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Seattle, practically synonymous with the iconic Space Needle, is a beautiful city in Washington state. If you’re looking to visit Seattle in 2022, here are 5 tips for planning an enjoyable and memorable trip, from things to do to current COVID-19 guidelines in place.
1. Add lesser-known places to your itinerary
As well as discovering some iconic locations, don’t be afraid to look into things to do off the beaten path either! Seattle offers a ton of fun, lesser-known options for a variety of interests. If you’re visiting with your partner, for example, consider a romantic evening on Lake Union in a hot tub. Enjoy a slice of nature without venturing too far out of town are Discovery Park or Golden Gardens Beach. And don’t miss unique experiences like taking home quirky souvenirs from the Curiosity Shoppe.
2. Don’t be ashamed to discover the “classics”
This is especially applicable if you are visiting the city for the first time – don’t be ashamed to do some of the more “touristy” things. Several are really fun (and budget-friendly) experiences and worth doing at least once. Pike Place Market, for example, offers a wide variety of goods from local vendors, including permanent stores on the lower levels. Seattle Center, home to the Space Needle, is about as touristy as it gets. However, the Space Needle is quite fun to visit and offers stunning views of the city below. Also located in downtown Seattle are Chihuly Glass and Gardens as well as the Museum of Pop Culture, both memorable to visit. While such activities can get boring if you’ve already checked them off your list, if you haven’t checked them out yet, consider adding a few to your itinerary!
3. Plan transportation
No matter where you are visiting, you will want to plan your transportation. If you have your own car, it’s not as important. You might still want to look into parking options, especially in the more popular locations, to avoid paying a ton for parking. If you rely on public transport, some planning of how you get around will result in a more relaxing and enjoyable journey. Seattle offers a fairly robust carpooling infrastructure, making it a very efficient way to get around. However, this can quickly add up in cost – if you’re looking for a more economical option, you still have a few options. The first is to stay in downtown Seattle and plan the majority of your activities in a nearby area. Seattle is quite a walkable city. Several attractions such as Pike Place Market and the Seattle Ferris Wheel are only a short walk away.
4. If possible, venture outside of downtown Seattle
If you have an easy way to get around, consider driving a bit away from downtown Seattle to get around. It doesn’t take long to get to some popular outdoor spots like Lake Sammamish State Park. Plus, several nearby areas, such as Bellevue and Issaquah, are only about 20 minutes from downtown Seattle. These places offer many of Seattle’s perks, but also have a generally chiller, slower vibe that can make for a big change of pace.
5. Check the current Covid-19 regulations
Many Seattle businesses and attractions are operational. However, most have some form of COVID-19 regulations in place. For a long time, this generally did not include mask guidelines for indoor locations. It was recently announced that Washington State’s indoor mask mandate was set to end on March 12 due to declining cases. However, King County, where Seattle is located, also currently has an indoor mask mandate in place that has not yet expired.
This means that if you are traveling to counties in Washington State other than King County, you may not be required to wear a mask in public places. However, Seattle will continue to require this precaution for the time being. King County has also implemented a health ordinance for verification of vaccination status which is set to expire March 1, 2022. Until then, several facilities and group events are required to verify either vaccination status or a recent negative COVID-19 test. Finally, several attractions are currently operating with timed entry reservations. Be sure to check all applicable COVID-19 restrictions in place for each stop to ensure a stress-free ride.
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