Seattle, Rain City indeed

4 min to read

Seattle, Rain City indeed

Washington, USA, and Citytrip

Seattle is located in the north-west corner of the United States so you should expect some rain. You could even expect it to rain every day if your timing's as lousy as mine! Who would've thought late October could be so wet?

It wasn't too long ago that I was in this region: when I was in Vancouver, I was a mere 3 hours away - just on the other side of the border - and weather was a lot better there. But that was spring.

I knew that Seattle is a technology hub (I work in that sector after all) and Amazon's headquartered there. But that's not what comes to mind when I think of Seattle. When I think of Seattle, I hear music: this is where Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Pearl Jam & Macklemore were raised! But music's not really something you can visit, right?

Go-to places

The 1962 World's Fair grounds, nowadays called the Seattle Center, is a tourist hotspot with Seattle's iconic landmark: the Space Needle. But it's full of attractions, like the Pacific Science Center, the Children's Museum & the Museum of Pop Culture, the Memorial Stadium and KeyArena. And the Chihuly Garden & Glass, a spectacular museum of glass creations that I didn't get around to visiting, but that was strongly recommended by friends who did go.

From the Seattle Center, you can take the Monorail (another 1962 World's Fair relic) to Seattle's retail core. Walk a few minutes in the direction of the waterfront and you'll end up at Pike Place Market, the oldest public farmer's market in the States and Seattle's favorite tourist attraction. Near the north end of the Pike Place Market, across the street, is also where you'll find the very first Starbucks. This isn't the exact spot where Starbucks started (the shop has moved), but it still has the original logo. Just north of Pike Place Market is Belltown, a trendy neighborhood where you should find some art galleries.

Lastly you may want to go check out Capitol Hill, where the downtown shopping retail core extends along Pike and Pine Streets.

Museums

It turns out you can actually go visit music in Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture, in a psychedelic building that was inspired by Jimi Hendrix's guitar. I tried, but I really couldn't see how this resembles a guitar - but it sure is a spectacular building!

The museum is basically an interactive tour throughout pop music history. But most importantly: they have a bunch of instruments & instructions for you to try out and get your groove on. That said, I was slightly disappointed in the museum, although I must admit that I have no idea how a music museum could be made any better. I'm not a musician (I just like to sing along - like, all the time) and I don't have any background in music. I'm sure I would've been able to appreciate the museum a lot more if I had.

But Seattle has a lot of other museums, and there's 1 in particular that was right up my alley: the Museum of Flight. You may have read about my introductory Cessna flight, and I'd gladly take things a step further if only it wasn't such an expensive hobby. But I have a strong interest & fascination in flying and airplanes. I loved this museum, and there were a few gems among the hundreds of planes on display (like an Air Force One and the Concorde.)

Best vista

I always seek out scenic overviews of the city, and Seattle has 2 strong contenders:

  • The obvious one: the Space Needle, at 184m high, which lets you go outside on a ledge around the revolving top. Bonus points for its more remote location, allowing you to capture all of the buildings making up downtown's skyline in 1 frame.
  • The highest vantage point, however, is the Columbia Center, smack in the middle of Seattle's downtown. You're stuck behind glass, but at least you're able to capture Seattle's most defining landmark: the Space Needle!

But easily the best vista was Seattle's skyline as seen from the ferry headed to Bainbridge Island:

Seattle skyline

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