Seattle, Washington

I can never remember visiting Seattle when it wasn’t raining.

It makes you wonder why Seattle is such a popular place and why so many people absolutely love living in this seaport city in the Pacific Northwest. It takes a few days but you get used to the rainy weather and luckily, the hotels all have umbrellas in the room that you can use during your stay.

On my most recent visit, I got to walk around the city and explore some of the interesting sites that make this city one of the most popular cities in the United States. The population of Seattle is nearing 700,000 and in 2013, it was the fasting growing city in the country. It is home to many Asian-Americans and a wide diversity of people from throughout the world.

Probably the most identifiable landmark in Seattle is the Space Needle, which is a fixture in the city since it was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. The structure is 605 feet tall and weighs 9,550 tons. During the World’s Fair, almost 20,000 people per day rode the elevator to the top to get a view of the city and the surrounding mountains, including Mount Rainier.  Over 10 million visitors came to the 1962 World’s Fair and many people credit it with the rebirth of the city and its current popularity. The fairgrounds are still intact and have various exhibits and restaurants that attract a steady stream of visitors. A monorail travels from the Space Needle to downtown Seattle and was considered state of the art in 1962. There is a good bit of demolition and construction going on around the Space Needle to give it a much needed upgrade.

One of the other popular tourist destinations in Seattle is the Pike Street Market which is located on the Elliott Bay waterfront and features hundreds of small shops and markets. It was founded in 1907 and is one of the oldest continuously operated farmer’s markets in the country. Attracting over 10 million visitors a year, it is the 33rd most popular tourist destinations in the world. Walking along the many stalls, you will see an astonishing mixture of seafood vendors, craftspeople, artists, musicians and just about any vegetable or spice that you can imagine. The seafood is freshly caught and the fish mongers throw the fish in the air which has become a source of pride and attraction for the market. The unofficial mascot for the market is a large brass piggy bank named “Rachel” that is located under the “Public Market Center” sign along Pike Street. The pig was designed by local artists and collects between $6,000-9,000 dollars annually in currencies from throughout the world. The money is used for social services at the market.

One of the newer attractions in Seattle that I visited is the “Great Wheel”, which is a large Ferris wheel located at Pier 57. The wheel was opened in 2012 and is 175 feet tall and reaches out 40 feet over Elliott Bay. The climate controlled gondolas hold up to eight people and give riders a twelve-minute ride and a beautiful view of the Seattle skyline.

No trip to Seattle is complete without a visit to one of the hundreds of coffee shops. The Starbucks chain of coffee houses was founded in Seattle and has now grown to over 17,000 shops worldwide. You can smell the aroma of brewing coffee along many of the streets and most of the shops are inviting with comfortable chairs and a handful of young people with computers plugged into the wall outlets.

As my Uber driver was taking me to the airport, I looked out the window and saw the sun peeking out from behind a cloud and realized that I really enjoyed my visit to Seattle and looked forward to my next visit to this Amazing city!



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