10 Reasons to Visit Seattle
Seattle is one of the world's greenest cities. Discover its unique blend of arts, culture and the natural world.
Known for its eclectic neighbourhoods, waterfront, easy access to the mountains and green spaces, Seattle has forged an identity that capitalises on its unusual juncture of outdoor and urban pleasures.
To Market: Visit Pike Place Market, the oldest farmers’ market in the United States and site of the first Starbucks. Ask about tours with a Four Seasons chef to sample fresh produce and get tips on recognising top quality. The market also has antiques and goods from around the world.
Museum Quality: Explore the huge, daring and diverse collection at the Seattle Art Museum. You’ll find displays of Native American and modern Pacific Northwest art. Upcoming exhibitions include drawings by Michelangelo (October 15, 2009–January 31, 2010) and works by Alexander Calder (October 15, 2009–April 11, 2010).
Panoramic Views: Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle has become Seattle’s most famous icon. Equivalent in height to a 60-storey building, the tower gives 360-degree views of skyscrapers, mountains and sea. For a different perspective, the Space Needle at night offers a virtual galaxy of lights to enjoy.
Musical Interlude: With imagination-stretching architecture by Frank Gehry, the Experience Music Project showcases rare artefacts from pop music history and encourages visitors to create their own music with interactive displays such as Sound Lab and On Stage.
Zoo Crew: Considered one of the world’s most innovative and awarded zoos, Woodland Park Zoo has the mission of saving animals and their habitats through conservation leadership and engaging experiences, inspiring people to learn, care and act.
Aquarium Gem: In Seattle, not only can you appreciate the beauty of the Pacific Ocean, but you can see what’s going on beneath the waves. The Seattle Aquarium gives an up-close look at marine life found in Puget Sound—including harbour seals and Pacific spiny lumpsuckers.
Aircraft on Display: For those who love to fly, the Museum of Flight holds a collection of more than 150 aircraft and spacecraft, including a retired Concorde and America’s first presidential jet, Air Force One (Special Air Missions 970). Also, Boeing offers a tour of its manufacturing facility where you can see the new Dreamliner aircraft under construction.
Explore an Island: It’s easy to get in touch with the rustic charm of the Pacific Northwest. Just take the 35-minute ferry across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island with its earthy arts community, trendy cafés and hiking trails through the Bloedel Reserve.
Back to Nature: Only about 45 minutes from Seattle by seaplane, the San Juan Islands consist of more than 170 named islands, where outdoor activities like biking, hiking and kayaking draw scores of visitors every year. The islands are home to bald eagles, harbour seals, river otters, orca whales and black-tailed deer.
Savour Area Wines: Many connoisseurs rate the wines of Washington state among the best in the world. Take a tour of some boutique wineries, including the celebrated Chateau Ste. Michelle, in and around Woodinville, just 15 miles from Seattle. Beer lovers will find the Redhook Ale Brewery in Woodinville