If you have out-of-town relatives or guests to entertain, just accept the

If you have out-of-town relatives or guests to entertain, just accept the inevitable and drive to Seattle Center. Park for the day in the new garage on Fifth, go up the Space Needle, eat in the Armory, see an IMAX movie at Pacific Science Center, then hit Chihuly Garden and Glass. It’s not a museum or gallery, nor does it purport to be. The artist and his partners constructed the emporium without any city subsidies, and it’s spinning off plenty of sales tax. Admission runs $12–$19; there’s a nice companion restaurant, Collections Cafe; and the clockwise tour ends in Seattle’s nicest gift shop, officially dubbed The Bookstore. Sure, there’s plenty of Chihuly-branded glass and artwork that runs up to $10,000 and more. But lots of quality local vendors are represented at more manageable prices. Your guests can choose from among Northwest vineyards, small art-book publishers, apparel, and so forth. The prices are steeper than the T-shirt emporiums in Pike Place Market, but as Dale Chihuly himself would explain, you’ve got to pay a little more for quality.

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