Seattle Tourist Activities
Seattle Tacoma International Airport is located nearby the intriguing city of Seattle, famous for many of its interesting features and its beauty. The airport of the city handles a large number of passengers, as it is ranked as the sixteenth busiest airport in the United States, and offers a number of useful options for ground transportation for arriving passengers. There are public and private buses, as well as a train that runs to downtown Seattle. Attractions of this appealing city include the Seattle Waterfront, the Seattle Centre, the Smith Tower Observation Deck, the Seattle Aquarium, the Children’s Museum and many more. It is a city visited by thousands of local and international tourists every year.
Seattle lies between the waters of the Puget Sound and Lake Washington, and in the US state of Washington. Washington is found on the north western side of the country, just south of Canada’s province of British Columbia, and west of the US areas of Montana and Idaho. The state of Oregon is found to the south. Seattle is regarded as a particularly beautiful city, surrounded by water and nearby to snow-capped mountains, and features many enticing waterfront restaurants, large and modern shopping centres and some very tall skyscrapers. The city has even been used in several films and television series, such as ‘Frasier’ and ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, with the very popular actor Tom Hanks and actress Meg Ryan. Visitors will find plenty of options for hotels and accommodation. Hotels are located throughout the city, in convenient locations for leisure and business travellers, but the majority lie around the downtown area, Belltown and the Pike Place market. Some even offer spectacular views of the waterfront, and are close by to many of the city’s main attractions.
The city of Seattle is divided into many districts. The Downtown District is characterised by several beautiful buildings, some of the city’s main tourist attractions and is where the financial district is found. The famous Seattle waterfront is here, along with many stylish pubs and restaurants, and the Pike Place Market is another very popular and favourite area. The market offers great fresh food and locally made crafts in a beautiful setting. Adjacent to Downtown is Capitol Hill, an area famous for its wide variety of shopping opportunities and diverse population which include a strong gay community, while Belltown is to the north of Downtown, and is a lively area with many popular nightlife entertainment venues. Queen Anne is alongside Belltown, and is a high neighbourhood that offers some of the best views of the Puget Sound. The University District of Seattle is one of the older areas of the city, and mostly caters for the students of the University of Washington. It features a number of stunning mansions that have mostly been turned into fraternity and sorority houses. Other districts of Seattle include Wallingford, West Seattle, Freemont, Greenlake, the International District, Pioneer Square, SODO and Ballard. The International District is home to a diversity of Asian nationalities, and contains Asian food markets, unique import stores and the Wing Luke Asian Museum.
Some of the main attractions of the city are ideal for families with children. The Seattle Aquarium is a favourite outing, and is found on Pier 59, at 1483 Alaskan Way. It was established in 1977, and today has an impressive display of more than 380 species of fish, invertebrates, birds and other marine animals. The aquarium was also the first of its kind to raise sea otters and the giant Pacific octopus. The Seattle Aquarium, with its numerous attractions, is sure to keep any family happily entertained for at least a few hours. Another wonderful place to visit is the Woodland Park Zoo, at 5500 Phinney Avenue, nearby the Greenlake and the lower Queen Anne neighbourhoods. The zoo is just over 90 acres in size, and has a wide variety of interesting animals. It also has a special monitor dragon exhibit, a lovely butterfly area, rose gardens and a tropical rain forest. The well-kept green lawns are also often used for live music festivals in the summer. Ideal for children as well, is the Children’s Museum, found at 305 Harrison Street. It has many interactive displays that focus on education, a mountain forest where families can hike, a small theatre and an area that is specifically designed to entertain little ones under the age of three. The Imagination Station is also one of the best parts of the museum.
The Seattle Waterfront is one of the main attractions of the city, and one of the favourite places for locals and tourists. There are many enticing seafood restaurants to enjoy, and views of the ferries, freighters, tugs, naval vessels and overhead seaplanes are quite spectacular. The Ye Olde Curiosity Shop has made a presence since 1899, and the Seattle Omnidome Theatre is another favourite of the waterfront. Travel the area on foot, or take the Waterfront Streetcar, comprising of restored trams from Australia. To continue the ‘fishy theme’, the fish ladders of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, or the Ballard Locks, are quite a sight to see when the Sockeye (red) salmon pass through them. Visitors can also watch the boats as they move between Lake Union and the Puget Sound, or take a stroll through the lovely Carl South English, Jr. Botanical Garden. A gift shop is here as well with some interesting items.
Further Seattle attractions include the Seattle Centre, a cultural centre and amusement park at 305 Harrison Street. It was built for the 1962 World Fair, and is home to the Space Needle, one of Seattle’s most striking landmarks. He Space Needle stands at nearly 160 metres tall, and features an observation deck at the top that is reached by elevator in just 41 seconds. A more historic observation deck is found at Smith Tower, which was built in 1914. It also used to be considered as the tallest building outside of New York city. Not to be missed in Seattle is also the Boeing Factory, where visitors can see how the famous Boeing aircraft are constructed, and the city’s many interesting museums that include the Burke Museum of Natural History, the Experience Music Project Museum (EMP), the Frye Art Museum, the Museum of Flight, the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame and the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
A large number of interesting places are found nearby Seattle as well, and are easily reached by motorcar or ferry. They include the Tillicum Indian Village, Tacoma, the San Juan Islands, Mount Rainier National Park, Mount St. Helens, Snoqualmie Falls, Victoria of British Columbia and the Bainbridge and Bremerton Islands. More detailed information regarding all these Seattle attractions and many others is available from the visitor centres of Seattle Tacoma International Airport, or from the Washington State Convention and Trade Centre on 7th Avenue and Pike Street.