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Seattle.Credit Seattle Municipal Archives

The landmark Space Needle is a staple of any Seattle vacation. Credit: Seattle Municipal Archives.

By Whit Honea

I know a good Seattle vacation when I see one. That’s because I live in Seattle and spend a good portion of my time playing tour guide to friends and family who aren’t lucky enough to be local. I could plan a Seattle vacation in my sleep.

A lot of my guests are happy to stay on my couch, but there are times when Seattle hotels are the better option. If that’s the case, I always suggest the Edgewater. I could go on and on about how it is Seattle’s only waterfront hotel with a breathtaking view of Elliott Bay or its easy access to popular tourist attractions. But the fact is, I like the Edgewater because the Beatles stayed there, they now have a Beatles-themed suite and they host all kinds of cool Beatles events throughout the year. Beatles history trumps posh amenities any day in my book (but luckily the Edgewater has those, too).

But a great hotel is only the start to any vacation. There’s so many things that my guests ask to see on their Seattle vacation. These are the five most popular:

  1. The Space Needle: No Seattle vacation is complete without a trip to the top of Seattle’s best-known landmark. And did you know, the elevators in the Space Needle travel at the same rate that rain falls from the sky?
  2. Pike’s Place Market: Everyone wants to see the guys that throw the fish. I’ve been there countless times and I’ve never seen anyone that wasn’t amazed. I’ve also never seen them drop a fish.
  3. The Underground Tour: Did you know that the current city of Seattle is actually the second version? It’s true. The first draft is directly underneath the current one and houses basement-level eateries, dance halls and storage. The Underground Tour walks guests through the history of Seattle and offers a unique view of the city.
  4. Snoqualmie Falls: Two-hundred and sixty-eight feet high, this powerful waterfall is one of the most popular attractions in the Seattle area — and it’s free! The falls are roughly 30 minutes east of the city and are best known for their power plants and beautiful hiking area. Don’t be surprised if they look familiar — Snoqualmie Falls gained international fame for its appearance in the television series Twin Peaks.
  5. Drink! This is the easiest request I ever get because it’s accessible anywhere from Seattle hotels and restaurants to the markets and the ballparks. People enjoying a Seattle vacation want to see the original Starbucks (and usually order something to validate the experience) and visit any and/or many of the popular microbreweries in the area. Coffee and beer are always big hits with tourists and locals alike.

Whit Honea is a travel writer living in Seattle with his wife and two children. He packs light and travels often to far-away places, exotic lands and more than a few theme parks.

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Angie Jaime

Angie Jaime

Angie Jaime is a writer at Orbitz. She has a habit of stopping at Cinnabon stands in airports across the country.

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