Seattle Waterfront
View the photos full screen or see the Flickr set to get a closer look at the Seattle Waterfront. Photos by Nick Onken.

Fish and Ships:

Just Two of the Many Reasons to Explore the Seattle Waterfront

More than 200 years ago, European settlers discovered a pretty rad thing: the Seattle waterfront. Of course, it would take a while for today’s beloved attractions to pop up, but I bet our forefathers saw the potential for light-hearted fun when they first sailed into the waters of the Puget Sound.

Here are a few tips for your potential visit to the Seattle waterfront:

The Seattle Aquarium is a must; its most popular creatures of the deep include starfish, otters, seals, and a giant octopus. There’s also a touch tank for those hands-on types. Admission is $16. And be sure to keep an eye out for SPUers; many students have jobs at the aquarium, teaching kids about all things under the sea.

In the market for a shrunken head? Chocolate-covered insects? Bigfoot action figure? Ye Olde Curiosity Shop is your one-stop shop for everything weird and wonderful. Ghost tours start here for those not faint of heart. If you visit the shop, you’ll be in good company: Theodore Roosevelt, John Wayne, and Charlie Chaplin have perused its in-house oddities. There’s also Sylvester, a 114-year-old mummy — no joke.

Don’t you love it when two of your favorite things fuse to create something really amazing? Like chocolate and peanut butter? Well, the Olympic Sculpture Park combines grassy park and modern art perfectly. Sculptures include eye benches, a giant eagle by Calder (pictured above), a huge typewriter eraser, and a stainless steel tree. There’s also beach access and public tours offered. Plus it’s open and free to the public 365 days a year.

Get out on the open sea (or Sound) with The Washington State Ferry System. Bainbridge Island is the closest destination, taking 30 minutes by ferry, and it boasts good shopping, country roads, and a charming arts community. No matter which ferry you take, expect panoramic views of the Seattle skyline, Olympic mountains, and the sapphire blue Sound. Ferry tickets are about $7.

All of this sightseeing will certainly work up an appetite. Milk the nautical theme a little more and treat yourself to fish and chips, care of Ivar. Ivar’s Acres of Clams and Ivar’s Fish Bar are both located on the waterfront and offer loads of seafood staples. Afterward, get a caffeine boost from Café Appassionato Coffee Company. Oh, how very Seattle of you!

By Allie Fraley

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