Seattle City Guide
The port city of Seattle is located on the Pacific Northwest coast of the US and offers a spectacular setting as it is located on an isthmus between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington. It is surrounded by the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Range with Mount Rainier in full view from the city. Seattle, which was founded in 1869, is also called the Emerald City for it perennially green as it receives much rainfall throughout the year.
The city is renowned the world over as host city of major global corporations like Boeing, Microsoft and Starbucks. Moreover, Seattle is also known as the birth place of a music form known as ‘grunge music’, which achieved cult status during the 1990’s and established the city firmly of the world’s music map. Seattle vacations are truly meant for the music fans.
Today, this city is home to a high-tech, dynamic and young community who has a passion for an outdoorsy lifestyle and very popular with business travelers and tourists alike.
People like to book a vacation to Seattle to take in its many world famous sights and enjoy it’s many cultural offerings that include top notch museums, jazz festivals, art walks and native North American ceremonies.
Where to stay in Seattle
Downtown Seattle Hotel Districts
Most visitors to Seattle tend to reside in the city’s downtown area, which is easily navigable by foot or public transport. This area also contains the city’s largest concentration of hotels, which cater to all travel budgets.
Pike/ Pine Corridor
Downtown Seattle’s most prominent hotel district is the Pike/Pine corridor that extends from 1st Avenue to 8th Avenue from Pine Street to James Street. This area is the city’s epicenter for shopping and sightseeing in Seattle and it also hosts most of the luxury hotels in the city. If you desire a cheap hotel room at one of these Seattle luxury hotels, Fare Buzz can offer access to cheap hotel rooms for all kinds of hotels in numerous destinations.
South Lake Union
A newer area for hotels in Seattle is the South Lake Union neighborhood, which is located on the fringe of the city’s downtown. This area is connected by the Seattle streetcar line to the Westlake Center and is the main dining and shopping hub of Seattle’s downtown area. Hotel prices in South Lake Union tend to be bit lower than those of hotels located in the heart of downtown Seattle.
The third main area for Seattle Hotels is located in the heart of downtown Seattle around its major landmarks of the Space Needle and the Seattle Center. This area is well served by Seattle’s public transport system and is popular with families, who generally favor the many budget accommodation options that are available here. No matter where you choose to stay in Seattle, Fare Buzz can get you the best Seattle hotel deals for your trip to the Emerald City.
Places to see in Seattle
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is perhaps Seattle’s most well known attraction. This marketplace, which was founded in 1907, is now a part of the city’s National Historic District. Pike Place Market is a favored attraction of both locals and visitors to Seattle as it features more than 100 fresh produce, seafood, cured meats and prepared food vendors who supply their patrons with high quality, largely organic wares at hugely attractive prices.
In addition to these food and produce vendors, Pike Place market also hosts the stalls of more than 150 local artisans and craftsmen along with a wide variety of restaurants, street performers, specialty stores and the world’s first Starbucks coffee shop, which was established at the market in 1971.
Yet another renowned attraction in Seattle is the Space Needle, which is a futuristic building that towers over the Seattle skyline. This building looks like spinning top with its needle pointing upwards and was built in 1962 for the Seattle World’s fair. The Space Needle is 605 feet (184 m) high at its highest point and 138 feet (42 m) wide at its widest point. The Space Needle is equipped with a revolving observation deck located at 520 feet above the city and a restaurant that affords gorgeous views of the city and the Puget Sound.
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle’s Art Museum is located in its downtown area and earmarked by huge steel sculpture called ‘Hammering Man’ which was created by Jonathon Borofsky, an American sculptor whose Hammering Man installations can be found in various cities around the world.
The museum is housed in a building designed by Robert Venturi and offers a collection that features work by American and European artists that range from ancient to contemporary times. This is the museum to visit during your trip to Seattle when you want to explore some of the best sculptures done by artists from world over.
Pioneer Square is located within the historic district of Seattle and features a collection of historic buildings that include more than 30 art galleries, retail stores, bars, restaurants and clubs. Located within the square are two main attractions, namely the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, which commemorates the gold rush days of the late 19th Century and the Underground Tour, which is a humorous walking tour offered by many tour guides in Seattle.
This tour leads visitors through the many subterranean passages which were once the main roadways and first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle as offers them an insight to the rich history of the city.
Experience Music Project
Seattle is known as the home of ‘Grunge’ music and the Experience Music Project, which is a rock and roll museum located at the base of the Space Needle, amply illustrates this. This museum was conceived by Microsoft head, Paul Allen, as a tribute to Seattle’s favorite son, the musician Jimi Hendrix.
Over the years, the museum has been expanded to include exhibits of other music greats like the father of grunge, Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the band Nirvana who was also a Seattle native and many others. If you love music, then the Experience music project should be a considered a must-do during any vacation to Seattle.
Best time to visit Seattle
Seattle has a climate, which is largely wet for most part of the year. The city doesn’t get a lot of snow but it receives much rainfall between the months of January and May and October and December. Most tourists aver that the best time to plan a vacation to Seattle is between the months of June to August, when the weather in Seattle is at its driest and offers long glorious summer days.
Getting around in Seattle
Seattle is easily accessed by air via its Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which is nicknamed "Sea-Tac", and is located in the city's southern suburbs. Sea Tac is a hub for Alaska Airlines and offers numerous domestic and internationals air transport links. You can book some deeply discounted and cheap air tickets from Fare Buzz and reach Seattle easily.
Once there, moving around the city is easy. The city center of Seattle is well served by its public transport system, which is made up of several bus lines; the high speed elevated Monorail, historic street cars and a system of commuter and car ferries that use Seattle’s waterways effectively.
Buses in Seattle run through the night and the city is also well equipped with a fleet of taxis, which can be hailed from taxis ranks or booked on the phone. Seattle’s city center and Waterfront area are also conducive to being explored on foot; so do make sure you pack comfortable shoes for your trip to Seattle if you intend to do a lot of walking to discover the sights and sounds of the city.
If you rather not use public transport or walk, then you might want to rent a car for the duration of your stay in Seattle. Fare Buzz can be of assistance at this point too for we offer a wide array of affordable car rentals for Seattle which cater to all travel budgets.
Where to shop in Seattle
Seattle’s various neighborhoods offer an abundance of shopping options. Visitors to Seattle, however tend to limit their choices to the city’s downtown area, home to the landmark attractions like the Pike Place market. The market is a popular shopping haunt in the city as in addition to fresh produce, seafood and prepared eats, it also offers much opportunity to shop for souvenirs, vintage wares, novelty gifts and locally produced arts and crafts.
Other popular shopping destinations in downtown Seattle include the tony ‘Shops at the Bravern’ mall, an indoor, covered mall that hosts outposts of luxury retailers like Jimmy Choo, Salvatore Feragamo, Louis Vuitton and Karen Millen, along with an outpost of the region’s only Neiman Marcus department store and several high-end eateries. Also worth a visit are other downtown Seattle malls and shopping centers, like City Centre, Pacific Place and Rainer Square, which host stores belonging to national retailers and department store chains like J. Crew, Barney’s, Nordstrom, Club Monaco and others.
For a more ‘local’ shopping experience in Seattle, try the Seattle neighborhoods like Ballard, Capitol Hill and Fremont. These areas of the city are littered with several charming fashion boutiques, eclectic lifestyle stores and bustling local farmers markets. Other notable Seattle shopping sites worth a visit, include the International district (ID), a neighborhood that features all things Asian. Located here are some excellent Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurants, Asian grocery stores and vendors who sell a whole host of foodstuffs and products imported from around Asia.
The University District, popularly referred to as the U-district, is home to thousands of students who attend University of Washington. Accordingly, the area features several trendy stores and an open-air mall, University Village, populated with national retailers like H&M, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Victoria’s Secret and many more.
Where to eat in Seattle
Seattle offers an extremely vibrant and dynamic culinary landscape that propels it to the forefront of foodie culture in the US, and in the running with other gastronomic capitals like New York and San Francisco.
Highly-ranked restaurants deemed to offer a true taste of the city, currently include eateries like Palisade (seafood, steakhouse, fusion), Art of the table (New American/Greek) Nishino and Maneki (both Japanese eateries), Restaurant Zoe and the Book Bindery (both New American restaurants), The Walrus and the Carpenteer and Canlis (both New American/seafood eateries), Rover’s (French cuisine), El Gaucho (steakhouse) and Green Leaf Café (Vietnamese fare).
Nightlife in Seattle
The erstwhile home of grunge music, Seattle, is home to diverse nightlife scene. From dive bars to upscale cocktail lounges, punk rock bars, hipster haunts and thumping dance clubs, Seattle’s nightlife landscape offers them all and more. Buzzing nightspots in Seattle currently include joints like Emerald City Soul Club and The Sunset Club (dance clubs), Sun Liquor (lounge), Lucid (Jazz and Blue lounge), the Tasting room (wine bar), Fun House (punk rock bar) and Chop Suey (alternative rock lounge).