If you’re talking to someone on the Internet, skyping them and getting to know them, seeing if they’d be cool to date, and you live far across the continent from each other, let me suggest that rather than have one of you fly all the way to the other’s house, that you meet in Seattle instead.
Seattle is a great and easy city to explore–and is neutral territory for both of you. You have the freedom to explore, or not, the city around you. And there’s no pressure to meet friends or relatives on a first date. And everything is new to both of you (or relatively—one of you may have actually visited Seattle). We gave ourselves five days. And this was a good time-frame.
This might work for any couple! Yukoners are always looking for a nice short trip. Maybe you’re already a couple and you want to get out and see a new city. This plan for a Seattle trip will work for you.
1. In Seattle’s favour, they created the CityPass (many large cities offer this) consisting of six fun-filled things you can do at your leisure over nine days for one price ($74). They include the Seattle Aquarium, the Space Needle, the EMP museum (science fiction and rock/roll), the Pacific Science Center (with IMAX), a harbour cruise, and a choice between the zoo or the museum of Flight. No tickets up front–so no pressure on when you have to go. You can do them in any order, at any time in nine days. Don’t feel like walking through the zoo? Go to the IMAX. Too foggy for the Needle? Go to the sci-fi/pop culture museum. (Was a great exhibit on the black leather jacket in pop culture–as well as Captain Kirk’s command chair.)
2. Get a hotel next to the majority of these. Let me suggest the Best Western Executive Inn Plus, next door to the Seattle Center. The Seattle Center has three of those six places in the CityPass–plus a lot more. You’d be a block away from The Pacific Science Center, the Needle and the EMP.
4. Like Pike’s Place Market. You have to go there if you go to Seattle. It’s a crowded, noisy, amazingly rich collection of shops on the wharf–lots of fresh fish and vegetables, but also gifts. Local artisans have booths there and you could spend about three hours weaving through the place. Good restaurants are all over the place there. Try Lowell’s for Breakfast or lunch or dinner. Seattle Coffee Works–just across the street is awesome as well, and Mae Phim Thai. Hard Rock Cafe Seattle is also down there, as well as the Seattle Art Museum—and all of this is reachable through the monorail next to your hotel.
5. Your hotel is also situated near some great Seattle restaurants: Artisan Cafe, Golden Singha Thai, Zeek’s Pizza, Cherry Street Coffeehouse. These are all two blocks away. Some of them you can see from your window. The Chihuly Glass and Gardens have their own restaurant, the Collections Cafe, that has some really nice Butternut Squash ravioli… yeah.
6. I want to highlight a couple of places off the beaten path. One is Sazerac. I loved it. It’s Northwest meets Bayou Cajun food. They have great grits! :) It’s next door to the Seattle Public Library, a work of art in itself–about four blocks from the edge of Pike’s Place Market, or three blocks from the Seattle Art Museum. (See map on Sazerac website). The other is Bedlam Coffee, just a walk of about six blocks from the hotel. Crazy, creative place with great hot apple pie. No monkeys were harmed in the making of the pie.
7. We asked locals where they would eat. And this led me to the list above. Ask locals if you want to know the closest good Thai place, or the best coffeehouse. Take their suggestions! It’s fun. You’ll discover places you wouldn’t have if you hadn’t asked–and we were happy with EVERY suggestion. Our trip took the form it did because Seattle residents guided us–and ain’t that the most fun?
8. Finally, the best thing about this trip, is that you can take, from the airport, the Light Rail straight to the monorail and straight to the hotel; or you can take the Quickshuttle from Vancouver (for 50 bucks) straight to the Best Western Exec Inn. You never have to go to SEATAC if you don’t want to, and you certainly don’t have to get a cab or wait for a shuttle at the airport if you don’t want to. But you can travel to and from the airport on your own, for cheap. (See directions on that link)
This trip is about convenience and about fun and exploration. You won’t need a car. You’ll have your feet and the monorail and there’s not that much walking if you are at the Best Western. We ate at great restaurants–and there are more scattered throughout the city, but I only outlined the ones conveniently situated either next to your hotel or next to Pike’s Place Market.
Enjoy yourself. Go to Seattle from Vancouver and just have fun. Being centrally located at the Best Western, with access to the Monorail, you’ll be fine at reaching many of the cool, fun destinations in Seattle. And in five days, you might know a little bit more about the person you came with….