SWEETHEART SITES OF SEATTLE
By Jane Cassie
It's that time of year again -when chocolate boxes are carved into hearts, roses brim from corner grocers, and cupid comes out of hiding. So, how are you going to celebrate this romantic day? What love-struck surprise can you conjure up for your valentine? Last year, Travel Writers' Tales shared a few sweetheart sites of San Francisco. This year we're taking you closer to home, to the Pacific Northwest jewel of Seattle. (maybe next year it'll be Singapore!)
A Treasure Trove for Two
Although Seattle's downtown core is a mish mash of past and present it all works together like a good relationship. New-age high rises hug up to Gold Rush landmarks, trendy boutiques snuggle between flagship department stores and government headquarters brush shoulders with corporate conglomerates. There are countless cozy espresso bars where you can escape the drizzle, ethnic restaurants to appease your palate and so much cultural diversity it'll make your head spin. And while embraced by Puget Sound and snowy peaks, its postcard setting will tug at any heart strings.
Make Music Together at Experience Music Project
This architectural wonder, shaped like a monumental guitar, is packed with musical opportunities that'll get your feet tapping. You'll zone out with the psychedelic-like acoustics of Sky Church where musical greats are magnified on the monster-size screen, take a step back in time with Jimi Hendrix and his 'Evolution of Sound,' and unleash your innate musical talents -plunk on the keyboard, strum a guitar or sing that special song for the one you love.
Take Your Love Higher
The futuristic-looking Space Needle has been Seattle's icon since the 1962 World's Fair. From its six hundred foot (204 meters) observatory your hearts will soar when checking out the stunning panorama that includes everything from the city's bustling downtown hub to the pinnacle of Mt Rainer. Even when the clouds roll in, the ethereal effect will initiate some magical vibes. You can also share the vista while wining and dining by candlelight. This landmark's SkyCity restaurant dishes up culinary classics that match the 360 degree rotating view.
Or Go underground!
Stroll the cobblestone streets of Pioneer Square, where an iron pergola and Tlingit totem pole are reminders of Seattle's past. Romanesque buildings are now home to art galleries, quaint cafés and antique shops. Don't forget to check out what also lies beneath the streets. Bill Speidel's Underground Tour is a cheesy but entertaining guided tour of the hidden subterranean passages that were once the main roadways of Seattle -a definite hand-holding opportunity!
Plod Through Pike Place Market
Chocolates, flowers, jewelry, oh my! You'll find every valentine favorite at this queen bee of farmer's markets. But look out for those flying fish! This venue has been a Seattle institution since 1907 and beneath open air tents, merchants, craftsman and farmers line up hip to hip year round. All is sold on a first come basis, so for the freshest and finest, get their early. You won't be disappointed!
Vida is one Seattle's newer spas where you can bliss out together. All seventeen treatment rooms offer unrivalled delights that will satisfy any spa aficionado. From hot stones and body wraps to massages and facials their therapies are designed to relax, restore and regenerate. While lying side by side in one of these zen-like havens, you'll most definitely find paradise!
The Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle: A City Sanctuary
This elite award winner occupies a prime location near the city's core. Instead of being squeezed next to downtown high rises that brim from Seattle's bustling vortex, you'll be idyllically distanced from the percolating crowds. It's just four blocks from the Pike and Pine Street shopping, six blocks from the Convention Center and the Space Needle, and minutes via streetcar from Lake Union's enticing restaurants.
You may want to surprise your sweetie by booking the 'Romance Package.' A fresh bouquet, decadent chocolates and a bottle of bubbly will accompany your contemporary suite. Or better yet, go for the Sleepless in Seattle. With brunch in bed, a pair of PJs to share and free romantic in-room movies, you probably won't get much shut eye!
IF YOU GO:
Where To Stay
Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle
2125 Terry Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121, USA
What to Do
Vida Spa - www.vidawellness.com
Seattle visitor guide www.visitseattle.org
Experience Music Project - www.empsfm.org
Seattle Space Needle - www.spaceneedle.com
Bill Speidel's Underground Tour www.undergroundtour.com
Pike Place Market: www.pikeplacemarket.org/frameset.asp?flash=true
Travel Writers' Tales is an independent travel article syndicate that offers professionally written travel articles to newspaper editors and publishers. To check out more, visit www.travelwriterstales.com
PHOTOS by Brent Cassie
1. EMP shaped like a monumental guitar
2. Jane jamming for her Valentine
3. Dining in style at the space Needle's SkyCity
4. Preparing to go underground
5. To market, to market
6. Enjoying Pan Pacific's room service