About Seattle, Washington
Seattle- Washington’s largest city, is known for its unadulterated natural beauty. Situated on Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, this dynamic urban city is famed for its mountains, Pacific ocean, lush green forests, and amazing coffee scene. Do you know Starbucks was founded in Seattle?
The city is home to over 140 Starbucks coffee shops, robust art and music scene, strenuous outdoor activities, and tech hubs like Amazon and Microsoft. The choices could be overwhelming in Seattle; hence, here is your ultimate Seattle, Washington Travel Guide to ease your trip to the ‘Emerald City’ The music scene of Seattle is unmatched, and it has played a vital role in the state’s musical culture and popularized genres of Alternative Rock. Moreover, it is the birthplace of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix, The Postal Service, Foo Fighters, and Macklemore.
Furthermore, Seattle has always been a trailblazer of green thoughts. The emerald city promotes several eco-friendly highlights like electric buses, LEED-certified buildings, and a new light rail system. As far as the tourist attraction is concerned, you’ll be spending your days exploring the city’s top highlights like Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Olympic Sculpture Park, The Museum of History and Industry, and more.
Being the largest city in Washington, Seattle is home to over 7.25 lacs people of different backgrounds. The city is currently growing at a rate of 1.47% annually, and its population has increased by 29.46%. Spanning over 142.07 sq miles, the population density of Seattle is at least 9396 people per square mile. The metropolitan area itself has a population of 3.5 million inhabitants, making Seattle the 15th largest metro city in the USA.
Nestled on the hilly isthmus between the eastern shore of Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest and Lake Washington, Seattle is surrounded by the sea, rivers, forests, lakes, fields, and mountains. Seattle is a major port city and an air and sea gateway to Asia and Alaska. Its chief harbor Elliot Bay is part of Puget Sound, which makes Seattle a major oceanic port. Seattle lies on Capitol Hill, First Hill, West Seattle, Beacon Hill, Queen Anne, Magnolia, and former Denny Hill. Seattle stands on the Pacific Ring of Fire, making the city a major earthquake zone.
Archaeological expeditions suggest in Seattle city history that the land’s first settlers were Native Americans who inhabited Seattle 4,000 years ago. However, the early modern account of Seattle is connected with the expedition to discover the Northwest Passage to trade with North Asia. In 1792, British Captain George Vancouver became the first European to visit Seattle, who was on an expedition to chart the Pacific Northwest. However, the first permanent European settlers led by Luther Collins arrived after 1851 and settled on the bank of the Duwamish River. Later, they moved across Elliott Bay to what is now known as the historic Pioneer Square District. The settlers gave the name Seattle to honor the Duwamish Indian chief Stealth.
The majority of the Seattle population is white, and 52% follow Christianity. It has a relatively large minority of Asian and the largest African-American population. Besides, a small population of Latino is growing in Seattle quickly. More than half of the population follows Christianity (mostly protestants), and the rest follows Buddhism (2%), Hinduism (1%), Judaism (1%), and other religions (5%). However, a large portion of the population is irreligious.
Furthermore, Seattle has a large Jewish community, which settled in the city in 1860. Many Seattleites profess no religion and are atheist, agnostic, or unaffiliated.
The culture in Seattle is circumscribed by history, art, music, and coffee. Seattle is the cultural epicentre of the Pacific Northwest, and it draws on the city’s ethnic diversity, its tradition to support arts, and its status as the state’s educational and economic centre. It has been a melting pot of different cultures, and its ethnically diverse neighbourhoods are the epicentre of rich culture, music, art, and spirit. The smaller neighbourhoods of this big city hold a strong sense of community life. The daily life of a Seattleite is incomplete without the city’s drive-through coffee shops, breweries, boutiques, and weed shops (yes, they are legal here).
Like any other US city, Seattle’s official language is English. However, in Seattle, the percentage of people who speak languages other than English rose to 25.4%, thanks to the city’s burgeoning immigrant communities. Spanish remains the second-most widely spoken language in Seattle. Looking at the city’s diverse population, there are some other languages like Lushootseed, Somali, Chinese, Hindi, Bengali, Japanese, Spanish that the Seattleite speaks.
The official currency of Seattle is the U.S. Dollar ($, US$, USD).
Since its incorporation as a city in 1869, Seattle has been governed as a charter city with a mayor-council form of government. The Mayor is the head of the executive branch of the city government, and the Seattle City council is the legislative branch, led by a Council President. The Mayor and nine-member city council are elected for a four-year term. The seven council positions are selected based on the city’s seven council districts.
- The Mayor
The Mayor of Seattle is designated as head of the executive branch of the city government. The Mayor is responsible for enforcing laws enacted by the Seattle City Council and Directing subordinate Officers in City departments.
- City council
The City council is the legislative body, consisting of nine members serving four-year terms. Seven of nine members are elected by electoral districts, and two are elected citywide at large positions. All the nine members of the city Council are responsible for managing and approving the city’s budget and developing laws and policies to promote the health and safety of Seattleite residents.
- City Attorney
Seattle’s City Attorney is the non-partisan elected official responsible for defending the city against lawsuits, prosecuting people for misdemeanour offences, and giving law advice to the city.
Seattle’s climate is temperate, classified in the Mediterranean zone by the climatic classification. It has mild, dry, partly cloudy, short summers and cold, wet, and mostly cloudy winters. The temperature of the city typically varies from 37℉ to 79℉ and is rarely above 85℉ and below 28℉.
When to Go
The best time to go Seattle is between May and October when the weather is pleasant. Although summer marks the city’s peak season when Seattle is packed with tourists, accommodation prices rise, and availability drops. However, it is the best season to visit if the weather is your concern and you want to avoid Seattle’s cold winters.
Every traveler entering the USA is required to show a passport. All travelers, including the U.S. citizens, traveling by flight between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Bermuda, Central, and South America are required to show a valid passport.
If you are traveling to Seattle from a different nation, ensure your passport has six months validity and has two or more blank pages.
If you belong to one of the 38 countries part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), you can apply for ESTA. ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorization allows tourists from VWP member nations to enter the USA for 90 days for tourism, business, and medical purposes.
The first step to applying for a U.S. visa is to complete the DS-160 form. Once you submit it online, schedule an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country. You will need some documents to present at the interview.
The purpose of your trip to the USA determines the type of visa you need. Generally, business, tourism, or education visas are some of the common visas. Apart from that, below is the list of visas:
- Immigrant Visa (For permanent residency)
- Visitor’s Visa (For tourism & business)
- Fiance Visa (To marry an US citizen and live in the US)
- Student Visa
- Business or professional visas for citizens of Canada and Mexico
- Transit Visa (For traveling through the US on your way to another country)
Being one of the remarkable cities of the USA, Seattle offers a good range of hotels to its guests. It has over 132 hotels and more than 3000 rooms in its downtown area. From luxury hotels to affordable B&Bs, Seattle accommodates all kinds of guests.
When in the US, call 911 in case of any emergency. Seattle has a good number of public and private hospitals. Below are the emergency contact numbers of emergency services in Seattle City.
Virginia Mason Medical Center
Address: 1100 9tH Ave, Seattle, Washington 98101
Contact No: +1 206 223 6600
UW- Medicine University of Washington Medical Center
Address: Main Hospital, 1959 NE Pacific St, Seattle, Washington
Contact no.:+1 206 598 3300
- Dress Code
The fun fact about Seattle is there is no dress code to roam around the city. You can wear anything according to your mood. However, some upmarket restaurants, bars, and clubs require their customers to wear a particular dress. You can check in with them before visiting these places.
Drinking in public places is strictly prohibited in Seattle. However, the city has some pulsing nightclubs, bars, and pubs, where you can raise the toast with the finest of wine and beer. However, these places allow only adults above 21 years of age. Maintain your social etiquette and don’t create any drama in public.
Offering tips at a restaurant is your choice. However, if the service is satisfactory, you can always tip at 15%-20% of your total bill in cash.
It would help if you acquired a permit to take professional and commercial photographs in Seattle parks and recreational areas. Otherwise, you can always capture your fun moments in Seattle.
Seattle is known as ‘a city of neighborhoods’. It is home to over 7.25 lacs people, and consists of 127 neighborhoods representing diverse cultures, history, cuisine, and experiences. As one of Washington’s prominent cities, Seattle boasts some of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the country, where there’s no dearth of activities to do in Seattle. Here are some popular neighborhoods:
The northern neighborhood Fremont is known for its bohemian vibe, hib bars, indie shops, and quirky outdoor sculptures. If you are in Seattle, visit Fremont’s Sunday Market. Here, you can find arts, antiques, and food trucks. The eateries are always packed with arty residents and tech workers.
Belltown was once filled with very steep hills, and it took 30 years to develop the city. Today, Belltown can be recognized by its high-rise condos, trendy shops, indies boutiques, cafes, and galleries. Belltown is not only popular among its residents, even tourists come here to enjoy the live-music performances at Crocodile, an iconic rock venue, since 1991. Visit the Z-shaped Olympic Sculpture Park offers incredible sight of Puget Sound.
Nestled on a peninsula jutting into Puget Sound, Magnolia was once a major trading port of Washington. It is the second-largest neighborhood of Seattle. People often visit Magnolia to explore its beaches, forested trails of Discovery Park, West Point Lighthouse, and indigenous art at the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center.
- Pioneer Square
Many Seattle residents believe Pioneer Square to be the first neighborhood of the city. The neighborhood grew faster, when Henry Yesler built the first steam-powered lumber mill on the pier there. Today, art galleries, coffee shops, boutiques, and bars have taken over the late-1800s Romanesque Revival Buildings. Visit the Pioneer Square Plaza to see the intricate Iron Pergola and Tlingit Indian Totem.
Before it became accustomed with hitp waterfront neighborhoods, craft breweries, trendy restaurants, and indie shops, Ballard was home to a former seafaring community with Nordic heritage. The neighborhood still has the small-town vibe. Ballard has staggering views of the water and olympic Peninsula. Visit the historic Hiram M Chittenden Locks or hike the frosted trails of vast Discovery Park.
Museum and Cultural Tour
Seattle Food and Wine Tour
High End Dining
The ‘Emerald City’ Seattle is bustling with thriving music, intricate arts, and luscious food scenes. Seattle’s culinary scene is remarkable and people travel from far and wide to relish the fresh seafood, refined chocolates, and local wines. When it comes to beers, the city hosts some of the best breweries, where you can spend some good times relishing the finely crafted beers of the city and delicious food.
Before you visit Seattle, find out the best bars, and best restaurants in Seattle: