Silver Travel Book Club

March 2023 – Lonely Planet Seattle (Travel Guide)

We’ll explore a different destination for each Book Club, and a lucky Silver Travel Book Club reader can win a free copy of that month’s book.

Please note: this competition is now closed.

This month you could win a copy of Lonely Planet Seattle (Travel Guide) by Robert Balkovich and Becky Ohlsen, sponsored by our partner, Port of Seattle.

On the western coast of the USA, in Washington State, Seattle and its port are the hub for Alaskan cruising. And in addition, the city has many fabulous attractions, so it is worth spending a few days here taking them in, whether you’re off on a cruise elsewhere or touring the western seaboard.

What to see in Seattle

Pikes Place Market is a real labyrinth, originally a farmer’s market, but now host to much more: from the fish monger with his ‘Costermonger’ style patter and fish tossing spectacle; numerous fruit and veg stalls; craft and Native American art shops; cafes and a pub/brewery, all spread over 5 levels down to the waterfront.

From Pier 55 take the harbour cruise around Puget Sound. Make for the top deck to be sure of the best views before the tour begins. Enjoy the commentary from a crew member, which includes anecdotes about landmarks you pass and creatures you see, particularly harbour seals sunning themselves on ships at anchor in the harbour.

The Seattle Aquarium reflects the local sea life, which in this case is of Puget Sound, so no sharks (the children will be disappointed). At the lower levels you can view the fish as they swim in what is similar to their natural environment. As always this is a very therapeutic experience, made slightly surreal by the sight of rain drops falling on the water’s surface above.

Pacific Science Centre, a modernish complex with numerous interactive exhibits is aimed at younger people to help them understand a wide area of topics: Animatronic dinosaurs; Science on the Sphere (presentations about the physical earth); a butterfly room; science hall with replica of a Gemini space capsule you can sit in and an IMAX theatre showing a film called ‘The Last Reef’.

The way to travel to the Space Needle from downtown Seattle is to use the Monorail. This starts from the 3rd floor station at the Westlake Centre and travels the short distance above 5th Avenue ending in the Seattle Centre at the base of the Space Needle, which is the site of the 1962 World’s Fair. Once there, catch the elevator up 520 feet to the observation deck and the glorious views of the city, the Port of Seattle, Puget Sound, Mount Rainier and the surrounding area.

Read more of this reviewer’s account of his visit to Seattle

How to win a copy of Lonely Planet Seattle (Travel Guide) by Robert Balkovich and Becky Ohlsen

Comment below to tell us which coastal city you’ve enjoyed visiting and why.

A winner will be chosen at random in early April 2023.
The competition closes on 31 March 2023.

Read more about all our Silver Travel Book Club reads.

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29 Responses

  1. I love Boston, Massachusetts, because it is compact, has good public transport links for travelling along the coast. It is the ideal base for visiting the Fall.

  2. Would love to visit Seattle, been to Quebec & Montreal, they were fantastic.
    I collect the Lonely Planet books, so I have a head start on each country I visit.

    They are superb travel books, they tell you all you need and want to know.

    Always travel with them.

  3. Loved Sydney. The bridge climb is awesome both exiting and great views.
    The Opera House and Botanical Gardens with its resident fruit bats are well worth visiting.
    Looking forward to visiting Seattle and it’s nearby National Parks next year.

  4. Had a week in Seattle in my late 30s back in the 90s, I have it on my repeat visit list along with San Francisco, New York and Boston. Still waiting for my pension to travel.

  5. I loved visiting Boston MA and visiting the old coastal villages just outside in the Autumn and then driving inland to see the fall foliage in all its magnificent colours. The contrast of modern city, old fishing communities and vivid leafy colours was so memorable.

  6. My favourite city in the USA is New Orleans. If you love cool jazz and hot food, with oodles of good experiences amongst warm welcoming folk, head on down south to Louisiana!!!

  7. Boston, An ideal place where you can see it all, and when you visit the area, you won’t want to leave at all!!!

  8. I visited Seatle about 50 years ago on a trip up the West Coast on my way from San Fransisco to Vancouver. I loved all of it. The city reminded me of an American version of Liverpool, my favourite childhood city. It felt rough but dymamic and had a wonderful setting. A place I could happily live.

    I would love to go back and see how it has changed. Infact I would love to do the whole trip over again but in more comfort this time maybe in my own hire car rather than by Greyhound bus with the overnight sleeps between cities. I can’t do that anymore but foretuneately can now afford hotels and car hire this time round.

  9. San Diego. Beautiful, colourful city packed with things to do and friendly people. Amazing food, sights and sounds.

  10. My favourite coastal city is Sydney because it’s got the perfect Australian combination of beach life and city life.

  11. Christchurch, New Zealand, What a wonderful introduction to a beautiful country.

  12. Sydney is my 2nd favourite city (London being No 1) for the city & coast life. Love Manly Beach, love the Zoo, love Circular Quay, Love Darling Harbour, love The Rocks, I could go on & on & on …..

  13. Sardinia with beautiful beaches, turquoise sea and fascinating rock formations.

  14. Cape Town – so much to do & see & so vibrant. Food was excellent, lots of it & relatively cheap & the wine is to die for

  15. St Andrews in Scotland is well worth a look. Visited with my son as he was checking out the University and just loved the old buildings, the golf courses, the coastal views and the general feel of the place. The town has some great bars and restaurants and some wonderful walks along to coastal front. It is a great town to visit and don’t forget to try their fish and chips!

  16. Funchal, Madeira
    Great weather, friendly people,fantastic food and views to die for (especially from higher ground).

  17. People used to scoff at Malaga and literally fly in and move on, but as well as a huge beach there’s also a wealth of museums and galleries. We particularly liked the Museum of Automobiles and Fashion, Pompidou Centre, and Contemporary Art Gallery, but there are so many more. It’s also a great starting point for bus or train trips along Spain’s Costa del Sol. Plus the wine is cheap and there’s a huge range of tapas.

  18. Singapore City. I’ve been lucky enough to visit three times and because this city is so vibrant and never stays still, each time has been a new experience.
    What an amazing city and the Singaporean people are amongst the friendliest I’ve ever met anywhere in the world. It’s such a multicultural city too, with fantastic cuisine pretty much everywhere we ate – from local street food vendors, Malay and Chinese and South Indian restaurants – and pretty much every budget is catered for.
    You have arguably the best shopping in the world with designer label, or have your own clothes tailor fitted on Orchard Street and for a very reasonable (but bartered)price.
    So much to do, from cable car rides to Sentosa (a small island just next to Singapore – do not miss a visit here either!), a night safari at the zoo, great golf, diving and other sports facilities, it’s hard to know where to start!

  19. Love to visit Sydney again, my sister and I went once and were going to walk up the Bridge but she was taken ill and ended up in hospital. Hope to get to do it one day in the future!

  20. Cape Town was very memorable. So much to see and do – Keukenhoff Gardens, Table Mountain, wonderful food and wine, penguins at nearby Simons Town, lots of plants and wildlife – and lovely people.

  21. I enjoyed visiting St Ives in Cornwall as it was very picturesque with lovely scenery. Bit hilly though in places. A beautiful place to stay.

  22. Vancouver is a lovely size and setting for a coastal city. Seattle is not bad either!

  23. I’ve never been to Seattle but having seen “Sleeping in Seattle” multiple times ! I’ve always longed to visit. My favourite coastal city would have to be Cape Town, perched between the ocean and the mountain and with the most wonderful climate. I’m enjoying all your comments on a very wet day in London, lots of great suggestions. Keep them coming.

  24. I was really surprised by what a lovely city Sydney is, when I visited last year. It’s a much pleasanter city than most big cities, and has a fantastic array of very different themed inlets and bays.

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