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Seattle, Washington State — Overview for travelers

Seattle with a view of Mount Rainier
Seattle with a view of Mount Rainier

Seattle, The Emerald City —

People living in Seattle are ‘Seattleites’ and they have reason to love their city. Sorrounded by nature: the Puget Sound, the Olympic National Park at their finger tips, miles of shoreline and on a clear day the views of Mount Rainier. The city itself offers plenty of attractions.

Seattle in a nutshell

First-time visitors are astonished at the wealth of natural beauty in and around Seattle. Literally touching the city’s boundaries are thousands of square miles of evergreen forest and hundreds of miles of salt and freshwater shoreline. With this wealth of nature at their doorstep, both Seattleites and visitors concentrate much of their recreation in the outdoors. Bracketed east and west by freshwater Lake Washington and saltwater Puget Sound, the city occupies a north-south corridor, slender at the waist and embracing numerous hills. On a clear day, the views of mountains and water are spectacular. (Olympics and Cascades), with Mount Rainier in full view. Nearby are the San Juan Islands, Pacific Ocean beaches, and major rivers.

Most of Seattle’s attractions are clustered in pedestrian-scale sections, best savored on foot. Central business district busses are free and the Seattle Center Monorail speeds quickly between downtown and the Seattle Center. Beneath downtown streets, Metro operates frequent busses through a 1.3-mile transit tunnel, whisking passengers from the International District to Westlake Center and the convention center stations in less than ten minutes.

Crown jewel of Seattle’s attractions is the Seattle Center, the 74-acre legacy of the 1962 World’s Fair. Its distinctive 605-foot Space Needle is the city’s leading landmark. From its lofty observation deck, there’s a 360-degree view of the city and Puget Sound, back dropped by the snowcapped Cascade Range to the east and the Olympic Mountains to the west.

Seattle Sightseeing & Attractions

See our list with the top 10 sightseeing & attractions: Seattle, Washington State — Sightseeing & Attractions

Map

Climate & Temperatures

‎Best time to visit / season
Spring and Summer‎, July and August, and probably September have the least days of rain. Expect 5-9 days of rain in these months. All other months have approx. half to 2/3 of the month with rain likely. Mostly it is just drizzle and the umbrella is for tourists only, but, yes, there are a few days when it just pours down. Seattle is no tone of the sunniest cities in the nation, for sure, expect lots of cloudy days but once the clouds clear you can expect views out of this world. “It always rains on the 4th of July.” is a typical saying of locals. Like “That’s Colorado” about Colorado weather that can change by the hour. Arizonans say “But it is dry heat” when the grill at 120F… every state takes it with humor.

Temperatures
Average‎ temperature in August is about 67.1 F (about 19 degrees Celsius)‎
‎Average temperature in December is 40.1 F (about 4 degrees Celsius)‎

‎In late autumn and in the winter months, it often drizzles and rains for days and haze and fog hang deep into the valleys.‎

Current 10-day weather forecast: Seattle, WA 10-Day Weather Forecast – The Weather Channel | Weather.com

‎Top Seattle Facts & Figures‎

Area
83.9 sq. miles (ca. 217 sq. km)

Population
City of Seattle: 737.o15 (Census 2020); 725.ooo (est. 2018); 608.660 (Census 2010)

Airport
Seattle-Tacoma Intl. Airport
Website: www.portseattle.org/sea-tac

‎Altitude‎
‎ ca. 14 feet above sea level‎

‎Transportation

King‎ County Metro‎: Learn everything about public transportation from Schedules to Fares and ORCA: King County Metro – Moving Forward Together – King County

Visitor Center
8th & Pike

Daily newspaper: The Seattle Times

‎State:‎‎ ‎‎Washington State, USA — visiting The Evergreen State

Seattle’s History in a nutshell

‎George Vancouver was the first European colonist to enter the area in 1792. Since the forests were full of game, fur hunters quickly followed the call for rich prey.‎

‎The Hudson Bay Company established its base at Fort Vancouver and ruled the territory for the next 30 years. Only the gold rush in Northern California ended the company’s brilliant business.‎

‎Then in 1851, David Denny came to the area around Alki Point (now the western part of Seattle) and built a new settlement, which he named Alki New York. The word Alki comes from the language of the Indians living here and means ‘little by little’ and New York was called because Denny was born there. The city grew only very slowly, only as the railroad to Tacoma progressed, Seattle experienced a great growth, that was in 1883.‎

‎In 1889, a major fire destroyed more than 60 blocks within 12 hours. Realistically, this fire was the best thing that could happen to Seattle, because the burned-down neighborhood had been plagued by Typhoid fever and TB was a widespread issue and so even the inhabitants of that time saw it as ‘a gift from God’. The city officials used this occasion to make the urban redevelopment meaningful and built Seattle up in a contemporary way.‎

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