Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sightseeing Run: Seattle

Abe and I have done a fair amount of traveling this summer, and had to balance it with triathlon training. Swimming and biking can be a little more challenging to fit in, but running is easy to do anywhere! I've particularly enjoyed the runs where we've made it a sightseeing experience. We did this in Port Orchard, WA at the start of our honeymoon, and in Icy Strait Point, AK along the cruise. Most recently, we worked a sightseeing run into a quick trip to Seattle last week.

We were staying a couple blocks away from the Space Needle, and then took the monorail into downtown, but you could also run that section to make it a complete loop and add on about another mile. As we ran it, this route is about 3.5 miles, depending on how much you run into/around the parks you pass by.

START: Westlake Center monorail station, at the corner of 5th Ave and Pine St.
 Go SW on Pine St for 1 block, then turn L on 4th Ave. On your left will be Westlake Park (really a square, rather than a park).
1 At 4th Ave and Spring St is the Seattle Public Library - Central branch. Sadly, it wasn't yet open for the day when we passed, but the cool thing (in addition to the exterior) to check out here is a 4-floor continuous spiral of bookcases. 
2 Two blocks later at 4th Ave and Marion St is the Rainier Club.
 Turn R on Dilling Way, cutting through City Hall Park, then turn R on Yesler Way. 
3 At the corner of Yesler Way and 2nd Ave Ext is Smith Tower. Also unfortunately closed at the time we were running, but this has an observation deck to see the city (not as tall as the Space Needle, but was the tallest building on the West Coast when it was built). 
 Turn L on 2nd Ave Ext, then slight R on 2nd Ave.
 One block later turn R on Main St.
4 At the corner of 2nd Ave and Main St is Waterfall Garden Park, followed a block later by Occidental Park (another "park" that's really a square).
 Turn R on 1st Ave.
5 At the corner of Main St and 1st Ave is Grand Central Arcade. NOTE: Public bathrooms available inside.
6 At the corner of 1st Ave and Yesler Way is Pioneer Square.. 
 Turn L on Madison St, then R onto Post Ave. 
7 After two blocks, take the stairs to continue on Post Alley.
8 Along Post Alley is the Gum Wall.
9 You're now in Pike Place Market.
10 If you go up to street level at 1st Ave and Pike St, you'll see the original Starbucks location.
 From Level 3 in the market near Pike St, take the Pike Street Hillclimb (a combo of skyway, stairs, and sidewalk) towards the waterfront.
 Turn R on Alaskan Way.
11 This section is along the waterfront, starting at the aquarium.
 Turn R on Clay St, L on Elliot Ave, then R on Broad St.
12 Head into Olympic Sculpture Park.
 Continue heading NE on Broad St.
FINISH: Seattle Center. Check out the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden & Glass. 

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