Journeys Around Seattle, #44: Seattle Aquarium & Waterfront

September 11, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Earlier this week, Lisa and I paid a visit to the Seattle Aquarium-- sort of a combination of two other recent entries (zoo and ocean), not that we'd planned it that way.

First, though, we stopped by Ivar's for lunch. Ivar's is a seafood place and a local Seattle institution, having been around for about 75 years-- there's a cheap outdoor food stand and a more expensive indoor restaurant, and we sat in the outdoor section. The seagulls are loud and numerous, occasionally hopping onto your table to noisily demand food, but it's all part of the Ivar's experience. There's even a statue by the restaurant of the founder, Ivar, feeding some massive seagulls.

Afterward, we walked down to the Aquarium. The Aquarium isn't that big, taking up a small footprint on the Seattle waterfront, but it does have some impressive large tanks (including a large underwater dome), and some large touch tanks that simulate the tidal pools of the Pacific coast. The creatures were more diverse and larger than the ones we'd seen on the coast a few weeks back, but I have to admit, I preferred the authentic experience.

There's also a marine mammal area with seals, sea otters, and river otters, and a collection of shore birds as well. It's a nice place, and heavily involved in conservation efforts along the shore, so even though admission was a bit of a sticker shock ($22), I didn't mind paying it. Afterward, we sat outside at the snack bar (which was surprisingly inexpensive, given the admission price), and looked over at another waterfront attraction-- the Seattle Great Wheel (sort of Seattle's much smaller answer to the London Eye).

After the aquarium, we had a little time to kill, so we walked down to the water taxi that connects the Seattle waterfront and West Seattle, and rode it across and back-- it's a pretty short ride (each way is about 10 minutes), and you can board it with the ORCA card also used for local buses and light rail. By that time, a cloudy day had turned into a sunny afternoon, and it was a lovely ride across Elliott Bay.

In a sense, it was also me saying good-bye to Seattle for a few weeks, as I get ready to travel-- more on that in my next entry.


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