Get To Know Your City- Seattle

Moving to Seattle and want to know what the rainiest city in America is all about? From gourmet coffee, to dramatic mountain top views, Seattle has a lot to offer.

Get Physical

Seattleites are known for their outdoorsy lifestyle. Clad in Patagonia jackets and Teva sandals, locals will excitedly tell you about their most recent backpacking trip to the Enchantments or their snowshoeing adventure this past weekend. Getting out to explore the city means so much more than a casual neighborhood stroll. Go for a bike ride along the Burke Gilman trail, take a kayak out onto Lake Union, or drive into the mountains for a hike to Snow Lake or a day hitting the powder at Steven's Pass.

Get a Library Card

The Seattle Public Library is a world-class library system. The iconic central branch is an architectural wonder of glass, steel, modern furniture, and unexpected pops of color, but there are neighborhood branches all across the city. The suburban King County Library system has the second highest circulation in the country, just after New York City's. Both systems have extensive collections, including digital libraries, so you can download kindle books and audiobooks from the comfort of your home. The library also hosts many events and guest speakers, so be sure to pick up an event calendar on your next visit.

Seafood All Day Everyday

With its ideal location right on Puget Sound, Seattle is home to some of the best and freshest seafood in the country. Feast yourself on Dungeness crab in the late summer season, or try your own hand at clamming in Hood Canal. Pick up a freshly caught salmon at the fish stand at Pikes Place Market. It is as much a show as it is a shopping experience; the fish mongers will throw your salmon back and forth through the air before they wrap it up.

Around town, you can't beat the oysters at The Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard, though Elliott's Oyster House certainly gives it a run for its money. If you are in the mood for some raw fish, check out Fuji Sushi in Chinatown, a pint size sushi restaurant serving some of the freshest fish in the northwest.

Want to see the salmon in action? Spend an afternoon at the Ballard Locks during spawning season to see the salmon push their way up the fish ladder on their way back home. Another fun sea-life related activity is taking a whale watching tour in the San Juan Islands. With some luck, and a sharp pair of eyes, you might get to see an orca in the wild!

Coffee is King

The city that birthed Starbucks, Tully's and Seattle's Best Coffee is naturally obsessed with java. Don't turn your nose up at the chains, Seattleites take a lot of local pride in Starbucks. Visit the original store in Pike Place Market, or stop by the massive, recently opened, Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Capitol Hill where you can see the roasting process in action and sample limited edition blends.

Looking for more indie options? There is a seemingly endless supply of hip independent coffee shops all around the city. Check out Broadcast Coffee in Capitol Hill, Slate Coffee Roasters in Fremont and Cherry Street Public House in Pioneer Square.

Know Your Neighborhoods

Pick a neighborhood that matches your personality. Like going out on the town? Stay in the thick of things in Capitol Hill, where the nightlife is booming and the hipsters flourish. For a more laid back, northwest hippie feel, look at Fremont for colorful personalities and quirky public art. Hoping for a residential, family friendly neighborhood? Ballard and Queen Anne are both great for kids, with a heavy dose of historical charm. If you are dying for a view of the lake, Madrona or Mount Baker might be exactly what you are looking for.

Catch a Movie

The historical movie theaters in Seattle are hidden gems. See the latest indie movie or watch a matinee at the Varsity in the U-District. The ornate d├ęcor of the Egyptian in Capitol is worth the trip alone. If you like something a little further off the beaten path, see what the Seattle International Film Festival is screening; they debut obscure foreign films you would otherwise never get a chance to see on the big screen. Many of the historical movie theaters have been transformed into other types of venues, like the Neptune Theater in the U District, which now hosts a slew of cool music concerts.

Go to the Street Fairs

Seattle loves a good street fair. The Folklife Festival takes over Seattle Center for Memorial Day weekend with hundreds of vendors, street performers and visitors soaking up the early summer sunshine. Labor Day weekend is for Bumbershoot, when the coolest bands converge on the city for three days of back-to-back concerts. Bite of Seattle is in the middle of the summer, and is easily the tastiest event in the city. Perhaps the most memorable event is the annual Summer Solstice Festival in Fremont, which features a parade of naked cyclists riding through the streets, adorned only with colorful body paint.

Brimming with culture, natural beauty, and great coffee, Seattle is an amazing place to call home. From whale watching, to alpine lakes, to historic movie theaters, there is always something to explore in this northwest haven.

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