So, you’re finally taking a majestic Alaskan cruise from Seattle? Great choice! It’ll be an experience of a lifetime. How do you make that experience even better, you ask? Easy, take some time and stay in Seattle Southside before and after your cruise to ease into your travels.

Pre-Cruise

Did you know that many Seattle Southside area hotels offer cruise packages with benefits like complimentary parking, free breakfast, cruise shuttles, and a cozy place to relax before and after your cruise? Not to mention, hotels in this area are typically priced 20-30% less than their counterparts in downtown Seattle.

There’s a lot to see and do around here! After you check in to your hotel, you could book a tour with one of the many great Seattle tour companies like Customized Tours, Tours Northwest, or Totally Seattle Tours. See the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, or Snoqualmie Falls and the filming locations of Twin Peaks, or the majesty of Mount Rainier National Park! The tour companies will pick you up from your hotel and the knowledgeable tour guides will show you what you want to see and take you where you want to go.

While you’re here, you might want to spend some time seeing the sights around your hotel as well. Stop and smell the roses at the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden. Take a stroll through the beautiful sensory gardens and find your inner Zen in the historic Seike Japanese Garden.

Do you have a sweet tooth? See how chocolate bars are made at the Seattle Chocolate Experience Chocolate factory tour. You’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the chocolate making process, learn about Seattle Chocolates’ sustainable sourcing of cacao beans, and of course, sample a variety of delicious flavors.

For dinner, check out Sharp’s Roasthouse for some delicious BBQ, an over-the-top drink selection at the bar, and friendly servers. The savory prime rib and ice cold raspberry balsamic cocktail will send you off to Alaska with a significantly raised spirit.

Post-Cruise

If you want to do a little more sightseeing when you dock back in Seattle, you should take advantage of the Port of Seattle’s Port Valet program. They’ll take your bags and bring them directly to your plane, so you don’t have to haul them around the city streets. But if you get back from Alaska and you’re not exactly looking forward to getting right back on a plane (or your car). No problem, spend a night by the airport and relax before your travels.

The best way to relax after your journey would have to be a spa treatment at the Spa at Cedarbrook. Enjoy a hot stone or petrified wood massage, or how about a blueberry soy detox wrap for a truly soothing experience. After your luxurious spa treatment, you won’t have to go far for dinner. Copperleaf Restaurant offers locally sourced, farm-to-table dishes like Alderwood smoked sablefish, curried butternut squash, and Dungeness crab ravioli. When they say “farm-to-table” they mean it quite literally, as many ingredients in your dish come straight out of their onsite garden!

If you have any time the morning before your flight, The Museum of Flight is well worth a visit for aviation/history buffs or anyone interested in air and spaceflight. The Personal Courage Wing is a must-see for their vast collection of WWI/WWII fighter planes and the Aviation Pavilion is filled with historic jets and propelled planes from the mid-twentieth century.