There are about 46,000 Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Washington, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, with much of the population concentrated in the Seattle metropolitan area.
In the event that you are drawn to Seattle like so many other Hawai‘i locals, here are some low budget attractions to check out.
Pike Place Market
This market is not for the faint at heart as it has 11 buildings, six levels and around 500 shops, restaurants and vendor stalls. Here you will be able to find a variety of fresh produce, butcher shops, fish markets, bakeries and specialty foods. When it was originally opened in 1907, the goal was to bridge the gap between consumer and farmer.
The Center for Wooden Boats
The Wagner family and its collection of traditional wooden crafts led to the founding of The Center of Wooden Boats. Every Sunday, a volunteer crew takes people out on Lake Union for an hour-long voyage. There are a variety of vessels from spirit boats to yachts. Show up at the Lake Union boathouse at 10 a.m. and partake in a 25- year-old tradition that is available year-round.
COST: Free but donations are appreciated.
Seattle Central Library
The library was officially opened in 2004. It was ranked 108 in the list of Americans’ 150 favorite structures by the American Institute of Architects. This 11-story glass and steel building has the capacity of holding 400 computers and more than 1.5 million books. It also features a three and half story book spiral and modern book sorter that uses radio chips inside books to automatically sort them.
Museum of Pop Culture
As you enter the building, your eyes will be drawn to the 35-foot tall tower of guitars. The museum’s exhibits focus on contemporary popular culture. At the Sound Lab and On Stage, interactive galleries allow visitors to use instruments and practice their musical skills. Immerse yourself in memorabilia from Seattle-based and iconic musicians Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix.
COST: General admission $25, with student ID $22
Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room
Walk nine blocks from the original Starbucks to watch the freshly roasted beans brewed in multiple ways. Next, stop at its library which offers over 200 books about coffee. Daily tours are available if you would like an in-depth look at the space, roasting process and sample select coffee.
COST: $15 for tour
Creative designer Edward Carlson was inspired by the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, whose theme was the 21st Century. He wanted something futuristic, and after many design complications, the landmark was finalized at 605 feet in December 1961 at a total cost of $4.5 million. This iconic observation tower is also known by its original nickname, “The Space Cage” of Seattle. Make sure that you get the opportunity to visit once during the day and then at night in order to enjoy a clear view of Mount Rainier and also see the city dressed in lights.
COST: General admission $22
day & night admission: $32
by Itzel Contreras Mendez, Ka ‘Ohana Staff Reporter