Seattle Washington. Surrounded by water held at bay by islands and mountains, the seven hills of the Emerald City display the jewels of a million sparkling rain drops. When the sun shines to reveal her spectacular silvery sheen, Seattle can be seen stretching out her long arms to embrace blue sky and water brushed by soft clouds, firs and ferns.
From Seattle's history sprang the establishment of incredible museums, indescribable art displays, exquisite parks, and intriguing neighborhoods with unbeatable city, water and mountain views, along with all their delectable restaurants, cafes and bars.
And, of course, enterprise, Seattle Washington being the home of Starbucks, Amazon, Eddie Bauer, REI, Nintendo, and Microsoft.
Population of Seattle WA
As of 2015, 684,451 people call Seattle home. This is up from the 2010 census figure of 608,660.
Seattle Music Scene
While musicians have come and gone throughout the years, music has always played a big role in the culture and fabric of Seattle Washington. Could it be the rainy weather and short days of winter drive folks to drink and song? Nevertheless, those involved in the local music community believe in supporting each other and providing resources of all kinds to further each other's careers.
This may be why hundreds of musicians came from, or call Seattle home. There are so many that we will name-drop just a few: Dave Matthews, Heart, Foo Fighters, Jimi Hendrix, Judy Collins, Kenny G, Kenny Loggins, Nirvana, Pearl Jam.
And don't forget that it was Seattle that launched Ray Charles from the Rocking Chair into his amazing career.
Scholastic endeavors rank high in Seattle. There's the University of Washington, or U-Dub, as it is affectionately nicknamed, with its #1 ranked training hospital - Harborview Medical Center. There's also Seattle Pacific University, listing just two of many.
Seattle's average rainfall per year is just a hair over 36 inches, meaning not every day in Seattle Washington is gray or wet.
Each Seattle neighborhood - and there are 18 of them - has its own flavor, each with its share of parks, views, museums, restaurants, and theaters to satisfy every visitor.
Here are just a few:
Downtown is uber-urban, sporting impeccable views of the water and mountains. Pike Place Market is a favorite destination. There is also an amazing assortment of galleries, restaurants, and bars. Visit the Seattle Art Museum and SAM gallery. And then attend a world-class orchestral concert at Benaroya Hall in the evening.
Downtown includes the Seattle Waterfront (pictured), where you can shop, eat fish and oysters, explore the Seattle Aquarium, stroll the piers, ride the Ducks, and catch an air-cab on the Seattle Great Wheel - if you're not afraid of heights!
Pioneer Square, the eastern landing place of Seattle's first 5 families, is considered to be the birthplace of Seattle. It is a mix of past and present; you'll find historic architecture, art walks, the Seattle Underground Tour, boutiques and restaurants.
Capital Hill has shady streets, lovely mansions alongside a buzzy commercial district and the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
Ballard is a cool hot-spot for foodies lining up alongside a working waterfront with the Ballard Locks and Nordic Heritage Museum.
Belltown has something for everyone, early-birds to night-lifers. Check out the Olympic Sculpture Park.
University District: funky and youthful, gather at "The Ave," with trendy shops and dining. Stroll through historic streets, surrounding the University of Washington (UW, or "U Dub").
For much more information on Seattle's neighborhoods, check out these in-depth websites:
Numerous festivals centered around food, music, art and more, are held at various times throughout the year, and each offer fun adventures. Community focused Seafair has over 75 events spread over 10 weeks.
Here is a link to information about Seattle festivals:
Pike Place Market
85 Pike Street (at Pine Street), Seattle, WA
Pike Place Market is the ultimate Seattle farmer's market, filled with booth after booth of freshly caught fish, fresh-harvested produce, meats, flowers, teas, artisanal goods, souvenir posters and photos, and so much more. Nearby is the original Starbucks, and the famous gum wall, where people like to deposit their a-b-c gum.
Ballard Farmer's Market
5330 Ballard Avenue NW, Seattle, WA
Ballard Farmer's Market - find fresh produce, meats, fish, flowers, bakery items and amazing doughnuts.
It's hard to go wrong when searching out a park to visit in Seattle. All picnics and hiking come with amazing views of lakes, Puget Sound, green spaces, or an interesting museum or historical location.
Gas Works Park on Lake Union - family picnics, play frisbee, incredible lake and city views
2101 North Northlake Way, Seattle, WA
Discovery Park - just north of downtown is a wooded area
in the middle of the city with great hikes along bluffs and waterfront.
3801 Discovery Park Road, Seattle, WA
Volunteer Park - city views, conservatory, water tower,
picnics, family friendly, art museum.
1247 15th Avenue E, Seattle, WA
Seward Park - on Lake Washington. See Mount Rainier on a
clear day, hike, picnic, walks along beaches, visit the Audubon Center.
5895 Lake Washington Boulevard South, Seattle, WA
Kerry Park - located on a south slope of the Queen Anne neighborhood. The views from the park embody all that is Seattle. (Below: Photo credit George Freeney-Jones and Wiki)
211 West Highland Drive, Seattle, WA
Seattle Seahawks Football
CenturyLink Field is a hot venue in Seattle Washington.
But C-Link offers much more to locals and tourists besides major league sports:
Seattle Mariners Baseball
Safeco Field is within spitting distance of C-Link, and is the home of the Seattle Mariners MLB team.
Seattle Sounders Football Club (Soccer)
Soccer is a truly global sport, passionately played and followed in every other nation around the globe where it is known not as soccer but as football. Which is perfectly logical. Soccer players are not allowed to so much as touch the ball with any part of their arms or hands, being required to strike, kick, or otherwise drive the ball with the feet, legs, head, or chest. Goalies alone can handle and catch the ball when within the 18-yard box.
The Sounders play their matches at Century-Link Field.
You really don't need a car to get around Seattle. Many neighborhoods are walkable but there are also easy motorized options.
Washington State Ferries:
While this page is about Seattle Washington itself, the greater Seattle region is a huge one, and there is a fairly good chance that you'll be interested in using the Washington State Ferry system at some point, either on foot or in a vehicle.
Foot passengers ride for free when heading east, and pay the regular fare when heading west. Cars must pay both ways.
Generally speaking, ferry reservations in and out of Seattle WA are not needed. (Exceptions include traveling via Port Townsend/Coupeville, Anacortes, or Sidney BC.) More information here.
Cheap, easy, and a couple bucks, the Seattle Monorail runs between Westlake in downtown to the Seattle Center attractions:
If you need a car or shuttle:
Alki Point, at Elliott Bay, was the location where, in 1851, five families of the Denny Party first landed after traveling from Illinois. Two years later in 1853, they relocated to the eastern side of the Bay and established a formal community at the location now known as Pioneer Square, naming the new community after Chief Seattle.
In the middle of bravely surviving an Indian attack and a devastating fire, Seattle managed to incorporate in 1869. The boomtown growth continued when the Great Northern Railway established its northern terminus in Seattle in 1893. Prospectors, with gold in their eyes, rushed thorough as they headed to the Alaskan gold fields during the years surrounding 1897.
We can't talk about Seattle without mentioning her namesake, Chief Seattle. And since we're talking about names, his is actually Si'ahl in the Modern Duwamish language. The Chief was recognized as a distinguished leader in both the Duwamish and Suquamish Tribes, and a friend to the American White Man.
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