Seattle is unlike any other city in the country. One of its nicknames is the Emerald City, which conjures up images of Dorothy and her friends in Oz. You won’t find yellow brick roads in Seattle, but you will find lots of beautiful natural scenery.
Seattle is the biggest city in the state of Washington, also known as the Evergreen State. The trees, the grass, and even the waterways around Seattle prove there’s no shortage of emerald-colored attractions in the western half of the state.
One of the most notable businesses in Seattle, coffee giant Starbucks, is also quite fond of the color green. Seattle’s explosive growth rate in recent years also means there’s a ton of culture and food for visitors to experience when they head to the Pacific Northwest. In fact, Seattle is the fastest-growing big city this decade, beating out Austin, Texas.
The Buzz in Seattle
Seattle has all the ingredients for a buzzy, vibrant town, and we don’t just mean all the coffee that’s consumed every day in the city. People want to live in Seattle, whether they’re young or old.
With rapid growth, however, comes a big increase in the cost of living. Businesses such as Amazon and Microsoft have brought a lot of new employees to the metro area, and as a result, the rent in Seattle is among the highest in the United States. But there are signs of a recent decline as the construction of new apartments finally catches up with the demand.
Luckily, visiting for a few days isn’t nearly as cost-prohibitive as signing a lease. The city has a reputation for being cloudy and dreary, and you will see a lot of rain. But ask locals about the summer, and you’ll hear a lot about sunshine. (Yes, the sun actually comes out in the summer months, and it’s a truly welcome sight.) If your friends back home don’t believe you, make sure to get a few selfies of you and your friends basking in the sunshine outside the legendary Pike Place market that overlooks Elliott Bay. If you need a selfie stick to get the full picture, just look up AT&T stores in Washington to find the perfect model, as well as any other accessories you might need for your smartphone.
Another landmark worth visiting is the famous Space Needle that gives the Seattle skyline so much of its personality. At the time of this writing, the Space Needle observation deck had just undergone a $100-million renovation project that offers visitors a floor-to-ceiling view of the city. If you feel like splurging on dinner, check out the revolving SkyCity restaurant.
Sights such as the Space Needle are a must-see for tourists, but if you really want to get a feel for the city, try exploring it with a native Seattleite. They’ll take you to neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill, where you can unwind with a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie and a cocktail at the famous Pie Bar. It’s open late, but don’t try to call to reserve a table. In very Seattle fashion, the website notes: “We do not take reservations due to our quaintness.” So you may want to line up early for maximum quaintness.
Yes, Seattle prides itself on being hip, even if they’re not as famously quirky as Portland, their neighbor to the south. Right now, few foods are hipper than sushi, and Seattle’s proximity to the Puget Sound means you can get some of the freshest sushi around.
If raw fish isn’t your thing, indulge in a grilled cheese or some cheese curds courtesy of Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. The artisanal cheese company also has a location in Manhattan, but it all got started right here in Pike Place Market. If you fill up on cheese, don’t worry: a walk up the steepest part of Capitol Hill should burn plenty of calories. And if you get thirsty, you can stop in at one of the many bars in the area and order an IPA.