Top 30 Seattle attractions – descriptions and photos

Seattle

Seattle is the largest metropolis in the Pacific Northwest. The Bay of Puget Sound, around which the city sprawls, is surrounded by the green landscape of Washington State. The Olympic and Cascade Mountains with their snow caps loom in the distance, and the 4,392-meter-high Rainier Volcano looms over them. It’s cool and damp all around, hence the nickname “Emerald City.” It’s especially lively in the spring and summer.

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Highlights

Seattle’s prosperity was largely driven by the Boeing airplane manufacturing and woodworking industries that led to the city in the 1850s, but these industries began to decline. But Bill Gates’ Microsoft and numerous Internet companies, including Amazon.com, have brought the city unprecedented prosperity. Deep Pacific Harbor serves as a natural outlet for trade with Asia, and the city is helped here by both the Chinatown and the local Japanese community. It also served as a departure point for those going to the Klondike and Alaska to look for gold in the 1880s and 1890s.

Now Seattle is one of the major trendsetters of the dot-com era. It’s ruled by an unlikely alliance of coffee-swilling computer geeks and narcissistic musicians. Renewal is the buzzword today in a city where grunge is written about in history books, and Starbucks is just one of a string of fast-paced independent coffee shops struggling to get by in the marketplace.

Seattle Sightseeing.

Surprisingly beautiful in one way and unpleasantly edgy in another, Seattle is known for friendly neighborhood communities, a highly ranked university, nightmarish traffic jams, and visionary mayors with “green” ideas. And while it wasn’t too long ago that the city created its own pop culture, it still has to deal with an urban mythology more suited to Paris or New York; Seattle actually has its own “Mountain.” Better known to its friends as Mount Rainier Volcano, the symbol of Seattle’s unification is a mass of rock and ice 14411 feet high. “The Mountain” serves as a constant reminder to crowded urban areas that the power of nature can prevail and potential disaster is not so far away.

The only remaining witness to the gold rush of that time is First Avenue and Yeslerway, whose Victorian red-brick buildings were spared by city planners, so that the cozy, shady square is now flanked by wonderful restaurants, stores and a couple of wonderful jazz music clubs.

With the Underground City Museum, a journey that begins at First Avenue (608 First Avenue; tel: 206-682-46-46; www.undergroundtour.com), you can explore the Seattle that lies below. The route takes you through an underground city that burned down in 1889 and is now buried under the modern buildings that were built above. You’ll see old shops, house fronts, and gloomy corridors, the darkness of which is at least somehow dispelled by the tour guides’ amusing stories.

Like any venerable port city, Seattle’s busiest spot is the waterfront. Fish restaurants, fishmongers and boat vendors line the shores of Eliot Bay, along with parks and the Seattle Aquarium (Pier 59; phone: 206-386-43-00; www.seattleaquarium.org) . Stop to admire octopuses, sharks, eels, seals and salmon, or watch a movie in the depths of the Omnidome, an all-around IMAX theater. On the surface you can take a boat tour of the harbor and take a variety of ferry trips.

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On the waterfront is the daily indoor Pike Place Market (Pike Street and First Avenue), where farmers, fishermen, and butchers sell their wares. The water peeks colorfully through piles of tomatoes or flowers.

Further north along the waterfront is one of the city’s newest attractions, the Olympic Sculpture Park. This permanent, world-class outdoor exhibit is created by the Seattle Art Museum (University and First Avenue; tel: 206-654-31-00; www.seattleartmuseum.org) and is well worth a visit. Another branch of the museum is the Asian Art Museum of Seattle (Volunteer Park) . Check out the wonderful Seattle Central Library (4000 First Avenue; tel: 206-386-46-36; www.spl.org) : While the 11-story building is clad in steel and glass on the outside, not all museums boast the same interior décor.

The International District, bounded by Fourth and Eighth Avenues and Main and Lane streets, includes the Chinese and Japanese quarters. You’ll find jewelry and jasper shops, restaurants, a Buddhist temple and the Wing Luke Asian Museum (719 South King Street; Tel: 206-623-51-24; www.wingluke.org) that bills itself as “the only museum of Asian/Pacific Islanders” in the United States.

The Space Needle (Tel: 206-905-21-00; www.spaceneedle.com; open on weekends until midnight), a 185-meter tower built on three legs and left over from the 1962 World’s Fair, is the landmark of the Seattle Symphony and includes a rotating restaurant and observation deck at the top with a commanding view of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, where Mount Rainier reigns. At the foot of the tower is the Seattle Center (Tel: 206-684-72-00; www.seattlecenter.com), also in anticipation of the World’s Fair. Among its buildings are an opera house, a drama theater, the Colosseum, two movie theaters, a sculpture park, three first-class museums, etc. It’s also home to the Pacific Science Center, a beautiful structure with exhibitions on space exploration, Northwest Indian culture, and oceanographic exploration of Puget Sound Bay.

The Fabulous Music Center (tel: 206-770-27-00; www.empsfm.org) is a modern, interactive museum about creativity in pop music. The marvelous building, designed by architect Frank Gehry, is said to resemble the inside of a guitar. Fans of Jimmy Hendrix, who was born near Seattle, should take a day, but fans of science fiction will enjoy the Science Fiction Museum and the Hall of Fame.

If the outline of Mount Rainier, a 4,392-meter-high active volcano that is packed with snow and ice for miles around, appeals to you, why not visit Mount Rainier National Park? It’s only a 2-hour drive south of Seattle, where exciting hikes await you.

Festivals and Events

Northwest Folklife Festival

International music, dance, crafts, food and entertainment for the whole family. The festival takes place at Seattle Center on Memorial Day weekend in May (www.nwfolklife.org).

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Seafair

Lots of people attend this festival held on the water in late July/August. There’s a seaplane race, torchlight procession, air show, music, and carnival (www.seafair.com) .

Bumbershoot Festival

The premier arts and culture event takes place in Seattle Center the weekend before Labor Day in September. Live music, author readings and lots of unclassifiable entertainment (www.bumbershoot.com) .

Seattle International Film Festival

The city’s largest film festival takes place in mid-May. In addition to half a dozen rented theaters, screenings also take place at the festival’s own venue, the Nesholm Family Lecture Hall (Nesholm Family Lecture Hall; 321 Mercer St, Seattle Center) (SIFF; www.siff.net; tickets $13-30) .

Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

The popular festival, held in October, showcases new gay films from directors around the world. The action takes place at the Three Dollar Bill Cinema (1122 East Pine Street (E Pine St)) (www.threedollarbillcinema.org; tickets $6-8) .

Helpful Information

From mid-November through late March, most hotels in downtown Seattle offer very good deals (Seattle Super Saver Packages) – up to 50% off the advertised room rate in total; in addition, you’ll get a coupon book entitling you to discounts at restaurants, stores and museums.

The best budget eateries and restaurants can be found at Pike Place Market. Shop for baked goods, convenience foods, ethnic cuisines you can take home, choose fresh produce, and cook for yourself.

Cocktail bars, dance clubs, and clubs with live music can be found in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Ballard’s Main Street is packed with brick-and-mortar taverns, new and old, where the old drinking generation lives out their days and the indie-rockers play in the evenings. Belltown has gone from grunge to grungy chic, but the neighborhood retains an array of hip joints lined up neatly in rows.

The main shopping area is centrally located between 3rd Ave, 6th Ave, University St, and Stewart St. The maze of Pike Place Market hides craft booths, galleries, and small stores. In the Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill neighborhoods you’ll find local gift stores as well as budget ones.

Emergency and medical services

  • 45th St Community Clinic; Tel: 206-633-3350; 1629 N 45th St, Wallingford Medical and dental services.
  • Harborview Medical Center; Tel: 206-731-3000; 325 9th Ave. Comprehensive medical care, emergency room.
  • Seattle Police Department (Tel: 206-625-5011)
  • Seattle Violence Aid (Tel: 206-632-7273)
  • Washington State Patrol (Tel: 425-649-4370)

Tourist Information

Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau; www.visitseattle.org; 7th Ave and Pike St; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon-Fri) Located at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center; open weekends June through August.

Getting around the city

Transportation from the Airport

There are many ways to get from the airport to downtown Seattle (a 20.8 km route). The most efficient way is by train on the new Sound Transit light rail.

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The Airport Express (www.graylineseattle.com), part of the Gray Line network, picks up passengers at the parking lot near Gate 00 at the south end of the baggage claim area. You will be dropped off at your choice of eight different hotels downtown (one-way ticket $11-$15).

Cabs and limousines (about $35 and $40, respectively) are waiting in the 3rd floor garage. Stands of car rental companies are located in the baggage claim area.

Cars and motorcycles.

Stuck in a narrow corridor between the mountains and the sea, Seattle is one big nightmare traffic jam. A special lane on Interstate 1-5 is reserved for vehicles carrying two or more people. If you don’t fall into this category, get on the road after the long rush hours are over.

Top 30 Seattle attractions – descriptions and photos

“The Pike Place Market, the city’s calling card and simply a bazaar visited by up to 10 million people a year, is probably a worthwhile place to visit, so every tourist who comes to Seattle for vacation or business should visit here.

Music History Project and Science Fiction Museum

In the heart of the city sits the “metallic” brainchild of architect Frank Gehry. Some call this eccentric 42,000-square-foot structure ugly, while others celebrate its originality. The building houses one of the state’s most interesting museums, the History of Music Project, which opened in 2000.

Space Needle

A symbol of Seattle, one of the most recognizable towers in the United States, a “space needle” and just an amazingly graceful structure in the middle of cheerful Seattle is the Space Needle Tower, which appeared in Washington state’s largest city in 1962.

Wing Luke’s Asian Museum

The museum, founded by Wing Luke, a famous fighter against racial discrimination, tells the story of Asian immigrants who came a long way before becoming full-fledged Americans.

Seattle Aquarium

The Seattle Aquarium cannot be called the largest, richest in inhabitants, or any exceptionally original. But being in the largest city in Washington state in the winter, or with kids, it is definitely worth a visit. You can catch a glimpse of a baby octopus and a bunch of businesslike otters waddling back and forth.

Asian Art Museum in Seattle

If you want to continue your exploration of Asian culture in the Seattle area, you should definitely visit the Asian Art Museum. You’ll appreciate the stunning collection of 24,000 unique pieces.

Seattle Aviation Museum

The Aviation Museum, opened in 1965 in the former Boeing building, is considered one of the most popular museums in America. Needless to say, visitors come to marvel at the museum’s collection of airliners?

Seattle Museum of Art

Located in the heart of the city, the Seattle Art Museum is a member of the Washington Art Consortium. Four entire floors of high art are available to visitors.

Seattle Museum of History and Industry

You can learn about the historical events of Seattle, beginning in 1792, and what was inspired by the 18th-century Americans who took an active part in the making of America at the Museum of History and Industry. There are also regular temporary exhibitions, such as an exhibit about 20th-century fishing.

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Log House Museum.

The miniature Log House Museum, located just one block from the famous Elkie Beach, is dedicated to West Seattle. The treasures collected in this museum tell visitors about the identity and history of the region, and it’s no coincidence that the name of the main exhibit sounds like “Hometown Seattle.”

Kubota Garden

It would seem what a huge difference separates countries, much less parts of the world. Even a very, very sophisticated traveler would hardly expect to find a luxury restaurant and a five-star hotel in a county town.

St. James Cathedral

Monumental, stately, pompous, awe-inspiring-all these epithets perfectly describe St. James Cathedral, in the heart of Seattle’s upscale and sophisticated First Hill neighborhood.

The Wall of Chewing Gum.

One of the world’s most unappetizing, unhygienic yet surprisingly colorful landmarks is in Seattle. And its name is the Wall of Chewing Gum. Needless to say, all the dentists, conservative grandmothers and adherents of healthy eating.

Fremont Troll.

It would seem that what could a Scandinavian saga and an American city famous for its space skyscraper and fish market have in common? Well, there is, and it is none other than the Fremont Troll, a giant sculpture of an unpleasant-looking monster.

Seattle Central Library

Washington State’s largest city has been home to a network of 28 reading rooms led by the Seattle Central Library since 1890. Since 2004, it has been housed in an incredibly futuristic building designed by deconstructivist star Rem Koolhaas.

Seattle is undoubtedly considered one of the most important cities in America, because it is not only a major seaport, but also one of the cultural centers of the United States. Every year millions of tourists come to the so-called “Emerald City” to enjoy its world-famous attractions.

Reach for the sky, or the skyscrapers of Seattle

Like many American metropolitan cities Seattle is famous for its skyscrapers which are the main architectural ornament of the city.

Columbia Center is one of the tallest buildings in the United States. And no wonder, because it has as many as 76 floors. This skyscraper is famous for its observation deck, located on level 73, which offers an amazing view of the city.

The second tallest skyscraper in Seattle is the famous Space Needle, which is considered a symbol of the city. It attracts tourists with its unique restaurant Sky City, slowly rotating at a speed of one turn in 42 minutes.

It is advisable to visit the “Sky City” at night. In addition to a sumptuous dinner, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Seattle at night, which will sparkle with millions of lights just for you and your date.

Smith Tower is second only to Columbia Center and Space Needle in height: the 42-story building is only the third tallest of Seattle’s skyscrapers. But that’s not what makes Smith Tower remarkable. The fact is that Smith Tower is the city’s oldest high-rise, built way back in 1914. On the 35th floor is a traditional skyscraper observation deck, but those who have been to the 73rd level of Columbia Center are unlikely to be surprised.

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Seattle Museums

In addition to skyscrapers Seattle is famous for its many museums, some of which are considered the best in the country. Seattle’s most famous museum is the Museum of Flight, located at the Boeing plant. Here you’ll find an amazing collection of airplanes and spacecraft, as well as thousands of photos and articles about astronautics and astronautics.

If you’re interested in history, you must visit The Museum of History & Industry. It is famous for its many exhibit halls, which are devoted to the main events that have taken place in Seattle since its founding. You can also check out the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, which tells the story of Asian immigrants who fought back against racial discrimination.

There are also many art galleries in Seattle. One of the most popular ones is the Seattle Art Museum. And you are bound to appreciate the museum’s chic collection of 30,000 pieces. Enjoy the art of different eras and the arts and crafts of the world. By the way, the Seattle Art Museum often hosts temporary themed exhibitions dedicated to the art of various countries.

There are plenty of other interesting museums in the city aside from these fascinating sights. For example, the Police Museum, the Children’s Museum, the Museum of History of Music and Science Fiction, and other no less amazing places.

Where to walk, what to see, and what to enjoy in Seattle

One of the most crowded and bustling places in the city is the famous Pike Place Market, located in Downtown. It’s a huge, multi-story market that sells everything you can imagine: fresh fish, homemade cheeses, fragrant flowers, unfiltered beer, souvenirs, clothing, movies, books, and more. It’s always fun here – everyone jokes, laughs, sings and plays. Pike Place Market has a real cheese dairy, a magician’s shop, a magician’s store, a brewery restaurant, and other interesting places you’ll want to visit.

If you want to truly relax, head to one of Seattle’s most beautiful parks, Kerry Park. It’s an urban oasis with amazing flora, and the scenery can be enjoyed endlessly.

By the way Seattle is one of the greenest American cities with over 400 parks and squares.

Seattle is a fascinating city that harmoniously combines the echoes of the past, the rhythmic present, and the breath of the future. There’s never a dull moment here, there’s always something to admire. That’s why tourists, fascinated by Seattle, come here again and again.

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