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The uniqueness of Seattle is the combination of a metropolitan city, a collection of neighborhoods each with its own personality and a natural setting of lakes and mountains. In Seattle, you can kayak by day and go to the opera at night. Local tourism officials describe the city as "metronatural." Yet, the entire city shares a collective vibe that is casual, educated, and forward-thinking. Sitting between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, the city’s shoreline offers piers, waterside attractions and a variety of water tours. Mount Ranier, the highest mountain in Washington, is less than 60 miles away and on a clear day it dominates the southeastern horizon of Seattle. About the same distance north of the city sits Mount Baker, one of the snowiest places in the world. Technology has emerged as a major influence on local culture. The Seattle-area is home to companies like Amazon.com and Microsoft (in nearby Redmond). Boeing is also a major local employer, and visitors can tour the factory where they build and test their aircraft. One of the city's most popular attractions, The Museum of Flight, highlights aviation and space history.
For those visiting Seattle for the first time, taking a tour is a great way to get a feel for the local history and attractions. Seattle offers a variety of ways to explore and enjoy the city. A Seattle Double Decker Tour is an easy way to see the best sites of Seattle. Hop on or off at any attraction, or ride the entire loop for a complete tour. A lake cruise will give a uniquely different view of the city and its waters. Some lake tours offer dining options to enjoy while you take in spectacular waterfront views. Or, you can enjoy Seattle from both land and water on a one-of-a-kind Duck Tour aboard a WWII amphibious landing craft. Whichever you choose, a tour is a perfect, family-friendly way to explore the many sights, sounds and attractions of Seattle. In addition to the Space Needle, Seattle’s most recognizable landmark, visitors should be sure to include a visit to the world renowned Seattle Art Museum (called SAM by locals). Popular outdoor activities include whale watching tours, winery visits and the 270-foot waterfall at Snoqualmie Falls is a shutter-bug's delight. Top off any day in Seattle with a wide choice of museums, live music venues and neighborhood coffee shops.
Seattle's dining scene is surprisingly diverse. In addition to the expected Northwestern style seafood restaurants and steakhouses, visitors will find a variety of restaurants with influences from Latin America, Asia, France and other places not normally associated with the Northwest. Many restaurant menus are rooted in fresh seafood, an abundance of small-scale producers, great local wines and an ever-growing pool of talented chefs. Foodies will enjoy the Savor Seattle Food Tour at Pike Place Market. This two-hour walking tour gets behind the scenes to experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of this historic 105-year old landmark. A gourmet restaurant tour and a chocolate tour are also available in the city. Get more info at www.savorseattletours.com.
Seattle is home to both Starbucks and Tully’s Coffee but these two caffeine-driven powerhouses are not alone in café offerings of the city. Many independent cafés are finding their niche with a wide-variety of coffee roasts and specialty pastries and food items. A short walk in most any direction will bring you quickly to a café to enjoy a unique treat and a cup of Joe. True coffee-worshipers should visit the very first Starbucks which opened in 1971 in the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. Because the Market is a historic district with design guidelines, the store retains its original look.
Seattle has no shortage of local bars and nightclubs that are sure to make any visitor feel like a real native. Blues clubs, British bars, Irish pubs, lounges, dive bars and college bars are just a few of the varieties you will find. Just as Seattle’s food scene relishes using local products, their bars show local pride with most having at least a couple of regional and local beers on tap. The city was early to the craft cocktail craze, in which hand-mixed cocktails with fresh juices and garnishes push your typical margarita mix. During the 1980s and early 1990s, a collection of bands from Seattle cultivated a distinct sound commonly known as grunge. A mixture of hard rock, punk and metal, the so-called “Seattle sound” helped foster the contemporary rock movement. Several top grunge bands call Seattle home including Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. The live music scene in Seattle is vibrant.
Seattle is home to excellent shopping all over the city with several unique shopping districts including Downtown Seattle, Pioneer Square, Chinatown-International District, University District and Pike Place Market. Downtown Seattle shopping is a square of several blocks with large names such as Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom and Gap. Downtown is also the location of two large malls, Westlake Center Plaza and Pacific Place. Laying claim as the city's “first neighborhood," Pioneer Square is a richly historic place known for its Renaissance Revival architecture, First Thursday art walks, night life and quirky boutiques. The Square runs between the Alaskan Way Viaduct and 4th Avenue, from Columbia Street on the north side to CenturyLink Field on the south side. The Chinatown-International District is a multi-cultural, diverse area to find unique gifts and shops with roots from all over Asia. The district includes Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese and Southeast Asian influence. Just south of Pioneer Square, the eight-block district is within walking distance from Downtown Seattle and Pike Place Market. Located just north of downtown Seattle and close to the University of Washington, the University District, sometimes called U District, offers a unique formula of locally-owned boutiques and signature national retailers. Pike Place Market is Seattle’s famous waterfront shopping area that features local produce, fresh fish and an abundance of incredible restaurants.
When visiting any city in the US, make sure to always carry a valid I.D. with you, and adhere to the traffic regulations that might differ from your own country.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

You can take public transportation, shuttles or taxis between Seattle and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Sound Transit connects the airport to downtown Seattle on its Central Link light rail. Trains operate from 05:16. until 00:07. weekdays, 05:18 a.m. until 00:04. on Saturdays, and from 06:17 until 23:05. on Sundays and holidays. Trains run every 7 to 10 minutes during most of the day, up to 20 minutes during non-peak hours. To get to the station, use Sky Bridge 6 on the north side of the airport. Sound Transit also provides two bus routes from the airport. Route 560 connects the airport to Bellevue, Renton, Burien and West Seattle. It operates from 05:45 to 23:16 twice an hour weekdays, hourly on weekends from 06:00 to 23:30. Route 574 serves Lakewood, Federal Way and Tacoma. Buses operate from 04:30 to 22:11; daily every 30 to 60 minutes. For more information on either the Central Link light rail or the bus lines, go to www.soundtransit.org or call +1 800 201 4900. King County Metro Transit has two routes that serve the airport. Route 194 serves downtown Seattle and Federal Way. The route operates daily from 5:05 a.m. to 10:33 p.m., every 15 to 30 minutes. Route 140 goes between Burien and Renton, with the airport being about half way between. Service runs from about 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. daily, every 15 to 30 minutes. For more information, go to: www.kingcounty.gov/transportation.aspx or call +1 206 553 3000. All buses leave from Door 6 outside of baggage claim on the lower level.

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