17 April 2010

Woodland Park Zoo

Seattle's public zoo, the Woodland Park Zoo is located just south and west of Greenlake, at the intersection of Fremont, Ballard, and Greenlake.

While it's not the largest zoo in the US, the Woodland Park Zoo has done a good job of providing a habitat for a wide variety of animals in an urban, pacific northwest setting. When we last visited, the giraffes and penguins both seemed to be out and about despite the cool-ish weather. The hippos seemed pretty content to just lay on the ground, though when we went by the second time, one had mysteriously slid into the water...

Mighty O Donuts

Organic, vegan donuts which are also very, very tasty! While probably not "health food", these donuts are free of cholesterol (only occurs in animal products) and trans-fats, and are made locally in Seattle. Oh, and they have about two dozen great flavors, ranging from simple chocolate with a dusting of sugar (Chocoloco) to Pumpkin Spice, (seasonal) Don(ut) King (chocolate with coconut topping), and Grasshopper. (which tastes like the drink, chocolate and mint)

15 April 2010

Pike Place Market

One of Seattle's better-known tourist sites, the Pike Place Market is home to both a number of permanent merchants and a large space of booths filled on a daily basis by farmers and craftspeople. In addition to the main floor of the marketplace, the shopping area actually extends for 2 levels below the farmers' area (with used book sellers, collectables, at least one asian market, and 20+ stores) and across the street into the permanent shops for the 3-4 blocks between 1st and the main market building.

If you end up needing cash, there's one Chase ATM near the broze statue of Rosie the pig, and several more from other banks in the main building on the lower levels.

14 April 2010

Seattle Aquarium

Located along the waterfront behind Pike Place Market, the Seattle Aquarium is actually a collection of buildings built on a pier over Puget Sound. Inside the main entry building, they have a typical selection of tropical and semi-tropical acquatic creatures. (An octopus, jellyfish, and a number of interesting-looking fish in ~30 or so tanks)

An outdoor area and the second building host the aquarium's pacific-northwest related exhibits. Those exhibits include birds, seals, otters, and the like outdoors, and an underwater section devoted to fish native to the Puget Sound. An afternoon-visit sort of length, it's also a popular spot for school trips.

12 April 2010

Ride the ducks!

Adjacent to the Seattle Center, this 90-minute amphibious tour travels through the sights of downtown Seattle and then along Aurora to to Fremont and Gasworks Park, out onto the water to see the houseboats on Lake Union before returning to Seattle Center.

11 April 2010

Golden Gardens Park

Located just north of Shilshole Marina on the western side of Ballard, Golden Gardens Park is a nice beachfront area with picnicking areas, sand, fields and a few secluded ponds near the north beach which held ducklings when I visited there earlier today.

In addition to playing frisbee or romping through the sand, Golden Gardens has incredible views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains beyond on clear days. You'll also see a number of small sailing ships from the aforementioned marina, and possibly also large container ships heading towards the Port of Seattle from the entrance to the Puget Sound.

Some pictures I took from earlier today:

From Golden Gardens Park, Ballard, Seattle

10 April 2010

Seattle Center - Seattle Opera

The northern end of the Seattle Center is home to a number of performing spaces, including ballet, theatre, film and opera. We recently attended a production of Falstaff in February; the opera was entertaining and well-done, with translations from Italian to English projected on a small screen over the stage. The intermissions between the acts were a bit too long for Emily and I, I think, but if you planned on grabbing a bite to eat or a drink from one of the cafes or bars set up outside the theatre, it would probably have been about right.