Blend the brains of Portland, with the beauty of Vancouver, and you will get something approximating Seattle. It is tough to believe that the Pacific Northwest’s biggest metropolis was considered a ‘secondary’ US city before the 1980s, when a mixture of strong innovation and unabashed individualism turned it into one of the dot-com era’s greatest trend-setters, spearheaded by an unlikely alliance of coffee-sipping computer geeks and navel-gazing musicians.
Though it has fermented its very own pop culture in recent years, it has yet to create an urban mythology befitting Paris or New York, however it does have ‘The Mountain.’ Better known as Rainier to its friends, Seattle’s unifying symbol is a 14,411ft mass of rock and ice, which serves as a evergreen reminder to the city’s huddled masses that raw wilderness, and potential volcanic devastation, are never far away.
Amazing Things To Do In Seattle:
Reinvention stands out as the buzzword these days in a city where grunge belongs to the history books and Starbucks is just one in a cavalcade of precocious indie coffee providers eking out their market position. Astonishingly classy in places and stylish edgy in others, Seattle is notable for the strong neighborhoods, top-rated university, massive traffic jams and proactive city mayors who harbor green credentials.
Stunning Sights to Visit in Seattle-
1. Pike Place Market
- Official Website- www.pikeplacemarket.org
- 85 Pike St
- Opening Hours- 9am-6pm Mon-Sat, to 5pm Sun
Take a lot of small-time businesses and sprinkle them liberally around a waterside strip between crowds of old-school bohemians, unique- wave restaurateurs, tree-huggers, students, artists, buskers and tourists, and the result: Pike Place Market, a cavalcade of noise, smells, personalities, banter and urban theater. You will come across produce stalls, vintage shops, handmade crafts, souvenir kitsch and funky eateries. In operation since 1907, Pike Place is a fantastically ‘local’ experience that highlights the city for what it is actually: all-embracing, eclectic as well as proudly singular. Editor’s Choice in Things to do in Seattle.
2. Space Needle
- Contact No.- 206-905-2100
- Official Website- www.spaceneedle.com
- 400 Broad St;adult/child $21/13
- Opening Hours- 8am-midnight Jun-Aug, reduced hours September-May
This streamlined, modern-before-its-time tower designed for the 1962 World’s Fair has been the city’s defining symbol for over 50 years. The needle anchors the complex now called Seattle Center and draws over 1 million annual visitors to its flying-saucer-like observation deck and pricey rotating restaurant. Purchase a combination ticket with Chihuly Garden and Glass for $36. Editor’s Choice in Things to do in Seattle.
3. Seattle Art Museum
- Contact No.- 206-654-3210
- Official Website- www.seattleartmuseum.org
- 1300 1st Ave
- adult/student $19.50/12.50
- Opening Hours-10am-5pm Wed & Fri-Sun, to 9pm Thu
Over the past decade, Seattle Art Museum has added over 100,000 sq. ft. to its gallery space as well as acquired about $1 billion worth of brand new art, including works by Zurbarán and Murillo.The museum is renowned for its extensive Native American artifacts as well as work from the local Northwest School, in particular by Mark Tobey (1890–1976). Modern American art is also well displayed.
4. Olympic Sculpture Park
- 2901 Western Ave
- Opening Hours- sunrise-sunset
Terraced over train tracks, in an unlikely oasis amongst the water as well as busy Western Ave, is the 8.5-acre, $85-million Olympic Sculpture Park. Worth a visit just for its views of the Olympic Mountains over Elliott Bay, the park has various large contemporary sculptures and is popular with joggers and dog-walkers.
5. Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
- Contact No.- 206-623-5124
- Official Website- www.wingluke.org
- 719 S King St
- adult/child $15/10
- Opening Hours- 10am-5pm Tue-Sun
This museum examines Asian Pacific American culture, focusing on prickly issues such as Chinese settlement in the 1880s and Japanese internment camps in WWII. There are also art exhibitions and a preserved immigrant apartment. Guided tours are available; the first Thursday of the month is free, when hours are 10am to 8pm.
6. EMP Museum
- Contact No.- 206-770-2700
- Official Website- www.empmuseum.org
- 325 5th Ave N
- adult/child $25/16
- Opening Hours- 10am-7pm Jun-Aug, to 5pm September-May
This museum, a marriage of super modern architecture as well as rock-and-roll history, was built by Microsoft co-creator Paul Allen. It had been inspired by the music of Seattle-born guitar icon, Jimi Hendrix, though today its collection has morphed to include pop-culture and science-fiction history. Buy discounted tickets online to save money.
7. Hiram M Chittenden Locks
- 3015 NW 54th St
- Opening Hours- locks 24hr, ladder & gardens 7am-9pm, visitor center 10am-6pm May-Sep
Seattle shimmers like an impressionist painting on sunny days at the Hiram M Chittenden Locks. Here, the fresh waters of Lake Washington as well as Lake Union drop 22ft into salt-water Puget Sound. Development of the canal as well as locks began in 1911; today 100,000 boats pass through them every year. You can also view fish-ladder activity through underwater glass panels, stroll through botanical gardens and visit a tiny museum.
8. Waiting for the Interurban
- cnr N 34th St & Fremont Ave N
Waiting for the Interurban is Seattle’s most popular piece of public art, Waiting for the Interurban, is cast in recycled aluminum and depicts six people waiting for a train that never comes. Every now and then locals lovingly decorate the people in outfits matching to a special event, the weather, someone’s birthday, a Mariners win – anything. Check out the human face on the dog; it is Armen Stepanian, once Fremont’s honorary mayor, who made the mistake of objecting to the sculpture.
9. Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum
- Contact No- 206-753-4940
- Official Website- www.chihulygardenandglass.com
- 305 Harrison St
- adult/child $25/16
- Opening Hours- 8am-9pm Sun-Thu, to 10pm Fri & Sat
Started in 2012 and reinforcing Seattle’s position as the Venice of North America, this beautiful exposition of the life and work of dynamic local glass sculptor Dale Chihuly might just leave you breathless. It demonstrates Chihuly’s colorfully innovative designs within an airy glass atrium and landscaped gardens. Hours vary all through the year; check out the website.
10. Burke Museum Museum
- Contact No.- 206-543-5590
- Official Website- www.burkemuseum.org
- cnr 17th Ave Ne & Ne 45th St
- admission $10
- Opening Hours- 10am-5pm
One of the Northwest’s top rated natural history museums, the Burke boasts an remarkable stash of fossils, including a 20,000-year-old sabre-toothed cat. Equally convincing is the focus on more than a dozen different Native American cultures. There is free admission on the first Thursday of the month, when the museum remains open until 8pm.
Activities To Do In Seattle-
A cycling favorite, the 16.5-mile Burke-Gil-man Trail winds from Ballard to Log Boom Park in Kenmore on Seattle’s Eastside. Over there, it connects with the 11-mile Sammamish River Trail, that winds past the Chateau Ste Michelle winery in Woodinville prior ending at Redmond’s Marymoor Park. A lot more cyclists pedal the popular loop around Green Lake, situated just north of Fremont and 5 miles north of the downtown core.
From Belltown, the 2.5-mile Elliott Bay Trail runs along side the Waterfront to Smith Cove. Get a copy of the Seattle Bicycling Guide Map, printed by the City of Seattle’s Transportation Bicycle & Pedestrian Program online or at bike shops.
For bicycle rentals and tours, try Recycled Cycles (Contact No.- 206-547-4491;Official Website- www.recycledcycles.com;1007 Ne Boat St;rental per day $40-50; Opening Hours- 10am-8pm Mon-Fri, to 6pm Sat & Sun), a friendly U District shop that also rents out chariots and trail-a-bike attachments for kids, or SBR Seattle Bicycle Rental & Tours (Contact No.- 800-349-0343 ;Pier 58;rental per hour $10-15, a day $45-65; Opening Hours- 11am-7pm Wed-Mon), which offers reasonable rates and daily tours (book online).Editor’s Choice in Things to do in Seattle.
2. Water Sports
Seattle is not merely on a network of cycling trails. With Venice-like proportions of downtown water, it is also strafed with kayak-friendly marine trails. The Lakes to Locks Water Trail links Lake Sammamish with Lake Washington, Lake Union and – via the Hiram M Chittenden Locks – Puget Sound. For launching sites and maps, check out the website of the Washington Water Trails Association (www.wwta.org).
Northwest Outdoor Center
- Contact No.- 206-281-9694
- Official Website- www.nwoc.com
- 2100 Westlake Ave N
- rental per hour from $15
On Lake Union, rents kayaks and offers tours and instruction in sea and white-water kayaking.Editor’s Choice in Things to do in Seattle.
Tours To Do In Seattle-
1. Seattle Free Walking Tours
- Official Website- www.seattlefreewalkingtours.org
A non-profit launched in 2012 by 2 world travelers. Choose from a general downtown tour or a Pike Place Market option. Suggested $15 donation.
2. Seattle by Foot
- Contact No.- 206-508-7017
- Official Website- www.seattlebyfoot.com
- tours $25-35
Offers different tours centering on the city’s coffeehouses, pubs, downtown areas or perhaps the Fremont neighborhood. Book online for a $5 discount.
Best Places To Eat In Seattle
The best budget meals are to be found in Pike Place Market. Take your decision from fresh produce, baked goods, deli items and take-out ethnic foods.
- Contact No.- 206-621-8772
- Official Website- www.salumicuredmeats.com
- 309 3rd Ave S
- sandwiches $8.50-11
- Opening Hours- 11am-1:30pm Mon, to 3:30pm Tue-Fri
Be ready for a queue outside Salumi, famous and loved for its appetizing salami and cured-meat sandwiches (grilled lamb, pork shoulder as well as meatball). Vegetarians can go for the seasonal veggie offering or eggplant balsamico. Meats and cheeses are also sold by the pound. Editor’s Choice in Things to do in Seattle.
2. Green Leaf
- Contact No.- 206-340-1388
- Official Website- www.greenleaftaste.com
- 418 8th Ave S
- pho $9, specials $10-12
- Opening Hours- 11am-10pm
Famous Green Leaf, situated at Chinatown, shoots out rapid-fire dishes from its tiny kitchen to its tiny, populated dining room. Select the traditional pho (beef noodle soup) or try the superb rice or vermicelli noodle dishes. It’s also situated at Belltown at 2800 1st Ave.
3. Toulouse Petit
- Contact No.- 206-432-9069
- Official Website- www.toulousepetit.com
- 601 Queen Anne Ave N
- mains $13-17
- Opening Hours- 8am-2am
Known for its generous happy hours, cheap brunches as well as amazing atmosphere, this perennially occupied Queen Anne eatery has something for everyone. The menu is vast and diverse, offering choices such as for instance blackened rib-eye steak, freshwater gulf prawns and house-made gnocchi with artichoke hearts. Editor’s Choice in things to do in Seattle.
- Contact No.- 206-547-2040
- Official Website- www.revelseattle.com
- 403 N 36th St;small plates $12-16
- Opening Hours- 11am-2pm & 5-10pm Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm & 5-10pm Sat & Sun
Walk into this sleek, modern restaurant and you will notice this is not your regular Asian eatery. The menu is limited but appetizing, from the short-rib dumplings to the lemon-grass beef with cilantro noodles. Dishes are smallish and meant to be shared; down them with an innovative cocktail or two.
5. Sitka & Spruce
- Contact No.- 206-324-0662
- 1531 Melrose Ave
- small plates $8-33
- Opening Hours- 11:30am-2pm & 5-10pm Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm & 5-11pm Sat, 10am-2pm & 5-9pm Sun
Situated in a marketplace-like building on trendy Capitol Hill, this small-plates fine diner has won recognition for its casual vibe, regularly changing menu and good wine selection. Tasty sample items such as the house-made charcuterie, conica morels or king-trumpet escabeche. All the ingredients are acquired from local producers. Reserve ahead.
Drinking & Nightlife in Seattle
Starbucks is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to coffee culture in Seattle; the city has created lots of smaller indie chains, many with their own roasting rooms. Look out for Uptown Espresso, Caffe Ladro and Espresso Vivace. You will find cocktail bars, dance clubs and live music on Capitol Hill. The primary drag in Ballard has brick taverns both old and new, filled with the hard-drinking older set in daylight hours and indie rockers at night. Belltown has gone from grungy to shabby chic, and it has the benefit of many drinking holes neatly lined up in rows.
1. Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room
- Official Website- www.starbucks.com/roastery
- 1124 Pike St;coffees $3-12
- Opening Hours- 7am-11pm
Often likened to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, this roastery – Starbucks’ largest venue to date – is a multi-leveled mecca of over-caffeinated proportions. At the start a greeter welcomes you with a map, in back gigantic roasters spin beans. It is a Scandinavian-inspired arena of glass, wood, copper and concrete – an ideal spot to sip your cup of siphoned West Java Preanger ($12). Coffee flights available.
2. Fremont Brewing
- Contact No.- 206-420-2407
- Official Website- www.fremontbrewing.com
- 3409 Woodland Park Ave N
- Opening Hours- 11am-9pm
Hipsters and cyclists frequently visit this trendy brewery for its award-winning beers and sustainable practices. On sunny days, sitting in the communal tables out back within the beer garden is mandatory. Free pretzels and apples to snack on, but no real food.
3. Noble Fir
- Contact No.- 206-420-7425
- Official Website- www.thenoblefir.com
- 5316 Ballard Ave NW
- Opening Hours- 4pm-midnight Tue-Thu, to 1am Fri & Sat, 1-9pm Sun
Probably the 1st bar devoted to the theme of wilderness-hiking, the upscale Noble Fir is a vibrant, dazzling spot in the Ballard neighborhood with an impressive beer list that might just make you want to abandon all your plans for outdoor adventure. Fine wine and hard ciders, too, along with meat and cheese plates.
4. Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee House
- Contact No.- 206-515-4000
- 607 S Main St
- Opening Hours- 8am-9pm
The Panama, a historic 1910 building containing the sole remaining Japanese bathhouse in the US, doubles as a memorial to the neighborhood’s Japanese residents forced into internment camps during WWII. The beautifully relaxed cafe has a wide selection of teas, serves Lavazza Italian coffee, and boasts a National Treasure designation.
5. Blue Moon
- Contact Details-206-675-9116
- Official Website- www.thebluemoonseattle.com
- 712 Ne 45th St
- Opening Hours- 2pm-late Mon-Fri, noon-late Sat, 1pm-late Sun
A renowned counterculture dive close to the university that first opened in 1934 to celebrate the repeal of the prohibition laws, the Blue Moon makes much of its former literary patrons – doyens Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg and Tom Robbins get mentioned a lot. These days you are more likely to come across its come-dy, open-mic and vinyl-revival nights.
Shopping In Seattle
The main big-name shopping area is downtown between 3rd and 6th Aves and University and Stewart Sts. Pike Place Market is a maze of arts-and-crafts stalls, galleries and small shops. Pioneer Sq and Capitol Hill have locally owned gift and thrift shops. There are lots of only-in-Seattle shops worth seeking out.
- Contact No.- 206-622-0141
- 1435 1st Ave
- Opening Hours- 9am-6pm Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm Sun
DeLaurenti’s Offers a fabulous choice of wine, cheese, sausages, hams and pasta, along side a large variety of capers, olive oils and anchovies. The sandwich counter is an excellent place to order panini, salads and pizza slices.
2. Elliott Bay Book Company
- Contact No.- 206-624-6600
- Official Website- www.elliottbaybook.com
- 1521 10th Ave
- Opening Hours- 10am-10pm Mon-Fri, to 11pm Sat, 11am-9pm Sun
This popular local bookstore offers more than 150,000 titles in a large, airy, wood-beamed space with cozy books that can inspire hours of serendipitous surfing.
Festivals & Events in Seattle
1. Seattle International Film Festival
- Official Website- www.siff.net
Held in mid-May, the city’s greatest film festival uses a half dozen cinemas, but in addition possesses its own dedicated cinema, in McCaw Hall’s Nesholm Family Lecture Hall(321 Mercer St).
- Official Website- www.seafair.com
Huge crowds attend this festival held on the water in late July/August, with hydroplane races, a torchlight parade, an air show, music as well as a Milk Carton Derby (look it up!).
- Official Website- www.bumbershoot.com
A significant arts and cultural event at Seattle Center on the Labor Day weekend in September, with live music, comedy, theater, visual arts as well as dance.
SEATTLE FOR KIDS
Make a beeline for the Seattle Center, if possible on the monorail, where food carts, street entertainers, fountains and green spaces will likely make your day fly by. One essential stop is the Pacific Science Center (Contact No.- 206-443-2001; 200 2nd Ave N; adult/child exhibits only $19.50/14.50, with Imax $23.50/18.50;Opening Hours- 10am-5pm Mon-Fri, to 6pm Sat & Sun), which entertains as well as educates with virtual-reality exhibits, laser shows, holograms, an Imax theater and a planetarium. Parents won’t be bored either.
Seattle Aquarium (Contact No.- 206-386-4300;1483 Alaskan Way, at Pier 59;adult/child 4-12yr $23/16; Openoing Hours- 9:30am-5pm) is a great way to know about the natural world of the Pacific Northwest. Even better is Wood-land Park Zoo (Contact No.- 206-548-2500; 5500 Phinney Ave N; adult/child 3-12yr May-Sep $20/12.25, Oct-Apr $13.75/9.25; Opening Hours- 9:30am-6pm May-Sep, to 4pm Oct-Apr) in the Green Lake neighborhood, certainly one of Seattle’s greatest tourist attractions and consistently rated as one of the top ten zoos in the nation.
Information You Need To Know Before Visiting Seattle-
- Contact No.- 206-625-5011
- Official Website- www.seattle.gov/police
2. MEDICAL SERVICES
Harborview Medical Center
- Contact No.- 206-744-3000
- Official Website- www.uwmedicine.org/harborview
- 325 9th Ave
Full medical care, with emergency room.
KEXP 90.3 FM (www.kexp.org) legendary independent music and community station.
Seattle Times (www.seattletimes.com) The state’s largest daily paper.
Stranger (www.thestranger.com) Irreverent and intelligent free weekly, edited by dan Savage of ‘Savage love’ fame.
- Contact No.-206-748-5417
- 301 union St
- Opening Hours- 8:30am-5:30pm, Mon-Fri
5. TOURIST INFORMATION
Seattle Visitor Center & Concierge Services
- Contact No.- 206-461-5840
- Official Website- www.visitseattle.org
- cnr Pike St & 7th Ave, Washington State Convention Center
- Opening Hours- 9am-5pm daily Jun-Sep, Mon-Fri Oct-May
Also look for an information kiosk at the entrance to Pike Place Market.
History of Seattle-
The truly amazing city of Seattle was founded in 1851. In the beginning Seattle was really small nevertheless the little settlement was incorporated in 1869. In 1870 Seattle only had a population of just a little over 1,000. However the population of Seattle grew rapidly in the late 19th century. By 1890 Seattle was a active city with a population of over 42,000. Meanwhile a hospital opened in 1878.
On 6 June 1889 a pot of glue in a workshop caught fire and fell on some wood shavings and began a fire that blasted the majority of Seattle. Thankfully, nobody was killed and Seattle soon healed. Seattle University was founded in 1891. The Pioneer Building was built in 1892. It was designed by the architect Elmer Fisher following the fire of 1889. The Klondike Gold Rush of 1897 brought prosperity to Seattle and its population soared. By 1900 Seattle had a population of over 80,000. In those days lumber and shipbuilding were leading industries in Seattle. Meanwhile, Woodland Park Zoo opened in 1899.
Seattle continued to develop rapidly during the early 20th century. By 1920 it had passed 315,000. Pike Place Market was established in 1907 and in 1916 William Boeing founded an aircraft manufacturing company.
Meanwhile Smith Tower opened in 1914. It is named after the industrialist Lyman C Smith (1850-1910). Fairmont Olympic Hotel was built in 1924. Seattle Art Museum opened in 1933. Meanwhile, Bertha Knight Landes became the very first woman mayor of Seattle in 1926.
Seattle suffered drastically in the Depression of the 1930s but its industries blossomed again during the Second World War. A lot of aircraft were manufactured in Seattle. Following the coming of peace in 1945, Seattle suffered an economic downturn. However, in 1962 Seattle hosted a World’s Fair. The Seattle Center was built for the fair. Today Seattle continues to be well-known for the Space Needle, that was built in those days.
Seattle suffered again in the mid 1970s when Boeing cut its workforce. However, at the end of the 20th century information technology brought new successfulness to Seattle.
Seattle grew rapidly in the late 20th century. The Columbia Center was built in 1985 and Westlake Center opened in 1988. The Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center opened in 1998. Benaroya Hall also opened in 1998. So did Pacific Place Shopping Center.
The Experience Music Project Museum was founded in 2000. Central Library was built in 2004. It was designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. The Olympic Sculpture Park opened in 2007.
Today Seattle is a flourishing city.
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