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The Seattle Experience

Updated on November 20, 2015
relache profile image

Raye was born in New England, grew up in the Mid-Atlantic, spent college out West, and presently publishes Hubs from the Pacific Northwest.

Visiting the Emerald City

The city of Seattle sits at the edge of Puget Sound, in between the Sound and Lake Washington, in the state of Washington. It is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region. Native tribes inhabited the area for a few thousand years before European settlers arrived in the mid-1800s. A three-hour drive south will put you in Portland, OR and a three-hour drive north will get you to Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Ever since it was first founded, Seattle has been a city with lots of local industries, going through cycles of boom and bust. Lumber and the Klondike gold rush contributed to the early development of the city, whereas companies like Starbucks and Microsoft are fueling present growth.

Seattle gets a lot of press about the amount of rain it experiences, however it is more of an overcast and cloudy city than a wet one. (almost all of the Eastern seaboard gets more rain than Seattle). Most of the rain that falls comes down as misty drizzles and thunderstorms are very rare. Winters can be dark, but snow is mostly powdered-sugar dustings that melt within a few hours. Summers run from cool and drizzly to nice and temperate with very few huge heat waves.

Great Spots for the Whole Family

The Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum is a great family destination
The Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum is a great family destination | Source

What Do You Think Of When You Hear "Seattle?"

Do you think of...

  • airplanes - home of Boeing
  • boating - Lake Washington and Puget Sound
  • coffee - home of Starbucks and Tully's
  • computers - home of Microsoft
  • islands - Vashion, Bainbridge, Mercer
  • mountains - Mt Rainier and the Olympic peninsula
  • music - Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Pearl Jam
  • rain - gentle but nearly year-round

Downtown Seattle

The Seattle waterfront featuring the Great Wheel and the Aquarium, as photographed from an arriving Bainbridge ferry
The Seattle waterfront featuring the Great Wheel and the Aquarium, as photographed from an arriving Bainbridge ferry | Source

The Great Wheel

Seattle's new waterfront ferris wheel
Seattle's new waterfront ferris wheel | Source

If you don't have much time....

Here are some recommendations for if you find yourself in Seattle but don't have a lot of time to see the sights.

The Waterfront - Pike Market, the Aquarium, the Great Wheel, tons of restaurants and some of the best people watching in town can all be had within just a few blocks of each other on Seattle's waterfront.

Seattle Center - the historic location of the 1962 World's Fair is still the home of the famous Space Needle but it's also got the Pacific Science Center, the Key Arena, the Chihuly Garden, the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and a food court to satisfy any tastes. This space also plays host to a variety of smaller, local convention, exhibitions and performances.

Seattle Center and the Space Needle

Seattle Summer Seafair

For over 50 years, starting around the end of June and running into the beginning of August is Seattle's Seafair. This is the largest festival event in the Northwest and masses an amazing array of summer events and activities into the absolute best part of the year in this region. There are boating events, street fairs, air shows, several foot races and more, all occurring within this six week period. Here are some highlights not to be missed:

  • Pirate Landing - yep, a motley and humorous crew of pirates land at Seafair. Be sure to bring the kids to this one!

  • Milk Carton Derby - hand-built boats which float on milk cartons make for a fun, family event.

  • Torchlight Run - supporting local charities, this is an evening road race for serious and casual runners alike.

  • Lake Union wooden boat festival - celebrating vintage and antique watercraft.

  • Bon Odori - this Buddhist festival honors the dead and features unique line dancing in the streets.

  • Hydroplane races - boats race at over 200 mph to compete for the Chevrolet Cup.

  • Air show - the famous Blue Angels come to town.

The Space Needle in Seattle Center
The Space Needle in Seattle Center | Source

Share Your Seattle Favorites!

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    • relache profile image

      Raye 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Greg, I hope you all have good rain gear, it's going to be that sort of day. Which really does have it's own special beauty! Have fun in Seattle, whatever you do!

    • Gerg profile image

      Gerg 5 years ago from California

      Great hub - very informative, relache. Yesterday we went to the King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, and ate dinner at the Space Needle. Both very much worth it! Beautiful city; wish we had more time to do everything - today we'll tackle some more options. Thanks!


    • My Odyssey profile image

      My Odyssey 7 years ago from Somerset, Kentucky

      Good hub! If I could pack up and move anywhere in the US I would love to just move to Seattle.

    • Fresh_Flower profile image

      Fresh_Flower 7 years ago from London

      When I hear Seattle I definitely think of the grunge music back in the 90's... Seattle was a Mecca for all of us who went to high school during those days

    • MzJme profile image

      MzJme 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

      What a great Hub!! I have lived in Seattle most of my life and it was very interesting to read your hub..BTW - I have enjoyed reading your other hubs too.

    • relache profile image

      Raye 10 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Thanks, William! I've only lived here for a few years now so I'm still exploring a lot and I like to drag my camera around with me to snap anything interesting I come across. Stay tuned for more!

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Wonderful hub, wonderful city. I was thrilled to see the trolleys. I grew up with trolleys in Yonkers, N.Y., and I miss them. I've mentioned them on some of my hubs. I wish more cities would use them. My daughter went to Starbucks' school in Seattle and opened the first several Starbucks stores in Chicago. At the time, she was a coffee specialist. I also love travelogues that feature street scenes, so I was doubly pleased to see this hub. Thanks, relache.