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  • Madison Whitney

Don't Settle for a Sub-Par Trip to Seattle: 3 tips from a native

There are two types of Seattle tourists: the poor planner carrying their umbrella and sticking out like a sore thumb and the hippy-dippy tourist hiking Mailbox Peak.

Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with visiting the Emerald City during the 150-day rainy period or taking a break from the city to hike up to a mailbox just to smack a sticker of your favorite team's logo to the side of it.

I thought I would share three tips on how a trip to Seattle may make you think again about where you want to spend your next vacation.

#1: Only spend a day in the Emerald City

The city of Seattle must have been built by someone on a strict schedule, because lucky for you, all of the main attractions are within 3 miles of each other.

Start your day by going to the Museum of Pop Culture to pay homage to the native musical icons Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Jimi Hendrix. Then walk 100 yards over to the Space Needle to see all of downtown and pose by the most picturesque horizon.

You are probably getting pretty hungry by this time, which is the perfect opportunity to head to the 104-year-old market. Go to the Pike Place Fish Market for the best-caught fish, where you can catch a flying fish. Yes, you read that right! Before you order your fish and chips, just ask the fisherman behind the counter and they will start tossing them like a football.

#2: Rent a car

So much can be done in just one day in Seattle, you would be foolish not to take the time to admire all the Pacific Northwest has to offer. After exploring the city, hop on a ferry and head to the San Juan Islands. Traveling can be exhausting, especially after a day of exploring the city. Unwind on the Islands and experience nature without having to hike a dozen miles. If you plan your trip between May and October, you may even be able to go whale watching! If you end up going a little later in the year, make sure to visit Leavenworth! Just a two-hour drive from the rainy city to a quaint Germantown. Stop by during Oktoberfest for craft beers and bratwurst, or during Christmas to see the giant Christmas tree and go skiing.

#3: Do not eat any American Food — OK, you can still have seafood

Not many cities can boast about the diverse cultures Seattle offers on every corner. Vacation is about adventure — try that new cuisine you have been curious about. One of my favorite must-tries is authentic Vietnamese pho. If you are up for an adventure, stop by Dong Thap Noodles in the International District for the world's largest bowl of pho. Enter the challenge and you will have 90 minutes to finish 3 pounds of noodles, 3 pounds of meat and 3 liters of broth. Nothing like finishing a trip in Seattle with some yummy food, $100 richer and your face on the wall of champions.

Extra Tip

One last thing. If you don't want to look like a tourist, leave the umbrella at home. Nothing screams out-of-towner than someone who does not own a good rain jacket and is scared of a little rain.

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