Visiting Seattle: Washington

Seattle is synonymous with many things, especially the grunge movement of the early 90’s which put bands such as Nirvana on an internationally acclaimed scale, yet a long time before that, Seattle was in fact one of the ‘homes’ of Jazz and helped cats like Ray Charles hone their skills and develop their name. It is also known for its extremely wet climate which is not too dissimilar to England in the winter months, but is also the recipient of a scorching summer and a pleasant spring.

Where to Go

Seattle is a huge city with an assortment of things to do. The downtown area provides some fantastic viewing and interesting architecture. The Pike Place Market is a public market which opened in 1907 and is now one of the oldest public markets in the USA. It overlooks the Elliot Bay and contains everything from fresh fish, to antiques, to small restaurants and its history is very compelling and involves a lot of conflict, which is fortunately not present today.

Puget Sound just before dawn

The Seattle museum caters to all ages perfect if you are travelling with a young family. The museum has created an art installation which is designed to be engaging for children and also includes a craft area. The adult exhibition is exemplary and includes a permanent exhibition and a temporary exhibition. Outside the building you will be greeted by Jonathan Borofsky’s “Hammering Man” sculpture.

The Experience Music Project (EMP) and Science Fiction Museum sit in a rather strange but uniquely enamouring shiny building, and the ‘think outside the box’ mentality is illustrated both in the content on display and the architectural design of the building. Many of the exhibits are interactive and allow visitors to watch films, get guitar lessons and even create their own electronic music in the Sound Lab. The EMP even pays homage to the great Jimmy Hendrix with a permanent exhibition including a video on the developments of the Hendrix ‘sound’ and a wall devoted to his different guitars.

If you aim to visit these places it might be worthwhile planning your trip in advance and booking tickets in advance. If this isn’t a possibility then a top tip is to take a something like an Prepaid currency card away with you that lets you top up money on your card via telephone as and when you need it for all the activities you have in mind.

If you enjoy walking and exploring the beauty of nature the 230 acres at the Washington Park Arboretum will keep you busy. It possesses the largest collection of oaks, conifers, maples and other tree species in the country, and most importantly it’s free. It’s a great place to take the kids and let them run around till they wear themselves out.

If you’re looking for the view of all views in Seattle, then the 650ft Space Needle is a must see. Its innovative Sky Q system allows visitors to view the city from interactive plasma screens and search for the parts of the city which they wish to take a look at. The 360 degree observation deck gives you the ultimate panoramic view, but you can enjoy the view from the warmth and comfort of the restaurant. However, if you don’t want to spend the big bucks on a city view head to the old water tower on Capitol Hill—be warned though as you will be met by a challenging 108 steps to climb to the top.

Adam Porteous writes on behalf of who offer a comprehensive international currency exchange service including prepaid currency cards and travel money with competitive exchange rates, 0% commission and a buy back guarantee.

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