From its humble Native American origins, Seattle has now grown to be a thriving centre for music and enterprise as well as a charming city to visit.
Situated between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington on the West Coast, Seattle is a pleasant seaside haven. The city has a rich Native American heritage as the site where tribes settled long ago; its name comes from Chief Seattle, who was a prominent Native American leader.
Throughout the city, the skyline is dominated by snow-peaked Mount Rainier, whilst if you look up at the cityscape, you’ll see the iconic Space Needle built ahead of the 1962 World’s Fair.
Nowadays, Seattle is renowned across the globe as a centre for modern technological business, with Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon and Microsoft among the international giants based here. The city is also known for its musical heritage – it was here that grunge bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden emerged in the 1990s. Jimi Hendrix was born here, whilst Ray Charles and Quincy Jones among many others started out here on the local jazz scene. This heritage continues today, with great venues like Benaroya Hall where you can see the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Lucid in the University District where you can enjoy some jazz, or the waterfront’s Highway 99 Blues Club, home of the blues.
Although Seattle is a thriving metropolis, you’re never far from the natural world. Take a cruise across Puget Sound for a magnificent view of the cityscape. Further afield, take a 2.5-hour drive to the Olympic National Park for stunning waterfalls and hiking trails. Or head to Mount Rainier National Park, just 90 minutes east of the city.
Back in town, you’ll find shops, restaurants and bars all around. Check out the historic Pioneer Square to learn about the gold rush that made the city boom. Elsewhere, make sure that you visit Belltown, Downtown Seattle, which is always full of life, and the popular Seattle Waterfront. Try the fresh sea fare on offer by the water's edge and at Pike Place Market.
Pay a visit to the forest at Discovery Park to admire all of these spots from a new vantage point. For a different view of the city, go on Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour, which explores the sights of Seattle as it once looked. Then at the end of the day, head for Kerry Park to see the boats crossing Elliot Bay and admire the view of the Emerald City at sunset.