SEATTLE HOLIDAYS

Seattle has a reputation for being one of the most productive cities in America, and with good reason too. Something of a digital hub, the city is home to the main headquarters of Microsoft and Amazon, two of the world’s biggest companies. It is also renowned for its darkly roasted coffee, and it should come as no surprise that the international chain Starbucks was first set up here back in 1971 as it set course on its journey toward becoming one of the world’s most recognizable brands. Seattle holidays sure have come a long way since the olden days when the area was originally set up as a simple logging settlement in 1869.

Seattle has a reputation for being one of the most productive cities in America, and with good reason too. Something of a digital hub, the city is home to the main headquarters of Microsoft and Amazon, two of the world’s biggest companies. It is also renowned for its darkly roasted coffee, and it should come as no surprise that the international chain Starbucks was first set up here back in 1971 as it set course on its journey toward becoming one of the world’s most recognizable brands. Seattle holidays sure have come a long way since the olden days when the area was originally set up as a simple logging settlement in 1869.

Sometimes referred to as the Emerald City, Seattle boasts one of the most beautiful and recognisable skylines in the world. While there are many great looking buildings in the skyline, the centrepiece is without a doubt the iconic Space Needle, which was built in 1962. Standing 605 feet tall and with a 138 foot flying saucer-shaped halo, the Space Needle houses a world famous restaurant called SkyCity, where foodies can dine in luxury as the halo gently rotates, allowing diners to see the entire city regardless of where they find themselves sitting in the restaurant.

The Space Needle also displays a powerful beam of light known as the Skybeam Legacy of Light. Due to concerns in relation to light pollution though, use of the Skybeam is restricted to special occasions and national holidays, such as the Fourth of July or September 11th. Typically, the Skybeam is only tuned on about a dozen times per year, so would be visitors will need to plan their trips to Seattle very carefully in order to ensure that they will be able to see this magnificent spectacle for themselves.

A city of sound, Seattle is renowned for nurturing all sorts of musical genres from opera to rock and roll. This is the birthplace of iconic guitarist Jimi Hendrix and the place where king of soul Quincy Jones and blues legend Ray Charles cut their teeth. It is also the city where Curt Cobain’s Nirvana, among a host of other grunge metal bands, kicked off a new wave of alternative music in the late 1980s.

The eclectic musical influences of yesteryear can still be experienced in Seattle today, with a vibrant and thriving live music scene where virtually every musical taste is catered for and a live musical performance is never too far away, whether it’s in one of the city’s many coffee houses (many of which have featured in the hit comedy TV show Frasier), trendy bars or performance venues.

While Seattle is renowned around the world for its great coffee, one shouldn’t overlook the amazing food and brilliant restaurants which call this city home. The region is renowned for its amazing seafood, particularly fresh Alaskan salmon and mean bowls of chowder.

 For high-end fine dining, Canlis is the place to go. Its menu boasts some of the best steaks in the city as well as an enviable selection of oysters and prawn-based dishes. Be warned though, the restaurant is extremely sought after, so you’ll need to book your reservation well in advance as they simply don’t do walk ins (as is the case with many of Seattle’s best restaurants). It is also worth noting that neat dress is essential, with dinner jackets required to be worn by male diners.

 For the most genuine Seattle dining experience, one should make time to visit Herbfarm, which is considered by many to be the most unique restaurant in the entire Northwest. Done up in the style of a farmhouse, the Herbfarm restaurant sources nearly all of its meats, vegetables and ingredients from local farms, giving it a truly authentic local flavor. For those who fancy a banquet, Herbfarm boasts extraordinary 9 course dinners (5 of these courses come with a specially picked wine to match), allowing you to try a bit of everything Seattle has to offer in terms of local cuisine. Just like Canlis though, reservations are absolutely essential as the restaurant is in constant demand.

A city of culture, Seattle is home to some truly fine museums and exhibitions. Probably the most famous and eye-catching of these is the Seattle Art Museum, with its iconic ‘Hammering Man’ whom stands outside. Containing over 23,000 unique pieces of art, it is very difficult to see everything in a single visit. Fortunately, the Art Museum has several free guided tours running throughout the day, so you can still see and learn a lot, even if you are strapped for time.

 Not far south of downtown Seattle lies the world famous Museum of Flight. Boasting some 130 historical aircraft (many of which are suspended from the ceiling as if they were caught mid-flight) spread across a six story tall building, this is a would be aviator’s dream as it tracks the history of human-built powered flight from the era of the Wright Brothers all the way up to modern day space shuttles and everything in between.

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