When visiting any city you want to act like a local, right? In Seattle, that means getting outside. And when you stay at The Alexis Hotel (or any of our hotels for that matter), they’ll hook you up with a complimentary PUBLIC bike so you can take in the sights from atop a sweet ride. If you left your outdoor gear at home, or — gasp! — don’t have any, you’re in luck because there’s a North Face on the same block as the hotel. Consider any piece you purchase here a multipurpose investment that will get you through 90 percent of the city’s social situations. If that seems like an exaggeration, you haven’t been to the Emerald City yet.
Unless you’re a Tour de France yellow-jersey contender who doesn’t mind a 10 percent slope here or there, you’ll want to head down the hill and turn right on Alaskan Way, which runs along the waterfront. Here, you can meander on a rare flat street with plenty of potential stops along the way, including:
Ye Olde Curiosity Shop: Not content to just be a tourist shop filled with postcards, T-shirts and key chains with your name possibly spelled right, this local institution displays things like shrunken heads (yep, they’re real human heads), jumping beans, and the Lord’s Prayer on a grain of rice.
The Salmon Cooker: Already famished from the 0.3 miles you’ve biked? Stop at this walk-up window for alder wood–smoked salmon with potato wedges. A Northwest treat.
The Seattle Great Wheel: Step right up to the 280,300-pound spinning contraption that juts out 40 feet over Elliott Bay for a ride inside one of the gondolas — and a chance at some pretty fantastic photos of the city and Puget Sound.
Seattle Aquarium: Touch a sea urchin. It’s fun.
Myrtle Edwards Park/Olympic Sculpture Park: Once Alaskan Way ends after about a mile, keep riding into shoreline-hugging Myrtle Edwards Park, which is also home to the Seattle Art Museum’s outdoor extension. Take a break on the benches shaped like eyes, or cruise by works like an abstract eagle and a rotating ampersand. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you spot two naked males in a fountain. (Note: These should be statues. If they’re real people, you might not be in the right place at all.)
If you’re loving the feel of the wind in your helmet-head hair, keep going — there’s a quiet path that stretches all the way to the Magnolia neighborhood. You’ll find some great restaurants here as well as Discovery Park, Seattle’s largest green space, offering sweeping vistas, hiking trails and beaches. Maps available at the front desk will point you in the right direction.
You can easily do this same route if you’re staying at Hotel Monaco or Hotel Vintage, too, just with a little more downhill action at the beginning — and probably a nice walk uphill with your bike at the end.
— Haley Shapley