A train to Seattle and Pike Place Market

A view from across the street of the Motif Seattle hotel, part of at post on a train to Seattle and Pikes Place Market.

Funny how life works out.

When I knew my sister would be in Maui in November, I attempted to join her part of the time. I already knew it wasn’t the right time of year for me to go, but you say the word Maui and nothing else exists in my vocabulary!

Turns out, that little trip wasn’t meant to be. It was too costly and you know when something feels off? It felt off.

So as I wondered how on earth I’d get through seeing my sister’s beautiful pictures while I was at home shivering in the cold (SO much drama, yes?!).. a magical happening transpired.

If you follow me on Insta Stories, you’ll already know who Susan is. She’s my life long childhood friend who lives 30 minutes from me. We get together on occasion for shopping. So during our last trip to Hobby Lobby (getting our Christmas trees! Oh goodness… that’s a story in itself!), we chatted on the way home and decided, life was too short to not live it to the fullest… so how about we take off on a train to Seattle?

I couldn’t say YESSIREE COUNT ME IN fast enough!

What Maui?

The Amtrak train view of the ocean from Vancouver to Seattle

The train to Seattle
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I have never spent time in Seattle other than the airport, nor taken a train ride before so I was totally stoked to try this all out!

Turns out, the Amtrak train from Vancouver to Seattle leaves at 6:30 AM or 6:30 PM.

You catch the train at Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station.

We could get a full day in Seattle if we went early, so early it was! We drove into Vancouver the evening before and stayed in Vancouver so we didn’t have to fight rush hour.

The next AM with a VERY early start, we head to the station with a cab, and once on the train, landed  two seats facing a table. How perfect… no squeezing into tight corners for us this round!

While we started off our trip while it was still dark,  the magic started to transpire as we caught glimpses of daylight. The coast line was breathtaking!

I already knew to grab a seat on the right side of the train (I did my online sleuthing) so we could enjoy the ocean views nearly all the way to Seattle. And it was spectacular.

Unfortunately, most of the still pictures didn’t turn out but I did capture more on video, located near the bottom of this post.

Amtrak train stops from Vancouver to Seattle - Vancouver, Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Stanwood, Everett, Edmonds.

There were several train station stops as we made our way towards Seattle. It was interesting to see where each stop took place. I snapped this picture at the Seattle train station so now you don’t have to attempt to hear what the speaker says like we tried… this is good to know!

Vancouver, Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Stanwood, Everett, Edmonds.

It really allowed us to dream even bigger. Where else could this train take us if desired?

I could feel my travel world opening just that much wider…

Ride wise, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. The train ride took an hour from Vancouver to Whiterock of all things, (still in Canada!) and was super bumpy. It had me doubting if I liked trains and was wondering if I should have brought something for motion sickness!

Turns out I had nothing to worry about. Once we went through the Sumas, Washington border, we whizzed along as smooth as silk. What a beautiful ride!

We ate, talked, laughed, scrolled our phones and did everything but sleep, which is what we thought we’d be doing. Nope! Two friends teaming up had lots of ground to cover it seems.

Which made the trip SO fast. The 4 hour train ride felt like 1. Ok, maybe 2… felt much faster than a plane, that’s for sure.

The train at King Street Station in Seattle, Washington

King Street Station in Seattle
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And then we arrived at King Street Station in Seattle! Whoop! Lookit us go!

The Amtrak train from Vancouver to King Street Station in Seattle, Washington

What a lovely way to travel! I’d do this again in a heartbeat.

Take a tour of the gorgeous train station at King Street Station in Seattle, Washington.

Seattle’s train station took my breath away. The interior had been revamped to its original historic glory.

Take a tour of the gorgeous train station at King Street Station in Seattle, Washington.

Wearing white carved interiors, glamorous chandeliers and satin antique wood benches, it was stunning.

Take a tour of the gorgeous train station at King Street Station in Seattle, Washington.

… and those tile floors. Incredible. Spotless too.

Take a tour of the gorgeous train station at King Street Station in Seattle, Washington.

Take a tour of the gorgeous train station at King Street Station in Seattle, Washington.

And those elaborately white carved ceilings! How do they even do that? It sure makes you wonder.

Seattle’s train station reminded me of a mini New York’s Grand Central Station. (see my post on it HERE)

The clock tower on the outside of the train station at King Street Station in Seattle, Washington

The outside of the train station at King Street Station in Seattle, Washington

Here’s an outside glimpse of Seattle’s King Street Station. Just as pretty on the outside as it is in.

And with that, it was time to call Uber and locate our hotel which was about 15 minutes away.

A gorgeous, modern Motif Seattle hotel room in Seattle, Washington

The Motif Seattle hotel
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We arrived at the Motif Seattle which was absolutely amazing! Ninth floor, spotless, two very comfy beds (great pillows too!) and beautifully decorated. Highly recommend.

A city and water view across the street from the Motif Seattle in Seattle, Washington.

We even landed a bit of a water view so that was unexpected!

Being that we got to Seattle at such a decent hour, we couldn’t wait to hit the streets and check out our surroundings. So as soon as our luggage was planted in the room, off we went again!

The street view from the Motif Seattle hotel in Seattle, Washington.

The street view from the Motif Seattle hotel in Seattle, Washington.

We really lucked out with our hotel. Susan booked it but had no idea where it really was and what it offered. The price was right so she hit send.

It ended up being a very pretty area, with a tree lined street below, its own restaurant on the 5th floor, and more. And so close to everything major we could walk. We even found the best sandwich, soup and coffee shop right across the road. We would be eating well on this trip!

A tall glass tower in Seattle, Washington

This glass tower was right beside our hotel. 

When you haven’t been in a big city in awhile, everything feels so tall.

Fall street views in Seattle, Washington.

And honestly, we went at such a good time of year. There were still fall leaves on some trees which made the bustling streets of Seattle feel quaint and even somewhat secluded in some areas.

Culvert cover art in Seattle, Washington

Gotta love a culvert cover that’s art.

Gorgeous brick herringbone road intersections in Seattle, Washington.

I loved the herringbone brick intersections on the road. Very beautiful and the sound of traffic driving over them sounded pretty cool, as if they rattled abit.

Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

Pike Place Market
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Our first stop was Pike Place Market. After hearing SO much about it, I was pretty stoked!

Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

And there it was!

But there was one area I had to see and really take my time first…

The gum wall at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

The gum wall
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Oh hello there famous gum wall…

I know. It’s kinda gross but kinda cool at the same time.

The gum wall at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

The gum wall at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

The gum wall at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

So, the history of the wall is rather interesting.

The Market Theatre Gum Wall is a local landmark in Seattle. Parts of the wall are covered several inches thick. The tradition began in 1993 when theatre patrons stuck gum on the wall and placed coins in the gum. It organically grew into a landmark.

For the first time in 20 years, the wall was scrubbed down in 2015 due to the sugar in the gum eroding the brick walls, but in no time, it was back again.

Movies have been shot here as well.

The gum wall at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

It’s a popular spot. We were by far not the only ones there. 

Fresh crab legs at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

The goods at Pike Place Market
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Then we wandered the rest of the market, which was larger than life with just about everything.

Fresh produce at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

Teaming with fresh produce, flowers, gift shop items, food places, it had it all.

The most amazing fresh cut flowers at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

I was tempted to get some flowers for us for in the room. At only $10, they were the prettiest flowers I’ve ever laid eyes on.

The most amazing fresh cut flowers at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

I don’t even know what to call them other than spectacular.

But after one quick walk through the market, we were more than done and fully peopled-out.

The first and original Starbucks across the road from Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

The first original Starbucks!
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Here’s something fun!

This is the first and original Starbucks ever! Very understated from the outside, and the link ups were crazy town. It was a weekend after all. But the only time I will stand in lineups like this is at Disney, so we passed.

The stairway to the waterfront attractions in Seattle, Washington.

The waterfront
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After taking in Pike Place Market, we head down towards the waterfront. 

Stairs and trees lead us towards the shore where there was even more fun to be had.

The waterfront attractions at Seattle, Washington.

Ahh. Wide open spaces. We felt like we could breathe again.

We toured the nearby shops and even took in Wings over Washington flying theatre. Very fun!

Antiques store in Seattle, Washington.

We were finally running out of steam. An early AM and getting all this in was pretty big for us gals in our 50s.

On the way back to our hotel, we HAD to stop at the Seattle Antiques Market. It was huge. We didn’t land any must-takes, but it’s always worth a peek just in case you land an authentic antique Seattle souvenir.

Truth be told, by fluke we happened to be in quite the hot shopping district, so we stopped at umpteen clothing and home decor stores on the way back and had a blast!

Motif Seattle hotel lobby in Seattle, Washington.

Once we reached our hotel, we found the lobby serving free wine samples. Turns out that Motif Seattle does that every night from 1pm through 8pm. Say what?!

So what’s a couple of giggly girlfriends to do? We sat in the cozy lobby safe and sound and drank free wine with a big wide open view of the city roaring past us. Oh yes we did. And chatted and laughed until our cheeks hurt.

We ended up meeting a young couple in the lobby over wine and enjoyed swapping stories and ended up spending the evening with them over dinner too! That sure was not planned! But so fun!

With such an epic and full day already, we knew tomorrow would come early. So once our heads hit the pillows, we were out. And slept like babies.

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.Click above to watch a few video highlights from our trip not included in the pictures!

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Before we left on this trip, I was really feeling the push of Christmas coming on. And when I was packing to leave, I felt guilty that I’d be sprinting off and having fun ‘when I should be working’.

But know what? There’s always work to do. And there’s always someone or something that seems more important than your own needs and desires.

Thing is, I was edging on burn out again. I need a good solid break every 6 months and I was overdue.

Now I’m SO GLAD this was booked and we just went. Because then I couldn’t say no! It was a break we both badly needed. And who better to hang out with than a lifelong friend?

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So I ask you… when’s the last time you had a true girl’s getaway? This was my first.. and hopefully not my last!

Stay tuned for the rest of our Seattle Trip Adventures HERE! More to come!

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Other big city travels you may enjoy:

Funky Junk travels to New York

My trip to New York

Funky Junk travels to Toronto

My trips to Toronto

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  1. You might recall when I have a BFF get away it involves heading to California. I had two at the beginning of the year, so I guess I’m good for now. From the video, the Wings Over Washington is a similar thing to what we did with our two oldest grandkids at the beginning of November, FlyOver America, which is similar to the Disney attraction Soaring. Also remember I was born in Seattle, so I can be your authentic antique Seattle souvenir.

  2. Oh my goodness! Your post almost made me cry. I am a girl from Seattle transplanted to Ohio.
    2 of our sons got transferred to Seattle from here to Seattle of all places. The first picture you showed had my sons apartment building!
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Glad you had a great trip.

  3. Aren’t those old train stations to die for? When I lived and worked in Chicago, I would take the train everyday and walk from Union Station. It was breathtaking. Before air travel became so popular the train was the hot way to travel. All the marble and hand craftsmanship that went into those places is amazing. What a great trip you had!

    • Oh goodness, both the Vancouver and Seattle train stations were gorgeous! As a decorator, I would have loved to do a few revamps on the trains themselves though… haha! But it sure was a lot more comfortable than being squeezed into an airplane seat with knees hitting your chin! LOVE this travel method! I’m sold.

  4. So fun to hear you enjoyed your trip to Seattle. It is a fun city! We’ve taken that train too, but we come from the south to Seattle with great scenery as we travel along the sound heading north. I was sooo excited to see the King St. station looking so beautifully restored. It was such an eyesore when we used to visit and did see some of the renovations on later trips. It’s been awhile since we’ve visited and another trip may just be in our future. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Oh, I’m glad you got to see the after! The locals who work there are extremely proud of the renovation and even gave me advice on where best to stand for the full shot angle! Very friendly! We had a great experience.

  5. Girlfriend getaways are so fun! I just enjoyed a weekend in Leavenworth WA with 3 of my best friends. It involved relaxing, wine, and shopping too.
    I agree the train trip between Seattle and Vancouver is beautiful. One of the “perks” not many think about is that you go through Customs in the Vancouver train station. No crazy long wait at the border as there can be if you drive to Vancouver from Seattle. I live about 30 miles south of Seattle.

    • Leavenworth is the perfect girls’ getaway, good call!

      And good point about customs! So easy to get across… as long as you don’t mind getting up at 5 am that is. LOL

      We were so excited, we didn’t mind!

  6. I’m so glad you enjoyed Seattle! I live about 20 minutes north and it’s always a treat to go ‘into the city’. You certainly had a full day of it. Now that you’ve done fall, you’ll need to have a couple of spring and summer spontaneous trips, too. Happy Travels!

  7. Hi Donna…I haven’t commented for years. I love this story…..nothing like a quick get away with a friend. And to top it off… a trip to Seattle. Really, doesn’t get much better than that. My friend and I did this trip from a Victoria on a ferry…a people ferry not a car ferry. It was great….happened to be there during restaurant week…I think that is what it is called. A great get away for me….from Saskatchewan.

  8. Thanks for sharing this! I have been to Seattle lots of times, taken the train from Vancouver to Portland tons of times as a child but never Vancouver to Seattle…what a fun trip! On my list!
    Linda

  9. Loved seeing your Seattle pictures. I lived there for about 30 years then moved to Idaho. I really miss it. When we first moved to Seattle my husband sold his paintings at the craft tables at Pike Place Market. I also sold my silk screened and airbrushed kids shirts there. We were there for 19 years. He still sells his artwork. I still have friends that sell there handcrafted wares at the market. If you ever go back to Seattle around Thanksgiving or Dec. check out the wonderful gingerbread house at the Sheraton downtown. Very elaborate designs.