It’s budget-friendly — Seattle’s high season doesn’t fully kick in until summer. So, there’s still time to enjoy hotel deals and smaller crowds at the attractions. Super-savvy travelers will also want to pick up a Seattle CityPASS, which shaves 48 percent off the cost of visiting the city’s top attractions: the Space Needle (CityPASS admission includes two trips to the top within a 24-hour period), Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour, Pacific Science Center, EMP Museum, and a choice between Woodland Park Zoo or The Museum of Flight.
It’s a landmark year — Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Seattle Center, the Space Needle and the Seattle Monorail are all celebrating their 50th anniversaries this year. Seattle Center, which is also home to the Pacific Science Center and EMP Museum, will honor this milestone with a six-month calendar of events and special exhibits. For information, visit TheNextFifty.org.
It’s halibut time — Spring means that the ever-popular Pike Place Market will be bursting with flowers, fresh halibut, and seasonal veggies. Be sure to catch the show the “mongers” at the Pike Place Fish Market put on as they toss three-foot salmon and other fish across the counter. Then, stop by the market’s Athenian Seafood Restaurant and order fresh halibut for lunch while perched atop one of the café‘s vintage barstools (maybe the same one Tom Hanks sat on in Sleepless in Seattle).
There are new things to see and do — Earlier this year, Pacific Science Center unveiled its remodeled PACCAR IMAX Theater, with a new IMAX 3-D projection system, new digital sound system, upgraded seating, and a completely refurbished look. At The Museum of Flight, the $12 million Charles Simonyi Space Gallery has opened. In mid-June, installation will begin on a new permanent exhibit, Spaceflight Academy, that will include interactive displays and rare space-age artifacts, including the gigantic NASA space shuttle trainer and a Russian Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft.
You can get a little grungy — EMP Museum presents the world’s most extensive exhibition of memorabilia celebrating the music and history of Seattle grunge luminaries, Nirvana. On display through April 22, 2013, Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses features rare and never-before-seen artifacts, as well as photography from band members, their crews, and their families. The exhibit is included with CityPASS admission.
It’s butterfly season — Actually, it’s always butterfly season at Pacific Science Center’s Tropical Butterfly House, but spring seems a particularly appropriate time to visit the exhibit’s colorful residents.