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Seattle Travel Guide

Seattle, the Space Needle and Seattle Center, Washington, USA

Seattle, the Space Needle and Seattle Center, Washington, USA

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Why Travel to Seattle?

Seattle, Washington state, in the Pacific north-west, is a green and cultured place, home to the most successful high technology industry in the world, so the ambience generally is young, vibrant and high on money, art and caffeine though it still rocks to grunge and boasts Jimi Hendrix as a favourite musical export.
The city is situated in a very scenic, watery, rocky region with mountainous views and is surrounded by countless outdoor activity possibilities as well as being just 113 miles south of Canada if you are looking for a double-country experience.

- The city's quite conservative and lacks dramatic architecture or iconic sights compared to its Californian cousins, San Francisco and LA.
- Seattle is built on seven hills with endless bridges and confusing street addresses so it's far from a paradise for walkers, even without depressing weather news or traffic jams.
- Seattle statistically enjoys just 58 days of clear sunshine a year.


Funny thing this Seattle rain. Not a whole lot of it, but it sure takes a long time to come down, R.L.Walker.


Seattle from across the lake, USA


Best: June-September for least rain, except for winter sports October-February; head east of the mountains for flowers in April-May.
Worst: January-May, October-December for rain/drizzle/sleet/drizzle/downpours/drizzle/damp/drizzle.



Main Attractions

Frank Gehry's EMPISFM Museum

Frank Gehry's EMPISFM Museum

Seattle Center: the cultural heart of the city, where you can climb the Space Needle for panoramic views or dining, ride the monorail and goggle at the visual feasts of the Pacific Science Center and the musical/SF ones in the (deep breath) 'Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame' (EMPISFM).

'U' District: the university district for campus life and Washington Park Arboretum for plant life.

Capitol Hill: Volunteer Park for the Victorian glasshouse; Asian Art Museum; the Henry Art Gallery and Burke Museum for Native American objects.

Pioneer Square: where it all started - the Klondike Gold Rush Historic Park and totem pole filled Occidental Park will tell you all about it.


Arts and Culture
Museums and Galleries: Seattle Art Museum, Burke Museum (native artifacts) and Henry Art Gallery.

Classical Music and Dance: Seattle Symphony Orchestra at Benaroya Concert Hall, Downtown; Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet at the Opera House, Seattle Center.

Nightlife and Entertainment: plenty of live music venues and clubs catering for all sorts.


Getting Around
Although Seattle is a green, clean city, the street system is a hilly, jumbly nightmare for tourist walkers or and cyclists, though Metro Transit encourages bikers with secure parking at some transit stops, and bike racks on most buses.

However there are efficient, public transport systems available, such as the Seattle Center Monorail ( quick links from downtown to Seattle Center), and SoundTransit's buses, commuter trains and the new light rail service.


A Seattle catering truck, USA

A Seattle catering truck (specialising in pork, it seems)

Generally good and of many kinds, but sea food in particular.
Head Downtown to Belltown for the most exclusive city nosh, Pike Square Market for fresh sea critters, and the International District for Asian.


Festivals and Parades Jan-Feb, Chinese New Year, International District.
May, Northwest Folklife Festival, International District.
July-Aug, Seafair.
September, Bumbershoot, International District.


Short Trips
Bainbridge Island: by ferry to see Seattle from a watery perspective.
Tacoma: worth a day to see the impressive Union Station and visit museums.
Also: Olympic National Park, Mt Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, San Juan Islands - see Pacific Northwest Travel



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