One of the most progressive and forward-thinking cities in the US, Seattle is constantly changing. While some things, like the historic Pike Place Market, remain constant, all around you the city is embracing the future and leading the way for others to follow.
The city of Seattle is protected from some of the harsher weather conditions that surround it by a combination of geographical factors, including the Olympics and Lake Washington. All of which means that it escapes the severe cold and hot temperatures, and benefits from a mild climate all year round.
Of course, the city does get more than its fair share of rain. No matter what time of year you visit, expect a few downpours, with fewer than 75 clear days a year.
However, all that moisture doesn’t stop the locals having a good time, with plenty of festivals throughout the year. The biggest include Seafair, with its races on Lake Washington, and the International Film Festival. And with cheap flights to Seattle available throughout the year, there’s no bad to time to visit.
There are flights to Seattle from most major US destinations. Use these tricks to find the bargains with Orbitz.
Use the ‘Nearby Airports’ option when your search results are returned. You’ll find it under your chosen departure and arrival airports. This will let you explore other flight options from alternate airports, and to either of the two main airports serving the city.
Another great way to bag a bargain is to click in the ‘My Dates Are Flexible’ tick box when making your search. Then browse flights on a choice of days for cheaper outbound and return flights.
You can filter and sort your results on the left-hand side of the results page and by using the ‘Show Options’ drop-down. Filter by price and duration, direct or connecting flights, airline and airport, as well as certain times of the day.
There are numerous departures to Seattle from US airports.
Visitors flying to Seattle can choose between the following airports: Tacoma Narrows Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Kenmore Air Harbor.
The biggest and busiest is Seattle-Tacoma International, which handles services for several major carriers, with international flights from Seattle to destinations around the world. The airport boasts good facilities, including a choice of restaurants, shops and cafes.
Tacoma Narrows handles smaller carriers and executive travelers looking to avoid the crowds, as well as serving the wider Puget Sound area. It’s possible to get cheap flights from Seattle to several major US destinations from here.
Direct Seattle flights are available from a number of different carriers.
The city is comprehensively served by the King County Metro Transit system, with bus routes operating in most areas. Downtown you can use the light rail line that covers much of the south side of the city.
If you’re in the mood for something a little different, you can ride the South Lake Union Streetcar, which runs between South Lake and the Downtown area. There’s also the First Hill Streetcar and Seattle Center Monorail which takes you out to the Space Needle.
Seattle is generally a car-friendly city, although rush hour traffic can be a little heavy. It’s also good for cycling, but the going can be a little tough if it’s raining.
Seattle’s two most prominent and famous attractions are Pike Place Market and the Space Needle.
Located in the downtown area, Pike Place is the oldest continually operating market in the US, as well as being home to the original Starbucks café. It’s also within easy walking distance of a number of the other main downtown attractions, including the Seattle Art Museum.
The Space Needle is just a short monorail ride away, and is a must-see for any visitor to the city. It’s open 365 days a year and with a ride to the top, you’re treated to stunning panoramic views of the city and surrounding area.
It does rain here – a lot. And the chances are you’ll get wet a couple of times during your stay, so it’s best to be prepared.
Buffered from severe hot and cold weather by the Cascades, the Olympics, Puget Sound, and Lake Washington, Seattle’s climate is decidedly mild most of the time—winters in the 40s, summers in the mid-70s, with the occasional heat wave (a record of 103) or snowstorm (20 inches, way back in 1950).
The rain is a bit of a sore spot for Seattleites. Locals defensively love to point out that it receives less annual rainfall than New York, Atlanta, and Houston. The difference? Here, between October and May, overcast skies and drizzle are a near-daily affair. Seattle sees only about 70 clear and sunny days annually, and some sort of precipitation fizzles down an average of 150 days a year. But the weather is largely gentle—no thunderstorms, no blizzards, and little humidity.
Each season provides a home to a top-notch festival or gathering. The biggest summer event, Seafair, centers around hydroplane races on Lake Washington, and everyone with a boat is out on the water. Northwest Folklife (Memorial Day weekend) and Bumbershoot (around Labor Day) are the top eclectic music fests. Summer also brings the Seattle Chamber Music Society’s month-long series (July–August) to the city. In July, you can also hit the Capitol Hill Block Party (uber-hip indie bands), the Bite of Seattle (restaurants to nosh), and even the World’s Quickest Theater Festival. Autumn brings celebrations of local food and farms—pumpkins, salmon, corn, apple cider, wine. And when the rain rolls in, hit the Seattle International Film Festival (May), the largest in the country with 400-plus films in 25 days.
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