Seattle InformationSeattle shines as the biggest jewel in the Pacific Northwest crown. With an estimated 2013 population of just above 650,000, the city attracts visitors by combining urban sophistication, natural surroundings and small-town friendliness. An excellent public transportation system means you won’t need a car, especially if you stay downtown.
You can start your explorations at the Seattle Center, once the site of the 1962 World’s Fair and now the city’s cultural heart. Take an elevator 605 feet up to the top of the Space Needle for an overview of the surroundings. Down below, you can fill your days at several museums including the Pacific Science Center, the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, and the Science Fiction Museum.
Hop on the Monorail and you can head downtown and then take the short walk to Pike Place Market, a mecca for those who love local food and handicrafts. Check out the nearby waterfront for waterside shops and restaurants or view some of the local wildlife at the Seattle Aquarium. For different view of the metropolis and a chance to spy an orca or two, ride a Washington State Ferry to a nearby location, such as Bainbridge Island.
Sports’ lovers can come any time of year to enjoy any of the “Big Four” pro sports. Formed in 1976, the Seattle Seahawks play football at CenturyLink Field, which was built in the 21st century. This is also the home of the Seattle Sounders, the city’s professional soccer team. For Major League Baseball, head for Safeco Field, where the Seattle Mariners make their home. If you enjoy WNBA basketball, catch the Seattle Storm at KeyArena. A new stadium is in the works in the hopes of bringing back the NBA and attracting an NHL franchise.
The city’s abundance of trees, trails and waterways can easily tempt you toward outdoor sporting pursuits. If you need gear, pay a visit to the flagship store of REI, the well-known outdoor sport retailer. It boasts a trail for testing mountain bikes and a 65-foot rock-climbing wall. Then, walk, run or rent a bike on the 27 miles of the Burke-Gilman Sammamish Trail, which wends its way through the shores of Lake Union, the campus of the University of Washington and several parks. Rent a kayak and you can paddle around Puget Sound or Lakes Union and Washington. You can admire the houseboats or may catch an eagle or two.