Introducing the city

£1.00 | $1.27

GBP | USD

Gasoline £0.59 | $0.75

One-way ticket £2.16 | $2.75

Beer £3.93 | $5.00

Main Course £11.78 | $15.00

About Seattle

The birthplace of Starbucks, Seattle seems a little mixed up if you come across attractions like the bronze statue of Lenin. But remember, uncovering Seattle's juxtaposing and sometimes eccentric outside is what it's all about.

Seattle has the best of both worlds. Enveloped by mountains, vast bodies of water and coniferous forest, it has a strong connection with nature, hiking and water sports. Its grungy dress code and musical roots contrast sharply with its business world with the likes of Microsoft and Amazon both calling Seattle home.

The population of little over 650,000 are a wholesome and you could even say old-fashioned bunch. Great value is placed on the fresh and the local, like the slew of microbreweries, chocolatiers and third-wave coffee shops. But then again, Washington State's decision to vote in Initiative 502 is hardly an outdated attitude. Seattle goes its own way, like natal band Pearl Jam did when they refused to work with Ticketmaster, or when Jimi Hendrix mimicked the bombs that fell on Vietnam on his guitar at Woodstock '69. Defying boundaries and judging things based on their individual merit is how its done here.

From the futuristic Space Needle to the concrete troll that lurks under the Seattle Bridge Overpass, Seattle loves to mix things up, and keep it surreal.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

Visit in the high season between June and August when temperatures rise above twenty degrees Celsius. The hottest month of the year is August.

Seattle has a temperate climate. Summers are generally dry and warm while winters are cool and wet. Temperatures remain between zero and 25 degrees Celsius year round. Don't let Seattle's reputation of a wet city mislead you but rain does fall year round so bring waterproofs nonetheless. The 150 days of measurable rain mainly fall between October and March.

For snow sports, aim for the December - March. Snow doesn't fall as heavily as it does on America's east coast but you can still expect a fair amount.

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Travioor top tips

Nature
Gas Works Park
Starbucks

Insider Info

  • The surrounding landscape and natural beauty is what sets Seattle apart. A short drive away is Rainier National Park where you can hike past the wildflowers and streams and under basilicas of red cedar, hemlock and Douglas fir trees. A lot of the woodland is getting on a bit; some trees are over a thousand years old, but that's nothing compared to Mount Rainier. Climb 14,410 feet above sea level to the snowy peaks of the active volcano, visible from the city on clear days.
  • Gas Works Park is a cheaper and more quirky alternative to The Space Needle. Remnants of a coal gasification plant embellishes the sci-fi view.
  • Starbucks may be in its element in home town Seattle but don't let it be your go to. Check out the abundance of independent cafes. For cheap eats, stick to the downtown area.

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Food and drink

Main Course £11.78 | $15.00

3-Course Meal £51.06 | $65.00

Cappuccino £3.18 | $4.05

Beer £3.93 | $5.00

The Scene

Seattle takes full advantage of the bounty of fish and seafood available from the Pacific and Lake Washington. The strong demand for freshness is characterised by the fish of Pike Place Market, a solid starting point for all. You'll notice menus frequently feature foraged produce over imported goods.

Sushi is a must here as the fish is just too good to miss. For a splurge try Wataru on 2400 NE, 65th Street, or pick up some freshly shucked oysters and craft beers and make for the waterfront at sunset.

The adventurous want to look out for geoduck, a clam bigger the length of your forearm. Its salty sweetness, weird appearance and regional exclusivity portray everything great about Seattle.

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History

Seattle’s Story

The Duwamish of metropolitan Seattle have been living in Western Washington since the end of the last glacial period, 12,000 years ago. The thirteen villages once stood in the present day city Seattle and survived off the summer salmon (dried on racks to last through the winter), foraging berries and root vegetables from the grasslands and hunting bear, otter, duck and elk. Fluctuating salmon numbers and raids from Northern tribes made life tough. Chief Seattle, who died in 1886, is esteemed for his writings and leadership in peacefully defending Native American rights in the face of European settlers.

The Denny party that arrived in 1851 were the first of the European community that would build Seattle, a noted city of boom and bust. After the Klondike gold rush of 1900, Seattle's income fluctuated according to war. Building ships and aircraft in the early 1900's and from the late 1930's onward was good business for the Boeing company. As military and space program spending slowed, unemployment increased rapidly as Seattle went through a bust again.

Entrepreneurs came to the rescue in 1979 when Bill Gates' technology headquarters arrived.

Language

English

Spanish is the most widely spoken language besides English. Here are some Seattleite phrases you're likely to hear:

  • Filthy: Very cool
  • I work for the Evil Empire: I work for Microsoft
  • The mountains are out: The weather is good

Need to know

+1 206 Dialling Code
911 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • Pack waterproofs in case of rain and hiking gear if you plan on trekking in the surrounding mountains and forests.
  • Look out for great blue herons, one of the many natural spectacles of Seattle.
  • Downtown Seattle has 'downtown ambassadors' (dressed in blue and yellow) that can give you a wealth of travel advice or just help if you're a little lost. 


VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for the USA here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. Whale Watching

Orcas pursue seals and porpoise, which in turn chase the salmon, along North America's west coast. Take a whale watching tour and watch out for Grey and Minke whales too.

2. Solo Nature

Mount Rainier National Park is busy in the summertime. Unless you are determined to conquer Mount Rainier, consider hiking in Okanoga-Wenatchee National Forest.

3. Free Entry

Many of the museums and cultural institutions are free on certain days of the month. See a full list here.

4. Underground

The basements and passageways of Seattle before the 1889 fire can be explored on a Bill Speidel's tour. Over 18's will enjoy the more scandalous over 18 version.

5. Microbreweries

Check out the Freemont Brewing Company and their tasting room or take a tour of the Pike Brewing Company.


See What's On In Seattle  


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