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Seattle Travel Guide, Washington

Named after the Native American Chief Sealth, Seattle has a magnificent setting for a city with Lake Washington behind, the snowy peak of Mount Rainier in the distance and the shore of Elliott Bay at its feet.

As you fly or drive into the city, one of the first things you might notice is its profile with modern skyline of glass skyscrapers, a mark of three decades of urban development.

There are some companies that helped the city’s development. One of them is the Boeing airline corporation booming during World War II and employing one in five of Seattle's workforce by the 1960s and the prosperity the internet shopping site has brought to the city is also obvious. There is an array of nationally acclaimed arts scene with vibrant movie and music industries, a flood of coffee houses, cafés, bars and excellent seafood restaurants.

Due to this development, Seattle is now considered a desirable place to live, attracting migrants across the social and economic spectrum, which has led to both exponential growth and increasing traffic jams. Nevertheless Seattle has a pleasantly down-to-earth ambience and the city's neighborhoods remain distinctive.

Have a stroll along the more touristy waterfront to enjoy the view of the city and then check out the many attractions this lively city has to offer. Downtown are the busy stalls and cafés of Pike Place Market, cultural institutions and carnival rides, the city's latest draw: the Experience Music Project and the restored nineteenth-century Pioneer Square, lined with restaurants and taverns. But downtown is not the only area where you can have fun. There are Capitol Hill’s cafés and bars, the heart of the city's gay scene, and the University District, a student suburb that offers its own special brand of nightlife adventure.

You could also hit the beaches for the additional fun and romance of a night gazing and playing at the ocean or go for a chat with your friends next to the excellent selection of micro brewed beers the city’s many pubs offer. Seattle boasts an The Pike Pub & Brewery, 1415 First Ave, and Pyramid Brewery & Ale House, 1201 First Ave S, both make unique hand-crafted brews, and the Irish pubs Kells, 1916 Post Alley, and Tir na nog, 801 First Ave, serve fine pints of Guinness plus the usual selection of European ales.

You should keep in mind, though, that the taverns sell beer and wine but not spirits, while bars sell everything but must be attached to a restaurant.

In Seattle's there's a thriving music scene. You could get into about ten different live music venues if you look out for "joint cover nights", or listen to jazz, reggae and blues bands in Pioneer Square at Doc Maynard's, Old Timer's Café and the Central Saloon, but the better-known bands play at the old Moore Theater downtown, or the Seattle Center Arena.

If you’re in for a more refined entertainment, don’t hesitate to go to the Seattle Center which is the base for most of the city's cultural institutions like the Pacific Northwest Ballet or watch a play at Seattle’s numerous theaters.

When it comes to great events, you'll find Bumbershoot, the Seattle Arts Festival that hosts more than 2000 artists from around the world at 25 stages, exhibit halls and performance venues on Labor Day weekend and the Seattle International Film Festival in May.

Whatever your speed and passion, you'll find just the opportunity to kick up your heels, let down your hair, or sit back and relax in Seattle!

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Read our members' reviews about Seattle

  • laciA visit to Seattle, the Emerald City
    review by laci posted more then 30 days ago
    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...
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Read our members' travel tips about Seattle

  • JackieNickerson Street Saloon
    travel tip by Jackie posted more then 30 days ago
    Nickerson is a nice place, perfect example of an urban bar with beer, pool table and a nice patio. Their prices are good and the staff is friendly, but of course, it is not a high class place. I really liked the decoration with all...
  • TorontoguyJulia's Indonesian Kitchen
    travel tip by Torontoguy posted more then 30 days ago
    Julia's Indonesian Kitchen is a great great place with the coziest atmosphere in Seattle. It is run by a family and their specialty is traditional Indonesian cuisine - as the name suggests. :P Prices are good and so is the service....
  • MalikaAsian Art Museum
    travel tip by Malika posted more then 30 days ago
    The art deco building of the museum (built in 1931) fits perfectly into the tranquil environment of Volunteer park and the nearby Olympic Mountains. The museum itself is not very big, but really great. Some of the permanent...
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Seattle City Ratings

  • Rating76%
    City Rank179
  • History & Culture: rated for 60%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 80%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 60%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 85%
  • Food: rated for 80%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 80%
  • Shopping: rated for 70%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 60%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 75%
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