Exploring downtown Seattle: Three spots to visit

Preparing for a career in medicine or biological sciences is hard work. But in the midst of all that studying, it’s important to set aside time to have fun.

SPU Voices caught up with students in Seattle Pacific’s BioCORE Scholars program as they explored downtown Seattle after class this spring. First-year students Alexandra Gonzalez, Israel Zamudio, Mercy Alsworth, and Jacob Woodford started at Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market and explored nearby.

Alexandra, Israel, and Mercy are part of the same cohort of the BioCORE Scholars Program. The program provides first-generation college students in biological or biomedical fields with faculty mentors, weekly study groups, and summer research opportunities.

girl students pose for a selfie in front of public market sign

Pike Place Market

Car: 11 minutes

Biking: 25 minutes

Bus: 25 minutes

Since 1907, Pike Place Market has brought farmers in front of customers looking to buy locally grown produce. Near Seattle’s waterfront, the Market has many attractions beyond the fish slinging spectacle, including street performers and a brick wall where visitors have stuck their chewed gum. “They have the very first Starbucks, so a ton of students and family and tourists like to go there. That’s the sight-seeing place for Seattle,” says Alexandra, who wants to be a pediatric surgeon one day. For sweet treats, she recommends the macarons at Pike Place’s Le Panier, a French bakery (co-owned by SPU alumna Kristi Drake ’82).

students pose in front of Seattle Art Museum

Seattle Art Museum

Car: 14 minutes

Biking: 27 minutes

Bus: 25 minutes

Cost: $12.95 with student ID (or free on first Thursdays)

Need that extra inspiration to finish an assignment, or looking for an intellectually stimulating activity with friends? Browsing through the Seattle Art Museum might just be the aesthetic moment you need. Free on the first Thursday of every month, the Seattle Art Museum features rotating and permanent exhibits, including Asian, Oceanic, and Native American art — not to mention the 48-foot tall sculpture of the Hammering Man outside the museum’s entrance.

students looking through the seattle library glass windows

Seattle Public Library

Car: 12 minutes

Biking: 31 minutes

Bus: 29 minutes

A Seattle architectural jewel, this 10-story building has a striking slanted glass exterior. The library also offers comfy common areas to plop down with a book or camp out for an afternoon study session. In addition, the library can help the cash-strapped student with ample DVDs and books to rent. Plus, students can also reserve a museum pass through the library to get free access to the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Aquarium, the Woodland Park Zoo, and 12 other Seattle attractions. “On each level, they have something different,” Gonzalez said. “It’s huge — it’s really cool. The whole building is glass … it’s in a really nice area downtown.”

Related articles

BioCORE Scholars Program: Changing the face of medicine

Why choose SPU

Fun and (mostly) free things to do this summer in Seattle

A moment to breathe: the close-knit academic community of Ascent Scholars