Tucked away in Puget Sound, Seattle is flanked by the Sound on the west and Lake Washington on the east. With all that water about, there are plenty of short ferry trips to islands like Bainbridge and Whidbey, and being a seaport city, plenty of fresh fish is brought in daily.
Places to Visit in Seattle
- Space Needle
- Centurylink Stadium
- University District
- Capitol Hill
- Pike Place Market
Unique Things to See and Do in Seattle
- Check out the disgusting yet oddly intriguing gum wall
- See fisherman throwing fish at the Pike Place Market!
- Find the centre of the universe in Fremont
- Watch a Seattle Seahawks football game
- Dine on some local sushi (freshly caught)
- Photograph the very cool glassworks at Chihuly Garden and Glass
- Ride the Great Wheel at Pier 57
Weave Through Seattle’s Neighbourhoods
Seattle is a great walking city with many neighbourhoods that pull in different crowds.
Staying in the business district. you’ll find yourself in the heart of the downtown core, which is a great central location with very steep hills (which are hard to avoid), office buildings, shopping malls and boutiques, luxury hotels, and the famous Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square.
Pioneer Square is Seattle’s historical district where there has been a resurgence of restoration to the older buildings. The old rustic brick buildings along streets lined with mature trees create a great atmosphere for wandering. There are plenty of newer restaurants mixed in with old 50’s style diners, art galleries, antique shops, and some good underground comedy clubs.
Pike Place Market is the classic market scene featured in films shot in Seattle, so if this is your first time here you’ll have devote a few hours to wander the market and nearby streets. The market itself has two main highlights: the Fisherman’s Market where “the fishermen” hurl slippery fish across the stand to each other. And of course, there is also the very first Starbucks shop across the street, which if you can’t actually see it that’s because there is usually a whole hoard of people standing out front!
Belltown is a constantly evolving community with a youthful atmosphere of nightclubs, great tapas restaurants, and some trendy retail shops. There are some nice boutique hotels in this area which are a bit easier on the pocket book.
Just above Belltown is South Lake Union which is the up and coming hi-tech focused area. In the early 1900’s this area was a manufacturing district known for Bill Boeing’s first airplane factory and the Lake Union Steam Plant – which produced the first Ford Model T on the west coast. As a biotechnology and life sciences hub due to Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. development plans, South Lake Union is becoming a desirable neighbourhood to be in.
Capitol Hill is the neighbourhood for shopping, great new aspiring chefs, coffee shops, live music bars, arts and theatre. The main thoroughfare is Broadway, which forms the commercial heart of the district. Capitol Hill is also known for its large-scale LGBT community. This area also contains some of Seattle’s wealthiest living along “Millionaire’s Row”. If you like architecture then a cruise down this street will show you some older classic styles.
Did you know…?
Fremont is the self-proclaimed center of the universe?
Did you ALSO know…?
Dale Chihuly has won acclaim for his works with displays at Palais du Louvre in Paris, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Royal Botanic Gardens in London, Garfield Observatory in Chicago and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and more!
Navigating Your Way Through Seattle’s Culinary Scene
The weather may be grey and dismal at times, but it doesn’t stop Seattle-ites.
Seattle has a host of fantastic events running all year. You could fill up your trip with checking out the theatre events, seeing operas, watching a football game, buying some of the freshest fish at Pike Place Market, dancing the nights away in Belltown or Capitol Hill, hanging out in live music venues or grabbing coffees just about anywhere. But between every activity, you’ve gotta eat!
At the heart of Seattle’s food scene, which has really exploded in the past ten years, is a culture of farmer’s markets and local shops. Yes, there are many chain restaurants in Seattle, but truly at the heart of this great city is a desire to just eat good food. Oh, and drink good wine and spirits.
Best Time of Year to Travel to Seattle
Rain or no rain? That is the question. Spring time (March to May) has moderate temperatures with a range of 4C to 17C. By May, the rains are calming down and the cherry blossoms are out. This is a great time for cheaper hotels rates and spring sales.
Peak dry time is in the summer months, of course, June, July, and August. But the best time for warm days, lower priced hotels, and some great events is between September and November. Seattle’s comedy festival and Bumbershoot is in September, along with the Jazz Festival that runs from October to mid-November. And of course, the NFL football season starts in September and game days mean the downtown core is electric and the bars and restaurants fill up quickly so get there super early. No really, like 9 am – 10 am!
During the winter it is a bit chilly with temperatures dropping to 0C to 5C. And winters produce the most precipitation (rain!). Seattle’s rain is often a drizzle that barely stops, so break out the umbrella or better yet make sure you have a raincoat with a hood. Skiing is great though if you’re willing to travel out to Mount Si or Mount Rainier. Layer up as the cool damp weather in Seattle often feels even colder for those people coming from dry climates.
Getting Around Seattle
Most of Seattle’s main districts (for tourists) are walkable, especially areas like downtown, Belltown, the waterfront, and Pioneer Square. And getting to downtown from the airport is just a hop on the light-rail system, so driving downtown is not necessary. Seattle is bad for traffic jams on the highways, particularly during rush hour, but for getting to Fremont, the University District, Capitol Hill, or travelling out to Mount Rainier, you’ll need a car.
Ready to plan your visit to Seattle? Check out these popular guides and trips.