Seattle - Welcome to the Emerald City
Americans love to rate things. On a scale from one to 10 or five stars or two thumbs up, ranking items so that one can score higher than another, and thus become more desirable, is a way of life. So to rate a city, one would surely need to consider whether it has a diverse yet blended culture, easygoing people, numerous and appealing activities, and a unique and unforgettable charm.
With all these factors heavily weighed, no city scores higher than Seattle.
The crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle is wondrous collection of places, ideas and cultures, ideally located with mountains hovering in the distance and various bodies of water, each with a unique personality, waiting at the end of every city street. So grab you best mate and your most fun gal pal and trek off to the Emerald City, for this is one trip you should not tackle alone.
With so many unique places and activities waiting in Seattle, it's wise to have a game plan before your plane's tires touch the runway. Enlist the aid of a travel agent to navigate you through the options and handle the details, leaving you with an itinerary packed with the best Seattle has to offer both inside the city walls and out into the Washington wilderness.
At the bull's-eye of every Seattle itinerary is the Space Needle, the widely recognized symbol of the city. The Needle is just one of the many attractions inside the Seattle Center, a 74-acre urban park in downtown Seattle created for the 1962 World's Fair. You'll want to visit the Needle's observation deck, 520 feet high, first thing, to get your bearings straight.
From up high you can see the home fields of Seattle's popular sports teams, the Mariners, Seahawks and SuperSonics, amid fabulous views of Puget Sound, Mount Rainier, the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges and, of course, the beautiful city. With a Day & Night ticket, come back after a fabulous dinner and a latte nightcap to see the city lights illuminated for a view to remember.
You won't have to walk far for your next uniquely Seattle experience. Also inside the Seattle Center is the Experience Music Project, an interactive music museum combining hands-on encounters with interpretive exhibits tracing the evolution of American music. The unique, and I mean unique, building houses state-of-the-art technology, a world-class collection of artifacts, a dynamic ride-like experience and exciting multimedia presentations, making Experience Music Project the first institution of its kind in the world.
Next travel from the city's heart to its soul. The Pike Place Market, regarded as Seattle's "soul," is the nation's oldest continually working farmer's market and an open-air celebration of regional fruits and flowers, cheeses and seafood. Try your hand at fish catching or drop a quarter into Rachel, the bronze piggy bank that's been guarding the streets for almost 20 years.
A few steps away from the intoxicating scent of the market's catch of the day is the Seattle Aquarium, a popular dive sporting world-class exhibits and a unique underwater viewing dome where you can stare up at the colorful bellies of passing fish and other exotic marine life. Need to be closer to the action? Then walk right off the shore and scuba dive in Elliot Bay to catch a glimpse of the world's largest species of octopus. Just don't get too close, octopi enjoy their privacy.
Seattle is a water town, with lakes to its north and east and Puget Sound and the Pacific to the west. Enjoy these waters like a playful porpoise by boating on Lake Washington, kayaking on Lake Union or cruising Elliot Bay at sunset with the Olympic Mountains outlined in jagged profile against the horizon. You'll be amazed at how mountains in the distance can invigorate your every step.
For a taste of adventure further out, take the Washington State ferry or have your travel agent charter a private boat to explore the amazing islands located in Puget Sound and northward into Canada. From the central islands of Vashon, Bainbridge and Whidbey to the spectacular San Juan Islands, each isle provides a distinctive playground for all adventurers rain or shine.
But, of course, you've heard that the sun never shines, right? As the old joke goes, Seattleites don't tan, they rust. But even though Seattle is not known for its high rate of sunshine, its people are some of the most outgoing and outdoorsy in the nation. And once you set foot in this city with a thousand recreational and cultural opportunities, you'll soon see why.
Exciting, energetic and eclectic—Seattle is the kind of town that leaves your soul humming. Consult your friendly neighborhood travel agent to plan the perfect Seattle adventure for you and a friend, from finding an inexpensive hotel steps away from the action to booking your tickets for the Mariners game in advance, leaving you with nothing but high expectations.
The Emerald City, surround yourself with dazzling charm.
Click here to find a professional travel agent to introduce you to legendary Seattle.
SEATTLE FESTIVALS & EVENTS
Seattle Roadster Show — February
Quilters Anonymous Annual Quilt Show — March
Whirligig! — March (annual carnival)
Chinese Book Expo — April
Seattle International Film Festival — May
Fremont Fair — June
Marysville Strawberry Festival — June
Slugfest — June
Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival — July
Seattle Hempfest — August
Kent Canterbury Faire — August
Aki Matsuri Fall Festival — September
Pumpkin Prowl — October