Why Go To Seattle

Seattle's laid-back attitude and diverse neighborhoods more than make up for its consistently cloudy weather. Plus, it's home to some of the country's best coffee and a thriving arts scene, plenty of history, culture and – when the weather permits – some exciting outdoor activities. Surrounded by water (and resting between Puget Sound and Lake Washington), the city's favorite outdoor pursuits include kayaking, hiking and camping. Not only that, but the nearby Olympic Mountains and the giant Mount Rainier are visible from many spots in the city; ski slopes are just a short drive away. And while travelers often bemoan the weather, there's actually less annual precipitation here than in New York or Boston. Overcast skies rarely stop Seattleites from getting out and exploring the city – and it shouldn't stop you either.

If you're headed to the Emerald City and not up for strenuous outdoor activities, Seattle still offers plenty to do and see. Art lovers will appreciate the glass-blown pieces at Chihuly Garden and Glass as well as the works on display at the Seattle Art Museum. Maritime enthusiasts can explore the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks and watch the ships putter by. Several of Seattle's best boat tours even offer an inside look at how the locks operate. Make time to switch gears from boats to brews on a visit here, too. The city boasts dozens of craft breweries and food markets, making it one of the Best Foodie Destinations in the USA. 

Rankings

The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions.

Seattle is ranked as:

  • #8 in Best Foodie Cities in the USA

  • #11 in Best Weekend Getaways

  • #14 in Best Summer Vacations in the USA

  • #18 in Best Fall Vacations in the USA

  • #18 in Best Summer Vacations

  • #22 in Best Places to Visit in the USA

Best Things To Do In Seattle

If you're a first-time visitor to Seattle, no trip would be complete without stopping by some of the city's most iconic attractions, such as Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. You'll also want to make the most of the city's scenic location by taking a stroll through Olympic Sculpture Park or Discovery Park. For an even more heart-pumping adventure, hop in the car for a day trip to Mount Si. When overcast skies force you inside, marvel at the glass-blown works at Chihuly Garden and Glass, learn about aviation history (the Museum of Flight) and maritime history (Ballard Locks), or take the underground tour in Pioneer Square.

Seattle Travel Tips

  • Remember your raincoat - Seattle is known for its soggy climate, but don't let that slow you down. Just pack your galoshes!

  • Spare some change - Seattle's streets are lined with up-and-coming performers singing for their supper (or just to be heard). Spare some change for the ones that grab your attention.

  • Grab a Seattle Weekly - This free publication spotlights special events and performances around the city. It'll come in handy when planning a night on the town.

  • Take a tour - Whether it's a whale watching excursion or a foodie-focused outing to Pike Place Market, there's a guided tour for you in Seattle.

  • Don't rent a car from the airport - If you wait until you're in town to pick up your ride, you can avoid an exorbitant airport rental surcharge.

  • Take advantage of the freebies - A handful of Seattle's top attractions do not charge admission fees, including the Ballard Locks, Olympic Sculpture Park and Discovery Park. Plus, if you time your visit right, you can enjoy free admission at the Museum of Flight and the Seattle Art Museum the first Thursday evening of every month.

*SOURCE: Information From This Page Can Be Found at U.S. News & World Report
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