Seattle At a Glance
Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest. Located between Puget Sound and Lake Washington in King County, of which it is the county seat, and overlooking Elliott Bay, Seattle is nicknamed The Emerald City. The city is a damp green gem, with an abundance of evergreen trees throughout, and spectacular views of the Cascade mountains to the east and the Olympic mountains to the west. The city and its surrounding areas are the home of the Space Needle, Boeing’s aircraft assembly plants, Microsoft, Amazon.com, Costco, Nintendo of America, Starbucks, T-Mobile, and the University of Washington, as well as a vibrant arts and music scene and an excellent park system.
Things to Do in Seattle
Pike Place Market – In downtown, the market is Seattle’s largest tourist area, and it’s the oldest continually operating farmers’ market in the United States. It is home to the famous fish market, original Starbucks Coffee shop, and a large indoor and outdoor market. Many other attractions in downtown are within walking distance of Seattle’s biggest tourist area making it the perfect place to start any sightseeing trip of the city. edit
Space Needle – A short monorail ride away from downtown is Seattle’s most iconic landmark. While expensive to ride to the top, the Space Needle is a “must see” for visitors on a nice day.
Seattle is home to a number of top-notch museums. Downtown is home to the renowned Seattle Art Museum, which displays a good overview and assortment of art from around the world. In the Central District is the Seattle Asian Art Museum, an off-shoot of the Seattle Art Museum which focuses on Chinese & Japanese Art, but includes works from as far away as India. The Asian Art museum is currently closed for renovation until 2019. Additionally, The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience is in Chinatown/International District is the only Asian Pacific American museum in the nation. Nearby is the Frye Art Museum, a small private collection featuring 232 paintings by Munich-based artists. Not a museum, but open to browsing by the public, is the Seattle Metaphysical Library, in Ballard, which specializes in material not found in normal libraries..
Places to Eat in Seattle
Fresh seafood is found in abundance at both markets and restaurants. Local favorites include Alaskan salmon (king/Chinook, sockeye, and coho/silver being the descending hierarchy of quality), halibut, and lingcod for fish; Dungeness, snow, and king crab; oysters; mussels and clams; and a variety of other seafood. Pacific Northwest cuisine is featured at a number of local eateries, and emphasizes seafood, foraged plants (mushrooms, ferns, asparagus, seaweeds, berries), game meats such as elk, and other less common meats like duck and rabbit.
Seattle also features a wide variety of Asian-fusion cuisines owing to its diverse population, particularly with Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Filipino, and Hawaiian influences. A number of restaurants from diaspora populations, including Indian, Ethiopian, and Cambodian cuisines, are also available.
Local specialties that are common souvenirs include smoked salmon, Rainier cherries, apples, and of course, coffee.
Getting Around Seattle
Interstate 5 cuts through the middle of Seattle north to south. I-90 runs from the I-5 interchange in Seattle all the way to Boston, and crosses one of the two Lake Washington bridges to Bellevue, along with SR-520 further north. I-405 runs parallel to I-5 on the east side of Lake Washington. Be aware however, that Seattle is a city known for terrible traffic (third worst in the nation behind Los Angeles and New York), especially around rush hour, so be ready for crawling along slowly as you enter the city, especially on infamously congested I-5, southern I-405, and the SR-520 bridge.
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