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    Posted June 3, 2012 by
    Seattle, Washington
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    City smackdown: Seattle

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    Seafood, Starbucks, and the Space Needle: a day of Seattle icons


    With only a day to spend in Seattle (the best city in the Pacific Northwest!), you need to be smart with your time. But you can make the most of your experience by following this simple itinerary:


    Stop 1: Pike Place Market – Start the morning early at the famous farmer’s market at Pike Place. This market is an important part of the city fabric, having endured since 1907 when it was organized as part of the city council’s effort to eliminate the food supply middle man. The morning is the perfect time to go, since the crowds are minimal and the vendors are just setting up their stalls. Here you can see the fisherman “throwing” the fresh local fish, and the farmers displaying the fresh fruits and vegetables and, separately, the meats. In addition to the fresh food stalls, the market holds a number of interesting newsstands with local, national, and international titles, and a wide variety of cafes and prepared food stalls.


    Stop 2: Athenian Seafood Restaurant and Bar – Tucked in Pike Place Market and made famous by a Sleepless in Seattle scene where Tom Hanks sat at the bar, the Athenian is a great choice for breakfast. I like the small booths on the second floor perfectly overlooking Puget Sound. Dishes on offer include pan fried salmon (yes, even at breakfast!), corned beef hash and other basic breakfast favorites and seafood-based specialties. On my last visit, a bill for two came to around $35.


    Stop 3: Original Starbucks – While still in the market, a stop at the world’s oldest Starbuck’s was a true must. The store is a bit more rustic than the typical Starbucks with brown signage and a wood paneled interior.


    Stop 4: Monorail – After finishing at the market, walk a short distance up to Westlake Center (where you can find Nordstrom’s, an upscale mall, and other shopping) and hop on the monorail. For just $2.25 per person, travel one mile to Seattle Center – home of the Space Needle, Experience Music Project, and the Pacific Science Center. Trains run at least every 15 minutes and provide an interesting view of parts of the city. The best seats are in the very front, next to the “driver.” It is interesting to note that the Monorail was built in 1962 to bring visitors to the World’s Fair.


    Stop 5: Space Needle – Of course, no visit to Seattle would be complete without views from the top of the famous Space Needle. For $19, you are transported to the top via a windowed elevator and given the opportunity to see Seattle from above it all. Outdoor and indoor observation decks are available.


    Stop 6: Pioneer Square - Enjoy interesting independent boutiques (for example, an entire store dedicated to clogs), coffee shops, art galleries, and book shops. Browse or buy, and stop for a beer or fresh cup of that famous Seattle coffee.


    Stop 7: Sushi – Finally, head to Belltown for sushi. Try Shiro's for a taste of some of Seattle's best.


    My colleagues and I are always traveling! Read more recommendations on our blog http://diary.thepurplepassport.com and see our comprehensive city guides at http://www.thepurplepassport.com

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