After spending the night at the French Prairie Rest Area in Oregon, we continued the drive to Renton, Washington where we watched our daughter perform with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps in DCI’s Seattle Summer Music Games competition. We spent the night in a real campground and took the SoundTransit light rail into Seattle to check out the sights.
The Angle Lake station was closest to the campground, but we could not find a place to park our Red Tail Lodge. Our camper van is almost ten feet tall and won’t fit into most parking garages. The information we could find on the internet said there was a surface lot at Angle Lake station, but all we could find was the parking garage. Since the Sea Tac/ Airport station did not have parking, we drove up to the Tukwila International Boulevard station where we had no trouble parking our van. However, it was a Sunday. If it had been a weekday, we could imagine that the parking lot would be full with commuters. We bought an ORCA card (One Regional Card for All) which is good for a long list of various public transportation systems including the Seattle Streetcar and the Washington State Ferries. However, all we used it for was the light rail into and out of the city, but that was still worth the price of the card. We rode the train to the University St. station, about a thirty minute ride. It was nice to sit back and watch the different neighborhoods fly by the window.
Having no itinerary in mind, we just wandered around. We walked along the waterfront and then over to Pike Place Market for lunch. The market was packed, but made for an interesting slow stroll past all the different food and wares for sale along the several stories of stands. The market has been in operation continuously since 1907. Of course we stopped at the Pike Place Fish Market to watch the employees throw fish to each other.
From the market, we continued north along the waterfront to Olympic Sculpture Park. The park is run by the Seattle Art Museum and contains quite a few large-scale sculptures. Even though an outdoor museum is more to our liking than an indoor museum, Right Buddy (RB) still found herself attracted more to the wildlife on the small rocky beach in the park than the sculptures.
From there we headed back to the waterfront to Waterfront Park where we stopped for ice cream. As we sat at a table and ate our ice cream, we listened to a band that was playing as part of the Friends of Waterfront Seattle events, free to the public.
Our meandering continued south down the waterfront, then over to Pioneer Square. Pioneer Square is a historic neighborhood that used to be the heart of Seattle. Starting at the main square with the Tlingit Indian Totem, the Iron Pergola and the bust of Chief Seattle, we walked in a large loop that covered most of the Pioneer Square neighborhood to admire the 19th century architecture. We discovered that the homeless seemed to gather around the City Hall Park near the light rail station; at least that is where they were gathering the day we were there. Being from the Denver area, we were familiar with the increased homeless population as the high tech industry inflates housing prices in many cities beyond the reach of the lower paying jobs in the service industry. Since we had not researched the area ahead of time, we were pleasantly surprised when we stumbled upon the Waterfall Garden Park and stopped to relax and listen to the peaceful sound of the water and enjoy the beautiful landscaping. The Waterfall Garden Park was built in 1978 on the site of the original United Parcel Service building in Pioneer Square.
Our quick tour of Seattle ended with a light rail ride from Pioneer Square back to the Tukwila International Boulevard station. We feel we got a good introduction to Seattle in one day. There is much more to see in Seattle, but that will have to wait for another time.
RB assembled an album from our quick walking tour: Seattle 2019.
Check out our related video: Seattle, Washington – July 7, 2019