Seattle is much more than the coffee capital of the world. Seattle offers the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, views of the Puget Sound, the Olympic mountain range and the majestic Mount Ranier. Nick named the "The Emerald City" because of its natural beauty, Seattle is one of the most memorable cities in the world. Surrounded by lakes, rivers, Puget Sound, and mountains, Seattle is a recreation enthusiast's dream that offers endless opportunities to experience the great outdoors. In addition to the outdoor recreational activities Seattle offers the city lover a major metropolitan area that will surely pamper and spoil you. Seattle offers a memorable visit, with opportunities to golf, sail, ski, kayak, camp and hike, as well as urban pleasures like world-class restaurants, stylish shopping, luxury hotels and vibrant nightlife with a music scene that other cities just can't match.
Known for being the home of the Starbucks, the Space Needle, Microsoft, Nintendo, Boeing, Nordstrom, Amazon.com and Costco, Seattle is also home to some of the world’s wealthiest people with the likes of Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Seattle ranks among the most livable cities in the country because it offers its residents and visitors a picturesque beauty with the surrounding lakes and mountains, clean fresh air, and distinctive neighborhoods that have their own personalities and quirks.
Although the city has a reputation for rain it actually receives less than 36 inches annually, much less than other major U.S. cities. But just in case keep that umbrella handy or just step into a local cafe and have a coffee until the drizzle passes. Seattle is a major U.S. port, closest to Pacific Rim nations and a major trade center. The city is also home to many of the world’s largest high tech and bio technology industries.
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The Seattle area was occupied the Duwamish Tribe when settlers first arrived to the area. Settlers from the Denny party made the area there home, and on May 23, 1853 plats for the village were filed. Seattle is named after a chief of the local Suquamish Native American tribe, Noah Sealth. Chief Sealth was one of the founders of the city and in 1855, a legal land settlement was established and the city was incorporated in 1865, and again in 1869.
Built almost entirely of wood, the young city was destroyed in 1889 when a painter's glue pot boiled over and started the Great Seattle Fire. Seattle was soon rebuilt on top of the old Seattle using more stone, iron and concrete. Today you can take tours of old Seattle. Rapid growth followed the 1897 Klondike gold rush, for which the city served as a starting point. Seattle's population increased sixfold 1890-1910; tide flats were filled and steep slopes were leveled to create more livable areas. By 1893 the first transcontinental railroad had reached Seattle and a maritime trade had been established. In 1909 the city was host to its first world's fair, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition; the University of Washington now occupies the site.
Much of modern Seattle began in 1962 with the Century 21 Exposition, the last U.S. World's Fair to turn a profit. In addition to creating the Space Needle, the Seattle Center, the Coliseum and other city landmarks, the fair prompted the further development of parks, roads and transportation systems. With development and the preservation of the natural surroundings in mind modern Seattle was formed.
The area code for the City of Seattle is 206. Surrounding areas use area codes 425, 253, and 360. All of Washington east of the Cascade Mountain range uses the 509 area code.
Free Wi-Fi can be found at all Seattle Public libraries, and is available to users with Wi-Fi enabled laptops and wireless devices. The City of Seattle provides free Wi-Fi access in the Columbia City and University District areas as part of a pilot project. The project also provides coverage in four downtown Seattle parks: Occidental, Freeway, Westlake and Victor Steinbrueck, as well as the City Hall lobby area. There are various internet cafes in the Seattle area, especially in the University District and the Downtown neighborhoods. Additionally, many coffee shops offer free and paid wireless access (all Starbucks locations offer T-Mobile internet access points).
NEW YORK - Hotel developer Hank Freid has purchased the two-and-half-star Portland Square Hotel, at 132 west 47th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues, in New York City, with plans to turn it into a four-star boutique, luxury property called Sanctuary.
Seattle Art Museum Downtown
1300 First Avenue
Seattle Asian Art Museum
1400 East Prospect Street
Olympic Sculpture Park
2901 Western Avenue
The Museum of Flight
9404 East Marginal Way South
Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center
2205 Alaskan Way, Pier 66
Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture
University of Washington
Nordic Heritage Museum
3014 NW 67th Street
Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum
5917 South 196th Street
Seattle Childrens Museum
305 Harrison Street
Seattle's Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)
2700 24th Ave East
Seattle, WA lady is awsome
There is plenty to do in the Seattle area, the city has wildlife parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, sports, cruises, beaches, cultural events, ferries, outdoor recreation, and kids activities. Here are a few places and activities you can find in Seattle.
The Space Needle
Seattle Center, 400 Broad St.
Pike Place Market
Between First Ave. and Western, from Pike to Virginia streets
Traveling by ferry is much more than a means of transportation. Views of the Olympic and Cascade mountains, the Seattle cityscape and the green shorelines will draw you out onto the deck to feel the salt breeze on your face.
The Seattle Waterfront
Piers 52 to 70 on Alaskan Way
Woodland Park Zoo
South Gate: 750 N. 50th St
Bill Speidel's Underground Tour
608 First Ave.
The Seattle Public Library
1000 Fourth Ave.
Designed by world-renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, the award-winning glass and steel structure of the new Central Library makes the building seem a little off.
A short, narrated cruise takes you to an island village, where you'll feast on salmon cooked in the authentic Native American way.
Ride the Ducks of Seattle
516 Broad St, Seattle
Tour Seattle by land and water on a WWII amphibious landing craft.
THE SEATTLE AQUARIUM
Pier 59, Waterfront Park
Seattle, WA 98101
325 5th Ave North, Seattle
Experience Music Project / Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP|SFM) is located in the landmark Frank Gehry building at the Base of the Space Needle
Seattle Center is located at:
305 Harrison Street
Seattle, WA 98109
Pacific Science Center
200 Second Avenue North
Seattle, Washington 98109
Are you looking for a reasonably priced hotel in Seattle during the summer. There is still hope and place to stay for under $200. Top choices for a cheap stay include the Sixth Avenue Motor Inn, Days Inn, Ramada Inn, and the Moore Hotel. At the high end you have The Inn at the Market, the Hotel 1000, the Grand Hyatt and the Fairmont Olympic are favorites in this category.
There are three main hotel districts within the city. The main area of downtown is the Pike, Pine corridor bordered approximately by 1st to 8th ave and from Pine to James street. All the main national hotel chains are congregated in this general area. Westin, Sheraton, Grand Hyatt, Pike St. Suites, Paramount, Red Lion, Hilton, Crown Plaza among others would be in prime areas for shopping and sightseeing, there are also some other services available like Childrens bedding facilities.
A newer area with many hotels are South Lk Union. This area is rapidly growing and on the "fringe" of downtown, however a new streetcar line connects it to downtown and most hotels in this area provide shuttles. Hotels in this area have easier parking but a little harder to walk out your front door and be in the heart of things. Hotels in this area include: Marriott Courtyard, Marriott Residence Inn, Silver Cloud Inn and Pan Pacific among others.
The third main areas for hotels and motels would be the area concentrated around the Space Needle and Seattle Center. This is a good area for families and many shops and attractions are a short walk away. Buses into downtown are very easy to access and the monorail is also an option. Main hotels in this area would include Hampton Inn, Comfort Suites, Best Western Executive Inn amongst others.
Price being no object here are the top reviewed hotels in the Seattle area;
1007 First Ave. (Madison St. )
Seattle, WA 98104
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle
411 University St. (Fourth Ave.)
Seattle, WA 98101
Four Seasons Hotel, Seattle
99 Union Street (1st Ave.)
Seattle, WA 98101
Grand Hyatt Seattle
721 Pine St. (Seventh Ave.)
Seattle, WA 98101
620 Stewart Street
Seattle, WA 98101
1101 Fourth Ave. (Spring St.)
Seattle, WA 98101
Inn at the Market
Pike Place Market
86 Pine St. (First Ave.)
Seattle, WA 98101
900 Madison St. (Terry St.)
Seattle, WA 98104
Parks and gardens
Seattle's parks and gardens are beautiful any time of the year. Need a place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the city, grab a bench and listen to the birds.
Alki Beach Park (West Seattle)
Its water may be nippy but Alki Beach Park is hands down one of Seattle's hottest places to hang out.
Discovery Park (Magnolia / Interbay)
Discovery Park offers more than just a slice of nature at 534 acres.
Gas Works Park (Eastlake / Lake Union)
formerly a refinery in which coal and oil were turned into gas, Gas Works Park is easily the strangest park in Seattle, and may rank among the strangest in the world.
Green Lake Park (Green Lake)
A recreation hub for the entire city, this freshwater lake park has it all, including a popular 2.8-mile paved path around the lake's edge.
Golden Gardens Park (Ballard / Crown Hill)
Located in Ballard along the shores of Puget Sound, you'll find a wonderful view of the Olympic Mountains while you walk barefoot in the sand at this park.
Myrtle Edwards Park (Downtown)
Just north of Pier 70, this Elliott Bay waterfront park is a mid-day running/walking mecca for many downtown professionals.
Sand Point Magnuson Park (Sand Point / Wedgwood)
Northeast of Seattle past the University District, this multi-recreational 350-acre park is a destination for many.
Seward Park (Columbia City / Rainier Valley)
A peninsula jutting into south Lake Washington creates this 299-acre park with swimming beach, hiking trails and more.
Volunteer Park Conservatory (Capitol Hill)
From exotic to prickly, flowers and plants thrive year-round in the five separate greenhouses located within Volunteer Park.
Carl S. English, Jr., Botanical Gardens (Ballard / Crown Hill)
Revel in this park's 500 species and 1,500 varieties of plants and flowers, or picnic under the shade of a Midwestern buckeye with fragrant flowers.
The Japanese Garden (University District / Montlake)
Best visited in the spring when it's awash in cherry blossoms, this 3.5-acre formal garden is located within the Washington Park Arboretum.
Kubota Garden (South Seattle)
A blissful blend of Japanese design mixes with native Northwest plants to create a stunning 20-acre setting south of Seattle.
Volunteer Park (Capitol Hill)
Stately and esteemed, Volunteer Park is home to green lawns, a classic conservatory and the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
Washington Park Arboretum (University District / Montlake)
Eye-popping blooms and leaves wash this tranquil park in color and fresh fragrance throughout the year.
Where to shop
Seattle offers excellent shopping all over the city, including downtown, Fremont, the International District, Pike Place or the University District. 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 Westlake Center Plaza and Pacific Place, both large malls with various shops and eateries. The International District is south of Pioneer Square and offers eight blocks of prime shopping.
Downtown Seattle Shopping
Seneca and 4th Ave., Seattle
First Hill Shopping
Madison and Boren Ave., Seattle
International District Shopping
Maynard Ave. & Weller St., Seattle
Pike Place Market Shopping
Pike Place and 1st Ave., Seattle
Pioneer Square Shopping
Yesler and 1st Ave., Seattle
Queen Anne Shopping
Queen Anne and West Dravus, Seattle
University District Shopping
University Way NE & NE 45th St., Seattle
Seattle area eateries offer a wide range of variety and prices. The Seattle area offers something for everybody, you may be in the mood for a cup of Ivars chowder while you feed seagulls your french fries, or a nine course meal fit for royalty at the Herbfarm, or somewhere in between you will find what you are craving.
While there are far too many restaurants to list, here are a few Seattle favorites and a couple that are being talked about on the Seattle food scene. Enjoy.
Salty's on Alki (206) 937-1600 1936 Harbor Ave S.W., Seattle
Poppy (206) 324-1108 Capitol Hill 622 Broadway E Seattle
Anthony's Pier 66 (206)448-6688 2201 Alaskan Way, Seattle
Cascina Spinasse (206) 251-7673 Capitol Hill 1531 14th Ave Seattle
Corson Building (206) 762-3330 Georgetown 5609 Corson Ave S Seattle
Canlis Restaurant (206) 283-3313 2576 Aurora Ave. N., Seattle
Spur Gastropub (206) 728-6706 Belltown 113 Blanchard St Seattle
Anita's Crpes (206) 838-9997 Ballard 4350 Leary Way NW Seattle
Spring Hill (206) 935-1075 West Seattle 4437 California Ave SW Seattle
Kushibar Belltown 2319 2nd Ave Seattle
ART (Four Seasons) (206) 749-7000 Downtown 99 Union St Seattle
Olivar (206) 322-0409 Capitol Hill 806 E Roy St Seattle
Juno (206) 631-8080 Downtown 700 3rd Ave Seattle
Seattle bars/nightlife and Music
Are you looking for a national touring act, a stiff drink, or the next big thing, then you are in the right city. Seattle offers them all from the biggest names in music, or the next big name in music, you can listen in while you sip your favorite drink. Here are a few of Seattle's favorites.
601 1st Avenue, Seattle
207 First Ave. S, Seattle
Dimitriou's Jazz Alley
2033 6th Ave, Seattle
11 Roy Street, Seattle,
Showbox at the Market
1426 First Ave, Seattle
Clever Dunne's Irish House
1501 East Olive Way, Seattle
5213 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle
513 N. 36th St., Seattle
109 S Washington St, Seattle, WA
Howl At The Moon
315 2nd Ave. S, Seattle
110 S Horton St, Seattle
Bad Juju Lounge
1425 10th Ave., Seattle
Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant
801 First Ave, Seattle
Liquid Lounge at EMP
325 5th Ave. N, Seattle
1325 E Madison St, Seattle
925 East Pike St., Seattle
Tourist and Traveler Information Centers
Seattle Visitor Center & Concierge Services located at The Washington State Convention and Trade Center, in Downtown Seattle on Pike Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, on the lobby level. The Seattle Convention and Visitor's Bureau can help you find and book attraction and event tickets, accommodations, restaurant reservations, personal services and more. Winter Hours: Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm, closed weekends. Summer Hours: Memorial Day - Labor Day, Monday - Friday 9am to 6pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am - 5pm
Contact: email@example.com or 206-461-5888.
State of Washington Visitor Information Desk located at Sea-Tac Airport, located in the Main Terminal, Baggage Claim level, across from Carousel 11. Hours: Open daily, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Contact: 206-433-5218
Outside Recreation Information Center located inside the REI store, 2nd floor, at 222 Yale Avenue North. Provides information on United States Forest Service and Park Service lands throughout Washington, along with Washington State Park and Department of Natural Resources lands, hiking trails, campgrounds, and backcountry access. Fall/Winter Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Spring/Summer Hours: Monday through Sunday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Arriving into Seattle
Arriving by Plane
If you arrive by plane at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SeaTac) there are many shuttle buses that can take you to Seattle and elsewhere in the region. Rental cars, taxis, limos, and public transportation is also readily available. If you are driving from the airport to downtown Seattle, start going towards the AIRPORT EXIT on NORTH EXIT WAY, take the WA-518 EAST ramp, merge on WA-518 EAST, take the I-5 NORTH EXIT, merge on I-5 NORTH and head north for 10 miles. There are several downtown exits, exit 165 will take you to Seneca Street, if you take exit 167 and follow the SEATTLE CENTER signs, this forex will take you to the Seattle Center and the Space Needle. Light rail service to Sea-Tac Airport is scheduled to start in late 2009, in time for the 2010 Olympics. Trains will run all day from a new SeaTac/Airport Station to Downtown Seattle.
Arriving and Traveling by Boat/Ferry
Norwegian Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises depart from the Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal at Pier 66. Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean homeport at the Terminal 30 Cruise Facility. There are bus, taxi and shuttle connections at both piers to get you to your Seattle destination.
The Washington State Ferry runs ferries from the Colman Dock (Pier 52) and also from Pier 50 just to the south, on the waterfront, to destinations such as Bainbridge Island, Bremerton and Vashon Island, with more connections to other destinations all around Puget Sound. There are street connections to taxis and buses just outside the Colman Dock ferry terminal. The Washington State Ferries to Bainbridge Island and Bremerton take both auto and walk-on passengers, and the Vashon Island ferry is for walk-on passengers only. A website link to Washington State ferry schedule is http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/
Other ferry and boat services along the waterfront include the Elliott Bay Water Taxi, that runs between May and September each year from Seattle to West Seattle, Argosy Cruises, offering many different leisure cruises from Piers 55 and 56 on the waterfront, and the Victoria Clipper, with popular runs to the San Juan Islands and Victoria, B.C. from Pier 69 on the waterfront.
Arriving and Traveling by Train/Rail/Bus
Amtrak provides service from all along the west coast. The Amtrak Cascades runs three trains a day between Seattle and Portland (two run between Seattle and Eugene, Oregon, via Portland). Trains stop at King Street Station, which is located just south of downtown, near Safeco Field. Sound Transit also operates a rail/bus system around the region, including a commuter train between Seattle and Tacoma.
Cross country buses are mainly provided by Greyhound Bus Line, which has a bus terminal northeast of downtown Seattle. Gray Line Tours is a major regional bus line that provides many leisure bus tours. Metro Transit is the local bus line in the Seattle area that has stops throughout downtown Seattle.
Banking and Money
In the United States, the US Dollar is the unit of currency. Notes are in denominations of $100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Credit cards and travelers checks are widely accepted in the United States. There are currency exchange stores, who specialize in currency exchange and may have a wider range of currencies available for exchange. The Seattle Tacoma International Airport has several currency exchange kiosk available. You can find current exchange rates at http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Currency exchanges in Seattle.
Chartered Forex Inc.
4501 15th Ave S Ste 104
Seattle, WA 98108
Custom House Global Foreign Exchange
810 3rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
L B C Mabuhay USA Corporation
2000 23rd Ave S Ste Ds
Seattle, WA 98144
17801 International Blvd
Seattle, WA 98158
Travelex Currency Exchange
400 Pine St
Seattle, WA 98101
Travelex Currency Services
Sea Tac International Airpor
Seattle, WA 98101
Weather and climate
Seattle is known for its rainy, gray weather but the weather is actually very mild and the city receives much less rain than many other major U.S. cities such as New York. A yearly average precipitation of around 37 inches with the heaviest rain periods between January and May, and between October and December. June, July and August are the dryest and warmest months. Temperatures in the summer usually hover around 75 degrees, and occasionally Seattle will have a heat wave in the high 80s or low 90s.
During the winter Seattle may see a handful of snow days per year but it rarely accumulates in the city of Seattle. Surrounding highlands may have some accumulation of 1 to 5 inches but overall snow fall is very limited. On the rare occasions when snow accumulates the city will come to a screeching stand still until the roads are cleared or the rains return. For the most part, winters in Seattle are wet and chilly. The best way to prepare for a visit to Seattle during the winter is to layer your clothing. Seattle weather is unpredictable and it can be sunny and dry, windy and wet all on the same day.
Plugs and outlet standards
North America generally uses 120 voltage (60 HZ). Outlet sockets use either a Type A plug, a class II ungrounded plug with two flat parallel prongs, or a Type B plug, a class I plug with two flat parallel prongs and a grounding pin.
Geography and time zone
The City of Seattle is located in the State of Washington on Puget Sound, 113 miles south of the U.S. Canadian border. The city is located at sea level with the highest hill at 520 feet. Seattle is very hilly, seven hills that will give the average visitor a brisk climb when exploring the city. The Seattle shoreline runs along Puget Sound to the west, and Lake Washington to the east.
Lake Washington Ship Canal is an east/west running waterway that divides the city into northern and southern sections. Lake Union is a 580 acre freshwater lake that is part of the Lake Washington Ship Canal system, located in the middle of the city, just to the west of Interstate five.
Seattle street system
The topography of the city is very hilly, being built on seven adjacent hills the city street system is generally laid out in a grid pattern. It is full of streets that wind and curve and run at angles to one another. The early founders of the city did not agree on how to lay out the street plats in the downtown area. The result is a city with streets that often come together at odd angles. When driving this little quirk can be very confusing and it is best to have a city street map with you. The city is surrounded by bodies of water, Lake Washington to the east and Puget Sound to the west, and divided by the Lake Washington Ship Canal which runs east to west. City streets that run north to south are labeled "Avenues", and east to west running streets are labeled "Streets". Most of the streets that tend to wind and curve, or run diagonally to the gridded streets, are labeled "Boulevard", "Road", and "Place".