Fireworks Light Up Elliott Bay/Bell Harbor!


Is there a more beautiful place to moor near a major U.S. city? This is a shot of Bell Harbor on the Seattle waterfront on what turned out to be a beautiful winter day in March. Sunshine, mid-50’s for temps, and calm water on the bay. But it wasn’t just the weather.  It’s the view that captures your attention and the Seattle city skyline to the east is so much fun to watch from the comfort of your boat.  

That view, and fireworks, too! Bell Harbor had room for more boats, and had local boaters known what was coming on Saturday night — the slips would have been full. Farmers Insurance hosted a 100th anniversary party for 1500 or so of their closest friends, kicked off by a wonderful fireworks show at 8:30 pm. Talk about perfect timing for fireworks. No rain, no fog, clear skies (albeit a little chill in the air), but a spectacular sight over Elliott Bay.  (If you are wondering why there are no pictures of fireworks, they’re on my husband’s phone since I was experiencing, hmmmm… what we’ll call ‘operator error’ of my camera at that time). I’m sure the local news stations and papers got a lot of calls Saturday night, wondering ‘why’ the night sky was lighting up so beautifully!  Luckily, it helps to have properly placed sources, and we had an early ‘heads up’ that there might be something worth viewing to make a short trip over to Bell Harbor worthwhile. The band ‘Heart’ with Ann and Nancy Wilson, was playing inside!  

Fun in the city. For boaters who haven’t been to Bell Harbor, they may want to put it on their ‘places to visit’ list. Friday and Saturday moorage fees for overnight run $1.35/foot. You can hook up to shore power, and there’s also water.  Restrooms and showers are located at the top of the dock. But it’s all about location, location, location! You’re in the middle of the Seattle waterfront right next to Anthony’s, the cruise ship terminal, across from a Starbucks (for morning latte’s), close to the aquarium, and with easy access to Pike Place Market. In fact, right across the street, surrounded by the Marriott hotel, we took the elevator up to market level. (We were able to look down on the hotel’s cool indoor/outdoor pool, and even in March, people had ventured to the ‘outdoor’ part of the pool.) The elevator puts you right next to Cost Plus, which is very easy walking distance to Etta’s, Cutter’s, and the Pike Place Market. We had a party of 9 and were able to walk into Etta’s (yes, one of the Tom Douglas restaurants), and get seated, even without reservations. I don’t, however, recommend that for large groups, especially on a weekend. I think we just must have been ‘living right’ that morning and ‘lucked’ in to a great table. Food was good, prices a little on the high side, but the service was friendly and well-informed. 

Dock life. Back at the docks at Bell Harbor, we found a friendly bunch. Some people keep their boats at Bell Harbor for the fall and winter, in order to attend Seahawks’ or late season Mariners’ games, giving them a floating condo of sorts right in the middle of things. Others just come in for a weekend of shopping and seeing the sights. We had fun watching and listening to a large group of French students board a charter boat for a bay cruise, and could hear their excitement once they returned to the docks. Our informal group brought food and drink, and had a great time catching up with old friends, while meeting some new ones! I highly recommend Bell Harbor for a weekend of in-city fun. And I promise to try to get actual photos of the fireworks show posted soon!!

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