Four Days in the Emerald City

posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2015 at 8:32:45 AM

The state of Washington is the gem of the Pacific Northwest and offers endless activites. This week we're exploring all this incredible area has to offer with a Seattle Vacation!

Day One: You arrive at “SEA-TAC” airport and are excited to spend the next several days in and around the “Emerald City.” For accommodations, you’ve chosen the Renaissance Seattle, which is very centrally-located right in Seattle’s bustling downtown. The stylish lobby boasts colorful paintings from local artists, and when you get to your spacious room, you’re presented with a nice view of the Puget Sound. After settling in a bit, you are out the door and onto a cruise vessel for a couple of hours on Lake Washington. From the picturesque and historic houseboat district, to luxury waterfront homes and Mt. Rainier in the distance, the cruise is a very nice way to begin your trip. You’ll be getting a much closer view of the mountain in the days to come.

Day Two: This region is all about getting outdoors and enjoying the fresh, clean air and scenery! There are few better places to do that than Olympic National Park, which is essentially a microcosm of Northwest ecosystems, with remote beaches bordering the country's oldest forests and some of its most dramatic mountain ranges. Your naturalist guide leads you to Marymere Falls trail, which is lined with Douglas Firs. Check out Lake Crescent, a sparkling glacial lake surrounded by mountains, then take a drive up to Hurricane Ridge, a mountain citadel that puts you at the edge of some amazingly jagged peaks. From the meadows at the summit, take in a superb 360-degree view that embraces the surrounding mountains, the strait and the San Juan Islands. Spectacular!

Day Three: You begin the morning with a trip up the iconic Space Needle. Arriving on the observation deck, the view is breathtaking, with the entire city is spread out below. Snap a few pics, and head over to EMP Museum, which is described as being “dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary popular culture.” This place is very cool, with music-focused exhibitions that range from the history of music video to local heroes like Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana. A little later, it’s time for lunch and a visit to another must-see. Since opening in 1907, Pike Place Market is one of the oldest continuously operating markets in the U.S. The original Starbucks and Sur La Table stores can be found here, as well as the world-famous, fish-throwing Pike Place Fish Market boys.

Day Four: It’s back to nature on your final full day in Seattle, and you’re off to experience Mt. Rainier. Set between the Olympic Mountains and the volcanic peaks of the Cascade Range, Mt Rainier remains an active volcano – although one that’s encased in snow and ice – and at over 14,000 feet, it towers above other surrounding peaks. Once you arrive, admire the surrounding old-growth forest, lakes, waterfalls and stunning wildflower meadows as a guide leads you on a hike along the Nisqually Vista trail. With a pair of binoculars, you’re able to spot birds and other wildlife, such as marmots, coyotes, elk, deer, fox and even black bears that roam the mountainside. Breathe in the cool, fresh air – this has been an amzing trip to Seattle and its surrounding area.

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