Inn at the Market--located seconds from Pike Place Market and a five-minute walk to Target (in case your forgot anything for your cruise). We stayed on a newly renovated 7th floor city view room. It was spacious, luxurious, and located close to so many great shops. Don't forget about the 5th floor rooftop terrace that overlooks Pike Place Market and the bay.
The Pink Door--local restaurant known for Italian and seafood with live entertainment with both indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the bay; located steps from our hotel
Seattle Space Needle--$18pp, which includes a photo commemorating the visit.
Van picked our group up at the Pier and a 15-minute drive through town and to our stop in the Tongass National Forest. Our guide was Rob, who is an author and participant in a documentary both in relation to Alaska. This was perfect for my eagle scout husband. And for any city gals like myself, I found the few varieties of trees and how to identify them interesting. And learned what a "muskeg" is...really cool. Highly educational and great insight into the circle of life in Alaska.
Our favorite part of the trip! We saw kayaks and helicopters providing unique views of the glacier, but we tackled the trails for our first visit. I hope to return and try one of those previously mentioned alternatives. We were told we didn't have enough time to view the falls via the trail, so we trekked some shorter 1/3 mile trails and visited the information center, which was basic yet educational.
Culinary Tour Rating:
There was salmon (duh), chicken, clam chowder, cheese potatoes, rice, couscous salad, Caesar salad with salmon (Alaskan Caesar salad), regular green salad, corn bread, baked beans, blue berry bread, hot cider, hot chocolate, water, lemonade and roast your own marshmallow--yum! There was also soda, beer, and wine for purchase (I grabbed a Diet Coke for $2.10). Also, there was a very short trail that led to a pretty waterfall. Nice, relaxing afternoon treat.
-rear car (nice because you could hear you narrator/guides description and THEN see it; also time to prepare for photographs) -sat on right side (way up, not best views of sights, but pretty streams/falls and may step onto platform between the cars (but not on the bridge and no passing between cars) -obvious hints at tipping the last 30 minutes (we were planning to tip already, but they said everything but "tip your narrator" directly. -you don't get off the train, so no need for passport as you never step foot into Canada -we were train #1 of 3, so for turning around to go down the mountain, we had an extra 7mi trip to the next turnaround loop at a lake on the map (bonus mileage and sights!) -never saw goats or any other wildlife, but the elevation climb was extraordinary; the difference in vegetation and landscape between the climb and the peak was noted and both views allowed for appreciation of beauty -highly recommend on ascension standing on the platform prior to entering the first of two tunnels; you're on a bridge that horseshoes around a crevasse--if heights don't bother you, it is a magnificent and exhilarating stance (and the tunnel is short--about 5-10 seconds--so just wait on the platform until you exit the tunnel to return to the train car
We had 2.5 hours, so we walked very slowly through the gardens. We had time to peruse the gift shop and even grab a snack before returning to the bus. Others only had 45 minutes to an hour as they had also booked the Butterfly Gardens. I felt that we had a nice visit/tour, but others may have been rushed. Also, our coach driver gave us a tour of downtown Victoria at night on our way back to the pier.