Welcome to Seattle!
Seattle is known for its amazing views of mountains and water, fantastic markets, urban culture, local musical legends, waterway systems, Seattle’s Best Coffee, and Starbucks! This city is so much more than just the home of major international barista coffee shops. There is art, music, amazing food, and a view like no other.
Tourists know the well-known attractions, but a worldwide local knows the best kept secrets. Enjoy this insider’s guide of some of Seattle’s best spots!
Where to Begin and How to Get There
If you are just beginning your journey, you should start downtown. You’ll want to visit the historic and famous Pike’s Place Market, which opened in 1907. Built on the edge of a steep hill, the market overlooks Elliot Bay and is one of the oldest public farmers markets in the United States. From Pikes Place, you can explore some of the greatest areas of Seattle, all within walking distance.
Nearly everywhere else downtown, you will want to walk or utilize the public transportation system. Parking is expensive, and it’s a nightmare to navigate the downtown area, so ask the manager of any of the Seattle hotels to help you negotiate public transportation. Be aware, Seattle is also known for its huge homeless population. It’s advised to stay in the more populated areas if you are planning on walking downtown. This isn’t hard to do; don’t walk down to the ferry terminal on Alaska Blvd, take a cab or an Uber instead.
Worldwide Local Tip: Always carry a waterproof jacket or an umbrella during your travels, as the Seattle weather is unpredictable. It could be sunny and 65 degrees out, but then suddenly raining. Don’t get caught without protection from the rain, or you might find yourself hiding under a storefront sign until it clears up.
What to Eat--and Where
When you are traveling in Seattle, you must try some of the amazing Asian food. You might be scratching your head at this suggestion, but seriously, Seattle is one of the biggest port cities on the Pacific Coast. During the early 1900s, many of these major port cities on the West Coast became home to many Asian immigrants who walked across the gangplank to America.
Seattle’s Chinatown/International District has a wealth of great Asian restaurants. Everything is good here—Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese. Some of the best Seattle restaurants include New Hong Kong and the Four Seas. Both are great in a pinch thanks to their coveted parking lots. Harbor City, Jade Garden, Honey Court, and Green Leaf are all worth trying, even if parking is challenging.
Worldwide Local Tip: Make sure you check out The Crocodile, one of the hippest things to do in Seattle. This is a cool grunge club where bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains all got their start by playing the midnight slot before they made it big. Soak in the history of the Grunge era through the music at The Crocodile.
Shopping in Seattle
For those looking for a great shopping experience, Seattle has a store for everyone! Check out U Village (University Village), well-known by the locals. This is an open-air shopping center with boutique stores, is a hidden gem known by many locals. U Village is also dog-friendly, so if you are traveling with your furry friend, this is a great place to visit while you are in Seattle. U Village is located near the University of Washington campus, and can be reached by taxi, Uber, bike, walking, or the public transportation system.
Worldwide Local Tip: Seattle is home to several micro-breweries that are worth checking out! Ballard Beer Company, Cloudburst Brewing, Two Beers Brewing Co., Machine House Brewery, Holy Mountain Brewing Company, Fremont Brewing Company, Reuben’s Brews, and The Taproom are just a few options where you can enjoy locally brewed beers from the great Northwest city of Seattle. Sip on a brew and get into a debate about the successes of the Seattle Seahawks.
For the Tech Geek
Does your family include any computer geeks? If so, you should visit the Living Computer Museum. Their mission is to display and preserve working examples of computers from their inception to today’s awesome information technology that we all enjoy. Even if you’re not technologically inclined, you will no doubt still enjoy seeing the working vintage computers that reach back as far as the 1950s era. The unique collection includes “memory lane” items such as punch cards, terminal entry mainframes, and lots of early PCs (IBM and Apple Lisa). This is a great way for children to learn about how technology used to be.
Enjoy Your Visit!
These are just a few tips to help you enjoy the amazing and vibrant city of Seattle, full of local gems! Exploring the city as a worldwide local will provide incomparable experiences that you can cherish for the rest of your life.