fish merchants throw huge Salmon around, plus lots of fresh market goodies. It tends to be crowded with steps, so I do not recommend strollers. The famous Gum Wall is here – disgusting but interesting?
– Original Starbucks store is here (although there is a long line, so we just walked by and got a latte at the next corner)
5) Ferry to Bainbridge Island
– This ferry is relaxing quick boat ride (35 min) and is a hit with the kids. You can taxi it to the ferry, or you can drive your rental car onto it. On the ferry the kids can stroll around and view the city from the water. The destination, Bainbridge Island, is a quaint lovely town perfect for taking a stroll or grabbing a lunch or ice cream. We also visited the docks. My 8-year-old paddle boarded with my husband, while my younger daughter and I navigated the bay in a kayak. The homes on the island are gorgeous – just like Martha’s Vineyard. We have a dream to one day rent a house on the island with a little dock and spend a week.
Other greats spots to visit include Mt. Rainer, the all-German town of Leavenworth, or travel by seaplane to Friday Harbor. Our trip was only 4 days so we didn’t get a chance to visit these, but we hope to return, rent a home on Bainbridge Island and visit these spots – So Idyllic!
Seattle is a secret destination spot to escape Arizona’s sweltering summer dog days – Happy Traveling!