Aaron Willis travels to Seattle and discovers world class food at the Pike Market. Aaron also visits the Museum of Flight and the Seattle Space Needle where he takes a cultural journey into Seattle's music history at the Music Project. There is also a treat for all science fiction fans.
Flying into Seattle is one of the more beautiful descents across the U.S.A, dense green forest and bright blue water inlets welcome you to Seattle International Airport.
After checking into my hotel I wandered down to the Pike Place Markets. The market is located at the bottom of Pike Street, which runs through the centre of downtown Seattle. Pike Place Market is a major draw-card in the city with most coming to see the world famous Pike Fish Market stalls.
The stall is like any other fishmonger around the world, displaying beautiful fresh seafood such as the famed Alaskan King Crab and Alaskan Salmon. However, it's the people who work in the stall that are the attraction. Large fish fly through the air and are expertly caught, orders are yelled out with the rest of the crew repeating what was ordered. You can pack beautiful fresh salmon and take it on a plane with you, although I'm not so sure you could get it all the way back to Australia without it stinking out the cabin and having customs on your back!
The rest of the market consists of a farmers' market with excellent fruit and amazing fresh flowers that fill the indoor market with their scent. I finished the day at a seafood restaurant within the market, overlooking the harbour and the latest cruise liner to dock. I had an excellent seafood stew with crusty bread.
Another excellent reason to visit Seattle is the Museum of Flight; you can book a tour from the information centre at Pike Markets or jump on a local bus and get there yourself.
The Museum of Flight is located on the outskirts of Seattle near the Boeing factory. A $15 entry fee allows you access to a fantastic aviation insight including an excellent space exhibition with an actual operational segment of the space station. NASA would train their astronauts with them; you can also have a go at landing a space shuttle with a simulator.
The attraction for me was Air Force One. You can walk through the actual Air Force One that flew President Kennedy or walk through the decommissioned Concorde. This museum has numerous planes and is a must for those who love aviation. I spent the rest of the day pretending to be a pilot or crash landing the space shuttle.
Seattle Space Needle
One more place worth a visit is the Seattle Space Needle. Visible from most places in the city, I was surprised to learn that the Needle is situated in a park along with museums, show grounds, music stages and a food court.
You can catch the monorail from downtown Seattle to the complex. Also, there is the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum. Walk through a massive room with a huge colourful projector that plays live music or learn all about Seattle's important musicians; Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Pearl Jam amongst others.
Adjacent to the Music Project is the Science Fiction Museum, sci-fi nerd paradise! They have genuine and replica costumes along with original scripts to epic shows like Star Trek. The museum takes you through the history of sci-fi, giving you plenty of information about the creation of your favourite sci-fi adventures. My favourite was replicas of different weaponry used in TV and movies.
Overall Seattle was friendly and dry, perhaps not everyone's experience. I really enjoyed the layout of the city and the Space Needle complex.
Need more information about travelling to Seattle or the USA? Contact [email]text=Aaron Willis[/email], an International Travel Consultant with Flight Centre based in Bulimba, Queensland who can be reached at 1300 356 408 or by [email]text=email[/email].