Seattle is a coastal seaport city and the seat of King County, in the U.S. state of Washington. With an estimated 634,535 residents as of 2012, Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of North America and one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. The Seattle metropolitan area of around 3.5 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the United States. The city is situated on a narrow isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington, about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canada–United States border. A major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the 8th largest port in the United States and 9th largest in North America in terms of container handling.
The Seattle area had been inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers. Arthur A. Dennyand his group of travelers, subsequently known as the Denny Party, arrived at Alki Point on November 13, 1851. The settlement was moved to its current site and named "Seattle" in 1853, after Chief Si'ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.
Logging was Seattle's first major industry, but by the late 19th century the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding center as a gateway toAlaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. By 1910, Seattle was one of the 25 largest cities in the country. However, the Great Depression severely damaged the city's economy. Growth returned during and after World War II, due partially to the local Boeing company, which established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing. The city developed as a technology center in the 1980s, the stream of new software, biotechnology, and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city's population by almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000. Since then, Seattle has become a hub for "green" industry and a model forsustainable development.
Seattle has a noteworthy musical history. From 1918 to 1951, there were nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs along Jackson Street from the current Chinatown/International District to the Central District. The jazz scene developed the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson and others. Seattle is also the birthplace of rock legend Jimi Hendrix and the alternative rock music style known as grunge, which was made famous by local groups Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains. Seattle is also famous for its hip hop artists, such as rappers Sir Mix-a-Lot, Blue Scholars, Sadistik, Grieves and Macklemore
With a total area of 83.9 square miles, Seattle lies in the geographical co-ordinates of 47.37 North latitude and 122.20 West longitude. It is the northernmost city with at least 500,000 people in the United States. The topography of Seattle is hilly. Seattle lies on seven hills including Capitol Hill, First Hill, West Seattle, Beacon Hill, Magnolia, Denny Hill and Queen Anne. The Kitsap and the Olympic peninsulas along with the Olympic mountains lie to the west of Puget Sound, while the Cascade Range and Lake Sammamish lie to the east of Lake Washington. The lush green forests and the numerous water bodies have provided livelihood for many hunting and gathering communities. Seattle has over 5,540 acres of parkland.
Seattle is located between the saltwater Puget Sound (an arm of the Pacific Ocean) to the west and Lake Washington to the east. The city's chief harbor, Elliott Bay, is part of Puget Sound, which makes the city an oceanic port. To the west, beyond Puget Sound, are the Kitsap Peninsula and Olympic Mountains on the Olympic Peninsula; to the east, beyond Lake Washington and the eastside suburbs, are Lake Sammamish and the Cascade Range. Lake Washington's waters flow to Puget Sound through the Lake Washington Ship Canal (consisting of two man-made canals, Lake Union, and the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks at Salmon Bay, ending in Shilshole Bay on Puget Sound).
The sea, rivers, forests, lakes, and fields surrounding Seattle were once rich enough to support one of the world's few sedentary hunter-gatherer societies. The surrounding area lends itself well to sailing, skiing, bicycling, camping, and hiking year-round.
The city itself is hilly, though not uniformly so. Like Rome, the city is said to lie on seven hills; the lists vary, but typically include Capitol Hill, First Hill, West Seattle, Beacon Hill, Queen Anne, Magnolia, and the former Denny Hill. The Wallingford, Mount Baker, and Crown Hill neighborhoods are technically located on hills as well. Many of the hilliest areas are near the city center, with Capitol Hill, First Hill, and Beacon Hill collectively constituting something of a ridge along an isthmus between Elliott Bay and Lake Washington. The break in the ridge between First Hill and Beacon Hill is man-made, the result of two of the many regrading projects that reshaped the topography of the city center. The topography of the city center was also changed by the construction of a seawall and the artificial Harbor Island (completed 1909) at the mouth of the city's industrial Duwamish Waterway, the terminus of the Green River. The highest point within city limits is at High Point in West Seattle, which is roughly located near 35th Ave SW and SW Myrtle St. Other notable hills include Crown Hill, View Ridge/Wedgwood/Bryant, Maple Leaf, Phinney Ridge, Mt. Baker Ridge and Highlands/Carkeek/Bitterlake.
Boats gather on Lake Union in preparation for the July 4 fireworks show.
North of the city center, Lake Washington Ship Canal connects Puget Sound to Lake Washington. It incorporates four natural bodies of water: Lake Union, Salmon Bay, Portage Bay and Union Bay.
Due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Seattle is in a major earthquake zone. On February 28, 2001, the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earthquake did significant architectural damage, especially in the Pioneer Square area (built on reclaimed land, as are the Industrial District and part of the city center), but caused no fatalities. Other strong quakes occurred on January 26, 1700 (estimated at 9 magnitude), December 14, 1872 April 13, 1949 and April 29, 1965. The 1965 quake caused three deaths in Seattle directly, and one more by heart failure. Although the Seattle Fault passes just south of the city center, neither it nor the Cascadia subduction zone has caused an earthquake since the city's founding. The Cascadia subduction zone poses the threat of an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 or greater, capable of seriously damaging the city and collapsing many buildings, especially in zones built on fill.
Among Seattle's prominent annual fairs and festivals are the 24-day Seattle International Film Festival, Northwest Folklife over the Memorial Day weekend, numerous Seafair events throughout July and August (ranging from a Bon Odori celebration to the Seafair Cup hydroplane races), the Bite of Seattle, one of the largest Gay Pride festivals in the United States, and the art and music festival Bumbershoot, which programs music as well as other art and entertainment over the Labor Day weekend. All are typically attended by 100,000 people annually, as are the Seattle Hempfest and two separate Independence Day celebrations.
Other significant events include numerous Native American pow-wows, a Greek Festival hosted by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Montlake, and numerous ethnic festivals (many associated with Festál at Seattle Center).
There are other annual events, ranging from the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair & Book Arts Show; an anime convention, Sakura-Con; Penny Arcade Expo, a gaming convention; a two-day, 9,000-rider Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, and specialized film festivals, such as the Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival, the Seattle Asian American Film Festival (formerly known as the Northwest Asian American Film Festival), Children's Film Festival Seattle, Translation: the Seattle Transgender Film Festival, the Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and the Seattle Polish Film Festival.
The Seattle skyline viewed from Gas Works Park.
The Henry Art Gallery opened in 1927, the first public art museum in Washington.The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) opened in 1933; SAM opened a museum downtown in 1991 (expanded and reopened 2007); since 1991, the 1933 building has been SAM's Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM). SAM also operates the Olympic Sculpture Park (opened 2007) on the waterfront north of the downtown piers. The Frye Art Museum is a free museum on First Hill. Regional history collections are at the Loghouse Museum in Alki, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, the Museum of History and Industry and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Industry collections are at the Center for Wooden Boats and the adjacent Northwest Seaport, the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum, and the Museum of Flight. Regional ethnic collections include the Nordic Heritage Museum, the Wing Luke Asian Museum and the Northwest African American Museum. Seattle has artist-run galleries, including 10-year veteran Soil Art Gallery, and the newer Crawl Space Gallery.
Woodland Park Zoo opened as a private menagerie in 1889, but was sold to the city in 1899. The Seattle Aquarium has been open on the downtown waterfront since 1977 (undergoing a renovation 2006). The Seattle Underground Tour is an exhibit of places that existed before the Great Fire. The Seattle Great Wheel, one of the largest Ferris wheels in the U.S., opened in June 2012 as a new, permanent attraction on the city's waterfront, at Pier 57, next to Downtown Seattle. The city also has many community centers for recreation, including Rainier Beach, Van Asselt, Rainier, and Jefferson south of the Ship Canal and Green Lake, Laurelhurst, Loyal Heights north of the Canal, and Meadowbrook.
Since the middle 1990s, Seattle has experienced significant growth in the cruise industry, especially as a departure point for Alaska cruises. In 2008, a record total of 886,039 cruise passengers passed through the city, surpassing the number for Vancouver, BC, the other major departure point for Alaska cruises.
Parks and Entertainment
Seattle's mild, temperate marine climate allows year-round outdoor recreation, including walking, cycling, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, rock climbing, motor boating, sailing, team sports, and swimming In town, many people walk around Green Lake, through the forests and along the bluffs and beaches of 535-acre Discovery Park (the largest park in the city) in Magnolia, along the shores of Myrtle Edwards Park on the Downtown waterfront, along the shoreline of Lake Washington at Seward Park, along Alki Beach in West Seattle, or along the Burke-Gilman Trail. Also popular are hikes and skiing in the nearby Cascade or Olympic Mountains and kayaking and sailing in the waters of Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Strait of Georgia. In 2005, Men's Fitness magazine named Seattle the fittest city in the United States.
In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, The Trust for Public Land, reported that Seattle had the 20th best park system among the 50 most populous U.S. cities. ParkScore ranks city park systems by a formula that analyzes acreage, access, and service and investment.
The first streetcars appeared in 1889 and were instrumental in the creation of a relatively well-defined downtown and strong neighborhoods at the end of their lines. The advent of the automobile sounded the death knell for rail in Seattle. Tacoma–Seattle railway service ended in 1929 and the Everett–Seattle service came to an end in 1939, replaced by inexpensive automobiles running on the recently developed highway system. Rails on city streets were paved over or removed, and the opening of the Seattle trolleybus system brought the end of streetcars in Seattle in 1941. This left an extensive network of privately owned buses (later public) as the only mass transit within the city and throughout the region.
King County Metro provides frequent stop bus service within the city and surrounding county, as well as a South Lake Union Streetcar line between the South Lake Union neighborhood and Westlake Center in downtown. Seattle is one of the few cities in North America whose bus fleet includes electric trolleybuses. Sound Transit currently provides an express bus service within the metropolitan area; two Sounder commuter rail lines between the suburbs and downtown; its Central Link light rail line, which opened in 2009, between downtown and Sea-Tac Airport gives the city its first rapid transit line that has intermediate stops within the city limits. Washington State Ferries, which manages the largest network of ferries in the United States and third largest in the world, connects Seattle to Bainbridge and Vashon Islands in Puget Sound and to Bremerton and Southworth on the Kitsap Peninsula.
Central Link light rail trains in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel under the International District/Chinatown.
The main mode of transportation, however, relies on Seattle's streets, which are laid out in a cardinal directions grid pattern, except in the central business district where early city leaders Arthur Denny and Carson Boren insisted on orienting their plats relative to the shoreline rather than to true North. Only two roads, Interstate 5 and State Route 99 (both limited-access highways), run uninterrupted through the city from north to south. State Route 99 runs through downtown Seattle on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which was built in 1953. However, due to damage sustained during the 2001 Nisqually earthquake the viaduct will be replaced by a tunnel in 2015 at a cost of US$4.25 billion. Seattle has the 8th worst traffic congestion of all American cities, and is 10th among all North American cities.The city has started moving away from the automobile and towards mass transit.
Pike Place Market
This historic, beloved downtown public market has been in business since 1907. It’s a year-round farmers market and a visual riot of vegetable, seafood, cheese and flower stalls along with handicrafts and tourist-friendly knickknacks. And, of course, the flying fish. Vendors at Pike Place Fish Market gleefully toss salmon to each other and crack jokes, always drawing a crowd at the fish stall by the market’s main entrance. For less of a crowd, take the stairs to “Down Under,” a wood-floored maze of small shops beneath the main-level market.
The Space Needle
This vertical icon of the city is so kitschy it’s become cool, and it gives a great view of the city from the top. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, it’s 605 feet tall and looks like a spaceship on stilts, towering over Seattle Center, a cultural complex where you could easily spend hours at the Pacific Science Center, Chihuly glass display, food court, theatres or simply watching kids frolic in a giant outdoor fountain.
Olympic Sculpture Park
The outdoor sculpture garden spreads over 9 acres of a seaside bluff north of downtown, transformed from an industrial backwater into the home of artwork such as Alexander Calder’s “Eagle,” six tons of red-painted steel that looks like an abstract soaring bird. Paths wander amid sculpture; for a longer, lovely walk, stroll along the 1.2-mile waterfront path in adjoining Myrtle
Washington State Ferries
Ferries shuttle all around Puget Sound and they’re a key, and the prettiest, part of Washington’s transportation system. You can have a fun, quick and cheap sightseeing boat ride as a walk-on passenger on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island ferry. If it’s clear, you’ll even see Mount Rainier looming to the south on the 35-minute ride. “The Mountain,” as locals call it, really does exist, although it’s often shrouded in clouds.
Board the ferry at Pier 52 on the downtown Seattle waterfront, get off at Bainbridge and walk into the friendly little town of Winslow — its restaurants, cafes and shops are a 10-minute walk from the ferry landing on the main drag of Winslow Way. Back on the ferry, enjoy the spectacular urban skyline view as you approach downtown Seattle.
Soon the traffic-roaring Alaskan Way Viaduct, which cuts off downtown Seattle from its waterfront, will come tumbling down and be replaced by a tunnel. For now, there’s a broad sidewalk along the harborfront with shops, eateries (fish and chips is always a favorite) and wooden piers jutting out into the bay. Stop at the Seattle Aquarium to see what lives in (and beyond) the local waters. Ride the Seattle Great Wheel, a 175-foot tall Ferris wheel with enclosed gondola-type cabins, for a view from on high of the city, Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains to the west.
See the essence of the Pacific Northwest at the Ballard Locks, where you can watch salmon and boats — from fishing boats and tugs to kayaks and yachts. The locks carry boats up and down, letting them travel between Puget Sound and Seattle’s freshwater waterways. A fish ladder lets salmon swim up past the locks to their freshwater spawning grounds; glass viewing windows let people watch the.
PM me if you want to do major damage
Police will come to stop the situation if it gets out of hand.
Use proper grammar
Keep Space Core away from the Needle, things got pretty heated last time.
Fight wherever you want too, but depending on the location will lead to the security level. If it's in a back alley expect a simple patrol cop, if it's at a museum expect SWAT.