Seattle is the U.S. gateway to Alaska and the home to some of America’s most intriguing companies like Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, Chihuly Glassworks and Amazon.com. Enjoy the convenience and comfort of private transportation between the airport and cruise ship dock. Or even better, take an insiders’ look at this eclectic and dynamic city on a private tour, including the major sights as well as some sights off the beaten track.
Seattle City Tour (4-hours)
This private, guided tour of Seattle starts with a visit to the waterfront and downtown areas, Pioneer Square (Seattle’s oldest neighborhood), and historic Pike Place Market (listed on the National Registry of Historic Places). You’ll also stop at the original Starbuck’s coffee house and enjoy the Emerald City’s plethora of art galleries and the Seattle Art Museum. You’ll then travel outside the downtown core to visit the Washington Park Arboretum’s Japanese Garden, a 3.5-acre formal garden designed and constructed under world-renowned designer Juki Iida in 1960. Next, you’ll visit the Ballard Locks, the second largest in the U.S.—with ladders for the spawning salmon that can be viewed in summer. Other highlights of your tour may include the famous “Sleepless in Seattle” floating home; a view of Lake Union; the Troll and Lenin statues in Freemont; and the Space Needle. Afterwards, your driver can drop you off at Pike Place Market or another downtown location.
Seattle’s visual appeal is forged by its hilly topography and bodies of water. The hills allow residents in numerous neighbourhoods around the city to claim property with fabulous views, while the water enables a distinctive living style on floating homes and a variety of recreational boating activity. Touring Seattle by land and by water will provide you with two different perspectives and the most unique way to experience the city. Beginning with the land segment of your excursion, you’ll become acquainted with Seattle’s evolution from frontier town to a thriving regional urban centre. Your tour will also take you to different areas of the city so you can gain an understanding of why Seattle is consistently ranked as one of the best places to reside. Upon arrival at Lake Union, you and your guide will board a restored wooden cruiser navigated by a Coast Guard certified captain versed with Seattle’s maritime history. You will get a close-up view of the houseboat communities, the myriads of sailboats plying the water, and scenic shorelines, while traveling one of the city’s exceptional water corridors.
Distinguished by its continuous change and vitality, Seattle’s city centre has always been an integral part of its evolution, from an isolated frontier outpost, to the significant Pacific Rim city it has become today. Accompanied by your local guide, your walking excursion of downtown will mesh notable areas such as, Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, and the interesting streetscapes of 1st Avenue and 5th Avenue, with obscure and picturesque public spaces and diverse architecture, along with a peek into future transformative development. At the end of your walking tour, you will have gained an insight to the people and events that have impacted Seattle’s history, along with an understanding of what propels its future as America’s fastest growing city.
Located 30-miles (48-kms) south from Seattle on Puget Sound, and once a mill city, Tacoma has reinvented its identity and become a museum destination and the site of acclaimed and panoramic Chambers Bay Golf Course, host of the 2015 US Open Tournament. Along with the old warehouse district repurposed for a University of Washington campus, the hillside Proctor residential neighbourhood, and adjacent Old Town, Tacoma illustrates how cities can revitalize derelict and abandoned areas and become appealing regional destinations. On this worthwhile excursion from Seattle, you will gain a sense of the diversity and allure of the Puget Sound area, along with insight on how the two major population centres of Tacoma and Seattle are linked. You will visit three of Tacoma’s museums starting with the Tacoma Art Museum, where you will view the significant Haub Family collection of Western American art; the adjacent Museum of Glass, featuring a working hot house and the stunning 500-foot (152-metres) pedestrian walkway, the Chihuly Bridge of Glass; and Lemay – America’s Car Museum, spotlighting America’s love affair with the automobile that even non-car enthusiasts will find interesting. Afterwards, enjoy the area’s natural setting and striking views of Commencement Bay, Chambers Bay, and nearby Lakewold Gardens, a manicured estate set among tall trees with a path leading to a hidden lake.
At thirty miles (48-km) in length, Lake Washington is a distinguishing feature of the Seattle metropolitan landscape. The shoreline on the west side forms the eastern boundary of Seattle, while across the lake, places that were once farms or suburban commuter neighbourhoods, are today, vibrant and distinctive places that prompt Seattle residents to cross the lake for work and pleasure. On this tour, you will gain both an urban and a rural perspective of these flourishing eastside communities. Your first stop will be Snoqualmie Falls, a picturesque destination in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, where water cascades over a wall of rock 270 feet high. You will have the chance to view and photograph the impressive falls and surrounding area from observation plazas and nearby trails. From Snoqualmie, rural roads will lead you to Woodinville, which has become the place to taste Washington wines. At Chateau Ste. Michelle, the state’s largest winery, you will have the opportunity to enhance your food and wine pairing knowledge while sampling a flight of wines expertly combined with morsels of tasty treats. Next, you will visit Redmond, the location of the Microsoft Campus, where the visitor centre exhibit traces the history of the company and showcases hardware utilizing the company’s software; followed by Kirkland, with its village-like atmosphere, small shops, boutiques, and charming waterfront; and lastly, Bellevue, with its contrasting skyline reflective of its position as the commercial and tech centre of the eastside.