Seattle, Washington is a city in the northwestern most
corner of the continental United States. It is situated on Puget
Sound and is an important international shipping location. The city
has a metropolitan population of more than 3 million people. Native
American's had been in the area for about 4,000 years prior to the arrival
of European explorers in the mid 1800s. Today the city has a
strong economy and is headquarters for Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon.com, T-Mobile USA and Nordstrom.
weather is influenced by the Pacific Ocean and also a rain shadow from the
Olympic mountains. The rainy season extends from November to
February. During this period temperatures can reach highs of 50 F
or 10 C with heavy rainfall. If the skies clear, temporarily,
temperatures can drop slightly below freezing. Snowfall is
extremely rare. The dry season extends from May to September with
ideal weather occurring in July and August. Summer highs
average around 75 F. Many residents from the southern United States
choose to summer in the Pacific Northwest.
The popularity of Alaska cruises has prompted several cruise lines to
offer regular weekly service during the summer. Some ships dock at
Pier 66 in the heart of downtown, while others tie up at Pier 90/91 about 10
minutes north. Similar to San Francisco, the pier numbers are your
best indication of addresses on the waterfront. The airport, known as SEA-TAC, is located about a
half hour south of town. Take the Central
Link light rail from the airport to Westlake in downtown Seattle,
which is the transportation hub of the city. From there you can walk to Pike Place Market, use local
transit, take the Seattle
Center Monorail to Seattle Center or ride the South
Lake Union Street Car to Lake
Things to see and do in Seattle:
Consider a Seattle
City Pass for savings on admission to many of the fee based Seattle
Place Market - the most popular tourist attraction in Seattle and
it's free. Head down to the waterfront and watch fresh salmon being tossed
about at Pike
Place Fish Market.
Find out how hard they are to catch with your bare hands. Have a
seafood meal on Pier 54 at Ivars,
renowned for its clams since the 1930s. Have a
coffee at the original first location for the Starbucks
coffee empire. See the Seattle Art Museum.
Stay overnight at the Inn
at the Market. On the waterfront at Pier 57, the Seattle
Great Wheel was built in 2012. It has 42 gondolas that take you 170 feet high.
is also part of Pier 57. The Seattle
Aquarium is located on the waterfront at the next pier north of
the Great Wheel (Pier 59). Pass through the Waterfront Park to reach it.
Pioneer Square - restaurants, shops, bars, museums, tour operators, in
the heart of the original downtown. Safeco Field for the Seattle
Mariners and Qwest Field for the Seattle
Seahawks are both nearby.
Take a boat trip around the harbor with Argosy
Cruises, Ride the Ducks
or save some money and take a Washington
State Ferry. Bainbridge Island takes 35 minutes one way and the Bremerton
ferry ride is an hour on the Washington State Ferry. Both will only cost a passenger a few dollars and provide great views
of the Seattle waterfront.
Locks - Watch the boats move between Lake Union and Puget Sound,
check out the fish ladder for migrating salmon and have a picnic. Take
a cab five miles from downtown or ride the hop on - hop off Emerald
City Trolley, which also tours downtown and the Museum of Flight
Snoqualmie Falls - Located about 40 minutes
east of town. Have breakfast at the Salish Lodge &
Spa, overlooks the 270 foot falls. After visiting the falls,
head over to the Northwest Railway Museum
and during the summer take a short train ride up the Snoqualmie Valley.
- hiking trails about 45 minutes east of town. Catch views over
the city against the backdrop of the Olympic Mountains.
National Park - head out to the mountains and rainforests of the
Northwest. There are 7 major routes into the wilderness of this
gigantic 1,500 square mile national park, but none of the routes
interconnect because there are no roads through the center of the
park. Hurricane Ridge is an exciting
drive with great views at the top. The drive starts near Port
Angeles, about 3.5 hours from Seattle.
Leavenworth - a replicated Bavarian village along the Wenatchee River in the Cascade Mountains about 3 hours east of Seattle