- Seattle is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — consider printing them all.
Seattle, Washington,  is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest. Located between Puget Sound and Lake Washington in King County, of which it is the county seat, and overlooking Elliott Bay, Seattle is nicknamed The Emerald City. The city is a damp green gem, with an abundance of evergreen trees throughout, and spectacular views of the Cascade mountains to the east and the Olympic mountains to the west. Known for being the home of the Space Needle, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Amazon.com, Nintendo of America, Starbucks, Costco, and the University of Washington, Seattle is also the home of a vibrant arts scene and an excellent park system.
Seattleites nearly always describe a location in terms of its "neighborhood." This is partly because of a potentially confusing system of street addresses (see Get Around). The breakdown into neighborhoods is informal and mutates over time, and while there are often signs on major arterial roads to let you know that you are "entering" a particular neighborhood, the placement of these signs is arbitrary.
Still, knowing what neighborhood you're looking for can be a good sanity check when you're looking for an address. A Seattleite would describe 1401 45th SW as being in West Seattle, and 1401 45th NE as being in the U District (University District), which you'll note are diagonally opposite on the map. See Get Around for an explanation.
The Seattle City clerk maintains an interactive map  that starts with the high-level districts, but lets you click on those to get the detailed neighborhoods too.
- Downtown and South of the Ship Canal
- East[East of downtown (or I-5)]
- Along Lake Washington
- South of downtown (or I-90)
- North of the Ship Canal
- North of Greenlake (or NE 85th Street)
Some others that may crop up are:
- Sodo - Originally "South of the Dome", referring to the now-demolished Kingdome. To keep some sense in the name, it is sometimes explained now as "South of Downtown".
- Maple Leaf, Lake City, Ravenna, and Wedgewood have similarly fuzzy boundaries as you move from Northgate towards Laurelhurst.
- The "Eastside" means the region east of Lake Washington comprising the suburbs of Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond.
- Denny Regrade is the area around the Seattle Center.
Seattle was founded on the rough, physical industries of fishing, logging and coal mining, with San Francisco as her primary customer. Boeing was founded in 1916 and, as natural resources were depleted, grew to be Greater Seattle's primary industry. The region's strong economic dependence on Boeing gave the oil recession and cancellation of the SST (Supersonic Transport) in the early '70s a grim effect. Over the last twenty-five years, the area has become less seedy and more developed with the massive influx of Microsoft money (and other software and biotech proceeds), but Pioneer Square is still the original Skid Row. (Yesler Way was a "Skid Road" for logs skidded downhill using dogfish oil to Henry Yesler's lumber mill).
Seattle is also substantially influenced by the presence of the University of Washington (the largest single campus in the state and recipient of over $1 billion in research grants annually), as well as multiple smaller colleges and universities. Seattle is also the center for financial, public health, and justice systems in the northwestern part of the USA.
The weather  can be rainy (but is usually just drizzly) on any given day. It can also be sunny and pleasant in January. Mid-June through early September is often sunny. The record high  is only 100 degrees fahrenheit (38°C). The record low is 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18°C). The warmest months are July and August, with average highs in the high 70s (about 25°C), though often having days in the 80s and even 90s (32°C). The coldest month is January, with average lows in the mid-upper 30s (about 3°C), although occasionally can get cold, especially when it is not cloudy. The dark, short, and overcast winter days can be unpleasant and depressing to some, although the bright side is that they are not as cold as the latitude (47.6 degrees North) might lead you to think. The summer, however, is very pleasant. Temperatures are very mild, and most locals do not have air-conditioning in their homes, though all hotels will, and it is advisable to have it for a car if you are there in the summer. The days are also very long, and sunset (let alone twilight) is after 9pm for weeks. Also, the vast majority of days in the summer have no rain, and despite its reputation, many people's lawns go brown in the summer if they do not water. The main challenge of Seattle's weather is more the overcast skies than the rain. One interesting fact is that Seattle has less annual rainfall than New York City; however, the rain is spread out over a larger number of days, so while NYC gets heavier downpours, Seattle's rain usually comes in a drizzle, which only occasionally strengthens to a full-blown torrent. Despite this, if you come in the summer, you should see plenty of sunny weather. The month of December tends to be extremely wet, although due to the fact that Seattle weather is unpredictable, it can still be sunny and mild.
A rule of thumb sums up Seattle's month-by-month weather as such. January starts the year off with a relief from December's torrential rains, but just as quickly subjects the city to what is, for the area, an intense chill. Temperatures can fall below 30°F and snow may fall on several occasions. As Seattle's infrastructure is not built around this, even a moderate freeze creates major problems. In February, the weather is still cold and easily prone to snow, but often is sunny with entire weeks of sunshine. This is only a tease, though, as March is windy and unpleasant. April is when spring makes itself apparent, with schizophrenic weather which will see rain, then sunshine, then hail, then more sunshine, all in one afternoon. May is almost always the best non-summer month, as rain is rare and sun is in ample supply. Temperatures can hit 80 or more. But then June hits and the weather becomes cloudy and rainy once more, though fortunately it's a warmer rain and there is still good weather occasionally. July through September, however, are what make Seattle a bearable place to live, as rain almost never falls, and temperatures hover around 70 to 80 the whole way through. Toward the end of September, the weather cools, and by early October, it is once again very unpleasant with frequent cold rain and cloudy skies. November and December just get worse, and add possible snow to the mix. Then the cycle begins again, and with the passing of Christmas, the anticipation of increasingly longer days is tempered by the inexorable advent of freezing weather and black ice.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport  or just "Sea-Tac Airport", (IATA: SEA), located in the city of SeaTac, connects Seattle to all regions of the world, with especially frequent transpacific routes. The airport is about a 25-minute drive from downtown Seattle when there isn't traffic.
There are several choices for getting from the airport to the city center:
- Metro(city bus) - Routes 194  (express, 30 minutes) and 174  (45-60 minutes) will get you downtown for $2.50 during peak hours (6-9am and 3-6pm) and $1.75 at all other times. Get exact change, exit the terminal, turn right and walk all the way to the south end of the building where you will find a couple of Metro bus stops with schedules posted. The 174/194 at the first bus stop head downtown; the 174/194 at the second (adjacent) bus stop head out to Federal Way.
- Taxi - The trip is about 20 minutes by taxi (expect to pay $30-40 plus tip); catch one on the third floor of the parking garage.
- Rental car - On a weekend, you might want to shop the internet for rental cars, since they can be less than $12/day (plus roughly 18% tax; also consider hotel parking fees, if any). Beware of the fact that taking a rental from the airport will incur an 11% "airport tax" surcharge. If you are able to rent a car from a downtown location you will not have to pay this and will save a considerable amount of money.
- Visitor Center - If you come through the airport but still need help planning your trip, making hotel reservations, tour bookings, getting area and downtown maps and more, make sure you stop by the Seattle Southside Visitor Center  at exit 156 off of Interstate 5. It is the official visitor center for the SeaTac International Airport and Seattle Southside region.
- Commercial shuttle buses  are about $5-$12.75 and probably not faster than the bus if you are going downtown.
- Also a special note. In the fall of 2009 Sound Transit  will begin operating a light-rail line between downtown Seattle and the Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport.
Amtrak provides service from all along the west coast. The Amtrak Cascades  runs four trains a day between Seattle and Portland (two run between Seattle and Eugene, Oregon, via Portland) and one a day to Vancouver, British Columbia. The Cascades corridor service is quicker and much more reliable than the long-distance Coast Starlight, which can be delayed for hours on the long (over a day) trip from Los Angeles, California.
Additionally, the Empire Builder provides daily service to Chicago via Minneapolis and Glacier National Park. Unlike the other three Amtrak transcontinental trains further south, the Builder tends to stick fairly closely to schedule.
Seattle's King Street Station  is located south of downtown, near Safeco Field.
Interstate Highway 5 (I-5) cuts through the middle of Seattle north to south. Interstate 90 (I-90) runs from the I-5 interchange in Seattle all the way to Boston. Interstate Highway (I-405) runs parallel to I-5 on the east side of Lake Washington. Be aware however, that Seattle is a city known for terrible traffic (third worst in the nation behind Los Angeles and New York), especially around rush hour, so be ready for crawling along slowly as you enter the city.
- Greyhound, . Seattle's Greyhound bus station is located on Stewart St. at the northeast edge of the downtown core.
- Quick Shuttle, . Runs between Seattle and Vancouver, BC. Stops in Downtown Seattle (outside the Best Western at 200 Taylor Ave N) and SeaTac Airport (at the main terminal near south end of baggage claim, outside door 00, bays 11-16). Fares from Vancouver to Downtown Seattle are $36 one-way, $65 round-trip; from Vancouver to SeaTac, fares are $49 one-way, $87 round-trip.
- Washington State Ferries, 801 Alaskan Way Pier 52, +1 206 464-6400  - Connect downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island, to Bremerton, and to Vashon Island, and connect West Seattle to Vashon Island and to Southworth (Kitsap Peninsula). All ferries are for both vehicles and passenger except the ferry between downtown Seattle and Vashon Island.
- Victoria Clipper high speed catamaran passenger ferries,  connect Seattle to Victoria, British Columbia (Canada) and Seattle to the San Juan Islands.
Seattle's street designations make sense once you understand them but, if you don't understand them, you can end up many miles away from your destination.
North-South streets are labeled "Avenues" (or occasionally "Boulevards" and "Ways") while East-West streets are labeled "Streets". The city is roughly divided into a 3 by 3 grid with 7 directional sectors (E, SW, W, S, N, NE, & NW) Street addresses are written with the sector before the name, e.g. NE 45th Street or NE 45th. Avenue addresses are written with the sector after the name, e.g. 45th Avenue NE or 45th NE.
There are four major exceptions:
- Downtown streets and avenues have no directional designation.
- There is no SE section. Instead, the S section is extra wide.
- East of downtown, avenues have no directional designation (streets are preceded by 'E').
- North of downtown (between Denny Way and the ship canal), streets have no directional designation, but avenues are followed by 'N'.
The twelve streets in the central business district are named as six first-letter pairs (south to north): Jefferson, James, Cherry, Columbia, Marion, Madison, Spring, Seneca, University, Union, Pike, Pine. One way to remember the order of the street pairs is with the mnemonic "Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest."
All in all, it's probably worth a few dollars to buy and carry a map when you're trying to find an address. Seattle's street designations are fully explained in a Wikipedia article at .
By public transit
Metro Transit  (electric, hybrid and diesel city buses) actually works pretty well. The web trip planner  is straightforward and accurate, as long as your bus is on time. During rush hours (Monday-Friday 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.) bus fares are $2.00 within the city limits. All other times of day and weekends bus fare is $1.75. Pay exact fare as drivers don't carry change so don't ask (they get pretty annoyed if you do). On Saturdays and Sundays, you can buy an All-Day Pass for $4.00 from the bus driver.
Pay your fare when you board if you're headed downtown. When leaving downtown you pay your fare as you leave the bus (if you're confused the fare box has a sign posted on when to pay). Buses in the downtown core of Seattle are free between 6AM and 7PM, allowing you to just get on and get off. To read the details refer to Metro Free Bus info .
When traveling to destinations outside of the downtown core it's best to avoid Metro buses with green and white "EXPRESS" signs in their windows and/or those whose route signs say "VIA EXPRESS". These special express route variations are intended for regular commuters traveling between residential neighborhoods and downtown, and make limited or no stops between.
If presented with multiple routes to get to the same destination, try and ascertain which routes use Hybrid Flyer buses, recognizable by the yellow rather than green route indicators. The Hybrids, unlike every other model Metro uses, have air conditioning — which during Seattle's warm season will be quite useful. Generally the Hybrids are used on routes which go downtown, through the recently renovated underground bus tunnel.
Sound Transit  (diesel and hybrid buses, trains) is more expensive, but has many convenient express routes that travel South (to Tacoma), East (Redmond, Bellevue), and North (Bothell, Lynnwood). But traveler beware many of these buses are intended for commuters and have limited service during non-rush hour times of day.
In addition to buses Sound Transit operates a commuter rail service called the Sounder  between Seattle-Tacoma and Seattle-Everett. However, the Sounder is mostly limited to rush hour service on the weekdays, with some service for special events like Seahawks games.
Of special note: In the fall of 2009 Sound Transit will begin operating a light-rail line between downtown Seattle and the Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport, called Link Light Rail .
Additionally, Seattle also has a couple of other modes of transit: A streetcar line, the South Lake Union Streetcar , runs between Downtown and South Lake Union. A monorail line, the Seattle Center Monorail  makes a quick connection between Downtown and the Seattle Center, home to the Space Needle.
Unlike some other American cities, visitors should not be intimidated by the thought of navigating Seattle by car. While rush-hour traffic can be quite frustrating (especially on the freeways), the city's streets and roadways are otherwise quite hospitable. On weekends, you can often rent cars at locations throughout the city for well under $20/day.
Zipcar  has cars in many parts of the city, waiting for someone to pick them up, drive them around, and drop them back off. This is best suited for hourly rentals for quick errands. Tourists will almost certainly find better deals on daily or weekly rentals from other companies.
Be mindful of where you park because parking laws are enforced and the fines can be hefty! A parking ticket can be in excess of $35 for going overtime in a 2-hour zone.
- Car rentals are the most convenient for of transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience vis-a-vis return policies and times.
Car Rental Companies include:
- Alamo Rent A Car, +1 800-462-5266 .
- Avis Rent A Car, +1 800-331-1212 .
- Budget Rent A Car, +1 800-527-0700 .
- Dollar Rent A Car, +1 800-800-3665 .
- E-Z Rent-A-Car, +1 800-277-5171 .
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car, +1 800-261-7331 .
- Hertz Car Rental, +1 800-654-3131 ].
- Thrifty, +1 800-847-4389 .
Bicycling is better than in most cities, except for the damp roads, frequent rain and hills, so you may wish to pick up some raingear. Some major roads in Seattle have properly maintained bicycle lanes. Bicycle usage is increasing significantly since the early 2000s and the car drivers are perhaps a bit more accustomed to bicycles than in some other major cities.
You can pick up a free Seattle Bike Map (as well as other local city and county bike maps) at the Seattle BikeStation, 311 3rd Ave S between Main St & S Jackson St almost next door to the train station. They also give suggestions on how to bicycle where you are going and how to do it safely.
Bicycle transportation in the greater part of Seattle is facilitated further by the Burke-Gilman Trail . This is a paved walking/jogging/cycling trail that winds its way from the north end of Lake Washington, down around the University of Washington, then west towards Ballard. The trail is on an old railroad right-of-way, so it maintains a very consistent elevation and is excellent for commuting or a casual day's touring. Myrtle Edwards path is located on the sound starting at the north end of downtown and continuing for the most part all of the way to the Ship Canal Locks. It is much more scenic than the Burke and more peaceful as it does not intersect with any roads. As well it has gorgeous views of the Olympics and Mt. Rainier.
All Metro buses are equipped to carry two or three bicycles  on racks on the front, at no extra charge. Metro doesn't allow riders to load or remove a bicycle in the downtown Ride Free Area between 6am-7pm, although it doesn't hurt to ask if you've goofed.
See the district articles for more listings.
- Seattle Tours  provides tours of the Boeing factory as well as walking tours and sightseeing opportunities by plane, boat, raft, bus, and more. Priced from $9.95.
- Seattle Tours  is a three hour, 50 mile tour of Seattle. Door to door service from SeaTac, Tukwila, Bellevue and downtown Seattle. Seattle Tours also runs a daily tour to the Boeing Assembly Plant (see below) which also includes a stop at the Columbia Winery for a tour and tasting.
- Ride the Ducks Seattle  is a 90-minute ride on an amphibious World War II vehicle (yes, part of the ride is on Lake Union), not cheap ($23 adult) and not for those with a limited sense of humor (the style is a bit over-the-top). Definitely unique. 5th Avenue and Broad Street, across from the Space Needle. Open-year round.
- Show Me Seattle  A fun, small tour on a mini-bus!
- Gray Line  offers the standard big-city set of tours, including $21 for two and a quarter hours on a double-decker; $29 for a three-hour bus tour, and $49 for seven hours of combined bus and boat touring.
- Beeline Tours  offers a $38, three-hour tour similar to Gray Line, but in a smaller vehicle (that is, with fewer people).
- For a more intimate and quirky tour try Show Me Seattle Tours . Their mini-bus holds a maximum of 14 people. Highlights of their tour are the Troll in Fremont, salmon ladder at the Locks, and the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat.
- Argosy Cruises  offers a harbor cruise, two lake cruises, a locks cruise, and dinner cruises.
- Tillicum Village on Blake Island  - scenic cruise from downtown Seattle, authentic native salmon feast and dance performances. Blake Island State Park was an ancestral campground of the Suquamish and Duwamish Indian Tribes believed to be the birthplace of Chief Seattle.
- Seattle Underground Tour  will take you underground in Pioneer Square. In early Seattle days there was no proper sewage system, so the city built up the roads and buried the first floor, now the basement level, of much of the original Pioneer Sq. area. One can also get married underground.
- The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour, a 45 minute drive north of Seattle, is a fascinating look at where Boeing makes the 747, 767, 777, and 787 airliners — the world's largest building, as measured in cubic volume. See the Everett article.
- EverGreen Escapes  runs half-day, full-day and multi-day tours and adventures throughout the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. Featured tours include a half-day tour of 4-5 wineries in Woodinville, full-day trips to Mount Saint Helens, Mount Rainier and the Olympic National Park. All tours go out in bio-diesel fueled Mercedes Vans and include local and organic produce and beverages. For the truly adventurous, try beginning rock climbing or kayak trip through the Ballard locks.
- Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St., ☎ +1 206 654-3100(email@example.com), . Downtown Was closed for remodeling from January 5, 2006 to May 5, 2007. The expanded building offers 70 percent more gallery space, an expanded museum store, and a new restaurant. In anticipation of the expansion, over a thousand new pieces, with a total value over a billion dollars, were donated to the collection. SAM also runs the Olympic Sculpture Park on the Seattle waterfront, which opened on January 20, 2007.Suggested admission: $13 adults, $10 seniors (62 and over), $7 students with ID and youth 13–17, Children 12 and under free. Admission to the museum is free for everyone on the first Thursday of each month.
- Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 East Prospect Street, ☎ +1 206 654-3100(firstname.lastname@example.org), . Closed on Mondays, Tu–Su: 10 AM –5 PM, Th: 10 AM – 9 PM. (Capitol Hill)Suggested admission: $5 adults, $3 students with ID, seniors 62 and over and youth 13-17, free for children 12 and under. Free on the first Thursday and first Saturday of each month, and also on the first Friday of each month for seniors 62 and over.
- The Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, 15th Ave NE & NE 41st St, ☎ +1 206 543-2280(email@example.com, fax: +1 206 685-3123), . Closed on Mondays; Tu, W, Fr, Sa, Su: 11AM-5PM; Th 11AM-8PM. One of the biggest contemporary art galleries in Washington, The Henry shows well-known contemporary and modern artists of all visual media, as well as an annual exhibition of the UW's Master of Fine Arts students.Free with student or UW staff/faculty ID, or free to everyone on Thursdays.
- Museum of Flight, 9404 East Marginal Way South (near Boeing Field), ☎ +1 206 764-5720(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1 206 764-5707), . The name tells you right away whether you personally will find this interesting; at minimum, it will get you inside on a rainy day. The collection includes 131 aircraft and spacecraft ranging from wood and fabric crates to the SR-71 and, parked right in the front (car) parking lot, sleek Concorde. Don't bonk the landing gear with your car door!Adults $14.00, youths (5-17) $7.50, children (4 and under) free. Lower rates are available for groups over 10, see website for more details. Admission is free the first Thursday evening of every month from 5PM until 9PM.
- Pacific Science Center, 200 Second Ave. N., ☎ +1 206 443-2001(email@example.com, fax: +1 206 443-3631), . Open daily 10AM–6PM. An interactive science museum featuring permanent and temporary exhibits, a butterfly atrium, IMAX theater, planetarium, and laser shows.General exhibits: Adults $10, seniors (65+) $8.50, juniors (3-12) $7; General exhibits + IMAX: Adults $15, seniors (65+) $13.50, juniors (3-12) $12.
- Experience Music Project (EMP), 325 5th Av North, ☎ +1 206 367-5483(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1 206 443-3631), . From 25/5/2007 to 3/9/2007, open daily 10AM-8PM,. A rock 'n' roll museum, designed by Frank Gehry, and which has the Jimi Hendrix special exhibit. Do not expect to get your turn with the many interactive exhibits!Adults (18-64) $15, seniors (65+) $12, youth (5–17) $12, student or military (with I.D.) $12, children (5 and under) free. Admission is free on the first Thursday of every month. This museum is tied to the Science Fiction Museum, the admission fee includes both.
- Science Fiction Museum (SFM), 325 5th Ave. North, ☎ +1 206 724-3428(email@example.com, fax: +1 206 770-2727), . From 5/25/07 through 9/3/07, 10AM-8PM daily; from 9/4/07 through 5/23/08, 10AM-5PM daily, closed Tuesdays, except holdays. Denny Regrade & Seattle Center is home of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame as well as numerous exhibits.Adults (18-64) $15, seniors (65+) $12, youth (5–17) $12, student or military (with I.D.) $12, children (5 and under) free. Admission is free on the first Thursday of every month. This museum is tied to the Experience Music Project, the admission fee includes both.
- Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Av., ☎ +1 206 622-9250(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1 206 223-1707), . Tu–Sa: 10AM-5PM, Su: 12PM-5PM, Th: 10AM-8AM, closed on Mondays. A small private collection on First Hill, always has parking and worth a visit.Free admission.
- Seattle Bug Safari, 1501 Western Avenue, Suite 304, ☎ +1 206-285-BUGS (2847)(email@example.com), . Mo: 11AM–6PM, Tu–Sa: 10AM–6PM, Su: Closed. A bug zoo and a gift shop.Adult (13-64) $8, Child (3-12) $6, Seniors/Military/College Students $7, Toddler (0-2) FREE.
Most major indoor attractions are located in a small portion of the downtown area, easily traversed on foot.
- Pike Place Market (Downtown) Pike Place Market is not entirely indoors, but nearly. It is comprised of dozens of little shops tucked into a few square blocks downtown, on multiple levels. If you hate shopping you still might like this place, with its quirky atmosphere (including the famous seafood shop where the staff throw your fish from one end to the other). However, much of what is sold here feels more tourist souvenir than genuine quality. It is within walking distance of the NCL Cruiseline dock...good if you want to walk from the boat, but making the market rather crowded when their boats are in harbor. Hours are shortest on Sunday: only 11AM-5PM.
- The Seattle Public Library's Central Library (Downtown) An impressive and uniquely designed building, the new library (itself resembling a stack of books) has an enormous glass-fronted atrium ideal for resting your feet.
- Smith Tower (Downtown The oldest skyscraper in Seattle has long since been surpassed in height, but retains its waterfront view and elaborate Art Deco style.
- Space Needle, 400 Broad Street, . The most expensive elevator ride in America. However, the view is spectacular on a clear day when the sun sets. Downtown Seattle contrasts beautifully with the ocean to the west and the snow-capped mountains in every other direction. You can get a comparably good view for free from Bhy Kracke Park (pronounced "By Crackie") atop Queen Anne Hill. If you are going to eat at the revolving restaurant near the top, called Sky City, the elevator ride is free. Sky City is surprisingly good given its touristy setting, and a three-course brunch only adds $29 to the cost of going up the tower...well worth it. The restaurant completes one revolution per 45 minutes as you eat.
- Monorail, . Not as expensive ($2.00 one-way $4.00 round trip) as the trip to the top of the Space Needle. If you need to get between downtown and Seattle Center, the 1962 vintage Alweg monorail is perfectly good transportation and kind of cool, but it doesn't go anywhere else.
- Seattle Aquarium . Located on Pier 59 on the Seattle waterfront, the Seattle Aquarium showcases native fish and mammals of the Pacific Northwest. The newly opened Windows on Washington (WOW) exhibit is a view into the area Neah Bay, the most northwest point of the "lower 48". There are two touch tanks featuring animals of the inland sea and outer coast, in the main area of building one along with a display of two giant pacific octopuses.The Seattle Aquarium is actively engaged in the study of the six gill sharks, a prehistoric shark that normally lives in waters 500 to 1000 feet deep, but at night comes to within 50 or so feet of the surface to feed. The aquarium's unique location on Puget Sound provides an environment to observe and tag the six gill shark, right at the aquarium. Adult six gill sharks may reach up to 14 feet or more.Also in building one are warm water exhibits, with individual "jewel" tanks surrounding a display of fishes native to areas of Pacific Coral Reefs. A small cafeteria and gift shop is also located in the front part of building one. Building two houses a display of local birds as well as a Harbor Seals, Great Northern Fur Seals, and Sea Otters. All mammals at the Seattle Aquarium were either born in captivity or rescued animals.
- Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (a.k.a. Ballard Locks) in Ballard. Check out the fish ladders and if you're lucky you'll see huge Pacific Northwest salmon coming and going.
- Check out the troll under the Aurora Bridge, near Fremont!
- Seattle Pacific University, . SPU is a Christian university of the liberal arts, located on the north slope of Queen Ann Hill
- UW Waterfront Activities Center - Rent a canoe and explore the arboretum
- Woodland Park Zoo (South Gate at N 50th St and Fremont Ave N, on Phinney Ridge), . $15 for adults ($11 in winter), is open 9:30AM to 4PM in the winter (October 1st - April 30th), 6PM in the summer (May 1st - September 31st). It has mostly realistic and spacious habitats for the animals, unlike the animal jails in some zoos. The Raptor Show at 3PM on non-rainy weekends is particularly entertaining if you get the bird handler with the Bronx accent: "If dis boid's head were da same size as youses, its eyes would be da size of sawftbawls."
- Carkeek Park is a sweet little beach park in North Seattle. Good hikes, and may have salmon migrating upstream in fall.
- Cowen Park has a play structure for children and a backstop for baseball/softball. Cowen is connected to Ravenna Park via a wooded ravine that makes for good jogging and walking. It is a particularly nice walk in the (rare) snow.
- Discovery Park  in Magnolia is great for kite-flying as well as a trail to the beach with great cliffs and boat watching.
- Gasworks Park  in Wallingford is built on the former site of the city gas facility, and a few hulking tanks and pipes are preserved, giving it a slightly eerie feel. The hill at the center has a sundial on top, and offers a spectacular view of downtown across Union Bay, as well as gusts of wind great for kite-flying. Don't eat the carcinogenic dirt!
- Golden Gardens Park in Ballard is one of two places in Seattle that still allows bonfires on the beach. Set on the Puget Sound, it offers spectacular views of the sun setting over the Olympic mountain range on clear days.
- Greenlake , north of the University District, has side-by-side 4km (2.75 mile) asphalt and gravel trails for walking, jogging and rollerblading around the circumfrence of the algae-infested "lake" (really a big pond), plus several sports fields. On the East side there are areas of grass where you can often find pick-up soccer, volleyball as well as basketball on outdoor courts. There's also an indoor swimming pool, which is much cleaner than the lake. If the signs warn that the lake is closed, don't ignore them or risk getting "swimmer's itch" from the plentiful parasites spread through duck feces. The surrounding neighborhood is vibrant and fun in good weather, with rental rollerskates, bikes, restaurants, etc.
- Kerry Park  on Highland Drive on Queen Anne Hill is the single most photographed view of Seattle, with a spectacular cityscape with the Space Needle in front and Mt. Rainier visible behind the skyline. For the best view, go on a clear summer day around 9pm... the sun will have just dropped behind the Olympic range, the city lights will just be coming on, but there will be enough sunlight left that Rainier glows purple behind the city.
- Kubota Garden , a spectacular 20-acre park space in the Rainier Beach neighborhood of South Seattle. To quote the linked website, the Garden contains "streams, waterfalls, ponds, rock outcroppings, and an exceptionally rich and mature collection of plant material." Established by Fujitaro Kubota in 1927, he wanted to "display the beauty of the Northwest in a Japanese manner."
- Magnuson Park / Sand Point, the second largest park in Seattle used to be a US Naval base. The remaining naval buildings are now used for recreational purposes and to host shows. Magnuson boasts multiple sports fields, a boat launch, an off-leash dog park, and lots of walking trails. The Sound Garden (after which the local Seattle band was named), is located on NOAA property. It is public art work that moans eerily in the wind.
- Myrtle Edwards Park  on Elliott Bay has a nice view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Also a great place to take a walk, jog or bike ride. The walking and cycling paths (at times separate) start north of the ferry piers and go right along the water for 1.5 miles, and provide a delightful way to get close to the harbor. It is separated from the rest of the city by several train tracks, so you won't have to listen to any vehicle traffic.
- Ravenna Park in the Ravenna area is a good park for baseball, soccer, tennis, or have a barbecue. Connected to Cowen Park via a trail through a wooded ravine, along a creek. This will provide a basic feel for the nature that can be found outside of the city.
- Olympic Sculpture Park new, on the waterfront, wonderful views and sculpture.
- The University of Washington Arboretum  is 230 acres of urban greenery with collections of oaks, conifers, camellias, Japanese maples and hollies. Often filled with people going for walks on sunny summer days, especially weekends. The Japanese gardens are a special spot.
- Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill, home of the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM).
- Waterfront provides one of the best views while walking in Seattle (if you don't mind the crowds).
See the district articles for listings.
- Seafair  is in July and early August. Neighborhood events such as parades and street fairs run throughout the festival, with the downtown Torchlight Parade in late July. Seafair culminates in early August when hydroplane races and the Blue Angels bring loud, fast boats and planes to Lake Washington.
- Bumbershoot . A music and arts festival, held on Labor Day weekend (beginning of September) in the Seattle Center, featuring dozens of local and world-class musical acts.
- Northwest Folklife Festival . A more low-key and global version of Bumbershoot, held in the Seattle Center on Memorial Day weekend (end of May). Even more important - it's free ($10 donation per person per day requested at the entries - but not required).
- Bite of Seattle . Part of Seafair festivities. Held in mid/late-July in the Seattle Center. Eat till you explode.
- Hempfest A two-day cannabis festival in mid-August. Held at Myrtle Edwards park on the Seattle waterfront, its the largest marijuana rally in the world and the biggest annual political event in Washington. Features political speakers, vendors, food, several stages with many bands, and lots of open pot smoking (especially at 4:20)! It is a demonstration for the political reform and the legalization of marijuana. 
- Capitol Hill Block Party , Yearly live music event held on Capitol Hill over a weekend in mid-summer (usually the end of July). Consists of primarily local independent bands of various styles, coupled with some bigger name independent label acts.
- Gay Pride , Normally held on Capitol Hill, The Gay Pride Parade is a place for gays and lesbians to express their love and for other people to support it.
- Mountain biking. The best riding in Seattle is underneath I-5 between Eastlake and Capital Hill at the Colonnade .
- A little further out, try riding "The Tapeworm" in Philip Arnold Park in Renton, southeast of Seattle. Other great trails are in this park, as well.
- Burke Gilman Trail. 26-mile paved path dedicated to non-motorized travel. Goes from Golden Gardens park, on Puget Sound near the Locks, to Bothell Landing where it connects to Sammamish River Trail, which goes to Marymoor Park (in Redmond).
- Center For Wooden Boats, 1010 Valley St. (at the south end of Lake Union), ☎ +1 206 382-2628, . Visit and poke around boats in various stages of restoration, from big broken hulks to gorgeous polished speedsters. Rent an antique boat and go for a row or a sail. They as well offer free sailboat rides on Lake Union. Call ahead to check the schedule.
- Northwest Outdoor Center, (on west side of Lake Union), . Kayak rentals.
- Agua Verde, on Portage Bay between Lake Union and Lake Washington, . Kayak rentals.
- Waterfront Activities Center, (at the University of Washington, a quarter mile south of Husky Stadium), ☎ +1 206 543-9433, . Canoe rentals. Parking sucks except after noon on Saturdays. Paddle across the Lake Washington Ship Canal into the Arboretum and watch ducks, geese, swans, random migratory birds, and lots of other boats. If you're an experienced sailor, you can also rent a sailboat after a checkout with their staff.Open to the public ($7.50/hr) and students ($4/hr).
- Lake Union Crew, on Lake Union, ☎ +1 206 860-4199, . Learn to row! Classes are held year round and occur over a 4 week period with 3 classes per week. There are evening and morning sessions to fit any schedule. The classes teach you the basics of sweep rowing (one oar per rower) and sculling (two oars). The facilities are beautiful and located right on Lake Union just south of the University Bridge.
- Elliott Bay Cruises, on Lake Elliott, ☎ +1 206 623-4252, . Cruises as short as one hour around Elliott Bay are available from Argosy Cruises, departing from Pier 55.
- Seattle Sounders FC will become the newest team in Major League Soccer in March 2009. The third different Seattle soccer team to bear the "Sounders" name, it will play at Qwest Field from March through October, with possible playoff games in November. Check  for details.
- Seattle Seahawks, the professional American football team plays at Qwest Field through the winter. See .
- Seattle Thunderbirds, junior hockey team plays at KeyArena through the winter hockey season .
- Seattle Mariners, professional baseball team, plays at Safeco Field through the summer. See .
- Seattle Storm, Seattle's WNBA team plays at KeyArena. .
See the district articles for listings.
Seattle is the home of Starbucks , Seattle's Best Coffee (now owned by Starbucks), and Tully's , but there are hundreds of good locally owned coffeehouses. (Besides the places below, see the district articles.)
- Zoka , in what is variously known as the Meridian District or Tangletown, between Wallingford and Green Lake. Hip students, professionals, and soccer moms meet here. Great desserts and whole grain scones. Zoka roasts their own coffee, supplying to cafes across the U.S. and at Zoka's two cafes in Japan. There is also a Zoka located north of the U-Village shopping complex on Blakely.
- C & P Coffee Company , in West Seattle, +1 206 933-3125. Offers awesome coffee from Lighthouse Roasters, free wireless access and live music.
- Bellino Coffee, 2421 2nd Ave, +1 206 956-4237. European style coffee shop located in Belltown. The focus of the place is to make top notch espresso drinks. They have also created a comfortable place with nice chairs and outdoor seating.
- Caffè Bella , in Belltown, +1 206 441-4351. Organic coffee from Caffé Vita coffee roasters. Pastries, tea, wine and beer at night. Live music. Free wireless access. Near the Space Needle on 5th Ave.
- Local Color , in Pike Place Market, +1 206 728-1717. Serves Caffé Vita coffee in Pike Place's largest independent coffeehouse. Also an art gallery, with new art on the walls at the beginning of each month. The first Saturday of every month, holds an art opening from 6 to 9.
- Alki Bakery, 2738 Alki Ave SW, +1 206 935-1352. Free Wi-Fi.
- All City Coffee Georgetown, 1205 S Vale St, +1 206 767.7146. Stop by every Saturday morning to hear DJ Tamlin spinning reggae. Free Wi-Fi.
Bars and Taverns
In Washington, "bars" have a full liquor license, while "taverns" are restricted to beer, wine and cider. Seattle bars have world-class beer selection, featuring local Northwest style micros.
- The Wildrose , one of the country's oldest lesbian bars, is located on 11th and Pike. A full bar, the 'Rose' also serves light meals and snacks. The requisite pool table is always waiting for the next challenger.
Seattle is home to a number of microbreweries.
- Mac & Jacks, Brews can only be found on tap in local bars, and is not bottled. Most popular variety is the African Amber. Additional varieties can occasionally be found at local pubs.
- Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery, & Restaurant , 1201 First Avenue South. One of the more prominent breweries in Seattle. This beer can be found on tap at numerous bars across the city, as well as in most local grocery stores.
- Elysian Brewers, , Three locations across Seattle, brews can be found in local bars and sold in individual bars at local grocery stores.
- Redhook Alehouse, , 14300 NE 145th St. Woodinville. Located in an eastern suburb of Seattle (Woodinville). Boasts a substantial menu and a well established line of beers, including seasonal varieties. Can be found at bars and restaurants throughout the city, and readily available at most grocery stores.
- Pike Brewery, On 1st Ave near the Pike Place Market. Great variety of beers (try the Kiltlifter) and good food too. Can be found in grocery stores and on tap at some bars.
- Hale's Brewery & Pub, , 4301 Leary Way, (206) 706-1544. Located between Freemont and Ballard, Hale's Ales, established in 1983, is one of the pioneer microbreweries in the nation. The brewery operations are in open view of the comfortable pub. Hale's Ales is available throughout the Northwest.
- Diamond Knot Alehouse, , 621 Front Street, Mukilteo, (425) 355-4488. On the waterfront, next to the ferry and peanut shells on the floor. What more could you ask for in a pub.
See the district articles for listings.
Steak & Seafood
- Canlis Restaurant , 2576 Aurora Ave, (206) 283-3313. Great high-end restaurant in North Seattle, with a wonderful view overlooking Lake Union and Queen Ann Hill, live piano music. Best to make a reservations in well advance (a week or two ahead), dress well, and be prepared to spend $300 for two if you are going to have wine with your meal.
- Ivar's Salmon House , on the north Lake Union waterfront, in the shadow of the I-5 bridge. Various seafood entrees served in a neo-longhouse replete with totem poles and various other carved cedar adornments. Meals can be expensive (~$25), however, Ivar's has an excellent and affordable happy hour menu (7 days a week 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. to close) that many locals and University of Washington staff and faculty enjoy regularly.
- Crab Pot Restaurant & Bar , on the Waterfront. Their specialty - The Seafeast - is what makes it unique! They take a variety of crab, clams, mussels, shrimp in the shell, salmon, halibut, oysters, potatoes, corn on the cob and andouille sausage steamed with mouth watering spices and pour it right on your table!
- McCormick and Schmick's Seafood Restaurant , downtown. Specialty is their whole menu! They pride themselves in serving the best seafood and steak in town. They receive their seafood fresh from the waterfront pier every day. You can come here on a business dinner or with the whole family! So if you want to enjoy a upscale, relaxing exceptional seafood restaurant, this is your place! If you feel like the price is a bit too expensive for your budget, they also have one of the best happy hour deals during off hours.
- Ruth's Chris Steakhouse , 727 Pine Street, +1 206 624-8524. This magnificent setup of a restaurant excels in creating the most lavishingly delicious steak nationwide. The unique thing about this restaurant is that you order whatever meat or seafood you desire and then as a table, order what side dishes you wish to eat along with your meat. So come to this restaurant with people who can agree on what to eat with!
- Ray's Boathouse , located in Ballard next to Shilshole Bay Marina. Great food and great views.
- Crush , 2319 E Madison St, 206-302-7874, Crush has been rated among the best 10 new restaurants in the US after it opened and continues to be one of the more well respected haute cuisine houses in the US receive countless awards, the food is good, an adventurous twist on a normal American menu, prices are high $20-$30 for entrees and reservations are necessary.
- The Metropolitan Steakhouse , 820 2nd Ave, 624-3287. Located in Downtown Seattle near the Seattle Library on First Hill, "the Met," as it's commonly called, offers patrons a unique and classy steakhouse experience. It's a hotspot for the who's who of Seattle natives and celebrities. The food is top qualitiy, but rather pricey, with the average meal ranging from $50 up. Still, if you're looking for the finest dining in downtown, the Met is the place to go. Valet services offered.
- "Salty's on Alki" , 1936 Harbor Avenue. S.W, 937- 1600. Situated on West Seattle's popular Alki Beach, Salty's offers a wide variety of seafood and steaks. The restaurant offers one of the most amazing views of downtown Seattle and is a popular hot spot with local celebrities. The food can range from catch of the day, various poultry dishes, or top sirloin. The menu changes every so often, the ingredients are fresh, and the food is top notch. It is rather pricey ($20-$60). When the sun is shining or downtown is lit up, there is no better view of downtown Seattle.
- Upmarket Asian fusion food at Wild Ginger (just north of the Symphony Hall at 3rd and Union) and
- Monsoon (obscurely located on 19th E, on the far side of Capitol Hill from downtown).
- Thai Tom, on University Ave and 47th. Authentic Bangkok-style Thai food. Show up early or be prepared to wait up to an hour for a tiny table at this tiny eatery.
- Araya's Exceptional food, one of many Thai restaurants in the University District, but the first and only completely vegan Thai restaurant in Seattle. Some dishes substitute imitation meat-ish products for meat, some just use veggies, grains, etc. Used to be located on the 47th block of the Ave, has since relocated to a bigger, nicer location on 45th Street.
For the best variety, head to the International District.
- Maneki ( 304 6th Ave S Seattle, WA 98104-2714 Phone: (206) 622-2631) Maneki is Seattle's oldest sushi bar. Located in the International District, is one of the best sushi restaurants in Seattle at an affordable price. Call ahead to reserve your own tatami room.
Seattle is not known for Mexican food, but...
- Agua Verde, Boat St., , On Portage Bay between Lake Washington and Lake Union, just south and west of the University of Washington is a standout, attractive but informal, with creative, contemporary Mexican cooking, including a lot of great vegetarian and seafood options. Show up early, be prepared to wait half an hour, or get your food to go and sit at the picnic tables by the lake outside. They also rent kayaks and do tours around Lake Union.
- Mama's Mexican Kitchen, 213 N 85th St., +1 206 706-9352 in Belltown
- Gordito's Healthy Mexican Food has huge servings, a fast, but sometimes long line, way-cheap prices, amazingly tasty burritos that most folks can't finish in one sitting, lots of homemade salsas (on the salsa bar), an outdoor patio, and always nice service. If you ask most people in Seattle where the good Mexican food is, they'll say Gordito's or the Taco Bus that drives around town (good luck finding it).
- Tacos Guaymas at several locations - closest to downtown is on Broadway near Pine - offers authentic Mexican meals (like you find in the Oaxaca market). Try the Sopa de Tortilla or the Wet Green Burrito.
- La Carta De Oaxaca , in Ballard is well-known for amazing small plates (tapas-style) of Oaxacan food. Usually crowded, but there are excellent margaritas to pass the time.
- Cactus, in Madison Park , A local favorite. A creative mix of Mexican, Southwestern and Spanish cuisine complemented by great cocktails. Always full, outdoor seating in the summer.
- Cafe Flora , 2901 E. Madison. In the Madison Valley neighborhood offers upscale, all-vegetarian cuisine in a casual atmosphere. Menus change weekly. Closed on Mondays.
- Carmelita , 7314 Greenwood Ave N. Where you go to celebrate a special event or impress a date: exquisite vegetarian fare with excellent service in an elegant yet unpretentious atmosphere. The chef, Dan Braun, is back in charge of the kitchen after a few years away, with a menu that changes more often than the seasonal menu they had been following. It's enough of a top-notch eating experience that you can even take meat eaters there to have a wonderful meal.
- Teapot Vegetarian House  is an all-vegan restaurant serving delicious, exotic Pan-Asian vegetarian dishes.
- Bamboo Garden  serves up delicious food from the rich tradition of Chinese vegetarian cooking. With a menu that boasts over 120 items, there's a lot to choose from, and the servings are generous. Located on 364 Roy Street.
- Moonlight Cafe, 1919 S. Jackson St. (on the north edge of the International District), +1 206 322-3378. Serves excellent vegan mock-meat versions of Vietnamese and Chinese dishes such as noodle bowls and sesame beef. In fact they boast a full vegan menu with as many dishes as their separate carnivorous menu offers. $7-$10.
- Cyber Dogs , 800 Convention Place (in the convention center @ the corner of Pike and (9th?) across from the Express Lanes Onramp), +1 206 405-DOGS. Serves superb and delicious vegetarian and vegan dogs, coffee, juice and beer. Internet access available.
- The Globe, 14th and Pine. Some of the best vegan breakfast (and lunch, but especially breakfast) you'll ever have. The biscuits and gravy are what they're known for, but everything is just as good, if not better. Good service too. Sometimes quite busy on Saturday mornings, but not too busy. Cash only! Open 9am - 3pm.
- Vegetarian Bistro 668 S. King Street. (206) 624-8899. Vegetarian Chinese in the International District. Their veggie dim sum is great ($3 per dish). Closed on Tuesdays. (sadly this place is now closed indefinitely)
- My Sweet Lord Cafe 5521 University Way NE. Hare Krishna restaurant that is by donation only. Open 6:30-9:30 PM Tuesday-Saturday.
- Hillside Quickies, 4106 Brooklyn Ave NE, (206) 632-3037. Vegan Sandwich Shop using Tempeh and Tofu. The Jerk influenced sandwiches are excellent.
- Chaco Canyon Cafe , 4757 12th Ave NE (at corner of 50th and 12th), Vegan Bakery and cafe that features a raw foods menu. Coffee and Tea Available.
- The Wayward Cafe , 901 NE 55th St, (U-District) 100% Vegan, worker owned, collectively run.
- The Squid & Ink , 1128 S Albro Pl 98108, (Georgetown) Amazing all vegan, mostly wheat-free food with mock seafood theme.
- Lots of good Ethiopian food with entertaining names ("Yemisser Wat," "Atakilt Aleecha," and "Niter Kibeh") in the Central District. Panafrican on Pike's Place Market is also pretty good. Try Mesob on 14th and Jefferson.
- Le Pichet is an excellent French bistro, in the heart of downtown Seattle. Hint: try the roast chicken!
- The Red Mill Burgers . Two locations: Phinney Ridge 312 N 67th St and Interbay 1613 W Dravus St, has really tasty beef and veggie burgers.
- Truly Mediterranean, 4741 12th Ave NE. Makes wonderful falafel, shawerma, and other delights. In a surprisingly quiet corner of the University District.
- Dick's Drive-in has 5 locations around Seattle and the best fast-food in the city. Any local can tell you were the nearest one is.
- Beth's Cafe, 7311 Aurora Ave N,  is a Seattle institution. One of the last true 'greasy spoon' diners, it is open and serves breakfast 24-hours a day, 364 days a year (it is closed the day after Thanksgiving for cleaning.) Frequented by an eclectic mix of goths, punks, stoners, workers and yuppies, the appeal is as much people-watching as the food - go with friends when you have a couple of hours to spare. Their specialities are omelettes, available in 6 or 12 egg varieties, with bottomless plates of hashbrowns. Ask for crayons and paper and you can hang your artistic creations on the wall when done. Note that Beth's is very popular and long lines can form for tables around rushes, which tend to be in the early evenings and around midnight.
See the district articles for listings.
- Seattle Green Tortoise Hostel . 105b Pike St. +1 206 340-1222 or +1 888 424-6783. New location is conveniently located at First Ave. and Pike Street, right across the street from the famous Pike Place Market, and around the corner from its old Hostel. The new hostel, with a view of the Puget Sound and the Market, boasts 30 newly-remodeled bunk rooms in the elegantly restored Elliot Hotel Building. Free internet stations and WiFi, free dinner 3 nights a week, and free breakfast everymoring. The Green Tortoise is a Seattle backpacker institution that also runs festive low-budget bus tours to Mexico and Central America.
- Hostel Seattle . 6200 Seaview Ave NW. +1 206 706-3255 or toll free +1-877 846-7835. Warm friendly accommodation @ 25.00 u.s. for dorm style bed. Private room available. Free breakfast and Wi-fi. Small cozy intimate hostel with amazing Puget Sound and Mountain views. A wonderful weekly local sunday farmers market.A short walk to the popular Golden Garden Beach. Take the #17 bus to/from downtown to Ballard Locks, or use private parking lot for free.
- Panama Hotel . If you want a private old-fashioned room, modest but clean, with bathroom down the hall -- consider the historic Panama Hotel, in the International District. Very relaxing tea / coffee house, with free wireless internet connections, on the street level.
- Best Western Seattle Hotel in Pioneer Square , 77 Yesler Way, +1 206 340-1234 or +1 800 800-5514. The only hotel located in Seattle's Pioneer Square district. Close to Safeco Field, Qwest Field, the local ferry terminal, and many other popular Seattle Attractions.
- Best Western University Tower Hotel . 4507 Brooklyn Ave NE. +1 206 634-2000 or +1 800 899-0251. Formerly called the (Edmund) Meany Tower Hotel, a nicer but mid-priced hotel in the University District with a long history. Because the hotel is round, the rooms are shaped roughly like pie wedges and all have a view of something.
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Seattle - Downtown . 206 Western Ave W. +1 206 281-9393. All suite hotel located in Queen Anne with views of Elliott Bay, 4 blocks from Seattle Center and the Space Needle, 6 blocks from the Olympic Sculpture Park.
- Renaissance Seattle . 515 Madison Street. A full service hotel in the heart of downtown.
- Travelodge Seattle Center, 200 6th Ave N, ☎ 206-441-7878, . Two blocks east of the Space Needle and monorail terminal, adjacent to Belltown. About a mile's walk (or a few minutes on the monorail) from the downtown core.
- University Inn . 4140 Roosevelt Way NE. +1 800 733-3855. Ideally located in the heart of Seattle’s University business district, only minutes from downtown and a few blocks from the University of Washington. This Seattle boutique hotel is pet-friendly, has a 100% smoke-free environment and includes a hearty breakfast bar.
- The Watertown Hotel . 4242 Roosevelt Way NE. +1 866 944-4242. Also in the University District. Modern design, good location, moderately priced. Free high speed internet in rooms. Comfortable, spacious. Friendly staff. Exercise room with some limited equipment. Refrigerators, microwaves and coffee pots in each room. Friendly, capable staff. Great location, near university. Offers free breakfast and beer-wine-snack happy hour in the evenings. Also offers free bikes, if you want to take a ride during your trip.
- Alexis. 1st Avenue (near the Coleman ferry docks and at the edge of the financial district). This art-themed hotel has original works throughout the lobby and in the rooms. Furthermore, it sports a big old [Dale Chihuly] glass piece in the lobby.
- The Crowne Plaza Seattle Downtown . 1113 Sixth Avenue +1 800 521-2762 or +1 206-464-1980. This hotel has a superb location in Downtown Seattle, close to everything great in the Pacific Northwest. A few blocks away are the historic Pike Place Market, the new Seattle Central Library, Safeco Field and Qwest Field in Pioneer Square. This hotel also offers a great Port of Seattle Cruise Package as well as many other Seattle vacation packages.
- The Edgewater . Pier 67, 2411 Alaskan Way. +1 800 624-0670 or +1 206 728-7000. Near the Pike Place Market, right on the water, and famous for three things: you could at one time literally fish right out of your window, it was the site of a notorious Led Zeppelin incident, and the Beatles stayed here during their 1964 tour. Rooms either face the city with no great view other than the Space Needle, or face the water. These latter rooms enjoy the non-stop action of the ferries and cruiseliners in the harbor. The restaurant is elegantly decorated with a few outdoor tables right over the water.
- The Fairmont Olympic . 411 University Street. +1 206 621-1700. The only hotel in the Northwest to win a five-diamond award. The Fairmont pulls off grand and luxurious perfectly. Holding true to the Fairmont name. The hotel is in the middle of downtown Seattle. The hotel can start at $450 per a night in peak season. Where in others it can start at low $300's.
- Hotel 1000, 1000 First Avenue, ☎ +1-(206) 957-1000, . New high-tech, boutique style hotel in downtown
- Hotel Max . 620 Stewart Street. +1 866 833-6299. In the heart of downtown Seattle, the Hotel Max offers an artistic setting for both business and leisure travelers.
- Hotel Monaco Seattle . 1101 4th Avenue. +1 800 945-2240. . Funky Kimpton boutique hotel directly across the street from the W in the heart of the city.
- Inn at the Market Hotel, 86 Pine Street, . Centrally located in the historic Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle, facing the waterfront and Elliott Bay. Short walk to Seattle Art Museum, Benaroya Hall, Pioneer Square, Westlake Center, and lots of dining and shopping.
- Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle . 2125 Terry Avenue. +1 206 264 8111. Designed by Hirsch Bedner, this AAA 4-Diamond award recipient hotel exudes an 'East meets West' theme with sleek modernity. Furthermore, the hotel offers a prime location in downtown's cultural epicenter.
- The Sorrento Hotel . 900 Madison St. +1 800 426-1265. This historic hotel has crowned the First Hill since 1908. It is a posh, Italinate, 7-story hotel with fine dining in the AAA - 4 diamond Hunt Club - For a classy night out before the "hopera".
- W Seattle . 1112 Fourth Ave. +1 877 W-HOTELS or +1 206 264-6000. For the terminally hip traveler. Decorated in a stunning palette of black, black, silver, cream, and black.
The area code for the City of Seattle is 206. Surrounding areas use other area codes, including 425 which encompasses the eastside and northern suburbs including Bellevue, Redmond, Lynnwood, and Everett, 253 for all areas south of Kent such as Tacoma, Federal Way, and Fife, and 360 for all areas outside the greater Everett-Seattle-Tacoma corridor but west of the Cascades. All of Washington east of the Cascades uses the 509 area code.
Free Wi-Fi can be found at all Seattle Public libraries, and is available to users with Wi-Fi enabled laptops and wireless devices. The City of Seattle provides free Wi-Fi access in the Columbia City and University District areas as part of a pilot project. The project also provides coverage in four downtown Seattle parks: Occidental, Freeway, Westlake and Victor Steinbrueck, as well as the City Hall lobby area. The Seattle Center also provides free wireless internet in the Center House building . Some of the Metro and Sound Transit commuter buses offer free Wi-Fi.
There are various internet cafes in the Seattle area, especially in the University District and the Downtown neighborhoods. Additionally, many coffee shops offer free and paid wireless access (all Starbucks locations offer T-Mobile internet access points).
Seattle is a fairly safe city. You should have no problems walking out and about at night, although staying in bright areas at this time is never a bad idea, and walking in Rainier Valley, the Central District, Lake City, Pioneer Square, and Seattle Center at all after hours is not advisable. The downtown area is a lot safer than most other U.S. cities. Auto theft is a problem in the city. Never leave valuables in a visible place, and always lock your car doors. Another possible problem is that drivers in Seattle are typically nice, but can be impatient, due to the amount of traffic, although as long as you're careful as a pedestrian, there is not a high risk of getting hit. Cyclists should be extra wary of traffic and parked car doors, especially downtown.
Similarly, motorcyclists should be warned that as a city with unpredictable weather a large portion of the year, motorcycling is not as commonplace as in other states. Drivers exhibit an alarming obliviousness to motorcycles, and riders should take care to stay well out of a car's blind spot, and preferably ahead of rather than behind any car.
- Crybaby Comforts, ☎ (425) 260-4788(firstname.lastname@example.org), . rental company specializing in baby equipment and toys. You can rent everything from a car seat to a crib. Delivery available throughout the Greater Seattle Area.
- Happy Little Traveler, ☎ (206)935-0733(email@example.com), . High quality baby equipment rentals servicing the Pacific Northwest. Rent cribs, car seats, strollers and toys. Items can be delivered to you or use their storefront pick up site in West Seattle. The company is fully insured for baby equipment rentals.
- Tiny Tots Travel, LLC., ☎ (425) 943-0099(firstname.lastname@example.org), . Rents high quality baby equipment such as cribs, car seats, highchairs, toys, and more! Delivery available.
- The Seattle Times  ($0.50 daily, $1.50 Sundays) is the leading daily newspaper in the Seattle area and covers local, national and international news. On Sunday, The Seattle Times and Post-Intelligencer combine to make the Sunday edition, as per their Joint Operating Agreement.
- The Seattle Weekly  (free, published wednesday) is one of many free weeklies that are published in the Seattle area. The Weekly has a longstanding reputation for in-depth coverage of arts and local politics.
- The Stranger  (free, published thursday) is an alternative weekly newspaper noted for its social commentary, political opinion, arts, comics, music coverage, and local news items.
There are also several ethnic newspapers including Northwest Asian Weekly, and numerous neighborhood newspapers including the North Seattle Journal. The University of Washington also publishes The Daily of the University of Washington.
Seattle has a large number of primary- and secondary-care medical centers, including the only level 1 trauma center serving Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Additionally, Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center is the pediatric referral center for those same states.
- UW Medicine  The UW Medicine system is operated by the University of Washington. It includes Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center, UW Medicine Neighborhood Clinics, Eastside Specialty Center, Hall Health (Student Health Services) and Sports Medicine Clinic. UW Medicine joins with Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in offering health care for children. Both work with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in providing oncology care for patients of all ages through the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
- Harborview Medical Center, 325 Ninth Avenue, +1 206 744-3000  Seattle’s Level 1 trauma center, and the hospital where most critically injured patients are either airlifted or ambulanced. 24-hour Emergency Room, Centers of Emphasis for neurosciences, trauma, burns, reconstruction and rehabilitation, mentally ill and medically vulnerable, and AIDS/STD treatment.
- UW Medical Center, 1959 NE Pacific, +1 206 598-3300  The second hospital component to the UW Medicine system, this hospital is one of the biggest and best teaching hospitals in the United States. 24-hour Emergency Room, shares facilities, staff and doctors with Harborview.
- Children's Hospital and Medical Center, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, +1 206 987-2000  Children's Hospital is a private hospital specializing in pediatrics. It is also home to the University of Washington's School of Pediatrics. 24-hour pediatric emergency room.
- Swedish Medical Center  Swedish Medical Center is a large nonprofit health care provider. It has three main hospital locations in Seattle and is also affiliated with many other suburban hospitals and clinics. Among the things Swedish is known for are its Cancer, Bariatrics and Heart Institutes. Swedish Hospital will treat all patients who need care, regardless of their ability to pay.
- Swedish Medical Center First Hill, 747 Broadway, +1 206 386-6000  Certified Primary Stroke Care center, 24-hour ER, 24-hour Pediatric ER. This is the Main Swedish Medical Center campus.
- Swedish Medical Center Cherry Hill, 500 17th Avenue, +1 206 320-2000  Certified Primary Stroke Care center, 24-hour ER.
- Swedish Medical Center Ballard, 5300 Tallman Ave. NW, +1 206 782-2700  24-Hour ER
In the event of a medical emergency anywhere in the United States, dial 911 for free from any phone, including payphones.
If you're staying anywhere near downtown, the ferries hardly seem like "getting out" since they leave from a pier at the south end of the waterfront, an easy and interesting walk from downtown.
- Take a Washington State Ferry, +1 206 464-6400  to Bremerton and back. Almost 2 hours on the water, in a place as scenic as the Aegean Sea, with walk-on passengers costing a little under $6 round trip.
- Or, take the ferry to Bainbridge Island (30 minutes one way). Get off on the other side, walk about 1/2 mile into town for lunch or dinner, and walk back to ferry to come home.
Just getting out and driving around the area with no destination in mind can be a great experience, as the Seattle area, like most of the Pacific Northwest, is very scenic. If you'd like more specific destinations, try some of these:
- The Mountains to Sound Greenway, Mountains to Sound Greenway via I-90 is the quickest "escape" from the city into the nearby Cascade mountains. Snoqualmie Pass is just an hour away, offering great views, summer hiking and winter skiing.
- Two mountain passes, Snoqualmie Pass (follow I-90 east) and Stevens Pass (take I-405 to Highway 522 east, then take Highway 2 east) provide fantastic views. Of the two, Stevens is arguably the more scenic.
- Snoqualmie Falls,  (Snoqualmie, east of Seattle on I-90). The falls are scenic, and if you want to stay longer than it takes to just gawk, the Salish Lodge is pricey but incredibly romantic, with in-room Sanijet spa baths and fireplaces. The lodge offers two restaurants with views overlooking the falls. Trivia tidbit: Snoqualmie Falls is nearly 300 feet in height, compared to Niagara's 180 feet.
- Grove of the Patriarchs, in the Ohanapecosh River valley in the southeast part of Mount Rainier National Park, takes you on the short hiking trail through groves of thousand year-old cedars.
- North Bend (also out I-90) is the town where parts of the 1990 David Lynch TV series Twin Peaks  were filmed. West of North Bend on SR 202 near the town of Snoqualmie there are displays of historic railroad cars, locomotives and other railroad equipment located at the Northwest Railway Museum . Train rides are offered April - October, as well as a "Santa Train" in late November and early December, plus several other special events offered during the year.
- Roslyn is also out I-90 (not far past Snoqualmie Pass) and is where the TV series Northern Exposure was filmed. It holds many festivals including The Manly Man Festival, Pioneer Days, and Moose Days -- the latter is an annual Northern Exposure gathering held in late July. Might be worth a stop if you're out that way, or if you're a fan of the show, but it's a very small, quiet town without much to do most days. However, there is a great small museum in the downtown core right next to the Oasis Cafe. It is worth a browse as it profiles the city's coal mining past. Roslyn is worth the stop if you have the time!
- The Cascade Loop  consists of a two-day minimum round trip over Stevens Pass and the North Cross-state Highway (US 2 and SR 20). It's a long drive, and SR20 is closed usually from November to April/May, but you'll see the most spectacular scenery in the state, visit towns made to look like the old west and a Bavarian Village, see the Columbia River and apple orchards on the east and deep rain-forest on the west side. 
- The Olympic Peninsula features beaches on the Pacific Ocean, Cape Flattery (the extreme northwestern point of the contiguous U.S.), and the only temperate rain forests in the lower 48 states: the well-known and easily accessible Hoh Rainforest, the Quinalt Rainforest and the Queets Rainforest. Other notable scenic areas on the Olympic Peninsula are Crescent Lake and Hurricane Ridge. You can take the Kingston ferry over from Edmonds and follow Highway 104 west until it meets up with Highway 101 (head north), or head south on I-5 to Olympia and catch Highway 101 West there. Doing the complete loop is a nearly day-long drive, and you could easily spend several days there, but you'll see a lot of fantastic scenery even if you never stop the car.
- Mount Rainier National Park 2.5 hours south and east from Seattle
- Mount St. Helens 2.5 hours south from Seattle
- Vancouver, British Columbia is just 140 miles north of Seattle on I5. Vancouver will host the 2010 Olympics .
- Snoqualmie Pass - Summit and Alpental resorts on hour east on Interstate 90.
- Stevens Pass - Resort about two hours East of Seattle on highway 2
- Crystal Mountain Mount Rainier
- Mount Baker North, near Bellingham.
- Mission Ridge East of Steven's Pass, near Wenatchee.
- Whistler - North America's top rated ski resort, about a four hour drive north of Seattle past Vancouver on the Sea to Sky Highway.
- Anacortes Kayak Tours- Not in Seattle, but an easy driving distance (60 minutes), and folks can be sea kayaking in the San Juan Islands with Anacortes Kayak Tours . Unlike other kayak tours in the San Juans, this company does not require an expensive ferry ride.
This page was last edited at 10:22, on 22 March 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by D. Guillaume, Jim DeLaHunt, David Sifry and Ian Sergeant, Wikitravel user(s) Edmontonenthusiast, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.