Seattle, best known as the birthplace of Starbucks and grunge music, is an excellent vacation destination. The vibrant and lively city offers something for everyone.
The Space Needle, one of the most recognizable elements in the Seattle skyline, is a must-see for any visitor. Built to celebrate the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle features an observation deck, restaurant, and gift shop. It takes just 43 seconds for a visitor to reach the top of the Space Needle by elevator, but it’s not uncommon to wait in line for an hour or more for the chance to see this important landmark.
The Seattle Underground, a chain of basements and passageways beneath the streets of downtown, is a fascinating attraction for history buffs. After the Great Seattle Fire in 1889, the streets were rebuilt one level higher than the original city to reduce the risk of flooding. Today, there are guided walking tours available of the ruins from the original city. Adults can even choose to take a special version of the basic tour that includes a discussion of the city's connection to prostitution, the opium trade, and other unsavory pursuits.
Many tourists flock to the Pike Place Market, listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the third oldest continually-operational farmer's market in the United States. One of Pike Place Market’s most popular attractions is the Pike Place Fish Market. Best known as the market featured in an episode of Fraiser, the Pike Place Fish Market is unique in that employees send the fish flying through air to keep the atmosphere fresh and fun.
Seattle is a great place to visit if you’re passionate about the performing arts. The Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Opera, and Pacific Northwest Ballet have a worldwide reputation for producing quality shows. The alternative music scene features bands such as Murder City Devils, The Postal Service, and The Shins. Poetry slams and fringe theater performances are also quite popular in the city.
The city's cooler climate makes the city ideal for hiking, biking, and other athletic activities. If you’re a fan of professional sports, you can also see the Mariners, Storm, Seahawks, Sounders, and Thunderbirds in action. The NCAA Division II schools Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University, plus the Division I University of Washington, offer collegiate sports entertainment as well.
Animal lovers of all ages will want to make a stop at The Woodland Park Zoo, a facility that has achieved international recognition for its unique wildlife immersion exhibits. The Seattle Aquarium, featuring a variety of conservation exhibits and a collection of sea life art, is another attraction that’s worth a visit.