thursday travelogue: 5 things to do in seattle.

One of my dream jobs would be traveler/host on the Globe Trekker TV show (formerly Lonely Planet). Since I’m neither telegenic nor glib, I’m left just babbling about my vacation travels everywhere else. But with any luck maybe, just maybe, I can share a few ideas for travelers once a while through a new occasional feature, the Thursday Travelogue. This edition from my recent trip offers 5 things worth doing in the Seattle area.

1. Catch a Mariners game at lovely new Safeco Field.

The crowd gets hyped as Ichiro comes to bat.

The crowd gets hyped as Ichiro comes to bat.

The star-crossed Seattle Mariners have been my favorite team since my youth, which says I’m either loyal or a glutton for punishment. Gone is the cement colossus Kingdome, replaced by the beautiful Safeco Field. Oh, and the M’s are actually playing well. When we saw them, they put on a late offensive explosion, and held off a last-minute Arizona rally, for a 7-3 win. You’re sure to see a lot of Japanese tourists there rooting for Ichiro. And avoid the garlic fries.

2. Take a hike.

Worth the walk.

Worth the walk.

Seattle sits near a bounty of natural beauty, including the Cascade Mountains. Hikes from easy to very challenging are a short drive from the city. My Seattle host Laura, a hiker and mountaineer of some distinction, took it easy on me as we just tackled a 5+ mile hike of Ollalie State Park Twin Falls. A lot of it was up, but the view was worth it.

3. Check out the underground.

The sound's laid down by the underground.

The sound's laid down by the underground.

The Seattle Underground, that is. Tales of the old city, of vice and vanity, of corruption and creativity. The guides tend to be very funny as well. Bonus: The creation of the tour helped spur preservation and redevelopment of Pioneer Square and other downtown areas.

4. Go sea kayaking.

Ready to row.

Ready to row.

If you like water sports, Seattle has them too. Laura and I stopped by the Northwest Outdoor Center to rent some kayaks and take to the waters of Lake Union. Other than almost being killed by an enormous barge, it was a great time.

5. Enjoy the music.

Carson and Tess Henley, a pair to watch.

Carson and Tess Henley, a pair to watch.

No, it’s not grunge any more, but a little bit of everything. Homegrown talent springs up everywhere, and the biggest names always set down in Seattle. I caught Goodybag, a funk/soul band that trotted out a few topical Michael Jackson covers, and the sibling duo Carson and Tess Henley (above) who have some serious vocal skills plus good looks, and could be poised for big things. But then even the street musicians in Seattle are amazing! And there are great record stores, such as Easy Street Records, whose sidewalk sale enabled me to score 15 CDs for just $18 bucks! A gift that keeps on giving.

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