Seattle, also known as the Emerald City and the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, is a coastal city in the state of Washington, United States of America. It is between the Lake Washington and Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, making it a major gateway for trade with Asia. It is also the 8th largest port in the United States. Seattle, the cultural and business center of the Pacific Northwest, is also known for its profusion of evergreen trees all throughout the city. From this city you will find remarkable views of the Cascade Mountains and Olympic Mountains.
Seattle is home of the iconic Space Needle, an observation tower and once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River. It was built in the Seattle Center and drew over 2.3 million visitors when it opened during the 1962 World’s Fair. The observation deck at 520 feet above ground and you can buy your souvenirs at the gift shop after dining at its rotating SkyCity restaurant which is 500 feet above ground. To reach the top of the Space Needle, visitors can use elevators that travel up to 10 miles per hour. Getting to the top floor will take you only 41 seconds but the long lines to get on the elevator may take some time.
While in Seattle, don’t forget to drop by the Pike Place Market. It is a public market that overlooks the Elliott Bay waterfront and a popular tourist destination. It opened in 1907 and is still one of the oldest public farmers market in the United States. Pike Place goes along from Pike Street to Virginia Street. The market features a variety of shops from antique dealers, collectible shops and cozy family-owned restaurants. You can also find a wet market here with fishmongers and fresh produce stands. Local farmers and merchants from around the area sell their goods here year-round.
The Chihuly Garden and Glass is also an attraction not to be missed. It is a museum located in Seattle Center which showcases studio glass artwork by Dale Chihuly. Chihuly is an American glass sculptor well-known for his large-scale sculptures of blown glass. The museum opened in 2012 at the former site of Fun Forest. It has three sections – the Garden, the Glasshouse and the Interior Exhibits as well as a café, multi-use theater, lecture space and various retail spaces. The museum is open from 11 in the morning to 7 in the evening. It extends an hour on Fridays and Saturdays.
How to get around Seattle
Getting around Seattle may take getting used to but once you understand the street designations, it should be easy. A few things to remember is that North-South streets are labeled “Avenues” while East-West streets are labeled “Streets” and "Ways" are long diagonals, "Drives" are long, circuitous routes, "Courts" are one block long. Keep in mind that the city is divided into 3 by 3 grids with 7 directional designations (E, SW, W, S, N, NE & NW).
However, there are some exceptions to this as well. Downtown streets and avenues have no directional designation. There is no SE section. East of downtown, avenues have no directional designation, only preceded by “E”. Lastly, north of downtown, streets also have no directional designation but avenues are followed by “N”.
Public transit is also available in the city. You can choose between the Metro Transit, Sound Transit and Link Light Rail.
How to get to Seattle
Seattle is served by Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) also known as “Sea-Tac”. It is a major hub for northwest and west coast destinations and handles international flights especially from the trans-Pacific routes. It also has direct flights from Europe’s major airports and from Dubai in United Arab Emirates. The airport is just a 25 minute drive from downtown Seattle but can be longer during rush hours. To get to the airport from the city center, you can choose a variety of public transportation that is available. You can take Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail which connects the airport direct to downtown Seattle. It runs from 5 in the morning to 50 minutes after midnight. Taxis, shuttle buses and rental cars are also available at the airport.
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