Located in Washington, Seattle has a prominent sports, arts, and dining scene. With three professional sports teams, a prolific fringe theater presence, and an eclectic musical history, the city of Seattle offers a little something for everyone. Its attractions include the Space Needle, which gives a 360 degree view of the city, and the Seattle Great Wheel. There are also numerous festivals, like its 24-day International Film Festival and The Bite of Seattle, a three-day food extravaganza. | Read more below »
As a major coastal seaport, Seattle is the largest city on the West Coast north of San Francisco. Nestled in the state of Washington, the city the comprised of numerous neighborhoods, many of which have Neighborhood Service Centers.
What’s more, most of the neighborhoods offer street fairs or parades (sometimes both) in the summer to celebrate the community, the largest of which draws more than 100,000 visitors over the span of the weekend. Many of the neighborhoods boast weekly farmers markets as well.
Seattle is known for its strong influence in music as well as its involvement with film. The Seattle Cinerama is one of only the movie theaters capable of showing three-panel Cinerama films and each year, a Seattle film festival takes over the city. Continuing with its arts involvement, Seattle has a strong spoken word presence. A team representing the city competes in the National Poetry Slam annually.
Due to Seattle’s strong involvement in the arts, it’s no surprise that the city has been a bustling center for performing arts through the years. The Seattle Opera is known for its performances of the works of Richard Wagner, while Pacific Northwest Ballet ranks as one of the top three ballet training institutions in the nation.
As for theater, the city has approximately 100 theatrical production companies and more than two dozen live theatre venues. Broadway-style musicals are frequently staged at the 5th Avenue Theatre, which was built back in 1926. Many touring Broadway shows, such as Fela!, The Lion King, and Evita have stopped in Seattle, and there’s no shortage of local theater, either. Much of the Seattle productions are associated with fringe theater, also known as theater that is not mainstream, which is akin to New York’s Off-Broadway or Off-Off-Broadway shows.
Venues include: Paramount Theatre; McCaw Hall; Triple Door; 5th Avenue Theatre
The Seattle Symphony Orchestra, which is a century old, is among the world’s most recorded musical groups and the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras is the biggest youth symphony organization in the U.S. The Seattle Chamber Music Society tends to create distinguished summer and winter chamber music festivals.
However, it’s Seattle’s history with jazz and grunge music that is particularly notable. In the early 1900s, there were two dozen jazz clubs in the city that helped develop the careers of some of the greats, including Quincy Jones and Ray Charles.
After the success of local artists Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam, Seattle has come to be known as the home of grunge music. Those groups round great success in the early 1990s and went on to popularize the genre to the point where grunge music became mainstream. The success of grunge helped transform Seattle into an area with a diverse and influential alternative music scene. Sub Pop, a record label that has signed bands like Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service, Flight of the Conchords, and Iron and Wine, is located in Seattle.
Several musicians began their careers in Seattle, like rock legend Jimi Hendrix, Nikki Sixx, saxophonist Kenny G, Geart, rappers Sir Mix-A-Lot and MackleMore, and jazz musician Bill Frisell.
Venues include: Bank of America Arena; Comcast Arena at Everett; Toyota Center; Highline Performing Arts Center; Key Arena; CenturyLink Field
There’s no shortage of sports when it comes to Seattle. The city’s foray into professional sports started in the early 20th century when the Seattle Metropolitans became the first U.S. hockey team to win the Stanley Cup in 1917. Now the city has three major professional sports teams: Seattle Seahawks (NFL); Seattle Mariners (MLB); and Seattle Sounders FC (MLS).
The MLB All-Star game has been held in Seattle Twice (in 1979 and again in 2001); the NBA All-Star game was held in Seattle twice, too (first in 1974, then in 1987). In 2006, the city’s CenturyLink Field played host to the 2005-2006 NFL playoffs. Two years later, the first game of the 2007-2008 playoffs were played at CenturyLink Field as well.
Teams include: Seattle Mariners; Seattle Seahawks; Seattle Sounders FC; Seattle Storm; Seattle Reign FC; Seattle Thunderbirds; Seattle Totems; Seattle Mist; Seattle Tacoma Cobras
Seattle offers a unique dining experience for those who love food in the form of Savor Seattle Food Tours. The tours were ranked number one for the best things to do in Seattle and were featured in USA Today, Frommer’s Travel Guide, and Bon Appetit Magazine. The tours aren’t just about food (although that’s a large part); they also include a peek into the history and culture of Seattle. There are various types of tours to choose from, including a two-hour walking tour that features booze and small bites of food, a gourmet kayaking trip that spans three days, or a chocolate indulgence tour.
Due to the abundance of farmers markets, as well as organic farms and the city’s close proximity to the sea, the cuisine in Seattle is considered some of the best. Restaurants there offer everything from fresh seafood to the perfectly-brewed cup of coffee.
Space Needle, Seattle Great Wheel, Bill Gates House, the original Starbucks… there is plenty to see and do in Seattle. A visit to the Space Needle gives a surround view of the city from up above; the structure has come to be an iconic part of Seattle (there’s even a restaurant inside).
The Seattle Great Wheel, which opened in 2012, has quickly become a big draw for locals and tourists alike. It’s the largest observational wheel on the west coast, at 175 feet tall. While it resembles a ferris wheel, there are 42 fully-enclosed gondolas instead of seats, and each gondola can fit eight people inside, providing a unique view of the pier and the city beyond.
Annual fairs and festivals include the 24-day Seattle International Film Festival, Northwest Folklife, and various Seafair events in the summer months. The list also includes: The Bite of Seattle, a three-day food festival; Seattle Pride, one of the largest gay pride festivals in the U.S.; Seattle Hempfest, the world’s largest gathering of advocates for the decriminalization of marijuana; Penny Arcade Expo, a gaming and comic convention; Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, a two-day motorcycle ride; and the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, among others.
Seattle is among the cities with the highest population of people who take public transportation. Nearly one-quarter of its residents regularly use one of three public transit systems that serve the city. Residents and tourists can use any combination of buses, electric trolleybuses, rails, trains, bicycles, or ferries to get around. The city has largely moved away from automobile traffic and instead opting to emphasize mass transportation. However, traveling by car is still undoubtedly the most popular way to get around Seattle, even though the city has the third worst traffic congestion in all of the U.S.
The city is also among the most walkable.