A Perfect Day In Seattle ~ Space Needle, Chihuly Exhibition, Pike Place Market

August 27th ~ Seattle, Washington

Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition

Sometimes the stars just align, everything falls into place, and your day unfolds magically. This was that kind of day for us. 

Downtown Seattle map

Driving from Oak Harbor to Seattle, our primary goal was to see the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition which is located in downtown Seattle. We parked near Key Arena and walked a couple of blocks into the heart of the Seattle Center.

Seattle Center map

Tim had never been up into the Space Needle, so when I found that a combination ticket was offered I jumped at the chance to once again test his fear of heights. Kind of sounds like I am being sadistic doesn’t it 🙂 🙂 🙂

Ticket prices for Chihuly Exhibition or combo with Space Needle

The last time I was up in the Space Needle was approximately 1970. I was attending Oregon State University when a few friends drove up for the day. I was anxious to recapture a fun moment from my youth.

Helpful Hint: If you are planning on seeing several places in Seattle, getting the City Pass discount book may save you a few dollars. You can check it out here to see if it makes sense for you and your family.

Seattle Space Needle

Tim and Joanne with the Space Needle towering above us

View of the top, from a postcard from 1962 World’s Fair

Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, this 605 foot tall creation was once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River. And since withstanding high hurricane winds and earthquakes is much in the news, the Space Needle was built to withstand winds up to 200 mile per hour and up to a 9.1 earthquake. It also has 25 lightning rods.

Looking straight up from below

A bit of trivia:

  • The iron workers who put it together in record time were paid $3.92 per hour.
  • In the middle of August of the same year, the Berlin wall was being built, dividing East from West.
  • An estimated 74,000 bolts hold the Space Needle together.
  • No women worked on the construction team.
  • The 125 ton restaurant on the top of the needle makes a full rotation every 47 minutes and is turned by only a ONE HORSEPOWER MOTOR!

Of course it is all about the views from the top that makes it all worth while. You can walk the exterior circle for the full 360 degrees.

Views from the top:

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Lunch followed at Collections Cafe, right next door. First of all, the food was great. But the interesting thing about this restaurant, is that it is situated right behind the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition and holds a wide variety of items that Chihuly collected over his life.

Cafe ceiling ~ Chihuly collection of accordions and old-time radios

“Chihuly’s lifelong passion for collecting started on the shores of the Puget Sound where he scoured the beach as a boy looking for bright shards of beach glass. Today, his extensive collections include vintage objects and material culture of all kinds. Some items are selected based on their function, others for shapes and colors. Regardless of the reason, all have a personal connection for Chihuly and we are delighted to present them to you in the Collections Café.” ~ Chihulygardenandglass.com

Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition

The real highlight of the day was our visit to the Chihuly Exhibit. Our friends, Brenda and Steve, recently posted their wonderful pictures from their visit here and I immediately knew that I had to include this on our itinerary.

Rated as #1 out of 499 things to do in Seattle as per TripAdvisor, I can not recommend including a visit more strongly.

But first a little information on the artist, Dale Chihuly. Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, he studied interior design, attended the first glass program in the country, and continued his studies in Rhode Island where he stayed and taught for 10 years.

“In 1968, after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, he went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. There he observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today. In 1971, Chihuly cofounded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. With this international glass center, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as a fine art. His work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including twelve honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.” ~ Chihuly.com

In a nutshell, he is a master artist whose modality is glass. As we entered the exhibition, each room is a piece of art in and of itself.

Glass Forest

Sealife room

Persian ceiling

Ikebana and Float Boats

Macchia Forest

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And then we went out into the gardens and the awe continued. Matching and contrasting with the well spaced plants and flowers, glass structures in brilliant colors were woven in and out, throughout the gardens.

Blue and turquoise

Orange and yellow glass

Glass balls and long shapes

Enormous bloom

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The final room was the greenhouse with an enormous glass flowers hanging from the ceiling and the Space Needle offering up a backdrop.

Greenhouse

Looking through the ceiling at the Space Needle

I loved every minute of our time here and have been recommending it to anyone I can.

But our day was not over. Right in the same complex, here at the Seattle Center, is the Seattle Monorail. We purchased our tickets, and jumped on. There is only one place to get off, so even for those not used to using local transportation, this should not be too confusing.

Seattle Monorail

Dropping you off in a great shopping area, Westlake Center, with many top named stores including Macy’s and Nordstrom’s. But our destination was a short three blocks away, Pike Place Market.

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

This is one of the countries oldest Farmer’s Markets. Pike Place Market is of course a market place, but it is so much more than that. This is a vibrant community comprised of farmers, fishermen, flower growers, artisans, small businesses, craft people, and residents. The neighborhood was chartered by the city of Seattle to provide services to the low-income, disabled, homeless and elderly.

They look after their own with services including the Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank, Pike Market Childcare and Preschool and Pike Market Clinic.

Flower bouquets were so reasonably priced $20-$30 for huge arrangements

Vibrant neon signs hang overhead

The fish markets were so lively, including fish being thrown across the room!

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One final event of the day is worth mentioning, and again high on my “recommended” list. And of course it includes food.

I’m guessing you have heard about “hidden” gems in different cities. In this case, this is more truth than fiction as there are NO SIGNS to identify this restaurant, and it is located on an alley.

Closest cross streets, Stewart and Post Alley

The Pink Door is located just a block off of the Pike Street/Market Place main street. To find it, go to the corner of Stewart and Post Alley, and head north. About a block up the alley, you will come to this building:

The Pink Door

The only way we knew it was the right place was by looking at the stationary logo on the sign on the door.

Close up of sign on the door

There was also no address number. I was hesitant to open the door at first, but I cautiously did, walked down the stairs and almost whispered if I was in the right place. We were. Luckily it was still early and a table was found for us. The place quickly filled up. You can check out their menu here.

Inside of the restaurant – The Pink Door

Main course of our meal

And the performance that was mentioned on the sign on the door? Well it changes all the time. As we were leaving, a trapeze artist performed over our head.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: This was such a fun day! Can’t think of a thing I would have changed. We sincerely thank you for following along with us as we explored Seattle. If you are heading this way, we hope your time here is as magical as ours was. Feel free to share, subscribe and/or comment below.

With love and gratitude…JJ

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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45 Responses to A Perfect Day In Seattle ~ Space Needle, Chihuly Exhibition, Pike Place Market

  1. Camie says:

    I love Seattle! What a memorable visit!

    Like

  2. Widdershins says:

    Heavens to Murgatriod! That glass art! 😀 … and that main course! 🙂

    Like

  3. joliesattic says:

    Neat. I went through Seattle briefly for my nieces wedding, but I didn’t get to sight see much. I told my husband we would have to go together someday, it looked appealing.

    Like

    • There is a lot more to see and do in Seattle, but for us, this was a perfect day. I hope you and your husband can return before long and experience more of it for yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • joliesattic says:

        Absolutely. He wasn’t with me when I went and I prefer doing things with him than alone, so I didn’t venture far. The wedding was an hour or so out, so it wasn’t convenient to backtrack except when heading back to the airport, so I told hubby, he had to come back up with me.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Anabel Marsh says:

    How wonderful. I’ve seen odd pieces of Chihuly’s work in a few places, but to see them all together like this must have been amazing.

    Like

  5. Brenda Thompson says:

    This brings back such delightful memories of our trip there recently. I sure love all your gorgeous photos which captured the Chihuly Gardens so magnificently. I absolutely love the one of
    “our reflection.”
    It looks like Tim enjoyed himself at the Space Needle. Hoping the gorgeous views from the top
    helped to lessen his fear of heights there. I give him a lot of credit to do something or go somewhere that may cause some anxiety–but he challenges himself and gets the huge reward at the end. I could learn a lot from him.
    Thanks for the info on the Pink Door. This was something I was not aware of and would definitely check out the next time we go. I love these delightful “hidden gems” —such an added bonus to an already wonderful trip.
    As always, I appreciate the history on the places you visit, as well as your spectacular photos.
    I’m really happy you enjoyed your time in Seattle.

    Like

    • Brenda, it turned out being one of my favorite days on an already fabulous road trip. Thanks to you and Steve for pointing us in the right direction, as I was not aware of his exhibition there until you posted about it. Tim has pushed himself to overcome his fear of heights and seems to be winning the battle. Proud of him! Do check out the Pink Door. Hope we can get together with you guys before long ❤️❤️

      Like

  6. John Love says:

    I have not commented much, but, as always I have been travelling with you! I have been to a lot of the places in the NW you visited, but not the Canada locations, or Seattle for some reason. I especially enjoyed the Seattle post, even though I am a wilderness lover! My wife and I are going to drive up the California coast to Oregon and visit inlaws, then over to Council and Riggins Idaho to visit places I grew up. Then over to Montana to visit an old childhood friend. We are going in the spring, if all goes well! Taking the Canon F1, so maybe I will post some pics along the way!

    Like

    • John, that sounds like a fabulous itinerary and I do hope you will give the Canon some exercise 😃 Both the California and Oregon coasts are spectacular. We have spent very little time in Idaho and I hope to correct that on a future road trip. Wonderful hearing from you!

      Like

  7. Jim & Jane says:

    What a great day, thanks for sharing the Chihuly pics, we were a bit remiss in not visiting, looks amazing.

    Like

  8. lexklein says:

    While your whole day sounds fantastic, the Chihuly exhibit is the winner in my book! Every time I see his work, it gets better and better. As you know from visiting my recent posts (thank you!), I have just had my own Chihuly immersion and loved every minute of it.

    Like

  9. Terry says:

    Wow, wonderful day. You like to test Tim’s phobias. But I think he enjoys it though, does things he might not do otherwise. Did not have time for the exhibit the last time I was there, will definitely make it a must do next time. And yes always check if the city has a pass. Have used those in Europe a lot and they really do save you a lot of money and especially time as you can skip the ticket booths.

    Like

  10. tippysmom2 says:

    Wow! That sounds amazing. Love all of the glass sculptures and other items. The gardens were beautiful too! How did Tim do in the Space Needle? Pike Place Market sounds like a wonderful place. Maybe some other cities could take note. I think I would be scared to open that pink door too, but….What a wonderful surprise on the other side.

    Like

  11. lulu says:

    As you show there’s lots to like in Seattle.

    Like

  12. LTodd says:

    I’ve been to Seattle several times but never had a chance to see the Chihuly. Maybe some day.

    Like

  13. Janet Hartman says:

    Joanne, we are safe and sound! God is good!! Thank you for asking! Are you still traveling?!

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

  14. Merrill says:

    I’m going to save the Pink Door info for a future trip! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  15. This brings back great memories of visiting Seattle about 15 or so years ago. I loved Pike Place market and the Space Needle. Those sculptures look amazing, how photogenic!
    http://www.mytravelbugbite.com

    Like

  16. Don’t you just love Seattle, Joanne. Your photos remind me that it is time to go again. I’ve been to several Chihuly shows but never the one next to the Space needle. Sigh. Great photos. –Curt

    Like

  17. Aunt Beulah says:

    It sounds like a marvelous day, Joanne, and your photographs and descriptions made me realize I need to go back to Seattle because I’ve never seen the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition.

    Like

  18. Seattle is on my bucket list! Thank you for the sneak peek and tips! Maybe next year!

    Like

  19. usfman says:

    As a fellow roadtrip trekker, your vacation was of great interest. Other than Seattle, what other highlights from your trip stand out?

    Like

    • That is a tough one, as we had many great moments. Each of the National Parks offered something special, but The Tetons, Glacier and Yellowstone are all favorites for natural beauty. Photographing the Narrows and Horseshoe Bend also stands out. How about you? Any favorite recommendations to pass along?

      Like

  20. tigre23 says:

    Thanks for sharing! It reminds me of our fond memories visiting Seattle 2 years ago – we also went to the Space Needle & Chihuly Garden & Glass as well as the Pike Place markets – it was a great visit! We love Seattle!

    Like

  21. curvyroads says:

    Oh that was a magical day, indeed! I love Seattle, but it has been many years since i visited, and never with my husband. It too is high on our (very long) list of places to visit. We have seen an extensive Chihuly exhibit in Atlanta, at the botanical Gardens, and both inside and outside works were superbly lit for Chihuly Nights…it was spectacular! Your photos were as well. 😀
    And what a tip about the Pink Door! Awesome!

    Like

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