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Seattle Travel Guide - Travel S Helper


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Seattle is a maritime city on the West Coast and the county headquarters of King County, Washington. Seattle is the biggest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest area of North America, with an estimated 684,451 people as of 2015. In July 2013, it was the fastest-growing large city in the United States, and it remained in the Top 5 in May 2015, increasing at a 2.1 percent annual pace. The Seattle metropolitan area is the 15th biggest in the United States, with a population of approximately 3.7 million. The city is located on an isthmus between Puget Sound (a Pacific Ocean entrance) and Lake Washington, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Canada’s border with the United States. Seattle, a vital gateway for commerce with Asia, is North America’s third biggest port in terms of container throughput as of 2015.

Native Americans occupied the Seattle region for at least 4,000 years prior to the arrival of the first permanent European settlers. Arthur A. Denny and his party of tourists, dubbed the Denny Party, landed at Alki Point on November 13, 1851, via Portland, Oregon, aboard the schooner Exact. In 1852, the community was relocated to the eastern coast of Elliott Bay and given the name “Seattle,” after Chief Si’ahl of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.

Seattle’s initial significant business was logging, but by the late nineteenth century, the city had developed into a commercial and shipbuilding powerhouse, serving as a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. By 1910, Seattle was one of the country’s top 25 cities. However, the city’s economy was badly harmed by the Great Depression. Growth resumed during and after World War II, owing in part to the establishment of Seattle as an aircraft production hub by the local Boeing firm. Beginning in the 1980s, the Seattle area grew as a technological hub, with corporations such as Microsoft establishing operations in the region. Amazon was started in Seattle in 1994. Between 1990 and 2000, the influx of new software, biotechnology, and Internet firms fueled an economic resurgence that raised the city’s population by about 50,000.

Seattle has an illustrious musical heritage. Between 1918 and 1951, approximately two dozen jazz nightclubs lined Jackson Street between the modern Chinatown/International District and the Central District. Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, and others started their careers in the jazz scene. Additionally, Seattle is the home of Jimi Hendrix and the alternative musical style grunge.

Seattle – Info Card

POPULATION : • City 608,660
• Estimate (2015) 684,451
• Urban 3,059,393 (US: 14th)
• Metro 3,733,580 (US: 15th)
• CSA 4,459,677 (US: 13th)
FOUNDED :   December 2, 1869
TIME ZONE : • Time zone PST (UTC−8)
• Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
LANGUAGE :  English
AREA : • City 142.5 sq mi (369.2 km2)
• Land 83.87 sq mi (217.2 km2)
• Water 58.67 sq mi (152.0 km2)
• Metro 8,186 sq mi (21,202 km2)
ELEVATION : Highest elevation 520 ft (158 m)
Lowest elevation 0 ft (0 m)
COORDINATES :  47°36′35″N 122°19′59″W
ETHNIC : • White: 69.5% (Non-Hispanic Whites: 66.3%)
• Asian: 13.8% (4.1% Chinese, 2.6% Filipino, 2.2% Vietnamese, 1.3% Japanese, 1.1% Korean, 0.8% Indian, 0.3% Cambodian, 0.3% Laotian, 0.2% Pakistanis, 0.2% Indonesian, 0.2% Thai)
• Black or African American: 7.9%
• Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 6.6% (4.1% Mexican, 0.3% Puerto Rican, 0.2% Guatemalan, 0.2% Salvadoran, 0.2% Cuban)
• American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.8%
• Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.4%
• Other race: 2.4%
• Two or more races: 5.1%
AREA CODE :  206
POSTAL CODE : 98101–98119, 98121–98122, 98124–98127, 98129, 98131, 98133–98134, 98136, 98138–98139, 98141, 98144–98146, 98148, 98154–98155, 98158, 98160–98161, 98164–98166, 98168, 98170, 98174–98175, 98177–98178, 98181, 98185, 98188, 98190–98191, 98194–98195, 98198–98199
DIALING CODE :  +1 206
WEBSITE : Seattle

Tourism in Seattle

Seattle, Washington is located in one of the most scenic areas in the United States. It is the largest metropolis in the Pacific Northwest, occupying a small isthmus between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, with a population of four million. When seen from above, carpets of evergreen trees, beautiful blue waterways, and snow-capped white mountains around the city’s steel towers, giving the city the moniker The Emerald City.

On the ground, you’ll discover a bustling, multicultural metropolis. Along with the progressive downtown and the carefree ambiance of Capitol Hill, the districts to the north and ethnically diverse areas to the south provide a laid-back vibe. After a day spent meandering around the city’s many parks and beaches or admiring the arts and architecture, the numerous eateries, coffee shops, and microbreweries are worth indulging in. Additionally, just outside the bustling city, there are snow-capped mountains, evergreen woods, and breathtaking shoreline to explore. Even the brave and daring find it difficult to get enough of Seattle.

Among Seattle’s notable annual fairs and festivals are the 24-day Seattle International Film Festival, Northwest Folklife over Memorial Day weekend, numerous Seafair events throughout July and August (ranging from a Bon Odori celebration to the Seafair Cup hydroplane races), Bite of Seattle, one of the largest Gay Pride festivals in the United States, and the art and music festival Bumbershoot. Each of these events attracts an average of 100,000 people yearly, as do the Seattle Hempfest and two other Fourth of July festivities.

Other Native American powwows, a Greek Festival held by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Montlake, and numerous ethnic festivals (many affiliated with Festál at Seattle Center) are also prominent events.

There are additional annual events, including the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair & Book Arts Show; an anime convention, Sakura-Con; a gaming convention, Penny Arcade Expo; a two-day, 9,000-rider Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic; and specialized film festivals, including the Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival, the Seattle Asian American Film Festival (formerly known as the Northwest Asian American Film Festival), and the Children’s Film Festival Seattle.

The Henry Art Gallery opened in 1927 as Washington’s first public art museum. The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) debuted in 1933; in 1991, SAM established a downtown location (which was enlarged and reopened in 2007); and, since 1991, the 1933 facility has served as the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAM) (SAAM). SAM also manages the Olympic Sculpture Park, which opened in 2007 just north of the downtown piers. On First Hill, the Frye Art Museum is a free museum.

The Loghouse Museum in Alki, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, the Museum of History and Industry, and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture all house regional history collections. The Center for Wooden Boats and the nearby Northwest Seaport, as well as the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum and the Museum of Flight, house industry collections. The Nordic Heritage Museum, the Wing Luke Asian Museum, and the Northwest African American Museum all house regional ethnic collections. Seattle is home to a number of artist-run galleries, including the ten-year-old Soil Art Gallery and the more recent Crawl Space Gallery.

The Seattle Great Wheel, one of the biggest Ferris wheels in the United States, debuted in June 2012 as a permanent attraction on the city’s waterfront, next to Downtown Seattle, at Pier 57. Additionally, the city offers several leisure facilities, including Rainier Beach, Van Asselt, Rainier, and Jefferson south of the Ship Canal, and Green Lake, Laurelhurst, Loyal Heights, and Meadowbrook north of the Canal.

Woodland Park Zoo was founded in 1889 as a private menagerie before being sold to the city in 1899. Since 1977, the Seattle Aquarium has been located on the downtown waterfront (undergoing a renovation 2006). The Seattle Underground Tour is a collection of locations that existed prior to the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle has seen tremendous expansion in the cruise sector since the mid-1990s, particularly as a departure point for Alaska cruises. In 2008, the city welcomed a record 886,039 cruise passengers, surpassing Vancouver, British Columbia, the other main departure point for Alaska cruises.

Climate of Seattle

A popular misconception about Seattle is that the sky is always dark, wet, and dreary. However, you may be surprised to learn that rain is nearly non-existent from late spring to early October, making Seattle a fantastic summer destination. It’s pleasant and warm, with low to moderate humidity and temperatures averaging in the high 70s (about 25°C), while sometimes reaching the 80s and even 90s (over 30°C). Additionally, due to Seattle’s latitude, the sky is bright from around 4:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. during the summer months, providing adequate daylight for outdoor activities.

Throughout the rest of the year, the sky above Seattle is often dark, dismal, wet, and gusty, with sporadic days of sun. It might be dry but very chilly, or moderate but wet. Even in dry weather, the morning normally begins with fog that dissipates by noon. Despite its northernmost position as a major city in the United States, Seattle’s winters are not as severe as those east of the Cascades. Seattle’s climate is moderated by marine air from Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean, which results in the majority of precipitation falling as rain and little as snow. Occasionally, though, a snowfall may strike, albeit this is a rather uncommon occurrence. The location is characterized by complicated geographical characteristics; as a result, it might rain in the city but be sunny five miles north, or snow in mounds fifteen miles inland to the Cascade foothills, often confounding weather experts.

Despite its Rain City moniker, Seattle’s weather is more about cloudy skies than rain, and Seattle actually receives less yearly rainfall than the majority of cities east of the Rocky Mountains. Rain in Seattle is often in the form of a persistent drizzle that lasts for days and only rarely intensifies into a full-fledged downpour that seldom lasts long.

Geography of Seattle

Seattle is the northernmost city in the United States with a population of at least 500,000, further north than Canadian cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, and around the same latitude as Salzburg, Austria.

Seattle’s geography is hilly. Capitol Hill, First Hill, West Seattle, Beacon Hill, Magnolia, Denny Hill, and Queen Anne are all located on hills. To the west of Puget Sound are the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas, as well as the Olympic mountains, while to the east of Lake Washington are the Cascade Range and Lake Sammamish. The city’s parks totals approximately 5,540 acres (2,242 hectares).

Economy of Seattle

The economy of Seattle is fueled by a combination of traditional industrial firms and “new economy” Internet and technology firms, as well as service, design, and clean technology firms. In 2010, the city’s gross metropolitan product was $231 billion, ranking it as the country’s 11th biggest metropolitan economy. The Port of Seattle, which also manages Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, serves as a significant gateway for commerce with Asia and cruises to Alaska, and is the eighth biggest container port in the United States. Though Seattle was impacted by the Great Recession, the city maintained a relatively solid economy and remained a magnet for start-up enterprises, particularly in green construction and clean technologies: it was named as America’s No. 1 “smarter city” due to its government policies and green economy. In February 2010, the city administration pledged to making Seattle the first “climate neutral” city in North America by 2030, with the objective of achieving zero net per capita greenhouse gas emissions.

Nonetheless, very huge corporations continue to dominate the commercial environment. Four Seattle-based companies appear on the 2013 Fortune 500 list of the largest companies in the United States, ranked by total revenue: online retailer (#49), coffee chain Starbucks (#208), department store Nordstrom (#227), and freight forwarder Expeditors International of Washington (#428). Other Fortune 500 corporations that are often linked with Seattle are headquartered in neighboring Puget Sound communities. Costco (#22), Washington’s biggest retailer, is headquartered in Issaquah. Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond (#35). Weyerhaeuser is a forest products corporation headquartered in Federal Way (#363). Finally, Bellevue is home to Paccar (#168), a vehicle manufacturer. Other significant employers in the region include Nintendo of America in Redmond, T-Mobile US in Bellevue, Expedia Inc. in Bellevue, and Providence Health & Services in Renton – the state’s biggest health care system and sixth largest employer. The city is well-known for its coffee consumption; Seattle-based coffee brands include Starbucks, Seattle’s Best Coffee, and Tully’s. Additionally, there are several successful independently owned artisanal espresso roasters and cafés.

Boeing was the biggest firm headquartered in Seattle prior to relocating to Chicago. Its major division is located in adjacent Renton, and the firm maintains substantial aircraft production facilities in Everett and Renton, making it the region’s largest private employment. In 2006, former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels expressed a desire to catalyze a new economic boom centered on the biotechnology sector. The South Lake Union area is undergoing significant reconstruction in an attempt to bring new and existing biotech businesses to the city, including Corixa (bought by GlaxoSmithKline), Immunex (now part of Amgen), Trubion, and ZymoGenetics. Vulcan Inc., billionaire Paul Allen’s holding firm, is responsible for the majority of the region’s development initiatives. While some see the new construction as a benefit to the economy, others have blasted Nickels and the Seattle City Council for catering to Allen’s interests at the cost of taxpayers. Additionally, Expansion Magazine named Seattle among the top ten metropolitan locations in the US for business expansion-friendly conditions in 2006. In 2005, Forbes listed Seattle as the most costly city in the United States for home ownership based on local income levels. Seattle, on the other hand, was named No. 9 on the magazine’s 2013 list of the Best Places for Business and Careers.

Alaska Airlines, which has a hub at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, has its headquarters in the nearby city of SeaTac.

Seattle is a worldwide health powerhouse, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, the Infectious Disease Research Institute, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation all headquartered here. The Washington Global Health Alliance listed 168 global health organizations in the state of Washington in 2015, with the majority of them based in Seattle.

Internet, Communication in Seattle


Seattle’s area code is 206. Other area codes are used in the surrounding regions, including 425 for the eastern and northern suburbs, including Bellevue, Redmond, Lynnwood, and Everett, 253 for everything south of Kent, including Tacoma, Federal Way, and Fife, and 360 for anything west of the Cascades. The 509 area code covers all of Washington east of the Cascades.

Pay phones are mostly located in railway stations, however they are often underutilized, and the majority are on the brink of being removed. As is the case in most of the rest of the nation, you will almost certainly need a cellphone to make calls while on the move. The majority of the city has great cellphone service, with the exception of the Downtown metro tunnels.


All Seattle public libraries provide free Wi-Fi. The City of Seattle offers free Wi-Fi in Columbia City, the University District, four downtown Seattle parks (Occidental, Freeway, Westlake, and Victor Steinbrueck), and the City Hall lobby area as part of a trial initiative. Additionally, the Seattle Center offers free wireless internet access in the Center House building. Additionally, RapidRide and Sound Transit commuter buses provide complimentary Wi-Fi.

Numerous internet cafes are located across the Seattle region, particularly in the University District and Downtown areas. Additionally, many coffee shops provide both free and fee-based wireless Internet access (all Starbucks locations offer free Wi-Fi). While most, if not all, major telecom carriers offer 4G LTE service, reception degrades as you approach the highlands.



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