I had traveled to Seattle in Feb of 2022, hoped to see the Lunar New Year celebration. But that was postponed until the end of April, so I determined to return, this time by train.
Day 1--Friday, 29 Apr 2022
Riding the Rails north to Seattle WA
I tried to label all the train stations we stopped at or passed: some on the way north, some on the return trip south. But I'm going to order them here from south to north.
As an experiment for an anticipated later trip Vancouver to Vancouver, I decided to leave from the Amtrak station in Vancouver WA.
Sample Amtrak trip Portland OR to Seattle WA
Downtown Kalama is a tiny place split by the Highway and the RR. But the community has a wider reach up the bluff to the east. The Kalama River is a great stretch of fishing, even including a tiny accessible spot. See 3rd link below (scroll down to “WDFW wheelchair Fishing Access, Kalama River WA”).
I was so delighted by all the waterways along the trip, at first I intended to name them all. But that proves challenging, there are so many, and they wiggle to and fro.
Castle Rock-Vader WA
Here's where the train route and the highway route have gone their separate ways. The train was moving fast and the towns not in sight. Lots of rivers to cross, parallel for a bit, or meet from time to time as they weave their way and gather to travel toward the eventual ocean.
Centralia has such a charming train station, but from the train I couldn't adequately take it in. This is a different view of Centralia than can be seen driving I-5.
Naturally, as with all the towns heretofore touched upon, there is much more to see and do in Lacey and Olympia than observed from the train traveling by. In 2022 we went to the Northwest Pirate Festival there, but it appears that will no longer be held. I hope to explore and publish more about both Lacey and Olympia in future posts.
JBLM—Joint Base Lewis-McChord, just south of Tacoma WA
Every time I’ve traveled I-5 as far north as Tacoma and beyond, I’ve been so intrigued by the historic buildings of this joint army and air force base. Tough to get a good photo in a moving vehicle, but I finally managed to visit and get some still shots . . . see the links below.
I traveled to Tacoma and vicinity several times by car to explore and gather info and photos. Indubitably, there’s yet more to investigate, but you can get teasers at
Tukwila & Puyallup WA
King St Amtrak Station, Seattle WA
It took some courage to take the train to Seattle on my own, because 1) looking at online mapping again and again I couldn't tell if I'd run into trouble wheeling between the train, sites to see, and the nearest hotel, and 2) without my vehicle, I wouldn't have all my backups and things I take for granted that I always have with me. So I bought and brought back-up batteries for my chair and cell, packed to be able to carry all my baggage for 4 days on my electric wheelchair, and decided to stay in just one place all three nights. There were challenges: it was a learning experience, but mostly all went well. I was happy.
King Street Amtrak Station, Seattle WA
Embassy Suites hotel & Zephyr restaurant--255 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104
This is an exceptional choice for location as well as comfort; not inexpensive. It's right next to the King Street Amtrak Station and Lumen Field. It's within walking/rolling distance of Chinatown (via the elevator inside the Amtrak station), the waterfront, and sights to see/things to do around Pioneer Square and the flat part of downtown Seattle. The Zephyr is accessed from inside the hotel.
Where to park and eating options
See also "In the Vicinity of Embassy Suites & King Street Station" below.
13 Coins Restaurant--associated with (and can be accessed from) Embassy Suites, 255 S King St, Seattle, WA
Reservations recommended. Not really wheelchair friendly. Rather overpriced, I thought, but the food was good. I took my order back to my room. See link above about dining at Embassy Suites.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, Seattle Unit--319 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
When I first became acquainted with this venue, I was expecting a park. There is such a park in Alaska, but it seems now they have updated the name of this place as the Seattle Unit. It’s a museum, not a park. But it is a wonderful place to go, with 2 floors of exhibits (connected by steep stairs, but an elevator as well) and 20-25 min films. The Kerr room has rotating exhibits. FREE. It's only a block (easy walk) north of Embassy Suites.
Waterfall Garden Park—219 2nd Ave S, Seattle WA (and the Fire Dept Museum)
Only a block (easy walk) north of Klondike Gold Rush Park/Museum is this tiny park. Really interesting brief history at the link below. (Click on the “Getting Here” tab and scroll down to find 5 neighborhood public restrooms). Across Main Street from the Waterfall Garden Park is the Fire Dept Museum/Seattle Fire dept Headquarters, 301 2nd Ave South (at S. Main St) in Pioneer Square.
Occidental Square & Occidental Ave--117 S Washington St, Seattle, WA 98104
Half a block west of Waterfall Garden Park (on Main St) is Occidental Square, and across from it, Occidental Ave: restaurants, shops, play areas for young and old . . .
Chinatown/Lunar New Year--2022 Year of the Tiger
More info, links, and photos about the International district, scroll down at
Preamble perambulation to & around Chinatown-International District, Seattle WA
I was worried about getting a good spot to see the performances for the Lunar New Year Celebration, so left early on the cool and moist morning. When I arrived, I saw that I had time and opportunity to explore a bit, and I thought I should try to find something to put over my lap and legs.
Historic Union Station
Lunar New Year Performers, Seattle WA 2022
The sun turned out to shine on a beautiful day for the performances. More and more folks arrived, and it seemed to be a great success, after having been cancelled for COVID previous year(s). For additional photos and info, including some of the many offerings of food, scroll down to "Chinatown, Seattle WA 2022" at
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience--719 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104
With all my wheeling around Chinatown, my wheelchair used up all its juice. I had brought a battery, but wasn't familiar enough with how to use it for it to be of any help. I also had a charging cord, and the staff was so helpful that I could plug in to get enough charge to get back to my hotel. It was too late to see all of the exhibits at the museum, and the assistant director was kind enough to issue me a pass for the next day. It's a place really worth taking the time to tour thoroughly! Of course there's more to see than what is shown here.
Parting shots of Chinatown, Seattle WA
International District/Chinatown transit station
Wheeling the Waterfront to Centennial Park & beyond
I covered the Seattle Aquarium on my previous trip
The Seattle Waterfront
(See also "Wings over Washington" below.)
Best Western Plus Pioneer Square--77 Yesler Way, by Alaskan Way & the waterfront
Bell Harbor Marina
Myrtle Edwards Park---3130 Alaskan Way, Seattle WA
Centennial and Elliott Bay Parks
Walk or roll/bike through these parks, along the flat, paved trail . . . can be glorious! Fantastic views of the Olympic Mountains when the skies permit. I had no problem with my electric chair running out of power. Places to picnic or ponder, restrooms . . . the fishing shelters were closed when I was there. Beside the small rose garden, amenities include: shoreline, run, bike, picnic, photo, fish, pet walk, minimal exercise equipment, interpretive signs, Native American art, memorial . . .
Elliott Bay Trail
Wings Over Washington & Miner's Landing--Pier 57 on Alaskan Way, downtown Seattle Waterfront
I had some time before boarding my train for home, and decided to check out the attractions at Miner's Landing. Having a fear of heights, I didn't try the Seattle Great Wheel, but thought the "Wings over Washington" experience would be fun. Well, I'm so glad I did it (they can accommodate wheelchairs, though getting into/out of the theater was challenging in a wheelchair). I knew I was perfectly safe, yet some of it was a bit unnerving for a person with acrophobia. The theater seating actually moves into a position to make the flying experience as nearly real as possible. Naturally, I couldn't take photos of the actual ride, but see what you can see at this link:
In the Vicinity of Embassy Suites & King Street Station
As I wandered about Embassy Suites, I found an interior entrance to the parking garage and Hawk Tower. I continued my wanderings in the vicinity.
Hawk Tower--522 Stadium Pl S, Seattle, WA 98104 (address of the parking garage)201 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104
Seattle at Night--Aug 2022
University of Washington--Aug 2022
Hiroki, Japanese & European desserts--2224 N 56th St, Seattle, WA 98103, not too far from UofWA and Woodland Park Zoo.
There's More to Explore--Seattle WA
I've been in a wheelchair for 30+ years. It poses some challenges for traveling. Maybe others can benefit from my experiences.