Marty Wingate's Seattle

Written by  Marty Wingate

When Marty Wingate's not travelling round the world seeking out the most beautiful gardens imaginable she's at home in Seattle with her two cats writing about her adventures on her blog Passports and Seed Packets.

We've asked her to turn that around and write about her home town for us for our Questionnaire for Experts, Bloggers and other Travel Knowledgables:

Where's your home town, and what's the main reason people visit?

Seattle, Washington. Visitors love Seattle for the mild summer climate (the Big Secret is that it doesn't really rain all the time), lush green scenery, fabulous gardens, great food (and lots of foodies) and outdoor activities.

What's the main reason you think people SHOULD be visiting?

You don't have to be a hiker or skier to love Seattle and the surrounding area - you can be a fan of small big cities with great restaurants and hotels, and sightseeing from the deck of a ferry taken from a downtown dock. Views of Mount Rainier regularly astound people (on clear days we say that "the mountain is out.")

If you had to recommend to the friend of a friend one unmissable thing to do in your home town what would it be?

The sunset view of downtown and Mt. Rainier from Kerry Park on Highland Drive, Queen Anne neighborhood (a neighborhood just north of downtown).

If they had a whole day in town what would you recommend they do?

Breakfast at the Pike Place Market, a visit to the Seattle Art Museum, lunch at one of the local farmers markets (the neighborhood depends on the day of the week), an afternoon at the Hiram Chittenden locks that separate Puget Sound from Lake Union (while there, watching salmon going up the fish ladder and strolling through the lovely gardens) and ending the day by sitting out on the deck at Ray's Cafe, just up the road, right on Shilshole Bay. Maybe a show in the evening downtown at ACT (A Contemporary Theater).

What if they had three days?

All of the above, plus taking the ferry to Bainbridge Island (30 minutes from downtown, shops and restaurants are then a 10-minute walk); riding on the elevator up to the top of the Space Needle; going on the Underground Tour in Pioneer Square to see what Seattle looked like 100 years ago (and one story deeper than it is today); visiting Kubota Gardens, an amazing Japanese garden hidden in a neighborhood; hanging out at Elliot Bay Bookstore on Capital Hill; perusing the amazing architecture at the main library downtown; strolling along the waterfront and be sure to see the mummy at Ye Olde Curiosity Shop; eating at a Tom Douglas restaurant - the Dahlia Lounge is my favorite and you must have the coconut cream pie for dessert.

What will you never catch a local doing?

Riding the elevator to the top of the Space Needle, unless accompanied by an out-of-town guest.

What WILL you catch a local doing?

Eating a Top Pot donut (yum).

And what local delicacies would visitors be fools not to try while they're there?  

Besides Top Pot, Dungeness crab, Penn Cove mussels, line-caught king salmon, and anything from a Tom Douglas restaurant. Coffee at Caffe Umbria in Pioneer Square.

In 140 characters, how would you sum up your home town as a great destination?

Culture and the great outdoors combine for an amazing visit. Theater, museums, fabulous food, great gardens, really polite locals. And sunshine (shhhh).

Anything else you want to add!?

I love to travel, but I am always happy to come home.

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