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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrConsidered the fastest growing city of the United States, and also the largest city in the pacific northwest of the country, Seattle earns respect through jaw-dropping scenery and hospitable vibes. Nicknamed ‘The Emerald City’, this lush green area draws in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. From fisherman to rising musicians, businessmen to hippies, this city's diversity is only one small fraction of why so many tourists want to call it their new home.
Nestled between two massive mountain ranges, the Olympics and the Cascades, it's only natural that it has no shortage of outdoor activities. For those that don't want to enjoy some of the best hikes in the world (Mount St. Helens) and extreme sports, don't fret. This gem is also home to Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, Nintendo, and thousands of other worldwide businesses that create a unique environment that one can get only from this rainy city.
HistoryAs we rewind time to 4,000 years ago, we see a different geography for the area. In this time period, we saw the earliest ancestors of Seattle. What makes Seattle such a needle in a haystack is that a lot of Washington still holds the culture of its ancestors, the native Americans, creating a vibe where one can marvel at the growing industry of technology and also remain loyal to the city's upbringing in the present. As for Europeans however, it wasn't until the late 1700s (1792) that a westerner had been into this area. George Vancouver charted the northwest of the United States and later had the city of Vancouver, Canada named after him.
However, it wasn't until almost 60 years later in 1851 that we saw the first western colonization of Seattle, when a group of explorers known as the Denny Party settled on land in what is now known as Alki Point. A very popular tourist destination in modern times. The name “Seattle” being given from the Suquamish tribe's Chief Sealth (Seattle). This iconic figure being also famous for his quote, “Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!”
Just like many other cities, it's all been about the minerals one can harvest and the natural resources one can take from the land. So, unsurprisingly, Seattle's history is no different when it comes to why it was developed so quickly. Seattle is a large collection of hills which also explains why its residence don't like to walk very much. This steep landscape was perfect for the lumber industry, where workers would cut down trees and roll them to the bottom of the hill and load them onto trains and trucks for transport.
As we fast forward to World War I, we see the resources being heavily used as it helps create ships, and become one of most important transportation hubs in the United States. This large, booming industry is what helped push Seattle into the large city as it is now. The growing need for people from the copious amount of work led to the creation of the downtown area and blossoming businesses.
As technological advancements grew, and the desire to push the envelope on what can be done in our modern world, such as Boeing and Microsoft, the attraction for work remained and helped create the large mega city that it is today.
Things To DoSeattle draws in so many visitors each year because of an incredibly diverse geographical landscape. The pacific northwest and New Zealand are both known for having such a wide spectrum in weather and activities. One can go from desert to mountains in a matter of hours, if not less. This makes Seattle itself very important seeing that many tourists would stay in Seattle and venture out. Seattle is luckily in-between a bay and a massive lake, creating the ability for one to enjoy water sports as well! One doesn't need to even venture out of the Seattle city limits to enjoy days worth of activities.
To name a few:
Many people will bicycle around Seattle and the dozens of parks. Bicycles are available for rent at locations left and right!
Pike Place Market is a world famous market known for it's fresh seafood and enormous diversity of other foods. From fresh Alaskan salmon to strange fruit, you can find it all in Seattle's Pike Place Market! Conveniently located right in the middle of downtown.
The Space Needle is Seattle's famous panoramic monument, where hundreds of visitors each day marvel at the lush northwest landscape.
Ride the Ducks is a 90-minute tour around Seattle, showcasing the history of the area and being very entertaining for tourists!
Not many people know that modern Seattle is actually built upon an old city that burned down, tours such as the Underworld Tour run almost year-round and are a fun look at the underground and abandoned Seattle.
For those wanting to stay warm in the Seattle rain, check out one of the many museums!
The Experience Music Project is a world famous museum having iconic instruments and memorabilia from Seattle artists like Jimi Hendrix and non-Seattle artists! Well worth checking out.
You also have the Seattle Aquarium, Museum of Flight, and Mohai (History museum) to name a few!
DiningWhen you speak of food in Seattle, you are to be overjoyed with the vast variety of seafood, Americana, and foreign food available to you everywhere. Seattle is known most importantly for seafood and places such as Ivar's. However, for those looking for more upscale dining, take a look at Tom Douglas. World-renowned chef who owns many different restaurants in the Seattle metropolitan area, such as the famous Palace Kitchen.
For those wanting to try foreign foods, South Seattle actually has a very large and historic Chinatown offering very authentic eats at a very reasonable price.
Capitol Hill is located on the upper region of the downtown metropolitan area and is home to many vegan and trendy upscale restaurants that have hybrid cuisines. This area is for those wanting innovative brunches.
ShoppingThe downtown area does have a few select malls with designer items, such as Westlake Center and Pacific Place. If one is to venture onto Capitol Hill, you can find a variety of handmade goods and more street fashion. As you branch out from the city center, you can find that a lot of the places outside that are more dedicated to a relaxed lifestyle than most other major cities. Alternative culture is big in Seattle, so it's no surprise one can find a lot of fashion trends that are off the wall and not so popular outside the state. With the city's love for organic and natural fashion, you can find a lot of unique items walking around.
Towards the waterfront, one can find weird antique shops with unique items that are handcrafted and many of which are created by Native Americans who inhabit the region.
Towards the south of Seattle, one hits Chinatown and can see the blend of American and Asian culture.
LodgingThis city offers many different budgets, from hundreds to under $ 20 USD a night. Budget to extravagant. You can get waterfront views of the beautiful ports and neighboring islands, you can get picturesque landscapes of city life, or even infamous Mount Rainier.
Seattle is not shy when it comes to large expensive hotels. Most notably, you have the Fairmount Olympic Hotel. This hotel has the highest rating in all of Seattle and is on a class of their own, generally around $ 400 USD a night.
One can also stay at the Edgewater Hotel, near the Pike Place Market. This famous hotel has hosted many people from the Beatles to Led Zeppelin.
However, for those on a budget, Seattle sees many different budget sleeps. A popular among backpackers is The Green Tortoise, running around $ 20 USD or less a night. This backpacker dormitory is perfect for parties and relaxing, while mingling with locals and other travelers.
Get Around and out of Seattle and the rest of WashingtonSeattle is very well connected by a public transportation system. Although it's not large enough to need a underground train, it does have a small monorail that goes from the Space Needle to the city center and back. It also has a very extensive bus route system that makes it easy to get anywhere, but lacks late-night buses. Sometimes, you'll need to call a cab. Parking is expensive in Seattle, so be warned!
Seattle also has many train stations and bus stations for those without their own vehicle trying to escape the busy city.
Sea-Tac International Airport is only 30 minutes or less with no traffic from the city center!
Also has a Light-Rail link that connects the two and other destinations from downtown.
SafetyThough Seattle has a very large population, the crime rate in the city center is relatively low. As one ventures into the outskirts of Seattle, please be aware that crime rate does get considerably higher. Areas near the airport and the south of Seattle do indeed have a much higher amount of gang activity and drug problems. Be weary when walking around at night, if having to do so please do so in pairs or more. Seattle still is generally safer than most for a large city. Call 911 if it's an emergency. Response is very quick.
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Author: ChaseHunter. Last updated: Mar 03, 2015