re: A day in Victoria
Here's all you need to know:
I highly endorse the Butchart Gardens recommendation. They are spectacular if you're into flowers/plants/park-like setting w/fountains, etc. Summer should be great time of year for flowers in bloom. Probably a 3.5-4.0 hr trip. It's a ways out of town as I recall -- about a 30-45 minute tour bus ride.
Restaurants around Seattle:
* Salty's at Alki Beach - wonderful view of Seattle from accross the Sound. Casual to dressy. Not pretentious. Specializes in seafood, but a varied menu.
* Palisade - another wonderful view of Seattle from a different direction. Again, casual to dressy. Not pretentious. Specializes in seafood, but a varied menu. My favorite.
* Palimino - Downtown. Italian.
* McCormick and Schmicks - Downtown. Seafood, but varied menu.
* Daniel's Broiler (near downtown). Killer steaks, beef, prime rib.
* Seattle monorail is out of service, unfortunately.
* Downtown Seattle: Lots of shopping, clean and safe.
* Seattle Center (where the Space Needle is) - Large, park like setting, pretty fountain, Children's Museum.
* Space Needle - trip to the top. On a summer day, the view should be awesome. It's a pretty spendy elevator ride, though, but IMO worth it for the view if it's not cloudy. Cocktails and relatively spendy fast food available.
* Space Needle Restaurant - Pretty fancy. Rotates once/hour. Dressy and limited menu, but good food.
* Experience Music Project (EMP) - If you're into music (history) or playing musical instrments, this is an exceptionally cool place. Hendrix, Beatles, Stones, Elvis, Sinatra -- the whole nine yards.
* Safeco Field - 5 minutes from downtown. If you're into Major League Baseball, this is a very nice ballpark and the fans are polite vs. other parks I've visited. Food/refreshments are spendy, e.g., $6 for a beer. If nothing else, check out the street vendors on the day of a game. Some of the food is to die for. (You can take peanuts into the game, but not beverages or other food.)
* Seattle Art Museum - Downtown Seattle. Lots of art of all kinds.
* Pike Place Market - Downtown. A simply amazing place, esp. the fish and fresh produce markets. Zillions of shops. Free, unless you buy stuff!
* Boeing Museum of Flight - Near downtown (about 20 minutes or so). If you're into planes, jets, 'copters, space craft, this is a dream come true.
Hope this gives you some ideas and the weather cooperates.
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