Generally a sightseer’s first waterfront stop, Elliott Bay’s Piers 48–70 represent the main waterfront: fish-and-chip eateries, gift shops, museums, the aquarium, and harbor-tour departure points.
In the summer, the historic tugboat Arthur Foss ties up at nearby Pier 69. Head north to the outdoor creations of Olympic Sculpture Park (Alaskan Way and Broad St.), an outdoor public area hosted by the Seattle Art Museum. Just beyond the sculptures lies Myrtle Edwards Park (Alaskan Way and Broad St.), where a one-mile path follows the bay to Grain Terminal.
Ye Olde Curiosity Shop (206/682-5844, www.yeoldecuriosityshop.com), a combination museum/gift shop on Pier 54, specializes in the bizarre: shrunken heads and the mummified body of "Sylvester," a two-headed calf, plus inane souvenirs and tacky curios. Nearby is Exclusively Washington, 206/624-2600, a small shop filled with collectibles, books, and other Washington items.
Next door at Pier 57 is Bay Pavilion, with touristy restaurants, an indoor carousel ($1) popular with young children, and a plethora of video games for the older ones. Public fishing is allowed at Waterfront Park on Pier 57, but I wouldn't eat fish from such polluted water.
Park your car under the Alaskan Way Viaduct and try for a metered space; as a last resort, pay the exorbitant fees at parking lots. The meters cost a minimum of $1 an hour, which is cause enough to leave your car at a suburban park-and-ride. You can also find a lot on the north end at Myrtle Edwards Park.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition