Arty, alternative Seattle might rain like India during monsoon season at times, but there’s little else depressing about it. From the iconic Space Needle (only worth ascending should the weather be dramatically better than average, unless you want to be staring at the insight of a cloud or watching raindrops drip off the window) to a lively outdoor culture and fashionable coffee & nightlife scene, anyone who likes things up to the minute and different is going to love this city.
Seattle’s a very green city – it should be, considering the water that falls on it – and when you do get a sunny day, walking the city centre and exploring the numerous public gardens with a warm, well-made coffee in hand is the perfect way to use it. There’s a wetland zoo and a waterfall garden, an aquarium and an impressive monorail to cruise round it all on. When you’re done with the inner city natural sites, climb into a kayak and explore the harbor, take a ferry to beautiful Bainridge Island, or hop on a mountain bike and head out into the wild.
Pike Place Market is a wonderful taste of the Seattle of old, hosting farm products and seafood that you can have cooked up in a nearby restaurant. The harbor walk is another must see, with plenty of excursions around the bay on offer, as well as that aquarium, where you’ll find a mammoth octopus and even a coastal tide pool. Head for Pioneer Square for another historic take on Seattle, filled with art galleries and high-class boutique shopping amongst the traditional buildings.
The ‘fish ladders’, which allow salmon to swim up the Ballard Locks into the freshwater above Puget Sound, are another unique Seattle attraction carefully laid open to the visitor, but it’s the lively, playful, art-focused attitude that has most visitors loving this city.
There's no reason for a visitor to limit his/her scope to the downtown area. There are plenty of noteworthy sites and activities in Seattle's quirky neighborhoods. From street art and Theo chocolates in Fremont to art museums and kayaking in the University District. Ballard, Capitol Hill, and the Central District are each worth their own visits as well.
Whether you want to pretend to be Frasier and peruse the light opera scene and high-end coffee shops, or just enjoy a modern, nature-tinged city at its best, there’s plenty here to keep you going, and plenty in the way of motivational caffeine stops, too.
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