Things To Know Before Visiting Seattle

Gas Works Park offers views of Seattle across Lake Union
Gas Works Park offers views of Seattle across Lake Union | © Tim Fleming / Alamy Stock Photo
Samantha Ladwig

Rain, Starbucks and Grey’s Anatomy may come to mind when thinking about Seattle. But there’s more to the Emerald City than its clichés. Offering relaxing summers, burgeoning coffee and craft beer scenes, and walkable neighborhoods, a trip to Seattle is a must.

Ditch the car and pack walking shoes instead

It’s no secret that Seattle endures some of the worst traffic in the United States. Its congestion ranks alongside other sprawling urban metropolises like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Miami. But fear not: due to the Emerald City’s density, Seattle is one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the US, with bike lanes and public transportation too.

Seattle has a host of walking routes

Don’t forget a raincoat

Seattle is one of the rainiest cities in the US

Seattleites are hardier than most

The Pacific Northwest is notorious for its low-hanging grey skies and drizzle. Seattleites put up with the winters because the remaining seasons – the blooming cherry blossom trees of spring, the clear mountain views of summer and vibrant leaves of fall – make up for the often intolerable winters.

The city blooms with cherry blossom in the spring

Summers are relatively cool

The Pacific Ocean’s cool breeze makes for relatively low temperatures compared to other summers experienced across the country, resulting in mild, reasonably dry weather. That said, always bring a light jacket for when the sun goes down.

Sailboat races take place on Lake Union

Check out the Space Needle and Pike Place Market

People visit the Space Needle to catch sprawling views of the Emerald City, Puget Sound, and Cascade and Olympic Mountain Ranges, but there are many other places to check out in Seattle. In downtown, Pike Place Market boasts a number of delicious food stands, the infamous Gum Wall, views of Elliott Bay and, of course, the original Starbucks.

A range of food vendors sell their produce at Pike Place Market

Seattle is crazy about coffee

Expect to spot a coffee shop on every corner. Seattleites rely on their local coffee shops not just for their morning cup of joe but also for a sense of community. People use them as places for study sessions, hangouts and reading getaways. While Starbucks made Seattle the coffee capital, there are a number of independently owned hotspots, such as Caffé Vita, Little Oddfellows, Café Allegro and Caffé Ladro.

There are many coffee shops in Seattle, including the first Starbucks

There’s a burgeoning craft brewery scene

Craft breweries have been increasingly cropping up all over the Emerald City – which currently boasts over 60 beer makers – and it looks like it’s not stopping any time soon. Check out local breweries like the Fremont Brewing Company, Stoup Brewing or the Pike Brewing Company.

Breweries have opened up across the city

The Seattle Freeze is very real

When people talk about the Seattle Freeze, they’re talking about the city’s less-than-friendly atmosphere. It’s common for many Seattleites to say they’ll make plans and not follow through with them or ghost a neighbor who tries to take their cordial relationship to the next level. But what a number of Seattleites lack in social norms, they make up for in their cultural offerings.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article