An expert guide to help deliver that Seattle 'wow' for your summer guests
Sunshine isn't always reliable during our Pacific Northwest summers, but one thing is certain: You've got guests coming into town, and you need to make plans.
You need a tourism itinerary that will impress your out-of-town relatives, and your college friends.
If you're like us here at "Soundside," that's probably when your brain goes blank.
Where should you take your enthusiastic and impressionable guests? The Space Needle? Mount Rainier? Pike Place Market?
At some point, you may start to wonder if you'll be able to show your guests the fun-packed visit they're expecting.
Never fear, "Soundside" has you covered. Breathe in and let an expert take some of that pressure off.
Harriet Baskas knows how to show off an unexpected side of Seattle. As a travel writer, she's long sought out the hidden treasures and quirkier side of the city. She's been chronicling the unusual and unexpected spots in the Pacific Northwest for 30 years, and her new book is the latest in that storied tradition.
It's called "111 Places in Seattle That You Must Not Miss."
We should disclose here that Baskas is married to Ross Reynolds, longtime host of "The Conversation" and other KUOW shows.
We met up with Baskas at one of those 111 places: A park with an unusual history, tucked into a neighborhood in North Ballard.
Kirke Park sits on what used to be the site of a religious cult back in the 1920s.
"If you joined the cult, you had to be vegetarian, you had to be celibate, and you had to give all your money to the church," Baskas explained.
Kirke Park isn't the only spot in the book with a somewhat creepy backstory. Baskas details Ted Bundy's old dorm at the University of Washington, among other spooky stops.
But, the macabre isn't the focus of the book. Baskas says that she wants it to be a guide for folks who have lived here their entire lives as well as people who are just visiting for the first time.
"I couldn't say, 'Go see them throw the fish.' Everybody knows that," she explained. "But I did put in things that are inside the market that you might not know about, like the Giant Shoe Museum."
When it comes to her perfect day in Seattle, it all starts with the Waterfront, and the Olympic Sculpture Park.
Also, "as corny as it might seem to people who live here, taking a ferry ride over Bainbridge is not a touristy thing," Baskas said. "It's very nice, and very cool on a hot day in the summer."
You can listen to the entire conversation in the audio above, and if you have any fantastic spots you'd like to share with us, send them along. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.