Although we have been close to Seattle for the last four months, we had not gone into Seattle for a visit. So we felt it was important to check out the city before moving on from the Pacific Northwest. With Johnny and Val, Tom and I decided that the best way to see the downtown area would be on the Emerald City Trolley.
Emerald City Trolley just started its hop-on, hop-off service in Seattle in the last year. They have a perfect “headquarter” location – right next to the Space Needle. The trolley is easy to find and there is lots of parking close by. They are only running seasonally, so they closed down at the end of September and will resume trolley service in May.
We bought our tickets online and headed to Seattle. We parked in a lot just a block from the Space Needle. Within ten minutes we were on the trolley and enjoying our tour of the city. We had a tour guide and a driver and the tour guide kept up a running commentary during the tour. Unfortunately we noticed several things she got wrong in the first few minutes, so after that we tuned out most of what she said.
But we enjoyed our trolley ride very much. There are 15 stops on the Emerald City Trolley route. We started out by driving by the Museum complex and the Space Needle. Then we headed to the waterfront area and saw Pier 66, the Seattle Aquarium at Pier 59, the Olympic Sculpture Park, and the Seattle Cruise ship Terminal. We saw the famous Ivar’s restaurant and turned away from the waterfront area.
The next stop was the King Street Station which goes by Safeco Field, where the Seattle Mariners play. On this particular Saturday, they were playing the Cleveland Indians in an afternoon game. We saw lots of people heading into the stadium, many of them with Cleveland Indians jerseys! Go Tribe!
The next two stops were the International District and Occidental Park. Occidental Park was one of the two places we got off the trolley so we could visit the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park – Seattle Unit. I will write more about that tomorrow.
While we were waiting to get back on the Emerald City Trolley, we were accosted by a street evangelist. Tom tried to get him to leave us alone by saying that I was a pastor. Big mistake. Saying this caused the man to berate me for standing quietly on a corner instead of telling everyone about Jesus. Not a fun experience.
Finally he left and the trolley came shortly after. We continued our tour of the city by going through Pioneer Square. The next stop was Pike Place Market which was our second hop-off. I will write more about that Thursday.
After our stop at the Market, we boarded the trolley and finished our tour of the city. We saw the Convention Center, several very large hotels, the Nordstrom flagship store, and the Monorail. Our final stop before we returned to the Space Needle was the statue of Chief Seattle. It seemed a fitting end to our tour of the city.
We love to take hop-on, hop-off tours of the cities we visit. It is a fun and easy way to get oriented to the main attractions. Despite our tour guide’s trouble with some facts, we learned many interesting things. The Emerald City Trolley is a good way to get around, especially if you only have one day in the city.