Since we live in Portland now, Jonathan and I decided to go up to Seattle for a quick day trip to see the sights. We had both been a couple of times with other people but never together!
The biggest problem when trying to see the sights anywhere near downtown Seattle along the river is the parking prices. During a weekend trip, visitors can spend as much on parking their car as they do for a hotel room. Since we are always looking for ways to save money while traveling, we decided that we would load up our bikes in the car and try to find a place to park in West Seattle for free and then bike over to downtown.
We drove over the West Seattle Bridge and parked for free in a neighborhood near the river on the west side and began the spontaneous bike ride toward Pike Place Market. We were pleasantly surprised by how well-developed the biking route was from West Seattle to downtown. It takes bikers over West Seattle Bridge, past loading docks along the river, and is only about a 3 mile ride.
We found a place to lock up our bikes and spent the afternoon wandering around Pike Place. One way to get a warm coffee and croissant while avoiding the long lines at the original Starbucks is to go next door to the French bakery, La Panier. The lines are short and they carry delicious assorted macarons, tarts, and light pastries.
We walked along the waterfront, tried every free sample from the market vendors from truffle cherries to chocolate pasta, and visited the infamous Market Theatre Gum Wall. For dinner, we stumbled upon Barolo Ristorante where they offer half-priced bar entrees and drinks until 6:30.
Our bike ride back to West Seattle for the drive home was a little cold and dark but definitely worth the money saved on parking and a great view of the city lights over the water.