Although I have visited the Pacific Northwest, I fell that I only scratched the surface of Washington with a layover visit to Seattle. Because I would like to revisit as well as inspire you to visit Seattle, I have asked Kaye Fredericks, a peer travel writer, to share her favorite travel tips about her favorite city on the West Coast of the US.

Enjoy Five Reasons You Need to Visit Seattle, Washington!

As one of the fastest growing major cities in the US, Seattle offers the perfect combination of urban buzz and rural escapes, making it a great getaway destination. You might have caught glimpses of the stunning skyline and architecture if you’ve ever watched Grey’s Anatomy or the movie ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, but nothing compares with going to see it for yourself. Here are a few reasons why the city should be on your bucket list.

The skyline, architecture and city

There’s something magical about the hustle and bustle of cities- why do you think they’re constantly ranked as some of the most romantic destinations on earth (even above tropical beaches and paradises?!) If you love city breaks then forget London, New York and Paris- the incredible architecture of Seattle has been influenced by the area’s first European settlers giving it a unique look. A major boom in construction in 2015 lead to the development of the Downtown area and neighbourhoods ssuch asCapitol Hill, Ballard and South Lake Union. One of the most interesting and dominating features on the Seattle skyline is the iconic Space Needle, an epic observation point giving you 360 views of the city from over six hundred feet above ground. If you want to take in buildings, skylines and cityscapes then it’s not one to miss. As with any city, there are shops, restaurants and museums. There’s an aquarium, a zoo and all kinds of tours to suit your interests. There are great public transport links for getting around, and even getting to and from the airport is a breeze if you go about things in the right way- read more here. There’s just so much to see and do- so if you want a trip that you can pack lots into then you won’t be disappointed here.

The food and drink

There are a few food and drink items that Seattle are well known for. Its coffee is one, and the city is regarded as a world center for coffee roasting supply chain management in the drink. Seattle-style espresso is inspired by the dark-roasted style of espresso and coffee and something to try while you’re in the city. Seattle was famous for the concoction back when specialty coffee started gaining popularity in the coffee shops of the Pacific Northwest. It’s a secret blend of five different roasts from three different continents giving it a rich, deep and unique flavour. Beer is another Seattle specialty, with breweries and pubs offering interesting blends that are a far cry from the monotony of most conglomerate beer companies. When it comes to food, seafood is widely loved due to its coastal location. There are numerous chowder, lobster and other fish eateries where you can indulge on fresh seafood.

The sports and activities

Seattle is perfectly placed next to a number of mountain ranges, and its northwest location provides incredible snowy slopes that are just a car ride away from the city. From skiing to snowboarding, snow shoeing, hiking and so much more, if you love being active when you’re away and are partial to snow sports then this will be right up your street. The slopes open towards the end of autumn through to around May- depending on the weather. You might think you need to head to France, Colorado or Austria to ski and enjoy these kinds of activities but Seattle is just as good. During the warmer months, the waters of Seattle become a hive of activity where you can go boating, water skiing, surfing, kayaking, fishing and much more. If you’ve got it in mind that Seattle is just a city break then these are all things to consider.

The celebrations

Seattle is home to numerous vibrant and exciting festivals throughout the year, over a hundred of them in fact. From food to film to music and more, there’s something for all tastes if you want to celebrate the things you love. The Seattle International Film Festival, Borealis Festival of Light and Enchant Christmas are just a few examples. When you’re planning your getaway, do some research to find out what kinds of events are on around that time. There are lots of calendars with lists of each festival by month and date making it easy to see if you can sync it up to when you go. If you time your visit right, you’ll be able to take part in the celebrations!

Ecological diversity

Beyond the city of Seattle, there are mountains, ocean, a rainforest, desert, farmland, islands, and even an active volcano! Mount Rainer is located in Mount Rainer National Park, there are five developed areas offering things like campgrounds and picnic areas to hotels, a visitor centre, and restaurant in the more built-up area. National parks give you the chance to go hiking, biking, bird watching and enjoy watersports on the lakes. You get to see all kinds of flora and fauna and as these are protected areas, can take in the beauty of a destination. It’s less than two hours to the park from the city and there are plenty of buses and links meaning visiting on your trip is easy.

Seattle may well have been a destination that’s flown under your radar, even if you’re a city city-goer or love to travel to America. But it should definitely be one that’s on your bucket list. Regardless of the kind of getaway you want, you’re sure to find what you’re after in Seattle.

Have you ever been to Seattle, if so what would you recommend others do while they’re visiting? If you’ve never been, is Seattle a destination that you’d consider?

**Post contributed by Kaye Fredericks, a European travel writer who is currently exploring the Pacific Northwest of the USA.**