After hitting up all the major sights and things to do in Seattle, maybe you have a couple days left to unwind and relax. Or you can do as we did and intersperse some moments of serenity in with all the city-hopping. Get out there and experience the elements of nature… earth, air, water, maybe not fire unless it’s a well-monitored campfire (during a wet season, of course).
If you’re looking to commune with the earth, I recommend visiting the Washington Park Arboretum in Northeast Seattle.
Visiting the 230 acres of gardens, natural areas and wetlands is free to the public aside from the Japanese Garden which has an admission fee of $6 for adults. The arboretum is beautiful and peaceful with lots of trails and cozy reading spots. If you’re into Japanese gardens though, I highly recommend visiting the one in Portland as well.
On our second evening in Seattle after going nonstop for two days, the husband and I thought a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island was in order just to be out on the water. There is the Seattle Harbor Tour which is a one hour narrated tour of the Seattle harbor, but we were more fond of the idea of roaming around an island and finding a nice pub to enjoy a drink or two. Plus, we were more than ready to get away from the scripted and repetitive droning… yeah, I’m thinking of you, Space Needle elevator guy.
Bainbridge Island is a short ferry ride away, and you’ll witness a pretty great view of the Seattle skyline from the water.
During our visit to Seattle, we experienced a nice weather sampler of a sunny, nearly 90° day, a couple of beautiful sunny 70° days, and then a couple of gloomy, very rainy, almost stormy days.
Bainbridge Island is pretty small with a little downtown area a short walk away from the ferry terminal with restaurants and shops. If you walk through the little downtown area to the end, hang a left, and follow the sidewalk around a curve, you’ll find the Harbour Public House. The pub is tucked away behind some quaint condos and situated on the water with a fabulous view.
We didn’t eat there, so I can’t comment on the food. However, it definitely smelled good. The husband and I along with a friend who made the ferry ride with us sat out on the deck overlooking the water and had a few beers. I loved the laid-back atmosphere of the place and since I’m always on a quest of the best fish & chips, I’ll definitely make a trip back.
While we were drinking, we realized we were going to miss one of the ferry rides back that we were shooting for so we decided to stay. And then… yeah, we almost missed the next one and had to run. I don’t run. I can walk fast, but I’m not a runner. Amazingly, I felt OK for the most part. Maybe I just had the right amount of beer for a quick jog? At any rate, I don’t recommend beer as pre-running fuel if you can help it. ;)
Riding the ferry back in the dark made for a pretty night sky. I highly recommend snapping a picture or two and then get your face out from behind your camera or phone. Enjoy the ride. Breathe in the salty air, listen to the waves, and feel the breeze through your hair.
In other words, don’t be like these people… it’s OK to put the electronic device away once in a while and truly experience the moment with all your senses.
On our very last day in Seattle, the husband and I ventured into the areas of Queen Anne and Belltown. It was a beautiful day, and we relaxed for a bit at the Olympic Sculpture Park before walking down Alaskan Way along the waterfront.
We ended up at the ferry terminal again, and decided at the last minute to hop on the ferry to Bremerton just for the hell of it. Spontaneous moments like that are the best, aren’t they? It’s about a 45 to 60 minute ride if you ever feel so inclined.
We didn’t really do much once we arrived in Bremerton. There is the Puget Sound Navy Museum and a naval shipyard. We obviously didn’t have a plan so we wandered around Harborside Fountain Park which is literally mere steps from the ferry terminal. I could have watched the fountains for hours. They were so mesmerizing and relaxing.
We then headed across the street to the Bremerton Bar & Grill for a couple of Washington beers on tap and an appetizer before heading back to Seattle.
The last day was a gorgeous, relaxing one.
The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes “sight-seeing”. ~ Daniel J. Boorstin
Happy travelin’, folks. ♥