Getting to know Seattle

I had the pleasure of passing through Seattle back in 2012 when I accompanied my sister on her move to Oregon State University. We flew into Seattle where we spent a fews days before moving west. When someone says Seattle the first thing to enter your mind may be the hit TV show Grey’s Anatomy, which is set there, or perhaps E.L Jame’s 50 Shades of Grey novels and its’ accompanying movie – but there’s much more to this bright city than surgeries and whips.

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Seattle is known as the “Emerald City” because it’s surrounded by water, mountains, evergreen forests, and covers thousands of acres of parkland. It’s home to a massive tech industry with Microsoft and Amazon.com’s headquarters located in its metropolitan area. Here are some other areas that make Seattle so great!

THAT SPACE NEEDLE THO…

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This famous observation window is one of Seattle’s most iconic landmarks. Built in 1962 it’s 605 ft (184 m) high, 138 ft (42 m) wide, and weighs 9,550 tons. The ride up only takes 41 seconds where you’re then greeted by stunning 360º views of Seattle’s cityscape on its top observation deck. Known throughout the world a visit to the Space Needle when in the Emerald City, is an absolute must.

THE WALL OF GUM…YUM.

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This local landmark gives a twist to a basic brick wall in a rather unusual way. The famous spot showcases the chewing gum of locals and those who visit Seattle from far and wide. Parts of the wall are actually inches thick in multicoloured gum, making it place in the world’s top five “germiest” places to visit back in 2009. In November it was announced for the first time in 20 years the wall would be receiving a scrub down in order to maintain the wall’s bricks. The clean took 130 hours to complete, with over 2,350 pounds (1,070 kg) of gum removed. Chewing gum began to be re-added to the wall in the form of memorials paying tribute to the November 2015 Paris attacks.

SEATTLE GREAT WHEEL

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A wheel may not seem particularly impressive to some but Seattle’s Great Wheel is actually the tallest on the West Coast of the United States, with a total height of 53 metres. Located right on the pier a single ride gives you a beautiful view of the waterfront as well as the city. This typical tourist attraction is particularly lovely at night when the wheel’s lights are lit and reflect on the water. For more information on prices have a look at their website here. 

THE BIRTHPLACE OF HIPSTERS

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When in Rome one must visit the colosseum, and when in Seattle one must go to the original Starbucks! This coffee shop first opened in 1971 and has since exploded onto the coffee industry, with roughly 22,400 Starbuck’s now open worldwide. Coffee lovers can find exclusive souvenirs as well as a long queue and wait to order their favourite hot beverage; being a popular tourist destination it can get quite packed. However there is one small detail most “original Starbucks” buyers don’t know…it’s actually not the original Starbucks! The cafe was first opened on 2000 Western Ave and moved to its current location on Pike Place Market five years later.

MOUNT RAINIER

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Located Southeast of Seattle, Mount Rainier is the highest mountain in Washington and the Cascade Range. It is ranked third of the 128 ultra-prominent mountain peaks of the United States and is arguably one of its most beautiful national parks; boasting thick snow in the winter and warm vibrant colours throughout the warmer months. Mount Rainer makes a nice change to Seattle’s bustling city environment with many waterfalls, hikes and lookouts to explore.

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