I met a guy during my sophomore year in college who was from Athens, Greece, but had never been to the Acropolis. I was incredulous—he said it was too much of a tourist attraction. But after driving around Seattle every day and seeing glorious Mount Rainier for the millionth time, I guess I can understand how everything that seems iconic and special from the outsider’s perspective can become the everyday backdrop for locals (though those mountains still take my breath away).
This issue is all about rediscovering the treasures in our region. Maybe you’ll want to play tourist in your own town this summer and finally get to some Acropolis-type destinations. Summer is a great time to check a lot of things off your bucket list. Whether you’ve lived here all your life or just moved here, we’ve got your summer plans locked in.
Many of my bucket list items revolve around food, as usual. I haven’t been to Wedgwood Broiler, for example (I know!), and I am fully aware that this is just wrong. Or to the dumpling darling restaurant Dough Zone. Nor have I taken the water taxi to West Seattle. Or been to the (what I hope is super-nerdy) Living Computer Museum.
Summer is also, of course, a great time to get outside, but I might suggest you spend some time inside at one of my favorite new places to take out-of-towners, the Amazon Spheres. Regardless of how you feel about the behemoth company, The Spheres are worth the visit. You have to dutifully check the website weeks in advance to find an open Saturday to visit, but you won’t regret the planning or the wait.
I tracked the construction of The Spheres since it started; it was easy given that I drove by the site on my way into work every day while the structures were being built. As this project progressed, I was curious about how it would compare with the other “spheres” in my life. I grew up just south of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home to the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, or as locals call it, “The Domes.” Visiting The Domes, which are also filled with tropical plants of all sorts, was a nearly annual family excursion or school field trip, so I was curious to see how Amazon’s Spheres compared. (The Domes definitely did not have fancy eateries like Renee Erickson’s doughnut shop, at least not back then.) Even though I had not been much of a plant person, I became one on our visit to the Spheres. The structures house an interesting curation of unusual and beautiful plants, and given Amazon’s retail focus, I half expected a nursery/gift shop selling plants on the way out (no such luck). But the Spheres are also home to what is now quite possibly my current favorite restaurant, Erickson’s Willmott’s Ghost (named after a plant). I love the restaurant’s gorgeous gold and silver shears (yes, scissors can be gorgeous), used to cut slabs of pizza; the simple, sleek tile, espresso machine and bowls in the palest pink; that colorful endive salad. And the bathrooms! Not to sound crass, but there is just something cool about using the loo in The Spheres. Definitely a bucket list moment.
What’s on your bucket list? We want to know—share your pictures on our social media channels (tagged #seattlemagbucketlist) when you check an item off.