Posted December 8, 2011

Bright Lights, Big City: Seattle


Jingle, jingle, everyone. This is the second in our ongoing series on great holiday lights and decor in the cities our hotels call home. Blog contributor Martha Thomas shows us how Seattle dresses up, tip to toe.

Sky’s the limit when it comes to Seattle’s brilliant holiday lights display. That’s because the tip of the Space Needle (at 605 feet high!) visually transforms into a Christmas tree with strings of twinkling white lights.

That’s not the only holiday treat atop the Seattle landmark. Santa and his elves commandeer the observation deck for the season, and kids can chat with the North Pole contingent before stopping at the crafts station to make a gift of their own.

The Space Needle is a two-minute monorail ride from Westlake Center, home to the holiday carousel (pictured above), an old-fashioned roundabout of brightly painted mounts. Nearby, the Nordstrom flagship store at the corner of Pine and Fifth charms with wintery window displays and a Santa house streetside.

As you explore, don’t forget to visit the original Starbucks café at Pike Place Market. Sure, we know you can get their cups of joe just about anywhere, but this particular location has history; it opened in 1971 and retains its lovingly worn-in wooden floors and long wooden counter. Throughout the holidays, Victorian carolers stroll the Market, lending merry voices to the holiday lights and greenery. Horse-drawn carriages are available to transport you from Pine Street to Pike.

Other Seattle highlights include Toyland Village in Waterfront Park, where you can walk along the edge of Puget Sound past lights displayed in the shape of toys, trains and cottages. And don’t miss Winterfest at Seattle Center for ice-skating and a model train that wends its way through a miniature turn-of-the-century village. Lastly, it’s anchors aweigh aboard Argossy Cruises Christmas Ship, which features boat rides complete with holiday carolers along Lake Union.

Good thing you can stay in the midst of the glimmer. Seattle has three Kimpton boutique hotels – Hotel Monaco, Hotel Vintage Park and Alexis Hotel – all centrally located downtown.

Photos: Christopher Nelson / Courtesy of Seattle Convention & Visitors Bureau


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