A visit to Seattle, the Emerald City, Washington
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Seattle is also known as the Emerald City. This is the result of a nickname-seeking contest held in 1982. Before this, it was called the Queen City of the Northwest. In the early 1960s it was also called Jet City because of its relations with the Boeing aerospace corporation.
Its climate is marine west coast, but with some characteristics of a Mediterranean climate. The summers are dry and the winters wet. The annual average temperature is between 16 and 7 °C. The town earned one more nickname - Rain City - due to the fact that over 200 days a year it is cloudy and rainfalls occur relatively frequent. Despite this the annul precipitation is low.
The final structure, which Seattle has today, was only reached in 1954, when two remaining streets were annexed to the city. Many of the districts that these days are in Seattle were separate settlements. Because of this, the city was called by the mayor “a city of neighborhoods”. These districts kept many of their own habits: there are many street fairs and parades during the summer months. Also many of these districts hold weekly farmers’ markets. Some of these feasts can draw up to 100,000 visitors over a weekend.
Probably the city’s most recognizable landmark is the Space Needle, which is featured in many television shows like Frasier or Grey’s Anatomy. The area surrounding the needle is today the Seattle Center. Many real tourist attractions can be found here, like the International Fountain. This was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. Maybe the most known attraction here is the Experience Music Project, which was raised thanks to Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft. The main room, the Sky Church, pays homage to rock legend Jimi Hendrix. This building has a unique and special exterior thanks to the excessive use of sheet-metal and the designers wild imagination. The Seattle Center Monorail also runs through the EMP. Seattle is also home of two IMAX theaters, among very few other cities having more then one, situated in the Pacific Science Center.
There are six major feasts held in the city. One of these is the Bumbershoot, which is the largest music and art festival in the US. Another nation wide popular festival is the Winterfest, which incorporates more festivals, like cultural tradition feast of puppet show for children and adults.
A very important fact about the city is that the National Register of Historic Places – which is the government’s official list including places, buildings and objects worthy for preservations – has around 150 places from Seattle. Seattle is a real music capital of America, giving birth to the grunge music, through acts like Nirvana, The Foo Fighters or Pearl Jam. The fact that Jimi Hendrix was born here makes Seattle a must for any true rock’n’roll fan.
If we take only the number of ocean liners which visited the city in 2007 it’s clear that Seattle is very popular among tourists. Nearly 750,000 visitors were brought to Seattle by two hundred cruise ships. Moreover, many more arrived by car and by air, or any other means of transport.
The city is the home of the 24-day Seattle International Film Festival, which is the largest film festival in the US. Generally takes place at the end of May and the first half of June, and it has its roots from 1976. In addition, numerous Seafair events contributed to make Seattle a very desirable vacation spot. Many expos are held during the year, including book, anime or arcade-game expositions. Zoo and aquarium is also present, while the Seattle Underground tour really makes the city an interesting place to visit.
Just like many other larger cities in the US and around the world, Seattle, is the home of several sport teams. Emerald City has its own football team (Seahawks) playing in the NFL, baseball team (Mariners) present in the MLB or basketball team (SuperSonics) which is familiar for any NBA fan. However, not only these clubs make Seattle present on sporting events but its hockey team (Thunderbirds). Even two soccer clubs operate here. So you can like any sport you surely going to find a match for your taste. The Seattle Metropolitans as an American team first won even the fist Stanly Cup – an international club trophy. For more active sport fans, Seattle gives the opportunity to try themselves in cycling, boating, hiking or even skiing. Kayaking can also be tried at one of the three perfect places the city has.
Whatever you may like from cultural events through sports or rock concerts you will definitely find it in Seattle, making this way the city a great place to spend your holiday.
Things about Seattle you may be interested in
Read about Seattle in our travel-guide
Recommended Seattle Guide
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