Not many places in the U.S. can boast such a unique combination of ocean, mountains, sea, and land. The famous city of Seattle is situated on the banks of the meandering Puget Sound fronting the Pacific Ocean. Just west of the bay stretches enormous Vancouver Island, and to the east of the city, the calm blue waters of Lake Washington shimmer.
"So what's cool about Seattle besides the water?" you might ask. It's also home to more than 500 successful companies, including Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, and Starbucks.
There is a vibrant theatrical and musical life here. Some of the most famous musicians in history have been born in Seattle, like Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain, whose house still stands. Even more famous than Jimi Hendrix is the infamous wall of gum that’s completely covered! You have to see it and leave your own behind.
There are also several cultural recreation centers in town. These include Rainier Beach, Jefferson, Meadowbrook, and others. Which one is better? You'll figure it out when you're in Seattle. They're all cool in their own way.
Seattle has great nightlife thanks to its exceptional food, live shows, and variety of acts. You'll enjoy them for sure. Trust us, hosting 10 million tourists each year, Seattle has perfected the art of entertaining.
Among the city's unusual evening entertainment is the Alki Beach BBQ. It's a famous beach by day and a massive barbecue in the evening. Imagine that! It's a noisy, fun restaurant all over the beach and out in the open-air - lots of people like it.
If the beach isn’t for you, Seattle offers many other points of entertainment including its rich historical landmarks, architecture, and the exciting folks from the area.
So let's find out and see what Seattle is all about! C'mon!
Seattle International Airport: How to Get to the City Center?
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is located 12 miles from the city. So no prizes for guessing that it serves the cities of Seattle and Tacoma. With over 30 million passengers a year, it is the largest airport in Washington State.
How to Get Downtown?
The city can be reached from the airport by bus, subway, cab, shuttle, or rental car. The trip will take you about 25-30 minutes.
From the Seattle Airport, you can get into the city by bus number 156, which runs to South Downtown and Des Moines.
- Where to Find: The best way to get to the bus stop is to walk along the north side of the fourth floor of the airport terminal to the Sound Transit Link light rail station. Then get off at International Boulevard (State Highway 99).
- Hours of Operation: Buses run 24 hours a day, every 20 minutes. The exact time of departure is indicated on the information boards at the stop.
- Cost: 2 USD. You can get a ticket from the driver.
Sound Transit subway trains run from the airport to the University of Washington, South Seattle, and downtown.
- Where to Find: The station is located on the fourth floor of the parking lot.
- Hours of Operation: Hours of operation are 05:00 to 01:00 Monday through Saturday and 06:00 to 00:00 on Sunday. The interval of movement is 6-15 minutes.
- Cost: 3 USD.
- Where to Buy a Ticket: You can buy a ticket at a terminal at the station. Bus conductors will check the ticket, and if you decide to dodge the fare, you will have to pay a fine of 124 USD.
If you are traveling with small children or have large and heavy luggage, you use the shuttle service. A driver will be waiting for you at the airport with a nameplate.
- Cost: starting from 32 USD for an economy class car.
An excellent way to get into town if you are exhausted and don't plan to save money. The cab parking is located near the exit of the terminal.
- Cost: 40 USD.
Rent a Car
If you plan to drive around the city a lot, you can rent a car. Don't forget that you must have an international driver's license. It is best to book a car online - it's cheaper, and cars' choice is much more.
- Cost: starting from 23 USD per day for an economy class car.
- Where to Find: there are rental stands at the airport, or you can order online at the site.
How to Get to the Airport?
You may also be querying how to get to the Seattle Airport on your way back. Here you have several options:
- By public transport is the most budget-friendly option;
- By cab - not the cheapest option, but convenient;
- By car - not expensive and suitable. Let's take a closer look at this option.
If you have a personal car, we recommend you use it. Firstly, you will not depend on anyone or anything, and secondly - you can quickly and easily get to the airport. The only question you may have is, "Where do I leave my car for the trip?".
Most airports have parking that allows you to leave your car there for as long as you need. Seattle Airport is no exception, as it has its own parking at SeaTac. However, this type of parking has one disadvantage - it is pretty expensive. So what can you do then?
We suggest you look at parking around SeaTac. It is a similar parking lot except that it is cheaper and usually located a few miles away from the airport. How to overcome a few miles, you may ask? You can always take a shuttle, and it will take you directly to the airport.
Learn more about the benefits of this type of parking, Seattle Airport parking rates and deals, and more on our website.
Seven Interesting Facts about Seattle
1. Seattleites or Washingtonians?
Probably one of the funniest facts. Seattle residents call themselves "Seattleites" and state residents - "Washingtonians".
2. Calling Card and City's Symbol - the Space Needle Tower
The calling card and the city's symbol that every visitor wants to see is the Space Needle Tower. This wonder of the construction industry appeared in the town in 1962, especially for the World Trade Show.
The tower looks very graceful, has three expressive supports, with a total height of 185 meters.
Full rotation in a circle takes 47 minutes. All this time, visitors can observe unforgettable views of the Seattle suburbs. By the way, the rotating restaurant first appeared in the United States right here.
3. Seattle: the City Built on Top of Another City
After the big fire of 1889, the citizens raised the street level and began new construction. To visit the old streets, all you have to do is explore Bill Speidel's Underground Tour. It will make you miss the sunlight no more.
4. Pike Place Market: Fresh Fish 24/7!
The Pike Place Market is a continuing attraction for travelers. It specializes in the sale of delicious seafood as well as farm produce from small farmers. Its highlight is the regular performances by various street musicians, clowns, and other unusual creative people.
Pike Place Market began because of the inflated price of onions. Between 1906 and 1907, prices of produce, including onions, skyrocketed, and consumers and public figures blamed the wholesalers. Thus, the city proposed its own public market where customers could buy produce directly from farmers.
Today, it is the oldest continuously operating farmers' market in the United States. Fresh fish 24/7!
5. Seattle - Home of Starbucks
Coffee lovers need to visit the first Starbucks cafe. Seattle is the home of the company, and the first store opened right here in 1971.
There are many coffee shops in the city, and it was from Seattle that the habit of drinking coffee in cups spread across the States.
6. Bill Gates, one of the founders of Microsoft, was born here
This city is the birthplace of Bill Gates, one of the "fathers" of Microsoft. Its second "father" - Paul Allen, in 2000, founded in Seattle a magnificent Museum of Pop Culture), the building which has a unique futuristic architecture.
The museum looks very unusual and fascinating. The idea of the famous architect Frank Gary was the construction of a remarkable building without standard forms and the correct placement of the walls and windows.
The building covers 42 square kilometers, and more than $100,000,000 was spent on its construction.
Since the museum is also a museum of music, its forms symbolize musical energy and plasticity. Frank Gary got the idea for such an unusual structure after he cut up an electric guitar.
Inside the museum, there is a separate location dedicated to horror films.
7. Was the Mayor of Seattle a Woman?
Seattle was the first major American city with a she-mayor. Bertha Knight Landes held that post from 1924 to 1928. She became famous for her tough fight against corruption - she began her "mayoral campaign" by firing the police chief.
She created her own law and order campaign, shutting down illegal activities throughout the city. She fought hard against bootlegging and closed all kinds of lotteries and underground bars.
However, on her return in 1926, Edwin J. "Doc" Brown (the city's previous mayor) reinstated the fired police chief. After her, the city no longer had a female mayor.