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Die Skyline von Seattle bei Nacht, Bild: cpaulfell / shutterstock

Seattle: The pearl on the Pacific

Seattle is one of the most charming cities in the USA. Located high in the north on the border with Canada, it convinces with maritime charm. With over 700,000 inhabitants, it is the cultural, economic and scientific centre of the metropolitan region around the city. However, a vacation in Seattle is still worthwhile for those who are looking for the perfect symbiosis of urbanity and nature. The city is not called “The Emerald City” for nothing, alluding to the many green spaces within the city area. In Seattle, there is a lot to discover and experience in addition to breathtaking nature. The hometown of rock stars Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain attracts visitors with numerous highlights.

Maritime city

Washington State Ferry
A Washington State Ferry cruise ship in front of the Olympic Mountains on its way to Seattle. Image: Moarly / shutterstock

Seattle is picturesquely located in the northwest of the US state of Washington. As is often assumed, however, the city is not its capital (the seat of government is in Olympia). The city is located on an isthmus between Puget Sound and Lake Washington. This creates the special maritime atmosphere. Puget Sound is an inlet that separates Seattle from the Pacific Ocean. Lake Washington, located on the other side, is the second largest natural lake in the state. All friends of the mountains will also find their beloved terrain in the Seattle region. Behind the skyline of the city, the Olympic Mountains can be admired. The highest mountain in Washington is also in the immediate vicinity. Mount Rainer is only about 90 kilometers away from downtown.

A widespread myth about Seattle is that it always rains in the metropolis. However, this belongs to the realm of legends. The average amount of rain lags behind other major cities in the United States. However, due to the influence of the Pacific, the weather is rather cloudy on many days.

Modern city with traditional roots

But this should not be an obstacle to discovering the wonderful city. Seattle, like many other cities on the west coast of the USA, was created in the course of the “Great Trains” of the pioneers in the 19th century. Thus, after the first small settlements, the city was officially founded in 1869. It quickly experienced a boom through the wood industry.

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The connection of wooded land and good infrastructure through the port allowed the business to flourish. This prosperity is also recognizable in the cityscape. As early as 1914, the Smith Tower, the tallest building west of the Mississippi , was inaugurated. The high-rise measures 159 meters. This probably laid the foundation for something for which Seattle is known all over the world today: skyscrapers.

The city’s skyline is largely shaped by its most famous landmark: the Space Needle. The 184-metre-high tower was opened on the occasion of the 1962 World’s Fair. From its top, you can experience the entire city from a breathtaking perspective. There is also a restaurant there, which makes for what is probably the most extraordinary dinner in the city.

Sightseeing

Seattle, Amazon Spheres
The Amazon Spheres, Image: Rocky Grimes / shutterstock

In addition to these attractions, Seattle has a lot more to offer. The Seattle Center Monorail is a suitable means of transport to admire all kinds of highlights comfortably. The monorail was also built for the 1962 World’s Fair and connects the city centre with the World Expo site. There are many architectural and cultural sights on it.

For example, the Space Needle or the KeyArena, which is a multi-purpose hall that mainly functions as the home of the city’s basketball teams. Sport is very important in the metropolis in general. Seattle is represented by professional teams in almost all major US sports. In Major League Baseball, the Seattle Mariners compete. The Seattle Seahawks football team is particularly well-known. They play their home games at the extraordinary Century Link Field. In 2013, the team even won the legendary Superbowl.

Seattle – Home of Grunge

Music enthusiasts are particularly familiar with Seattle because of the rock stars who come from the city. The legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix was born here. To this day, he is considered one of the most influential rock musicians of all time. The band Nirvana, founded in the city, became just such icons. The formation around its frontman Kurt Cobain achieved world fame in the 1990s with their rock music known as “grunge”. Hits like “Smells like Teen Spirit” are still played over and over on the radios today. Unfortunately, the band’s story also came to a tragic end in Seattle. On April 5, 1994, Cobain took his own life at his home on Lake Washington.

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However, the great importance of music did not end in the city on Puget Sound. Even today, the wide-ranging club scene is a Mecca for all those who like to party. The city’s nightlife is legendary. But also all those who are interested in high cultural music experiences will find something unique in Seattle. The Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet are among the most extraordinary experts in their field and offer cultural experiences in a class of their own.

High culture and culinary delights

In addition to the great importance of music, the city also has numerous first-class museums. The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, which has an excellent collection of Native American art, is dedicated to the eventful history of the city, the surrounding area and its Native American people. Seattle is also known all over the world for the aircraft built here. The Museum of Flight does justice to this and impressively traces the history of aviation. For example, it houses the original production plant of the Seattle-based company Boeing.

CenturyLink Field
View of CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seattle Seahawks, Image: Cascade Creatives / shutterstock

Due to its location on the Pacific Ocean, Seattle has always been a city of fishing and trade. This can be experienced especially in the beautiful market hall at the harbour. Pike Place Market on the Waterfront is the oldest continuously open market in the United States of America. It opened its doors for the first time in 1907. Visitors can pursue culinary experiences to their heart’s content and watch the hustle and bustle of the traders. Fish specialties of all kinds have found their home here and delight every palate.

Seattle – Livable City

All these diverse aspects make Seattle a big city with maritime charm. It is not for nothing that the “Emerald City” has been voted the most livable city in the entire USA several times. This is probably also due to the fact that Seattle is home to many well-known TV series such as Dark Angel, Grey’s Anatomy, Frasier or iCarly. Experiencing the home of these hit series for yourself is highly recommended. Seattle is a true pearl in the northwest of the USA.