Seattle is well-known for many things such as its coffee, Pike Place Market or the futuristic Space Needle, wonderfully preserved as the centerpiece of the 1962 World’s Fair. But these icons only scratch the surface of things to do and enjoy for visitors new to the city.
Seattle has so much to offer, in fact, they challenged six former reality star contestants to spend three days plunging into “sight-doing,” discovering the unexpected layers of the Emerald City. While these reality TV stars are used to racing around the world, they discovered that in Seattle, “the more you dig in, the more you get out.”
Consider this: a steampunk-style working distillery with a canal-side tasting room, a quirky park with killer skyline views by night and fishmongers playing catch with fresh salmon all in one city. Or, imagine some of the best signature soups being served this side of Paris coupled with the sheer delight of a sunset sail on the Puget Sound with a bottle of wine and the chance of spotting an orca. These are just a few of the adventures the contestants on The Emerald Race (premiering September 18 on VISITSEATTLE.tv) encounter. Let’s check it out.
Fremont Mischief Distillery
132 N. Canal St.
Seattle, WA 98103
At “Seattle’s Best Distillery” (Seattle Weekly, 2017), even the custom German-made stills are a work of art. Organic, heirloom grains and botanicals mix with artesian water to create these flavorful, award-winning spirits. Have a look around on the tour, then sip and savor at Curiosities & Spirits, the funky on-site tasting room. Owner Mike Sherlock and his staff serve up tasting flights, featuring your choice of any four of the distillery’s four whiskeys and four clear spirits.
Gas Works Park
3300 Meridian Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98103
If the whole point of an urban park is to take a respite from the city, Gas Works Park is an unexpected Seattle bonus on a sprawling 19 acres as highlighted in the PBS documentary “10 Parks That Changed America.” Kite flying, picnicking, kayaking, and an imaginative playground are popular daytime diversions while super skyline views fill the night sky. This idyllic location overlooking Lake Union was formerly wasted as an abandoned industrial site. Reclaimed and transformed in 1975, Gas Works Park has since won the hearts of visitors and residents alike.
Pike Place Market
85 Pike St., Room 500
Seattle, WA 98101
Some say Pike Place Market is America’s best farmers market. Open 363 days a year since 1907, the original market is one of the oldest and most vibrant. Hundreds of unique shops, vendors, stalls, and eateries are spread across its nine acres perched above Seattle’s waterfront. Yes, there are breweries and tap rooms. Of course, its fishmongers are tossing fish like frisbees to delight the crowds. Certainly, bees are busy producing honey on the rooftop. And, without a doubt, the original 1971 Starbucks always has “The Line” of folks seeking a selfie and a coffee. Just this July, Pike Place Market expanded with its new MarketFront, offering views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains from the public plaza. New stalls on the Pavilion have opened for artisans and farmers, and public art installations adorn the new space. The 12,000 square feet of retail and commercial space is home to craftsmen at places like Old Stove Brewing and indi chocolates as well as a brand new neighborhood center.
Marmite & Spirit in a Bottle
1424 11th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
Chef Bruce is literally stirring the pot (of soup, that is) at Marmite, a gem of a restaurant in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, just named one of “America’s Best New Restaurants” by Bon Appetit. With a distinctly French influence mixed with Pacific Northwest meats, fish, and produce, soups and broths in the kettle will change seasonally to reflect whatever is fresh from the market. Make it a meal with sourdough bread, or order it to accompany a salad or sandwich. Grab a seat at the chef’s counter with a view of the kitchen where magic happens. The space is funky with an intimate cocktail lounge nestled inside where the chef’s better half, Sara, looks after Spirit in a Bottle. Located right in Chophouse Row, a mix of loft office spaces, retail marketplace and residential penthouses in the heart of the Pike-Pine neighborhood.
Let’s Go Sailing
1201 Alaskan Way
Seattle, Washington, WA 98104
For 33 years, this has been one of Seattle’s treasured water excursions. Departing from Pier 56 on the downtown Seattle Waterfront, Let’s Go Sailing allows passengers the opportunity to set out on the Puget Sound aboard a gorgeous sailing yacht. Picture a 90-minute getaway or a longer trip to toast a glorious sunset on a picturesque evening with a bottle of wine. With several departures every day May through October, it’s a cinch to sail when you fancy a mini-vacation on the water and spectacular views of Mount Rainier. Besides, you never know when a humpback whale might just feel like saluting the party with a spout and a breach.