Flight and hotel Seattle
Seattle, the Emerald City
The largest city in the state of Washington and the entire Pacific Northwest, Seattle is located right on Puget Sound, surrounded by water, lush evergreen forests (which give the city its nickname), and mountains. The city is considered a centre of technology, as it is home to both Microsoft and Amazon, and the iconic 1962 Space Needle. However, city breaks in Seattle offer entertainment well beyond tech, with a plethora of museums, downtown areas, and lovely public parks to visit.
What to Know Before Visiting Seattle
A flight to Seattle will land at Sea-Tac, the Seattle-Tacoma International airport, the region's primary airport. There are several airlines which offer direct flights from London to Seattle, and a number which fly from Manchester with brief stopovers. UK travellers taking city breaks in Seattle will need their passport and an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) to enter the country. The ESTA visa waiver must be filed online at least 72 hours before your flight. From the airport, visitors can easily access the city via the Seattle light rail train system. The ride is roughly 40 minutes, and trains run at least every 15 minutes.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Seattle?
The best time for a weekend in Seattle is surely the fall, in September or October, as the weather is usually mild (15° to 19°C, on average). With the busy summer season over, you should be able to find a flight and hotel for Seattle at very good rates.
Summer is the busiest season for the entire Pacific Northwest region. On any given weekend in Seattle, you're likely to encounter some kind of festival. Highlights include the Washington Brewers Festival in June, the Seattle International Beerfest in July, and the Seattle Art Fair, in August. No matter the season, however, travellers should remember to pack for the chilly winds blowing through the city off the Pacific Ocean and for the ubiquitous drizzle which Seattle is known for.
What Is There to Do in Seattle?
Seattle has something for everyone! Sports lovers can watch a game from one of the professional home town teams: the Seahawks (football), Sounders (soccer), Mariners (baseball), and Storm (basketball). For culture and history in one, visit the Pike Place Market, the oldest continually running farmer's market in the United States. The Downtown waterfront area is great for shopping and dining, and is home to a Ferris wheel, the Seattle Great Wheel, and the Seattle Aquarium. An alternate downtown area, Pioneer Square, is known for its charming architecture and plethora of boutiques, bars, and cafes. And if you'd like a break from your city break in Seattle, you can head out from Puget Sound on a Pacific whale-watching tour.
Must-See Sights of Seattle
There's much to do in this temperate city, but here are few highlights for package holidays in Seattle:
- Chinatown: Head to this diverse, historic neighbourhood for delicious food and the Wing Luke Museum, with exhibits on the history of Pacific and Asian Americans in the Northwest.
- Museum of Pop Culture: Right near the Space Needle, this colourful museum chronicles exactly what it says, in a Frank Gehry-designed building.
- The Space Needle: A weekend in Seattle wouldn't be complete without taking a 43-second elevator ride to the top of this 184m city icon, built for the 1962 World's Fair.
- Kubota Garden: This gorgeous Japanese garden in Rainier Beach has been maintained as a public park since 1987.
- Ballard Locks: This unique connection (which is surrounded by ornamental gardens) between Puget Sound and the state's freshwater waterways allows both salmon and boats to pass through.
- Discovery Park: The largest green space in the city is home to miles of hiking trails and relaxing beaches, ideal for relaxing during your package holidays in Seattle.
What to Eat and Drink in Seattle
Cedar plank-cooked salmon is a local speciality which you'll find on menus around the city, and anything prepared with Washington apples is likely a good bet. Pike Place Market has several eateries serving everything from Indian street food to clam chowder. Wataru is beloved for its excellent sushi, while Li'l Woody's has one of the best burgers in town. No Anchor is an excellent beer bar in the historic Belltown neighbourhood. Speaking of, you'll find a number of bars in the Pike/Pine and Waterfront districts. Finally, a must-try is locally handcrafted Rachel's Ginger Beer.
What to bring back
If it can be managed on the flight back (or shipped), hand-blown glass makes a great Seattle souvenir, as the city boasts more glass shops than Murano, Italy. Northwest-style jewellery and Native American art are both emblematic of the region, with many sellers found at Pike Place Market, where you can also pick up some locally-embroidered textiles, like kitchen towels and aprons.