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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. The cultural and business center of the Pacific Northwest, the city and its surrounding areas are the home of the Space Needle, Boeing’s aircraft assembly plants, Microsoft, Amazon.com, Costco, Nintendo of America, Starbucks, T-Mobile, and the University of Washington, as well as a vibrant arts and music scene and an excellent park system.

Districts

Seattle-anadians know that the entire west coast is located upon a giant tectonic plate.

This plate may, or may not slide into the Pacific at any moment.

Seattleites usually describe Seattle locations in terms of “neighborhoods.” 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 and occasionally controversial.

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 Ave SW as being in West Seattle, and 1401 NE 45th St 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 surrounding neighborhoods

Downtown

Seattle’s retail core, home to the waterfront, the Pike Place Market, and some of the most stunning architecture in the city

Pioneer Square-International District

The oldest neighborhoods in Seattle, containing art galleries and innumerable restaurants

Queen Anne-South Lake Union

Perched on the hills northwest of Downtown and home to the Seattle Center and the Space Needle

Capitol Hill-Central District

A diverse, densely-packed cluster of neighborhoods, rich and poor, from the nightlife of Pike-Pine to the quiet residences of Madison Park. This area is also said to be the gay capital of Seattle.

North of the Lake Washington Ship Canal

Ballard

A mostly residential area, home to the canal locks. The area is known for its Scandinavian heritage and thriving Historic Downtown Ballard.

Fremont and Wallingford

The self-proclaimed “center of the universe”, a bohemian (though rapidly gentrifying) area noted for its public art

University District

Home to the sprawling University of Washington campus and its adjacent neighborhoods

North Seattle

The city’s mostly residential northernmost tier, bordering Shoreline

South of Downtown and I-90

SoDo-Georgetown

Continuing south of downtown past the sports stadiums, this industrial district contains the well-hidden but thriving Georgetown neighborhood.

Beacon Hill-South Seattle-Columbia City-Rainier Beach

Beacon Hill is the newest neighborhood to explode with easy access via Beacon Hill Light Rail Station. Columbia City also hosts many restaurants, theaters and clubs. Once a mostly residential area that’s home to the lovely Seward Park. Rainier Beach is still an affordable residential area to live.

West Seattle

A scenic residential area with numerous parks and good vistas over the harbor

  • The “Eastside” refers to the region east of Lake Washington comprising the suburbs of Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond.
The Space Needle with Downtown in the BackgroundThe Space Needle with Downtown in the Background

Understand

Seattle was founded on the rough, physical industries of fishing, logging and coal mining, with San Francisco as her primary customer. Boeing, founded in 1916, grew to be Greater Seattle’s primary industry as natural resources were depleted. 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 U.S.

Culture

Locals have long talked of the “Seattle Freeze,” referring to the cold politeness of residents. The theory is that while locals are very polite and warm on first interaction, most residents are also very reserved and interactions rarely lead to real acts of friendship (an invitation to dinner, personal conversations, etc.). For visitors it is best to treat this as shyness–expect to make all the “first moves” to meet people here.

Residents’ shyness also extends to anger and annoyance. Locals often make fun of themselves for their passive aggressive culture, where even in the most upsetting circumstances they will retain their polite nature.

A view of the Seattle waterfrontA view of the Seattle waterfront

Climate

While Seattle is well known for its rain and dark, gloomy skies, it may surprise many how pleasant the weather can be, particularly during the summer months. November through March brings the worst of the unpleasant weather, with cool temperatures, heavy cloud cover and rain falling on most days. The short days and low angle of the sun during these months only add to the dark, gloomy feeling which is very unpleasant and depressing for some. The coldest month is January with average lows in the mid to upper 30s (about 3°C), with temperatures occasionally dropping below freezing.

Most precipitation falls as a light rain, or a drizzle, with snow falling in the city only occasionally (though the surrounding mountains receive heaps and heaps of snow). Most cold-weather systems come from the north, which generally results in dry weather when temperatures are below freezing. Nonetheless, Seattle is hit by a major snow storm about every 2-3 years on average, which can paralyze the city’s transportation network (hills and ill-prepared drivers are two commonly cited reasons for such). November is the wettest month, sometimes bringing in fairly intense wind and rain storms, which are often classified as a “Pineapple Express”. The record low for Seattle is 0°F (-18°C)

In contrast, the weather can be quite pleasant from April to October, with exceptionally nice weather in July and August where highs average in the mid 70s and rain is uncommon. Skies are mostly clear and smog-free, though mornings can produce an on-shore flow resulting in low clouds and fog which typically burns off by mid-day. The northern latitude (47.6 degrees) results in long days with a sunset of 9:11 p.m. on solstice. Summer heatwaves can push temperatures into the 80s and 90s, and despite only low to moderate humidity, they can be uncomfortable as air-conditioning is not prevalent in the city. The record high for Seattle is 103°F (39°C).

As one might expect, the transitioning seasons of spring and fall can be a mixed bag, though as a rule, the closer to summer brings the greater chance of warm temperatures and clear skies. Winds are heavier in the winter than summer, but overall Seattle is not a windy city, adding to the comfort during the summer. The region does feature micro-climates due to the number of hills, mountains, and bodies of water, which can result in significantly different weather conditions over short distances. This also makes forecasting difficult and sometimes unreliable.

Tourist information

The Visit Seattle operates two visitors centers:

  • Seattle Visitors Center and Concierge Services, 7th and Pike (inside the Washington State Convention and Trade Center),. Daily 9AM-5PM during summer, M-F 9AM-5PM during winter.
  • Market Information Center, 1st and Pike (on the southwest corner),. Daily 10AM-6PM. Services are more limited than the main location at 7th and Pike.

Get in

By plane

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (IATA: SEA), universally nicknamed “Sea-Tac”, is located in the city’s southern suburbs. It is a major domestic for Pacific Northwest, West Coast, and Hawaii/Alaska destinations, and internationally handles frequent trans-Pacific routes, as well as direct flights to the major European airports, and to Dubai. The airport is about a 25 minute drive from downtown Seattle when there isn’t heavy traffic, and somewhat longer during rush hour.

All international flights arrive at the South Satellite terminal, and after clearing immigration and customs, passengers are funneled onto a tram back to the main terminal, outside the security checkpoint. You will need to pick up any checked bags to clear customs, then place them back on a conveyor belt to be transported to the main terminal, where luggage can be reclaimed at carousel 1 at the main terminal. Carousel 1 is in the main baggage hall which is located to the right after leaving the train and going upstairs to the ground level. All connecting passengers arriving in the US will need to re-check their baggage with their airline and pass through security, as is usually done upon arriving at the first airport when entering the US.

Air charter companies such as Monarch Air Group , Mercury Jets fly a variety of private charter aircraft and jets, from charter luxury Gulfstream’s down to economical piston twins for small groups and individuals.

There are several choices for getting from the airport to the city center:

By airport public transportation
  • Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail connects the Airport directly to downtown Seattle. Trains run 5 AM – 12:50 AM (0500—0050) (11 PM Sunday), taking 37 minutes to reach the terminal at Westlake Station in the central business downtown (exits at Pine Street and 3rd or 5th Avenues). Tickets are $3.00, available from vending machines at every station. At the airport, the rail station is connected to the Main Terminal via the far north side of the parking garage which is the far left if entering the garage from the terminal. Going across skybridge #6 nearest the Alaska Airlines ticket counter and across the 4th floor of the parking garage is the shortest walk, roughly 3-5 minutes. See this link for a map on getting to the light rail and the other bus stops. If transferring to Greyhound, Olympic Bus Lines or Northwestern Trailways, the main intercity bus terminal in Seattle is at 503 S Royal Brougham Way, next to the ‘Stadium’ Station, south of downtown. The BoltBus stop is along S 5th Ave, on the east side of the ‘International District’ tunnel station (next station northbound after ‘Stadium’), located next to the Uwajimaya grocery store parking lot. King Street Station (Amtrak trains) is a couple blocks west of the International District Station. See the below under “By Bus”. The nearby airport Metro and Sound Transit bus stops are:
  • Under the airport light rail station along International Blvd:
    • 156 (goes east to Southcenter Mall and south to Highland CC in Des Moines)
    • 180 (goes south to Auburn & northwest to Burien)
    • A Line (goes south to Federal Way along Pacific Hwy/International Blvd Hwy 99 and north to the Tukwila Light Rail Stop).
    • 574 (arriving from Lakewood via Federal Way & Tacoma)
  • Outside Door 02 at south end of the main terminal near carousel #1:
    • 560 (goes NW to Westwood Center in W. Seattle via Burien & NE to Bellevue via Renton).
    • 574 (goes south to Federal Way, Tacoma and Lakewood via S 188th & I-5)
    • One of two designated stops for the Car Rental Shuttle
  • Tukwila International Blvd Light Rail stop which is the next stop up along the light rail route by the car rental parking garage.
    • 124 (goes north to downtown Seattle along E Marginal Way & Airport Way S)
    • 128 (goes north to the Admiral District in W Seattle & east to Southcenter)
    • A Line (goes south to Federal Way via Pacific Hwy/International Blvd Hwy 99).
    • F Line (goes east & west between Burien, Southcenter in Tukwila & Renton)

    Click here for the trip planner program which tells you which buses to take to get to your final destination. If you intend on using public transit in the Seattle area, it is advisable to download the ‘OneBusAway’ app, which shows real-time arrival estimates for buses and light rail trains serving the greater Seattle region. Nearby hotels do send their own shuttles to the terminal to pick up to pick up and drop off guests so no need to use public transportation to get there.

By other private shuttles, buses and taxis
  • Commercial shuttle buses & vans are about $5-$38 (~$18 for a downtown hotel) and often slower than public transit if you are going downtown, though they do have more room for luggage. Catch them at the Ground Transportation Center, located on the third floor of the parking garage, one level down after crossing the Skybridge.
  • Long Distance buses & vans . There are other long distances buses & vans going from Sea-Tac to Vancouver, BC; Bremerton, Bellingham, Anacortes and the ferry terminal (to San Juan Islands), San Juan Islands, Olympia, Centralia, central Washington, Tacoma, etc. from the airport. They are at the south end of tue main terminal building at Door 00 past the international arrivals luggage reclaim carousel (#1).
  • A taxi trip takes about 25 min (expect to pay $40-50 plus tip); catch one on the third floor of the parking garage, one level down after crossing the Skybridge.
  • Rental cars are available at the airport. The ‘on-airport’ car rental companies are located in a separate consolidated terminal at 3150 S 160th Ave, in the NE corner of the airport grounds at S 160th & Pacific Hwy/International Blvd S. From the main terminal the shuttle bus picks up at each end of the building, at the arrivals level, at Door 26 by carousel #15 and door 02, by carousel #1 at the transit bus stop. 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.
By seaplane

Various airlines, most notably Kenmore Air offer charter and scheduled seaplane service to Lake Union in downtown Seattle; Boeing Field to the south of Seattle (but north of SeaTac); and to Kenmore on Lake Washington to the east of Seattle. Boeing Field offers services to the San Juan Islands, namely Orcas Island, Friday Harbor, and Lopez Island. Lake Union offers scheduled flights to a variety of locations, including Vancouver and Victoria in Canada, and most locations in the San Juan Islands. Kenmore Air Harbor offers advance charter and seasonal service to effectively any islet in the region accessible by seaplane.

Private Aviation

Boeing Field (IATA: BFI), is located 5 miles south of downtown Seattle. Also known as King County International Airport. Home to the Museum of Flight at King County Airport, featuring historical aviation exhibits including an ex-British Airways Concorde. Although some shuttle flights are available (JetSuiteX will begin offering service to Oakland International in July of 2019), BFI is mostly used for general aviation & cargo. Companies like Erin Air and Air Charter Advisors offer access to single/twin engine props and business jets at the airport.

By train

Amtrak provides service from all along the west coast from King Street Station, located S King St between 2nd & 4th Ave, south of downtown near Safeco Field. There are:

  • Amtrak Cascades runs four trains daily between Seattle and Portland via Tukwila, Tacoma, Lacey, Centralia, Kelso & Vancouver, WA. Two of which continue to Eugene via Oregon City, Salem & Albany; and two daily to Vancouver, British Columbia (via Edmonds, Everett, Mt Vernon & Bellingham). Additional service to Vancouver, BC and Eugene, OR are on the the Amtrak Thruway Motorcoaches (buses). These trains are more reliable schedule-wise than the long distance trains and offer certain amenities not available on regular Amtrak trains, such as more space for bikes, more laptop outlets, a “Bistro Car” which serves local foods and wine, and the occasional movie.
  • Amtrak Coast Starlight runs to Portland, the Bay Area, and eventually Los Angeles, California. Train stops at the same stops as the Cascades (see above) in Washington & Oregon (Tacoma, Centralia, Kelso, Vancouver, WA; Portland, Salem, Albany & Eugene) except Tukwila & Oregon City. Stops in Chemult and Klamath Falls (south of Eugene) before crossing into California.
  • The Empire Builder provides daily service to Chicago via Spokane, Glacier National Park and Minneapolis. In Spokane, the eastbound train is joined with the other branch coming from Portland while the westbound train is split in Spokane with one branch going to Seattle and the other to Portland. Unlike the other Amtrak transcontinental trains further south, the Builder tends to stick fairly closely to schedule.
  • Sounder Commuter Rail goes out from Seattle to Lakewood via Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, Sumner, Puyallup, Tacoma and South Tacoma in one direction and to Everett via Edmonds & Mukilteo in the other on a separate route. The majority of the trains leave Seattle in the afternoons & evenings and come in during the mornings. See schedules.
By car

Interstate Highway 5 (I-5) cuts through the middle of Seattle north to south. I-90 runs from the I-5 interchange in Seattle all the way to Boston, and crosses one of the two Lake Washington bridges to Bellevue, along with SR-520 further north. 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, especially on infamously congested I-5, southern I-405, and the SR-520 bridge.

By bus

The closest thing to a “central bus station” is the Greyhound Terminal at 503 S Royal Brougham Way south of downtown which is served by Greyhound, Olympic Bus Lines, Northwestern Trailways, Link Light Rail and a series of ST & King County Metro buses traveling south along “Bus Way Rd” and north into the tunnel under downtown. Additional long distance bus companies are at the airport (south end of terminal, at lower level by Door 00), King Street Station and/or in other parts of town. Plans are underway to demolish the old bus station on Stewart St and build a new hotel in its place. Not all bus companies come this way either, they can be at the airport or elsewhere. See the below links as to where they stop at in Seattle:

  • Greyhound, 503 S Royal Brougham Way, SoDo. (Next to the Stadium Link Light Rail station at Royal Brougham), (toll free: 1-800-231-2222), . Travels primarily on Interstate 5 (Seattle-Vancouver & Seattle-Portland on two separate routes), 90/82 (Ellensburg-Yakima-Pasco-Stanfield, OR) & 90 (Seattle-Ellensburg-Moses Lake-Spokane-Missoula). Passengers transfer to other buses in Portland, Missoula, Pasco, and/or Stanfield to get to other cities in the U.S. and in Vancouver, BC to get to other cities in Canada.
  • In addition to Greyhound there are other choices:

  • (Airport shuttles & buses). There are various vans & buses leaving from the lot outside ‘Door 00’ at the south end of the terminal to Tacoma, Olympia, Centralia, Bremerton (via Tacoma), Vancouver, BC; Bellingham, Mt Vernon, etc.
  • Bellair Airporter, 1416 Whitehorn St, Ferndale 98248, ☎ +1-866-235-5247 (Shuttle@airporter.com). Goes up from Sea-Tac Airport to Stanwood, Burlington/Mt Vernon, Bellingham & Blaine on one route and from Sea-Tac to Cle Elum, Ellensburg & Yakima on another route. They also have a third route from Burlington to Anacortes & the San Juan Ferry Terminal.
  • Bolt Bus, 5th Ave S & S Dearborn, ☎ +1-877-265-8287. Vancouver, BC; Bellingham; Seattle; Portland; Albany, OR; and Eugene. The stop is at 5th Ave & S Dearborn, next to the International District light rail station. The pick-up location moved from its old location north one block, and is next to the parking lot for Uwajimaya grocery store.
  • Northwestern Trailways, Greyhound Terminal @ 503 S Royal Brougham Way, ☎ +1-509-838-4029 (team@northwesterntrailways.com). Stops at both the Greyhound Terminal & King St Station in Seattle. Goes up to Everett and east to Lake Stevens, Leavenworth, Wenatchee, Ephrata, Ritzville & Spokane along US-2 and I-90. Additional routes between Coure d’Alene, Spokane, Pullman, Moscow, Lewiston & Boise. They operate the state’s “Travel Washington Apple Line” bus between Ellensburg, Wenatchee, & Omak.
  • Olympic Bus Lines, ☎ +1 360 417-0700 (toll free: +1 800 457-4492). operates the state’s “Travel Washington Dungeness Line” to Discovery Bay, Port Townsend, Sequim and Port Angeles (via Edmonds-Kingston Ferry) from Sea-Tac, King St Station (Amtrak), downtown hospitals (by reservation only), and Greyhound (503 S Royal Brougham Way).
  • Quick Shuttle, Best Western Executive Inn @ 200 Taylor Ave N, ☎ +1-800-665-2122. Goes up to Vancouver, BC from Sea-Tac and the Best Western Executive Inn (200 Taylor Ave N) in downtown, near Seattle Center. Bus stops into the cruise terminals at Pier 66 & 91 during the summer. Picks up in the U.S. and dropping off in Canada ONLY going north and vice versa going south.
  • Wheatland Express, 4101 SR 270, Pullman 99163 (office), ☎ +1-509-334-2200 (toll free: +1 800 334-2207, info@wheatlandexpress.com, fax: 509-332-0118). Goes from Pullman & Moscow, ID to Seattle on Friday mornings (or before WSU vacation period) and leaves Seattle for Pullman & Moscow, Idaho on Sundays (or before the end of the WSU vacation period) on the ‘Weekend Express’ and/or ‘Holiday Express’ lines. Picks up and drops off at the Southcenter Mall south of Seattle. (take the #150 bus between Southcenter & downtown)

The below are more regional going from Seattle to outlying suburbs and adjacent cities:

  • Sound Transit buses have many convenient express routes that travel to surrounding cities, including Southbound (to Tacoma on Rt# 586, 590, 594; to Dupont & Lakewood 592; Gig Harbor 595; Federal Way #577; Puyallup #578), Northbound (to Bothell on Rt #522, Everett Rt 510, 511, 512, 513), and Eastbound (to Woodinville #822; Redmond #545; Bellevue #550; and Issaquah #554). Some of these buses run during rush hours only, but most run all day till late at night. Check the schedule or use Google Maps to be sure. Fares are $2.75 if staying within King County, or $3.75 if entering a different county (e.g. Everett, Lynnwood, Tacoma, Puyallup). Sound Transit also operates the Link light rail, Sounder commuter trains, and the Tacoma Link light rail. If you are paying with an ORCA card, you can transfer for free from a Sound Transit service to another agency (King County Metro, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Everett Transit) within two hours, unless the latter fare costs more.
  • Community Transit operates express buses to Edmonds/Edmonds Ferry Terminal, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo Ferry Terminal, Silver Firs/Seattle Hill, Snohomish, Stanwood, and various park & ride lots in Snohomish County during the afternoon / evening rush hours and into Seattle in the mornings only. Buses are numbered in the:
    • Swift ‘Bus Rapid’ route continuing north from Aurora Village (at King/Snohomish County line) to Everett along Evergreen Way (Hwy 99) making limited stops that are spaced further apart.
    • 00s (Rts# 402-435) express buses to downtown Seattle in the mornings and to Snohomish County only in the late afternoons/early evening hours.
    • 800s (Rts# 424,801-880) express buses to the University Washington and the surrounding ‘U District’ neighborhood in the mornings and to Snohomish County only in the late afternoons/early evening hours.
  • King County Metroalso operates buses out to outlying suburbs & cities such as Federal Way, Shoreline, Lake City way, North Bend, etc. Buses numbered from:
    • Rapid Ride ‘A’ through ‘F’ routes are designated by letters instead of numbers. They operate on a ‘Bus Rapid’ pattern with fewer stops that are spaced further apart and on separate lanes from other traffic (if available or designated) to allow them to get through quickly and efficiently. Wait times are typically 15min or less. They are the red & yellow articulated buses.
    • 1-77 travel to or within surrounding city neighborhoods within the city of Seattle. Area also served by Rapid ‘C’ (Westwood Center in West Seattle to/from downtown) and Rapid ‘D’ Lines (Nw 100th Pl & 7th Nw in Crown Hill to/from downtown along 15th Ave NW through Ballard & Greenlake neighborhoods)
    • 98 Streetcar (trolley) from Westlake Center in downtown Seattle to South Lake Union. Plans are underway to construct more streetcar lines in Capitol Hill (Broadway), First Hill (by hospitals) and a City Center Line connecting the First Hill to the South Lake Union Lines through downtown.
    • 99 was the downtown waterfront trolley. Now it’s a Downtown/Belltown shuttle between 7th Ave & Jackson in the International District to Broad & Elliot in Belltown. Bus travels along S Jackson and 1st Ave
    • 100s (Rts #101-197) go SOUTH to or locally within Auburn, Burien, Convington, Des Moines, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Kent, Maple Valley, Renton, Seatac (and airport), Tukwila, etc. Some routes travel THROUGH and make stops in South Seattle, West Seattle and other Seattle neighborhoods on their way to/from south King County while others operate as express from downtown Seattle to south King County or locally in those areas without coming into downtown Seattle. Area also served by Rapid ‘A’ (Tukwila, SeaTac/Airport and Federal Way along Pacific Hwy/Hwy 99) and ‘F’ Lines (Burien, Tukwila, Southcenter & Renton)
    • 200s (Rts #200-277) go EAST or locally within Bellevue, Bothell, Duvall, Issaquah, Kirkland, Lake Sammamish, Mercer Island, North Bend, Redmond, Renton, etc. Most operate within the eastside out of Bellevue without coming into downtown Seattle. Area also served by Rapid ‘B’ Line (Redmond, Overlake & downtown Bellevue)
    • 300s (Rts #301-373) go NORTH to or locally within Aurora Village, Bothell, Lake City, Mountlake Terrace, Northgate, Shoreline, Woodinville, etc. Area also served by Rapid ‘E’ Line (Aurora Village & downtown Seattle along Aurora Ave/Hwy 99).
    • 400s (Reserved for neighboring transit agencies such as Community Transit going north from downtown Seattle to various places in Snohomish County and Pierce Transit going south from Federal Way to Puyallup/South Hill in Pierce County)
    • 500s (Reserved for buses operated by Pierce Transit going to Tacoma from Federal Way (Rt#500-501) and Sound Transit routes within King County and to/from adjacent counties (Rt#510-595))
    • 600s are reserved for special (permanent or temporary) use as needed such as Rt#601 which goes to Group Health Riverton by Boeing Field during weekday morning rush hours and to downtown Seattle in the afternoons.)
    • DART 700s (Shuttles from the Water Taxi terminal in Seacrest Park to adjacent W Seattle neighborhoods)
    • 800s (Rts #823-894) serves as school buses or shuttles between the International School and the surrounding high schools in the east side and school buses to/from Mercer Island High School. The schedules revolve around the schools’ schedules.
    • DART 901-931are local shuttles from a Sounder Train station, Park & Ride lot or a shopping district to adjacent suburbs or to surrounding rural areas.
    • #952 Commuter bus between Auburn and Boeing Everett. Goes north early in the mornings and south in the afternoons.
    • 980-995 School bus services for the private Lakeside School off of I-5 & N/NE 145th. The schedules would revolve around the school’s schedules.
    • SVT (Snoqualmie Valley Transit) operates rural King County services between Duvall, Carnation and North Bend through the Snoqualmie Valley

    By boat

    There are three regular ferry services in the Seattle area:

    • Washington State Ferries, 801 Alaskan Way, Pier 52, ☎ (206) 464-6400. Connects downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island and Bremerton; and from another ferry terminal in Faunteleroy (West Seattle) to Vashon Island and Southworth in (Kitsap Peninsula).
    • King County Water Taxi, 801 Alaskan Way, Pier 50, ☎ (206) 684-1551. operates passenger ONLY ferries (or water taxis) out to Vashon Island and Alki Beach (in West Seattle) on two separate routes.
    • Clipper Vacations (Victoria Clipper), 2701 Alaskan Way, Pier 69, (toll free: (206) 443-2560). offers high speed catamaran passenger (only) ferries connecting Seattle to Victoria, British Columbia and the San Juan Islands.
    • Cruise ships to Seattle may be docked at one of two terminals in the Port of Seattle.

    • Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal at Pier 66, 2225 Alaskan Way S, Pier 66. Serves as a home port for Norwegian Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises. The pier has bus, taxi and shuttle connections for transfer of passengers and luggage. For travelers with connecting flights, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is less than 15 mi (24 km) away.l
    • Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91, 2001 W Garfield St (north end of Seattle’s downtown waterfront). serves as home port to Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises.

    Get around

    For an American city of its size, Seattle is rather easy to get around.

    Navigating

    Seattle’s road 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 roads are labeled “Avenues” while East-West roads are labeled “Streets”. The city is roughly divided into a semi 3 by 3 grid with 7 directional sectors (NW, N, NE, E, W, SW, and S). Street addresses are written with the sector before the name, e.g. NE 45th Street or just NE 45th. Avenue addresses are written with the sector after the name, e.g. 45th Avenue NE or 45th NE.

    Another way to remember avenues: University Way NE, the main street through the city’s University District (neighborhood) is called “The Ave” by the locals, and all avenues run north-south. But, don’t confuse University St with University Ave; they’re two completely different streets!

    “Ways” are long diagonals, “Drives” are long, circuitous routes, “Courts” are one block long.

    There are four major exceptions:

    1. Downtown streets and avenues have no directional designation.
    2. There is no SE section. Instead, the S section is extra wide.
    3. East of downtown, avenues have no directional designation (streets are preceded by ‘E’).
    4. 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.”

    Breda electric articulatedBreda electric articulated

    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. Using Google Maps’ trip planner works well too, but fare information can sometimes be incorrect. Adult bus fares are $2.75, regardless of time of day. The youth fare is always $1.50.

    A fare is required on all buses and should always be paid while boarding the bus. Pay exact fare, as drivers carry no change. You can get a free paper transfer from one Metro bus to another Metro bus, but the only way to transfer for free between transit agencies is with an ORCA card, which costs $5.00 in addition to the money you put on it, available at all Link Light Rail and Sounder stations or online (Click on “Get a card”).

    Board at the front and exit at the back. All buses now feature live, GPS-based destination signs inside, which can help you determine when your stop is coming up. It is recommended that you use the University of Washington’s One Bus Away app for real time arrival information.

    When traveling to destinations outside of the downtown core, you should make sure to ask the drivers in Metro buses with green and white “EXPRESS” signs in their windows and those whose route signs say “VIA EXPRESS” if they are going to your destination. Some of these express routes are intended for regular commuters traveling between residential neighborhoods and downtown and make few or no stops between, but many may be useful for getting to destinations such as the University District, West Seattle, and Ballard.

    Especially when traveling during the off-peak time make sure to press “Request Stop” button right after the stop you are planning to get off. Busses tend to skip a stop if no one requests it and there’s nobody on the stop waiting.

    Sound Transitbuses have many convenient express routes that travel South (to Tacoma on Rt# 590, 593, 594), East (Redmond on Rt #545, Bellevue on Rt #550, Issaquah #554), and North (Bothell on Rt #522, Everett Rt 510, 512, 513). Some of these buses run during only rush hours, but most, including the routes to the destinations mentioned above, run all day. Check the schedule to make sure. The fare schedule is slightly different than Metro, with no off-peak discount: $2.50 all for trips within King County, and $3.50 for trips crossing the county line.

    Link Light Rail operates between the University of Washington and Sea-Tac Airport via Westlake Center downtown, running through South Seattle and Tukwila. Fares are $2.00—$3.00 depending on how far you travel; ticket machines are located at all stations, and the tickets must be retained for the duration of your trip.

    Sound Transit also operates a commuter rail service called the Sounder between Seattle-Tacoma and Seattle-Everett. However, the Sounder is limited mostly to rush hour service on the weekdays, with some service for special events like Seahawks and Seattle Mariners games.

    In Seattle, there is also the South Lake Union Streetcar, which runs between Downtown and South Lake Union, the First Hill Streetcar which operates between the International District and Broadway in Capitol Hill, the Seattle Center Monorail, which makes a quick connection between Downtown and the Seattle Center, home to the Space Needle, and a passenger ferry, the King County Water Taxi, which offers a quick connection between Downtown at Pier 55 and West Seattle, at Seacrest Park near Alki. The water taxi also offers beautiful views of Downtown, the Olympic Mountains, and much of the city.

    Community Transit buses have many convenient direct express routes going north to various places in Snohomish County such as Everett (#410, 412, 510, 512), Edmonds (Ferry Terminal on #416), Mukilteo (#880, 417), Silver Firs (north of Bothell on #435) etc etc. The buses numbered in the 400s travel between downtown Seattle and Snohomish County while the ones numbered in the 800s travel to/from University Washington. They only go up to Snohomish County from Seattle during the afternoon/evening rush hours between 3:00PM and 6:30PM and into Seattle from Snohomish County in the mornings 5:00AM to 9:30AM. Otherwise they serve as local services in/around Snohomish County up north (numbered in the 100s & 200s).

    If you need any help, go to the Customer Stop at Westlake Station in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, or ask a local. Seattlelites are always eager to help and may even offer help if they just see you looking at a tourist map!

    By car

    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 $60/day. Other car-sharing options include car2go, ReachNow, and Zipcar.

    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 $45 for going overtime in a 2-hour zone.

    By bicycle

    Bicycling is better than in most North American cities because of extensive bicycle trails and lanes, temperate weather (rarely too hot or too cold) and accommodating drivers. Notable down-sides are damp roads, frequent rain, and hills, so you may wish to wear a water-proof jacket and gloves. Many major roads in Seattle have well maintained and separated bicycle lanes. Bicycle usage has increased significantly since the early 2000s and car drivers are perhaps a bit more accustomed to bicycles than in other major cities in the U.S.

    You can pick up a free Seattle Bike Map (as well as other local city and county bike maps) at locations through the city, including 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. The google maps “bicycling” mode directions are also very useful in Seattle — just search for a location on google maps, then choose the “bike” icon and you’ll see bike-specific directions.

    Bicycle transportation in North Seattle is facilitated by the East-West oriented Burke-Gilman Trail. This is a flat, 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 connects the neighborhoods of Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, the U. District, Ravenna/U. Village, Laurelhurst, Sand Point, and Lake City. 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.

    The major north-south bike path in central Seattle is the Myrtle Edwards path, located along Puget sound, starting at the north end of downtown and continuing northwards to the Ship Canal Locks and the Ballard neighborhood. The trail also winds along the downtown waterfront and travels south to the port of Seattle with connections to West Seattle. This path has beautiful views of the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Rainier, and can be more peaceful than the Burke as it does not intersect with any roads.

    All Metro buses are equipped to carry three bicycles on racks on the front, at no extra charge.

    Bike shares are provided by LimeBike ($1 to start and then $0.25 per minute; the green and yellow bikes), and Jump ($0.25 per minute; the red bikes which can be activated via the Uber app). Seattle Bike Blog explains how to use the bike shares. Daily bicycle rentals are available at a number of locations downtown($45 per day) and along the Burke-Gilman trail (from $30 per day). Longer term bicycle rentals, with bike delivery to your hotel or residence, are available from Seattle Monthly Bike Rental($80 per week)). Bike helmets are required by law in Seattle.

    Ride Share Programs

    Ride Sharing is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to taxi cab services in Seattle, offering an arguably friendlier and more reliable service at a cheaper price. Programs including Lyft and Uber involve downloading their mobile application to request a ride. The local drivers who drive for the companies are now required by the city to have a for hire permit and undergo thorough background checks.

    To request a ride, the ride share programs usually requires the rider to download their mobile application and create an account and store credit card information. When requesting a ride, the rider enters their pick-up location, and drop-off location. When a driver confirms your ride request, a GPS map will track the driver’s location as well as show a picture of the driver.

    See

    Pike Place MarketPike Place Market

    Landmarks
    • Pike Place Market, 1501 Pike Place (1st and Pike, above the waterfront). Pike Place level: M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM. Down Under level: 11AM-5PM daily. In downtown, the market is Seattle’s largest tourist area, and it’s the oldest continually operating farmers’ market in the United States. It is home to the famous fish market, original Starbucks Coffee shop, and a large indoor and outdoor market. Many other attractions in downtown are within walking distance of Seattle’s biggest tourist area making it the perfect place to start any sightseeing trip of the city.
    • Space Needle, 400 Broad St. 8AM to Midnight – Open 365 days a year. A short monorail ride away from downtown is Seattle’s most iconic landmark. While expensive to ride to the top, the Space Needle is a “must see” for visitors on a nice day. Adults $22, age 4-12 $13, under 4 free, over 65 $19,.

    Tours

    • Argosy Cruises. Offers sightseeing cruises of the harbor, the locks, and the surrounding lakes. They also offer day trips to Tillicum Village on Blake Island with a salmon bake from 1201 Alaskan Way, Piers 55 & 56.
    • Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour. Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour is Seattle’s most unusual attraction, a humorous stroll through subterranean storefronts and sidewalks entombed when the city rebuilt on top of itself after the Great Fire. The tour begins above ground in a restored 1890s saloon, then spills into historic Pioneer Square, before plunging underground for a time-capsule view of the buried city. All the while, tour guides regale you with sidesplitting stories our pioneers didn’t want you to hear. It’s history with punch lines! Tickets: undergroundtour.com, 206 682 4646.
    • Public Market Tours. A one-hour historical tour of Pike Place Market filled with intriguing tales, including the original Starbucks and Sur La Table stores, as well as the world famous fish throwing Pike Place Fish boys.
    • Hot Air Balloon Tours. Hot air ballooning has been a staple in Seattle for the last 30 years. Seeing Mount Rainier from a few thousand feet is a photographers paradise. Flights typically take place at sunrise and sunset and last around an hour. If you are interested in not just watching the balloons fly, and would like to take flight yourself, there are a variety of companies in the Seattle area. Tickets can be booked online at: seattleballooning.com 206 588 9788.
    • Ride the Ducks Seattle. A 90-min ride on an amphibious World War II vehicle (yes, part of the ride is on Lake Union), not cheap ($28 adult) and not for those with a limited sense of humor (the style is a bit over-the-top). Definitely unique. 5th Ave. and Broad St., across from the Space Needle. Open-year round.
    • Savor Seattle Food Tours. As seen in Bon Appétit Magazine, USA Today, and Frommer’s Travel Guide, Savor Seattle Food Tours is ranked #1 for the best things to do in Seattle! Offer award-winning food tours that explore the exciting history, culture, and food that makes Seattle a top culinary destination.
    • SubSeattle Tour. SubSeattle Tour is a rollicking, scenic bus ride through out-of-sight city neighborhoods, with lots of irreverent humor, sightings and stories of Seattle’s subcultures. See the “real” Seattle most visitors don’t even hear about. View Lake Washington beaches, the house where Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain lived (and died), and Seattle’s gay Pride parade route along hopping Broadway Ave. Brought to you by the Underground Tour. Tickets: subseattletour.com, 206 682 4646.
    • Taste Seattle Food Tour Ranked 5 Stars on Yelp and TripAdvisor Taste Seattle Food Tours is one of the most fun and unique ways to experience our city. As we like to think of it, we take you off the “eaten path”. You will be guided on a relaxed tour with some of the best food and drink Seattle’s unique neighborhoods have to offer while getting to know Seattle’s history and culture. Come join us and…Live Life With Flavor and Fun! Buy Tickets:https://my.getinsellout.com/providers/taste-seattle-food-tours/list, 1-206-330-0275
    • Underworld Tour. The Underworld Tour is an adults-only stroll through the old red-light district of the abandoned, underground city that is Seattle’s birthplace. A big-brother version of the world-famous Underground Tour, it’s seamier, raunchier and laugh-out-loud lewdicrous. Totally inappropriate! One alcoholic drink included. Valid picture ID required. Tickets: undergroundtour.com, 206 682 4646.
    • Western Prince Whale Watching San Juan Island Whale watching tours from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, just 90 miles north of Seattle, WA. 5 Star Tripadvisor Rating. The original whale watch company in the San Juan Islands. We operate the “Western Prince II”, limited to 32 guests, and the zodiac style “Western Explorer”, limited to 15 guests. Two wonderful boats to choose from on your Salish sea adventure! 360-378-5315 Western Prince Whale Watching San Juan Island
    Museums

    Seattle is home to a number of top-notch museums. Downtown is home to the renowned Seattle Art Museum, which displays a good overview and assortment of art from around the world. In the Central District is the Seattle Asian Art Museum, an off-shoot of the Seattle Art Museum which focuses on Chinese & Japanese Art, but includes works from as far away as India. The Asian Art museum is currently closed for renovation until 2019. Additionally, The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience is in Chinatown/International District is the only Asian Pacific American museum in the nation. Nearby is the Frye Art Museum, a small private collection featuring 232 paintings by Munich-based artists. Not a museum, but open to browsing by the public, is the Seattle Metaphysical Library, in Ballard, which specializes in material not found in normal libraries. Finally, in Sodo is the Living Computers: Museum + Labs. Experience computing technology from the 1960s to the present inside one of Seattle’s top-rated museums. Originally founded by Paul G. Allen, this museum features interactive exhibits, daily tours, educational workshops, the world’s largest collection of working vintage computers.
    Surrounding the Space Needle on the grounds of the Seattle Center are several more big museums, including the Pacific Science Center, an interactive science museum, the Experience Music Project, a Rock & Roll museum with a special Jimi Hendrix exhibit, and the Science Fiction Museum Home of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

    On the north end of South Lake Union is the newly reopened Museum of History and Industry, called Mohai for short.

    Downtown is home to the popular Seattle Aquarium. The University District holds the The Henry Art Gallery, one of the biggest contemporary art galleries in Washington. Also on the university campus is the Burke Museum, a combination natural history/archaeology museum. Further out in Georgetown is the Museum of Flight, with a large collection of aircraft ranging from wood and fabric crates to the sleek Concorde.

    Travelers planning to visit multiple attractions may benefit from Seattle CityPASS , which grants admission to 6 Seattle attractions within 9 days of first use for a much reduced rate and includes expedited entry in some cases. The included attractions are: Space Needle (for two visits); Seattle Aquarium; Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour; an Option Ticket with choice of either Pacific Science Center or Museum of Flight ; and an Option Ticket with choice of either Experience Music Project – Science Fiction Museum or Woodland Park Zoo.

    Architecture

    Seattle's Downtown from the Space NeedleSeattle’s Downtown from the Space Needle

    Most of the architectural attractions in Seattle are located in a small portion of the downtown area, easily traversed on foot. Among the highlights are the Rem Koolhaas/OMA designed Central Library, a unique, contemporary building with an enormous glass-fronted atrium; the Experience Music Project designed to resemble Jimi Hendrix’s smashed guitar done in a manner only Frank Gehry could conceive; the Smith Tower, an Art Deco skyscraper which has an observation deck and is Seattle’s oldest skyscraper; the Columbia Center, the tallest building in the Pacific Northwest and one with its own observation deck; the Seattle City Hall, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Bassetti Architects, with its roof garden, designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd. and Swift & Company; and the new Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus, designed by NBBJ, with its 12 acre garden also designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd.

    Of course, the most popular view in Seattle remains the one from the revolving top of the Space Needle at the Seattle Center. And given the retro-futurism look of the Space Needle, a fitting way to get there is via the Monorail, which connects the Seattle Center to Downtown.

    Parks and outdoors

    Seattle is peppered with parks, from small urban squares to large forested areas with views of the Puget Sound.

    • 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.
    • 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 ($11 in winter), 9:30AM-4PM in the winter (1 Oct-30 Apr), 6PM in the summer (1 May-31 Sep). 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 the largest city park in Seattle. Magnolia is great for kite-flying as well as a trail to the beach with great cliffs and boat watching. At Park’s beach, you can see the view of both Cascade and Olympia Mountain ranges. This is a great getaway from long weeks of work and to bring kids to enjoy some quality family moments. The wildlife sanctuary is well protected to maintain the rich natural environment.
    • 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.
    • Green Lake, north of the University District, has side-by-side 2.75 mi (4.4 km) asphalt and gravel trails for walking, jogging and rollerblading around the circumference of the lake, plus several sports fields. The path is good for people-watching as there is a constant stream of thousands of Seattlelites all day long. 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, Safeco Field, CenturyLink Field, and Elliott Bay in front and Mt. Rainier visible behind the skyline. The best view is to 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. The Sculpture “Changing Form” by Doris Chase is standing in the center of Kerry Park since 1977 and this park attracts many tourists and locals to enjoy their afternoon or night chillaxing.
    • Kubota Garden, a spectacular 20-acre (8 ha) 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 U.S. 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 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 mi (2.4 km), 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 park named for its wooded ravine. It is good park for baseball, soccer, tennis, or have a barbecue. Ravenna Park is connected to Cowen Park via a trail alongside a little creek. This park provides a basic feel for the nature that can be found outside of the city.
    • Olympic Sculpture Park is a new park on the waterfront built and maintained by the Seattle Art Museum. It has wonderful views across the water and contains sculptures built by famous artists including Richard Serra and Alexander Calder.
    • Seward Park in the Seward Park neighborhood has 300 acres of beautiful forest land and a 2.4 mile bike and walking path, an amphitheater, a native plant garden, an art studio, miles of hiking trails, and shelters to grill food.
    • The University of Washington Arboretum is 230 acres (93 ha) 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).

    Do

    Events
    • 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, it’s 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.
    • Fremont Fair. Home of the Solstice Parade (including the nude bike ride) is a really fun drunken time all over Fremont. Vendors, bad live music and eclectic crowds at the bars makes for an interesting time. Friends who live in Fremont become especially valuable for a place to crash.
    Cycling
    • Mountain biking. The best riding in Seattle is underneath I-5 between Eastlake and Capitol 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-mi (42 km) paved path dedicated to non-motorized travel. Goes from Golden Gardens Park near the Ballard Locks on Puget Sound, and passes east through Ballard, Fremont (and Gas Works Park), University of Washington, Magnuson Park, and continues northwards out of Seattle through Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, and Bothell, where it connects to the Sammamish River Trail, continuing to Woodinville, Redmond, Overlake, and even Issaquah.
    • Seattle is one of the best cycling cities in the United States, and a number of residents use cycling as their primary form of commute. All trails are mapped in Google Maps. With the introduction of dockless bikeshare services, it’s easy to take advantage of the many walking paths in the city.
    Boating
    • Center For Wooden Boats, 1010 Valley St (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, (west side of Lake Union),. Kayak rentals.
    • Agua Verde, on Portage Bay between Lake Union and Lake Washington,. Kayak rentals.
    • Waterfront Activities Center, (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.
    Sports

    Safeco FieldSafeco Field

    • Seattle Mariners, member of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League Western Division, plays at Safeco Field from April to October.
    • Seattle Seahawks, member of the National Football League’s (NFL) National Football Conference’s Western Division, play at CenturyLink Field (formerly Qwest Field) from August (Regular Season begins in September) until January.
    • Seattle Sounders FC, member of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Western Conference. The third different Seattle soccer team to bear the “Sounders” name, plays at CenturyLink Field from March-November. Possibly the toughest ticket in town—the Sounders have sold out every home MLS game since joining the league in 2009—but for hardcore soccer (football) fans, the atmosphere is unmatched in the US. David Beckham, the iconic English star who played in MLS from 2007 to 2012, has called CenturyLink Field the only place in the league where he has seen an atmosphere that compares to that found in Europe.
    • Seattle Storm, Seattle’s WNBA Western Conference team plays at KeyArena from May till September.
    • Seattle Reign FC, the city’s newest top-level professional team, plays in the National Women’s Soccer League from April to August. The Reign, named after a defunct Seattle women’s basketball team, have moved to Memorial Stadium near Seattle Center after having played their first season (2013) in the suburb of Tukwila.
    • Seattle Thunderbirds, WHL US Division junior hockey team plays at the ShoWare Center in nearby Kent, WA from September till March.
    • Washington Huskies – The sports teams representing the University of Washington, competing in the Pacific-12 Conference. Virtually all venues are on campus, with the best-known being Husky Stadium (football) and Hec Edmundson Pavilion (many indoor sports, most notably basketball). Husky Stadium, which reopened for the 2013 football season after major renovations, is notable as the largest stadium in the Pacific Northwest and for its scenic setting next to Lake Washington; a significant number of fans arrive at the stadium by boat. Tickets can be difficult to come by for football and men’s basketball games.

    Buy

    • The Pike Place Market in Downtown is an attraction unto itself, known for its seafood and produce stands. As the weather gets warmer, artisans sell their wares here as well. The market is located along 2nd Ave & Pike.
    • Downtown in general – The 26 to 30 square block area between Pike Place Market & the convention Center bounded north by Stewart, south by Union, west by 1st Ave & east by 6th Ave (or the freeway) is the retail core of downtown offering a concentrated number of hotels, boutique shops, dept stores (Nordstroms & Macys) and a number of restaurants & cafes. Of course there are also additional outside this area in downtown Seattle.
    • Westlake Center 400 Pine St is a downtown mall within the downtown retail core offering additional restaurants and shops selling all sorts of items and a general food court up on the third floor with a variety of different foods. In addition to the food court, there is also a branch of ‘Travelex Bureau du Change’ office that exchange foreign currency for US dollars and next to the monorail station for the direct ride over to Seattle Center. Below the mall is the underground tunnel for buses and the light rail. Not all buses go through the tunnel either but on surface streets.
    • Northgate Mall 401 NE Northgate Way. Another mall north of Seattle. The #41 bus serves Northgate from downtown.
    • Westfield SouthCenter Mall is the other big mall including a JC Penny, Sears, Macy’s & Nordstrom. Recently expanded in 2008. The #150 bus goes down to Southcenter from downtown. There are also a number of other big and small stores in various smaller strip malls along Southcenter Dr spanning 3-4mi south of the Southcenter Mall and across the street from the southside of the mall.
    Groceries and other basics

    The major supermarket chains in Seattle are Safeway and Albertsons (both owned by the same company), along with QFC and Fred Meyer (both owned by Kroger). For general merchandise, Fred Meyer and Target also have stores in Seattle. Many specialty and organic supermarkets, such as Metropolitan Market, PCC (a local co-op grocery chain), Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market can also be found throughout the area. Due to Seattle’s large ethnic Asian immigrant population you can easily find grocery stores catering to those groups such as Uwajimaya (Japanese) located in the International District, and H-Mart (Korean) and 99 Ranch Market (Taiwanese) in the surrounding suburbs.

    Farmers markets

    Although steeped in history and always busy, Pike Place Market is not often visited by locals. Dozens of farmer markets dot the region, with many active only in the summer months (May-Oct). The primary neighborhood farmer markets in Seattle include: University District and Magnolia (Saturdays); Capitol Hill and West Seattle (Sundays); Columbia City (Wednesdays); Lake City (Thursdays); Phinney Ridge (Fridays); and City Hall (Tuesdays).

    Eat

    Fresh seafood is found in abundance at both markets and restaurants. Local favorites include Alaskan salmon (king/Chinook, sockeye, and coho/silver being the descending hierarchy of quality), halibut, and lingcod for fish; Dungeness, snow, and king crab; oysters; mussels and clams; and a variety of other seafood. Pacific Northwest cuisine is featured at a number of local eateries, and emphasizes seafood, foraged plants (mushrooms, ferns, asparagus, seaweeds, berries), game meats such as elk, and other less common meats like duck and rabbit.

    Seattle also features a wide variety of Asian-fusion cuisines owing to its diverse population, particularly with Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Filipino, and Hawaiian influences. A number of restaurants from diaspora populations, including Indian, Ethiopian, and Cambodian cuisines, are also available.

    Local specialties that are common souvenirs include smoked salmon, Rainier cherries, apples, and of course, coffee.

    Drink

    Few, if any, American cities can challenge Seattleites’ love of coffee. Seattle’s love of coffee is perhaps signified best by Starbucks, Seattle’s Best Coffee (now owned by Starbucks), and Tully’s as they each have expanded all over the country and world, but locals aren’t satisfied by these internationally-recognized chains alone, evidenced by hundreds of good locally owned coffeehouses. Microbreweries and beer in general are a Northwest specialty, and Seattle has many to offer for beer enthusiasts. The larger ones, like Redhook, have their products distributed around the country like their coffee cousins, while others can only be found in local stores or bars (some notable ones even don’t bottle their product).

    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, many of them crafted in Seattle.

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As the Premier Digital Marketing Conference & Exhibition Series worldwide
see why DigiMarCon stands out above the rest in the marketing industry
and why delegates keep returning year after year

Global Event Series

DigiMarCon is the Largest Digital Marketing Conference & Exhibition series in the world, with annual events held in all continents (North America, Latin America, Europe, UK, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa) in 10 countries (United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Singapore, India, United Arab Emirates and Pacific Northwest Africa), across 15 cities (New York, Toronto, San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando, Sydney, London, Amsterdam, Singapore, New Delhi, Dubai, Johannesburg and Online). Wherever you are located there is a regional DigiMarCon event nearby you can attend.

5 Star Luxury Event Venues

DigiMarCon Conferences are held in top luxury 5-star event venues across the world such as; Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships, Olympic Stadiums, Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre and JW Marriott, Marriott Marquis, Hyatt Regency, InterContinental, Loews and Sofitel Hotel properties. Discount hotel room rates at each venue hotel means no hassle getting to and from the venue each day.

Extensive & Memorable Networking Experiences

Building relationships matter! At DigiMarCon Conferences we have more networking breaks on our program than others. On average there are 8 Networking breaks at each event giving delegates ample opportunities in a relaxed atmosphere to meet others over the 2-days at the event; from 1-hour round table networking luncheons to 3-hour dinner receptions. These networking breaks are set in picturesque locations to facilitate memorable experiences while fostering new relationships. Such experiences include enjoying cocktails and the Sunset over the Pacific Ocean on a private Ocean Terrace in Santa Monica, to being on the Sydney Olympic Stadium playing arena at night enjoying cocktails under the lights, to dining at the 360 Revolving Restaurant at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto for a Dinner Reception, enjoying cocktails on a private promenade overlooking Times Square in New York City, or having fun at the Dazzles Night Club onboard the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas for a Farewell Party, etc.

Industry Thought Leaders from Leading Brands

DigiMarCon Keynotes, Panels and Master Classes are facilitated by the foremost thought leaders in the industry, from celebrity social media influencers to CMO’s from the largest Fortune 500 company brands that are disrupting the digital marketing industry, such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle, Adobe, eBay, Netflix and more. All presentations are pitch-free, and include actionable takeaways, case studies, strategies and tactics, ready to be applied when back in the office.

Premium Comfortable Meeting Spaces

At DigiMarCon Conferences you are never ‘left in the dark’…. literally, in a large room far away from the stage and speakers, crushed in tight theater seating, without even a desk, while sitting in the dark. At DigiMarCon all delegates have premium meeting space in luxurious ballroom well-lit spaces, with comfortable seating with desk enabling delegates to use their laptop to take notes with ample charging facilities onsite in a comfortable space to learn and thrive. All tables are situated close with direct view of the stage.

Value for Money & Generous Discounts

DigiMarCon Conferences are affordable to attend, from single-day event passes up to two-day VIP options at a fraction of the cost of other industry events. We offer significant discounts for early bird registrations. Additionally, on top of time-limited discount pass rates, because budgets are tight, we want to make sure all groups have a chance to attend DigiMarCon. For government employees, students, academic, startups, non-profit organizations and teams, we offer generous discounts off the prevailing registration price.

Collaborative Learning & Audience Participation

Attend DigiMarCon and you become part of the show! DigiMarCon Conferences tap into the talent of the room, drawing from the knowledge and experience of the professionals in the audience. All DigiMarCon events include regular interactive question and answer sessions with speakers and the audience ideal for collaboration, audience polls, along with ice-breaker and group exercises, steered by charismatic Emcees.

Meet the Speakers in Person

DigiMarCon Conferences put you right up and close with the speakers giving you the opportunity to meet these social media influencers which you follow in person. Speakers are never hidden in private speaker rooms away from the audience, they are in the auditorium sitting right beside you and participating.

Exceptional Customer Service

Attending a conference is a well-researched decision. There are many factors to consider such as location, time, venue, cost, speakers, content, etc. At DigiMarCon our results-obsessed Customer Service team are at your service before, during and after the event to help with your needs. It’s at the core of what we do — it drives our business. Offsite, we are ready to assist you via phone, ticket or chat. Onsite at our Conferences, friendly DigiMarCon staff serve as your hosts. They welcome your input and are happy to assist you.

TECHSPO Technology Expo

At all DigiMarCon Conferences is the co-located exclusive event TECHSPO Technology Expo, which showcases the new generation of technology and innovation, including; AdTech, MarTech, Internet, Mobile and SaaS technologies. Be inspired, amazed and educated on how these evolving technologies will impact your business for the better. Access to TECHSPO Technology Expo is included with all DigiMarCon passes.

On Demand Library Access

DigiMarCon All Access & VIP Passes include a 12-month on demand access to hundreds of hours of DigiMarCon speaker keynotes, panels and master class presentations from recent DigiMarCon Conferences, including videos, slide decks and key takeaways, available on demand so you can watch what you want, when you want.

The Largest Digital Marketing Community

Attendees of DigiMarcon Conferences gain membership to an exclusive global Digital Marketing Community of over 500,000 worldwide subscribers to our award-winning digital marketing blog and over 70,000 members to our Digital Marketing Professionals Group in LinkedIn (visit https://www.linkedin.com/groups/2661359/). This global community comprises of innovators, senior marketers and branders, entrepreneurs, digital executives and professionals, web & mobile strategists, designers and web project managers, business leaders, business developers, agency executives and their teams and anyone else who operates in the digital community who leverage digital, mobile, and social media marketing. We provide updates to the latest whitepapers and industry reports to keep you updated on trends, innovation and best practice digital marketing.