I don’t like to be limited when we travel to new areas so, to me, having a car is extremely important, especially when my kid’s are traveling with me. On our recent trip to Seattle Hyundai spoiled us with their 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. It’s no surprise I am a huge Santa Fe fan. I definitely consider it to be one of my top 3 family vehicles so it was exciting to have the opportunity to pile in the kid’s and sight-see in style.
Once we arrived in Seattle we picked up the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and loaded in our luggage. Who knew four people could travel with so much stuff? Luckily for us the Santa Fe’s cargo area was large enough to fit five suitcases, a stroller, a backpack, and a bulky camera case.
After getting everything loaded and the kid’s buckled in, we took a moment to familiarize ourselves with the interior, dashboard, and center console. This particular Santa Fe Sport was equipped with navigation, backup cameras, dual temperature control, and heated and cooled seats. All the buttons were easy to reach from both the driver and the passenger seats. The buttons were also strategically placed to make it easy for a driver to navigate through to help keep driver’s from becoming distracted. I do wish this model offered the Head-Up display, which would really keep distracted driving down to the bare minimum, but I have my fingers crossed for the 2015 model. It would be a parent’s dream come true!
From the airport we headed to Bellevue, Washington which was about a 20 minute drive. We pulled up to the Hyatt Bellevue in style to check into our hotel room and drop off our luggage. With a blank itinerary for the first half of the morning we decided to pull out our CityPass booklets and see what we could knock out for the first day. What better way to kick off a vacation in a new area than with a harbor tour with Argosy Cruises! Luckily it was a beautiful day and we couldn’t wait to set sail and see Seattle from a completely different view.
The Argosy Cruise was an incredible experience and we had so much fun! If you have never been to Seattle it’s a great thing to do on your first day. We were able to see where all the tourist spots were in the city and got an amazing view of the Space Needle, the Seattle skyline, and Mount Rainier.
When the harbor cruise was over we decided to do the tourist thing and head over to Pike Market Place! If you’ve never heard of it, it’s Seattle’s original farmers market and the center of locally sourced, artisan and specialty foods.
We drove over to Pike Place Market and found a parking garage near by. I will warn you, parking in Seattle is seriously a nightmare, and this is coming from someone who lives near San Francisco. Parking garages in San Francisco are nothing compared to the parking garages in Seattle. I have never seen the smallest parking stalls in my life. It’s like they found empty spots and just started marking sections not even measuring to see if it’ll fit a car. Yet, somehow, it does. Thank goodness for the rear camera and sensors on the Hyundai Santa Fe. Oh, and my husband’s parking skills. Between the two we were able to fit into the smallest spot I’ve ever seen. I really don’t know what we would have done without the camera and sensors.
When the stressful parking situation was over it was time to wander around Pike Market Place. I seriously fell in love with this market place. So much going on, and so many amazing places to eat at. While the market is going on you can sample different foods and purchase the most beautiful bouquets I have ever seen for around $5-$10.
After a long first day it was time to head back to the hotel and get a good night’s sleep for our next day’s adventures.
On our second day in Seattle we hopped into the Santa Fe, opened up the panoramic sunroof and drove to Safeco Field to watch the Mariner’s dominate over the Atlanta Braves! It was an exciting start to our day and we were able to cross a ballpark off our MLB ballparks bucket list.
The boys’ had their heart set on seeing the Space Needle so we decided to head there after the game. Realizing how far the Space Needle is from Safeco Field I felt really grateful to have the Santa Fe. We typed in our destination into the navigation and off we went. I will say that the navigation system in this particular Hyundai was a bit frustrating and something I hadn’t seen in other Hyundai vehicles. Normally I rave about their systems however in this one it seemed it was a bit delayed in telling us when to turn. I also couldn’t figure out how to change the view in the navigation to show me turn by turn, which left me a bit frustrated as we missed our turn a few times during our trip. Regardless, it got us to the Space Needle and the kids couldn’t have been more excited.
Because of our tickets with CityPASS we were able to go into a separate, faster line. It reminded me of the fast pass line at Disneyland. We waited maybe 5 minutes before we were whisked away in the elevator and arrived at the top to take in the most breathtaking views I have ever seen.
By the time we were done exploring the Space Needle the kids were getting tired and hungry, so we drove back to Bellevue for a nice quiet dinner.
On our third day we decided to change up the scene and head to Woodinville, which is known as Washington’s Wine Country. The drive to Woodinville is about 35 minutes from Seattle and gave us the opportunity to relax, drive, and enjoy the Santa Fe. Sometimes driving in a major city can be stop and go that you don’t have time to sit and just enjoy the ride. The Santa Fe for the four of us was so comfortable with plenty leg room to spare. A big deal for us.
We walked around Woodinville and enjoyed its peaceful atmosphere and boutique wineries.
During dinner the night before, the kids’ learned about the Fremont Troll, so after Woodinville we went off to “go hunt” for the troll. Luckily he wasn’t that hard to track down and we all jumped out of the Santa Fe to meet him and take some photos. Did you know that is a real Volkswagen Beetle in his hand? We joked with the kids telling them thankfully we were in the Santa Fe which is too large for his hands to grab.
This was our last night in Seattle so we decided to drive around and sight-see some more from the Hyundai Santa Fe before meeting some friends for dinner. The kids’ wanted to visit the Space Needle again after dinner since it was included in our CityPass but we decided it would be best to head back to Bellevue and rest up for our last day in Seattle. After all, sightseeing with tired children is never fun.
Our last day in Seattle was bitter sweet. We visited Pike Market Place one last time then headed to the Museum of Flight. We were so happy this was included in our CityPASS because the kids’ wanted to come here and it was on the way to the airport.
I was so sad when we finished at the Museum of Flight because I knew it meant our vacation in Seattle was over and it was time to drop off the Hyundai Santa Fe. I was real tempted to ask Hyundai if I could drive it all the way home back to California.
With all the driving we did over four days, we returned the Santa Fe with over a quarter tank left of gas thanks to the fuel economy. The Santa Fe gets an impressive 20 city/27 highway.
We had such a wonderful time in Seattle and thanks to the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe we were able to cross off all that we wanted to do during our vacation. We explored new areas we had never been before and made memories that will last a lifetime.
If you are in the market for a family vehicle where you can make your own memories, check out the Hyundai Santa Fe.
Traveling to Seattle?
If you are traveling to Seattle, check out the CityPASS Seattle. One booklet saves up to 50% Off combined prices for admission to must-see attractions. Attractions include: Two visits to the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, Argrosy Cruises Harbor Tour, EMP Museum or Woodland Park Zoo, and the Pacific Science Center or The Museum of Flight. For prices and more information please visit: www.citypass.com/seattle.
Disclosure: Thank you to Hyundai and CityPASS Seattle for providing the Santa Fe and booklets for our family’s vacation. All opinions are my own!