Seattle & Mount St. Helens: Road Trip 1 Comment

The second half of Red Maps' six-day road trip to the Pacific Northwest is Seattle.  

Coming from Portland, we made a stop at Mt. St. Helens.  Not such a quick stop though.  We took Route 503 from Interstate 5, so essentially we drove 2/3 the circumference of the mountain.  But our mistake brought us to park road NF-99, which affords you fantastic winding roads, through the hillsides of blown-over trees.  This area is preserved to stay this way, even though much of the rest of the forest is growing back.  At the end of the road is Windy Ridge where you'll get some of the best views of the mountain, errr.. volcano. 
  

Where to Stay:

Generally speaking, stay in the downtown area or up on Capitol Hill.  The later has great restaurants and a more neighborhood feel.

Where to Eat:

Rione XIII  - 401 15th Ave E
On a pleasant block of Capitol Hill is this restaurant where we had dinner.  Rione has an appealing menu and interior, as well as great wine.  

Sitka and Spruce  - 1531 Melrose Ave
Within the Melrose Market is this locavore, farm-to-table restaurant, which came highly recommended.  What's on the menu is only what is fresh that day.  Also inside Melrose Market is Homegrown which offers sustainable, humane, farm-to-table fare.

Le Pichet - 1933 1st Ave
Stopped in here for an omelet and cappuccino.  Nice French vibe.  Le Pichet was a great find and the crew makes a good latte.

Madison Kitchen - 4122 Madison St E
In the pretty Madison Park neighborhood is this little breakfast spot, far from the crowds and steps from Lake Washington.  We had a great breakfast here.  A few doors away is the wonderful Madison Park Bakery - 80 years and counting.

Roastery - Starbucks Reserve -  1124 Pike St
Coffee in Starbucks Willie Wonka-like Roastery is something to see.  It's a tourist attraction and coming soon to Williamsburg Brooklyn.

What to See:

Mt. Rainier  Incredible to see as it just dominates the horizon, towering over the adjacent landscape.  You can't miss seeing it, whether you drive or fly in to Seattle.  We passed having just explored Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens.  And speaking of the famous volcanic mountain again, we wished we had approached it from Routes 12 and 131, via Randle, WA.)

Seattle Art Museum  Ready for more city activities, the contemporary collection of this museum was just the ticket.

Asian Art Museum  Set on a hill in Volunteer Park is the very engaging Asian art collection with works representing both contemporary and historical periods.

Other Major Attractions include the Space Needle, the waterfront food stands of the Public Market, the ferry ride to Bainbridge Island.

Snoqualmie Falls  Not far outside the city (30-40 min) is this picturesque waterfall and its beautifully-maintained cliffside lodge.