Seattle is America's Cinderella city. Founded 75 years after US independence and overlooked until the 1960s, it's been making up for lost time ever since.
Coffee and Beer
The city that invented Starbucks coffee and Rainier beer has gone back to the drawing board in recent years and come up with an interesting alternative – a new wave of small, independent micro-businesses that are determined to put taste over global reach. Imbibe the nuances of a home-roasted Guatemalan coffee and check out the latest in nano-breweries in the city that has put a coffee shop on every street corner and created a different craft beer for every night of the year.
Music and Art
Imagine: a rocket sticking out of a shoe shop and a museum built to resemble a smashed-up electric guitar; wooden boats stacked with glass orbs and a statue of Lenin caught in a vengeful Bolshevik-era grimace; a waterside sculpture park and a Saturday-evening art walk through a blue-collar warehouse district; indie bands playing in grungy pubs and hip-hop artists eschewing bling for thrift shops. No, you haven't just over-indulged in some powerful (legal) marijuana. The city that inspired Dale Chihuly, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Macklemore has a lot to offer in the way of music and art – and it’s never remotely dull.
A Confederation of Neighborhoods
Since it's less a city and more a loose alliance of jostling neighborhoods, getting to know Seattle is like hanging out with a family of affectionate but sometimes errant siblings. There’s the aloof, elegant one (Queen Anne), the cool, edgy one (Capitol Hill), the weird, bearded one (Fremont), the independently minded Scandinavian one (Ballard), the bruised, weather-beaten one (Pioneer Square) and the precocious adolescent still carving out its identity (South Lake Union). You’ll never fully understand Seattle until you’ve had a microbrew in all of them.
Why I Love Seattle
By Brendan Sainsbury, Author
Since I grew up in England, Seattle lured me from afar. For a brief period in the early 1990s it was – to me at least – the center of the musical universe. When I had the chance to visit for the first time in the early 2000s, I discovered a city of diverse neighborhoods and shifting moods that inspired me with its arty subcultures and appetite for innovation. The atmosphere was infectious; and, as a Nirvana-loving, craft beer–appreciating, outdoors-embracing, art-admiring, bus-utilizing coffee addict, I've never had a problem fitting in.
Make a beeline for Seattle’s proverbial pantry: Pike Place Market. Founded in 1907 to ply lucky locals with fresh Northwest produce, the market’s long-held mantra of ‘meet the producer’ is still echoed enthusiastically around a city where every restaurateur worth their salt knows the first name of their fishmonger and the biography of the cow that made yesterday’s burgers. Welcome to a city of well-educated palates and wildly experimental chefs who are willing to fuse American cuisine with just about anything – as long as the ingredients are local.