The emerald city still shines

Weekend getaway proves Seattle hasn’t lost any of its vacation luster

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One of the holiday traditions that I have enjoyed over the past decade is an annual mission to Seattle to report on the holiday festivities.

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As with many traditions, it was put on hold in 2020, but I have just returned from Emerald City after a two night stay and am happy to say that downtown is still sparkling with holiday magic. The iconic Macy’s Star is back in its glittering image, lighting up the corner of Pine and 4 e ; Christmas carols and Christmas lights intermingle in Westlake Park; and bag shoppers fill the sidewalks in downtown shopping districts. And if you’re in town on an NHL game night, expect to see a lot of Seattle Kraken jerseys and toques, and if that’s a Canadian team they’re up against, a good handful. of sweaters outside. That was certainly the case on the Friday night we were in town, with many # 97 Edmonton Oiler sweaters heading north to the Climate Pledge Arena, the promise hinting at the intention to be the first arena. certified zero carbon in the world.

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No matter the season, no visit to Seattle is complete without visiting Pike Place Market.  CREDIT: @ ppoppo2
No matter the season, no visit to Seattle is complete without visiting Pike Place Market. CREDIT: @ ppoppo2

Canadian content in the city was the highest in nearly two years, with the recent lifting of Covid testing requirements for returning Canadians if their stay in the United States is less than 72 hours. In terms of health, Seattle is very similar to Vancouver, with masks required in all indoor settings and double-dose vaccine requirements for sporting events and restaurants. We showed our BC QR codes along with ID and never had a problem entering establishments. And wearing the mask on downtown streets, while not mandatory, seemed to be much more common than on a weekend night in downtown Vancouver.

Shopping is arguably the most popular activity for British Columbians crossing the line on vacation, from Bellingham at an outlet store to downtown Seattle. Dining out must be a close second as we spent some time wandering around on Friday night looking for a place to eat. Queues were the norm, not because of tight spaces inside or a lack of staff; just to demand. We finally settled in at the Yard House, a large sports bar that was packed with Kraken, Oilers and 49ers fans, creating a great vibe (San Francisco played the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon). So if you have a favorite restaurant you’ve been looking forward to going to since the border closed, make a reservation.

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Live entertainment is a highlight of the Seattle vacation season.  CREDIT: Angela Sterling
Live entertainment is a highlight of the Seattle vacation season. CREDIT: Angela Sterling Photo by Angela Sterling

After shopping and dining, it’s the many and varied vacation events that make Seattle and the surrounding areas a great place for a weekend getaway with family, a group of friends or as a couple. Spend a few days here in December and you’ll be sure to come home in vacation spirit.

Here’s a look at the holiday highlights:

Winterfest at Seattle Center: The five weeks of Winterfest include performances, the Winter Train & Village, ice sculpture and the annual campus lighting. Until December 31.

Christmas boat party : – The Spirit of Seattle is decked out in the glory of the holidays and sails to various communities around Puget Sound. The experience includes onboard choirs, photos with Santa Claus, and a full-service bar. Private vacation charter available for groups of more than 10 people. Reservations until December 23.

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Woodland Park Zoo presents WildLanterns – This lantern festival includes an immersive experience with animal lanterns and large-scale natural landscapes depicting wild places from around the world. Tuesday to Sunday, 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., to Jan. 30, 2022. Closed Mondays (except Dec. 20 and 27), Nov. 25 and Dec. 24 and 25.

“Land of sweets: the return of the burlesque nutcracker ”- This award-winning show features all of your favorite characters, including Lily Verlaine’s Sweet Plum Fairy, Babette La Fave’s Luminous Juggling Magic, the ever-adorable Snowflakes and the Nutcracker band Nonette. Until December 29 with tickets through The Triple Door.

The Sanctuary's special events building is reflected in the tower of the ultra-modern Lotte Hotel Seattle.  CREDIT: Lotte Hotel Seattle
The Sanctuary’s special events building is reflected in the tower of the ultra-modern Lotte Hotel Seattle. CREDIT: Lotte Hotel Seattle Photo of Lotte Hotel Seattle

STAY

As with all Seattle vacation seasons, most downtown hotels are offering great packages this month. Visit Seatleholidays.com for more details.

We stayed at the new Lotte Hotel Seattle, which has actually been open for a year, but most were in a phase of smooth opening. Now it’s full, including its expansive 16 e ground floor restaurant and lounge and its unique sister property, The Sanctuary.

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The Lotte Group is a South Korean luxury hotel chain, and this property certainly ticks all the luxury boxes. Interesting architecture and decor, unique artwork in guest rooms and public areas, and spa-like bathrooms provide a very upscale vibe. Likewise, the service was excellent.

Speaking of architecture, the contrast between Lotte’s state-of-the-art Tower and the nearby shrine, a century-old United Methodist church, is remarkable. The sanctuary is used by the hotel for special events (weddings, conferences, etc.)

The hotel offers a Holiday Family package which includes the room, valet parking, a $ 200 F&B credit and a family activity. Until December 30. There’s also an offer for Canadians that includes free valet parking and a 10 percent room discount.

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