Visiting Seattle Southside

Pacific Northwest Explorers get in the holiday spirit

By Marguerite Cleveland on November 30, 2018

The Pacific Northwest Explorers headed to Seattle Southside for their latest adventure. Many in the group had only visited the area when going to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and did not realize all the fun activities and eclectic restaurants they could visit.

The group started their day at the Seattle Chocolate Factory for a tour, which included a chocolate tasting experience. It was easy to get into the holiday spirit with the gift shop decked out for the season. The hour-long tour begins with a look at where chocolate comes from and, a favorite with our group, warm chocolate shots. This delectable serving of warm, liquid chocolate was a big hit and a great way to kick off the tour. Then, with everyone decked out in hair-nets, the Explorers toured the factory. Then it was back to the classroom for a tasting experience. Similar to tasting wine, six samples were tried. The guide discussed the nuances of each type and the tasters could write down their impressions of each sample.

"I love participating in PNW Explorer events because not only are the locations visited wonderful, we usually have a guided speaker from each site that speaks to our group specifically which you may not get if you visit an area locale on your own, " said Patty Hembree. "The Seattle Chocolate Factory is a must-do for family and friends. The staff is energized and clearly enjoys their job. The one-hour tour is just the right amount of time, and who doesn't love chocolate?"

After the tour, it was time for shopping in the gift shop. Many in the group did some early Christmas shopping with some Seattle-themed purchases like a box shaped like the Space Needle filled with Seattle Chocolates' signature individually wrapped chocolates. The best part, the company gives a very generous 20 percent military discount.

"Our tour guide was amazing! She was extremely knowledgeable about the company and the chocolates and had a great sense of humor. Super awesome military discount," said Angela Allen.

Seattle Southside has a variety of restaurants many with an international flavor to choose from. The PNW Explorers visited Waterleaf in the Interurban Hotel. Upon arrival, Hazel, a robot, greeted them, which was unexpected fun. The lunch menu was a nice mix of Asian specialties and local favorites with a twist, such as the Truffled gnocchi mac and cheese. So yummy.

"I have attended two PNW Explorers' events and have not been disappointed," said Moira Neal. "From the planned events to the people with which I've had the pleasure of spending a day, start to finish, the whole experience is a real treat."     

The Pacific Northwest Explorers are a sub club of the Lewis Community Spouses' Club and typically meets the third Thursday of each month September-May. For more information on the groups, visit:

For more information on visiting Seattle Southside, check out