March Break Highlights: Savoring Seattle By Segway

March Break Highlights: Savoring Seattle By Segway

Two years ago, a good friend of mine moved within driving distance. For anyone who maintains contact with high school friends post graduation, you know how big a deal that is (huge, in fact). Since then, we’ve been taking advantage of March Break to visit. Last year, we spent a dreary week hoping for a glimpse of sun while my husband ran a fieldtrip in New York.

This year, though, turned out to be spectacular. This year, we shared a week of sun, interrupted by only a few brief showers. We took great advantage of that weather for two trips into Seattle, plus a little hiking on the side. We spent the evenings basking in the glory of the moon and good company. It was certainly a week to remember. So, of course, I’m going to share some of the details!

Food tours are the best way to learn about a city.

My friend, Rowena, loves food. She loves to make it. She loves to eat it. And she generally knows where to find the best food experiences as a result. When she told me her husband booked us a Seattle food tour, I was excited. This tour was through a company called Savor Seattle. We chose their signature tour, which features the ground level of Pike Place Market.

We’ve all been to Pike Place once or twice, but we all agreed we should explore the area more. We ran into a bit of trouble with traffic and actually ended up missing our original start time. Savor Seattle was super chill about it, though, and simply bumped us to the next tour time so we didn’t have to miss anything.

We started at the gum wall. Which, for those uninitiated (like myself) is exactly what it sounds like. A wall of gum. Chewed gum. That’s been stuck to a wall. And is now a tourist attraction.

Apparently, it started because the nearby theatre made everyone discard their gum before they entered – a fair request. People would use a coin to stick their gum to the wall and forget about it. Eventually, people realized there was a lot of money on that wall, so they stripped the coins.

Long story short, it has become an unstoppable force. Tourists even add extra gum and take pictures. I can’t imagine wanting touch that thing but… to each their own.

The food was, in a word, fantastic!

Obviously, we didn’t eat anything at the gum wall. Our first stop was Daily Dozen Donuts where we were treated to still warm donuts and a glimpse of the Donut Robot – which apparently churns out a fair number of donuts every hour.

I will take this moment to say that everything we tasted on this tour was fantastic. And not just oh yeah that was good, I’m glad I tried it fantastic. It was top notch, I would go out of my way to eat this food because it’s amazing – and we did (but more on that later).

From Daily Dozen we headed to Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt where we tried two different fruit-slathered yogurts. I agree with our guide that passion fruit is the best! From there we headed to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, where we got a treat and a show. If you’re ever in the area, just stop on the corner and watch them making cheese in the giant vats perched just inside their window. It’s hypnotic!

This is where we had our first surprise of the morning. I mean, the donuts and the yogurt were good. But the cheese at Beechers? It makes me deeply regret that I’m developing lactose intolerance. This is the kind of cheese you eat even if you know you’re going to pay for it because it’s got so much depth!

And then our guide pulled out the mac and cheese. There’s a reason they call it world’s best; it probably is!

Ask for Matt

I don’t want to say too much about this tour because, honestly, I think everyone who visits the city should try it. We loved it. Our tour guide’s name was Matt and he was amazing. Not only did he share tons of facts about the city and Pike Place Market, he seemed to know everyone we passed. The vendors were as happy to see him as we were to see them – and that says a lot about a person!

Seattle seems to embrace a culture of art and craftsmanship. They’re proud of their small businesses, proud of their street musicians, proud of their theatre crowd, artists and even writers. As an author struggling to get her legs beneath her, there was something intoxicating about that air of acceptance. Seattle locals don’t care who you are or if you’ve made it big yet; they love anyone who follows their passion. The world could use more of that.

But I digress. After a brief stop at Chukar’s Cherries, we made our way to my personal favorite stop on the tour: Pike Place Chowder. Rowena told me the line for their shop is always insanely long. An excellent sign. And it didn’t disappoint. I could probably eat a bucket of their chowder every day and never get sick of it. It’s so rich and creamy!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the last two stops on the tour: Piroshky Piroshky and Etta’s Seafood Restaurant. Both featured fantastic seafood offerings that highlighted the natural flavors of local fish, which makes both worthy of a stop in my opinion.

We also saw Seattle via segway.

After all this gushing, it probably sounds like we spent the whole day in Pike Place Market, but we didn’t. The Savor Seattle tour was only two hours – but what a fantastic two hours it was!

We had a second tour booked for afterward: Seattle By Segway. I will take this moment to admit that all of us were pretty meh about the idea of riding around on Segways. We booked the tour because we had a groupon and were going to be nearby. Some of us – especially my husband – had strong feelings about the existence of segways to begin with. But we decided to show up with open minds and see what happened.

I will now take this opportunity to admit we were all wrong. Segways are probably the most fun you can have. We zipped from the docks to the Space Needle and back, pausing along the way to learn more about the city and take in its sights. Our tour guide, Amanda, was amazing. She let us take advantage of a few flat areas to enjoy our segway time in addition to sharing some interesting tidbits about the city’s most interesting architecture.

But I think the best thing about the segway tour was zipping past dozens of people who murmured, “That looks so fun!” in our wake. It is fun! So if you’re looking for a way to experience Seattle – this is it!

It was a perfect day.

It’s hard to believe but, at the end of all that, it was only 3 o’clock. With plenty of daylight left, we decided to head back into Pike Place to see what we could discover on our own. We ended up eating and drinking our way through several more stops – including Von’s, Zig Zag Cafe and Radiator Whiskey.

All of these places have fantastic atmosphere and all of them are worth your time. My husband was particularly excited that I tried my first bourbon drink at Radiator (he’s working me up to whiskey – his greatest love).

It was about as close to a perfect day as any of us could ask for. And yet, I feel like there’s so much more of Seattle left for us to explore. I can’t wait to go back again – hopefully this summer!

How did you spend March Break? Let me know in the comments!

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