Seattle, while nationally famous for its rainy weather, is a delightful destination for families, and even boasts some sunshine now and then. (Locals have told me that they exaggerate the raininess to keep too many people from moving there!) The rain that does fall makes this largest city in the Pacific Northwest verdant and constantly feeling refreshed. In addition to urban delights, your clan will find plenty of outdoor activities, miles of stunning coastline and some great mountain backdrops.
There’s probably a law out there somewhere that you aren’t allowed to visit Seattle without a stop at the Pike Place Market (pikeplacemarket.org). But if so, it’s a brilliant piece of legislation, because the multi-block market is full of character—and characters!—not to mention all kinds of fresh and prepared foods, crafts, and souvenirs. Of course, you should stop and watch some fish being thrown around—sometimes the tourists even become part of the act, as the workers have a few well-rehearsed gags up their sleeves. You can even cross the street and visit the first ever Starbucks location … just look for the long line! Our kids loved this and were amused by how different (and slightly risqué) the original logo was.
When you’re done with the pilgrimage to the market area, there’s plenty more to see and do … check out the CityPASS Seattle to save a good chunk of money if you’ll be visiting several museums or attractions.
Seattle’s airport, SEA-TAC, is a short drive south of downtown. Check Vancouver, Canada fares as well, as sometimes one city is much cheaper than the other, making the 3.5 hour drive from the north worthwhile. (You can also check out Portland, equidistant to the south for fares.) Downtown Seattle is a hilly town (think San Francisco), but if you’re up to burn off some of those Starbucks calories, you can get around pretty easily via walking, Uber and the city’s monorail.