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:
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.
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.