Perfect Day in Seattle

With cruise ship travel back at full strength - the Port of Seattle has 295 sailings scheduled - Alaska bound sailors may find themselves in Seattle with time to explore. Here's how to take full advantage of your pre- and post-trip day in the Emerald City.

The birthplace of Starbucks in the '70s, Seattle is a coffee-lover's mecca, not just for the original craft roaster, but for all the micro-roasters that followed in its wake. In Belltown, stop into Fulcrum Cafe', where fifth-generation Costa Rican coffee farmer Blas Alfaro supplies nuanced beans and baristas make original lattes (think: toasted black sesame, brown sugar, and oat milk).

Take in the expressionist abstractions of the human form in Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure, a special exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum (July 14 to October 9). Focusing on the Swiss sculptor's post-war major achievements from 1945 to his death in 1966, the collection brings together 60 works including sculptures, paintings, drawings, and figurative masterpieces in his elongated, textured style.

Head to Pike Place Market, Seattle's landmark greenmarket and food hall, to ogle the giant Dungeness crab, massive salmon, and colorful flower stalls. You can pick up all kinds of souvenirs - locally-grown saffron, small-batch chocolate, handmade ceramics, and more - and graze among the food vendors serving tuna poke, fresh pasta, and falafel. Among newcomers, Maiz makes heirloom corn tortillas, freshly pressed for tacos, and masa for tamales.

Next to Seattle's iconic Space Needle, get lost in the magic of glass artist Dale Chihuly at Chihuly Garden and Glass. Organic blooms, feathery shrubs, and aquatic plants rendered in vibrant glass spring to life in a centerpiece Glass House, eight dramatically lit galleries and a surrounding garden. The 100-foot-long suspended flower chain in the Glass House comprises - count 'em - some 1,340 pieces of orange, amber, and yellow glass flowers.

Wander through the nearby nine-acre Olympic Sculpture Park to take in works by Richard Serra, Alexander Calder, and Louise Bourgeois, along with a beach on Puget Sound and views of the Seattle waterfront.

Alongside its considerable culinary strengths, Seattle makes great beer. Head for happy hour to Belltown to sample the range of IPAs at Cloudburst Brewing Company. The tasting room in a former loading zone of a 120-year-old building, only adds to the charm.

Culinary creativity and an infectious sense of inclusion are captured in chef Kristi Brown's dishes at Communion Restaurant and Bar. She calls her style "Seattle soul," with a menu that includes handcrafted hummus with black-eyed peas, Washington-farmed clams and mussels, and catfish po' mi. Tap your advisor to secure a table at this hard-to-book restaurant in the Central District.

Tune into Seattle's legendary music scene with a trip to one of its newly reopened venues, including Sea Monster Lounge presenting funk, soul, and jazz acts, or the Belltown Yacht Club - word is grunge legends Nirvana used the basement space as a studio and rehearsal hall - for rock, punk, and R&B. Don't miss the club's impressive 16-foot-long sculpture made of broken and discarded instruments donated by local musicians.