Seattle, Washington

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Seattle, Washington

Welcome to 'The Emerald City' — a blend of laid-back and progressive vibes. As Washington State's largest city, Seattle is not just the home of the iconic Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and Chihuly Garden and Glass, but also the birthplace of grunge and global coffee joints like Starbucks and Tully’s. Forget the rainy reputation; Seattle often outshines it with more sun than you'd expect!

The City

Seattle's charm lies in its blend of metropolitan bustle, idiosyncratic neighborhoods, and a natural playground of lakes and mountains. Here, you can switch from daytime kayaking to a sophisticated night at the opera. Local officials even came up with a new term — metronatural. The city pulses with a relaxed, educated and progressive vibe. Nestled between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Seattle boasts an engaging shoreline: think piers, waterside attractions, and water tours aplenty. The majestic Mount Rainier dominates the city's southeastern skyline on clear days, just 60 miles away. Heading north the same distance, you'll find Mount Baker, one of the world's snowiest locations. Tech plays a significant role in shaping Seattle's culture. It's home to giants like Amazon, Microsoft in nearby Redmond, and Boeing — a major local employer. The aviation theme continues with The Museum of Flight, a crowd-pleaser that showcases the city's aerospace history.

Do & See

A Seattle Double Decker Tour is an easy way to see the best sites of Seattle. Hop on or off at any attraction, or ride the entire loop for a complete tour. A lake cruise will give a uniquely different view of the city and its waters. Some lake tours offer dining options to enjoy while you take in spectacular waterfront views. Or, you can enjoy Seattle from both land and water on a one-of-a-kind Duck Tour aboard a WWII amphibious landing craft. Whichever you choose, a tour is a perfect, family-friendly way to explore the many sights, sounds and attractions of Seattle. In addition to the Space Needle, Seattle's most recognizable landmark, visitors should be sure to include a visit to the world-renowned Seattle Art Museum (called SAM by locals). Popular outdoor activities include whale-watching tours, winery visits and the 270-foot waterfall at Snoqualmie Falls is a shutterbug's delight. Top off any day in Seattle with a wide choice of museums, live music venues and neighborhood coffee shops.


Seattle's dining scene is surprisingly diverse. In addition to the expected Northwestern style seafood restaurants and steakhouses, visitors will find a variety of restaurants with influences from Latin America, Asia, France and other places not normally associated with the Northwest. Many restaurant menus are rooted in fresh seafood, an abundance of small-scale producers, great local wines and an ever-growing pool of talented chefs. Foodies will enjoy the Savor Seattle Food Tour at Pike Place Market. This two-hour walking tour gets behind the scenes to experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of this historic 105-year old landmark. A gourmet restaurant tour and a chocolate tour are also available in the city.


Seattle is home to both Starbucks and Tully's Coffee but these two caffeine-driven powerhouses are not alone in café offerings of the city. Many independent cafés are finding their niche with a wide-variety of coffee roasts and specialty pastries and food items. A short walk in most any direction will bring you quickly to a café to enjoy a unique treat and a cup of Joe. True coffee worshipers should visit the very first Starbucks which opened in 1971 in the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. Because the Market is a historic district with design guidelines, the store retains its original look.

Bars & Nightlife

Seattle has no shortage of local bars and nightclubs that are sure to make any visitor feel like a real native. Blues clubs, British bars, Irish pubs, lounges, dive bars and college bars are just a few of the varieties you will find. Just as Seattle's food scene relishes using local products, their bars show local pride with most having at least a couple of regional and local beers on tap. The city was early to the craft cocktail craze, in which hand-mixed cocktails with fresh juices and garnishes push your typical margarita mix. During the 1980s and early 1990s, a collection of bands from Seattle cultivated a distinct sound commonly known as grunge. A mixture of hard rock, punk and metal, the so-called “Seattle sound” helped foster the contemporary rock movement. Several top grunge bands call Seattle home including Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.


Seattle is home to excellent shopping all over the city with several unique shopping districts including Downtown Seattle, Pioneer Square, Chinatown-International District, University District and Pike Place Market. Downtown Seattle shopping is a square of several blocks with large names such as Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom and Gap. Downtown is also the location of two large malls, Westlake Center Plaza and Pacific Place. Laying claim as the city's "first neighborhood," Pioneer Square is a richly historic place known for its Renaissance Revival architecture, First Thursday art walks, night life and quirky boutiques. The Square runs between the Alaskan Way Viaduct and 4th Avenue, from Columbia Street on the north side to CenturyLink Field on the south side. The Chinatown-International District is a multi-cultural, diverse area to find unique gifts and shops with roots from all over Asia. The district includes Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese and Southeast Asian influence. Just south of Pioneer Square, the eight-block district is within walking distance from Downtown Seattle and Pike Place Market. Located just north of downtown Seattle and close to the University of Washington, the University District, sometimes called U District, offers a unique formula of locally-owned boutiques and signature national retailers. Pike Place Market is Seattle's famous waterfront shopping area that features local produce, fresh fish and an abundance of incredible restaurants.

Tourist Information

When visiting any city in the U.S., make sure to always carry a valid ID with you, and adhere to the traffic regulations that might differ from your own country.