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Seattle (WA)

Seattle has undergone a renaissance is the last twenty years. It staked its fortune on IT startups and boutique coffee shops, fostering the rise of international giants like Starbucks and Microsoft. There are more hip art galleries, live music venues and espresso bars in the city center than tourists could dream of visiting in a single visit, while outdoor activities abound at Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains and Lake Washington.

From the moment they touch down at SeaTac International Airport, visitors are faced with the dilemmas of where to be based and what to see first. The good news is that there's no wrong answer. Each district has its own charms, and wherever they book accommodation in Seattle, visitors enjoy access to the three things Seattle does best: music, outdoor sports and coffee.

Ambitious sightseers can purchase a Go Seattle Card for wide-ranging admission to local sites. While first-time visitors are anxious for the view from the iconic Space Needle, the most satisfying attractions spread beneath it. First among these is the Waterfront, a mixed tourist and residential area with countless gift shops, restaurants and espresso bars. Boat tours and visits to Pike Plaza Market are also high on the must-do list.

Hotels near Seattle are busiest in the summer, and they've taken a trendy turn in the last ten or so years. Visitors are spoiled for choice, especially in the city center where the arts and culture scene prevails. Rain is a part of life in Seattle, especially from October until March or April when tourist numbers are down and bargains are available.

Seattle Tacoma International Airport is an important west-coast travel hub, with an exhaustive list of domestic and international flights. Several airport hotels cater to short-term and business travelers.

For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Seattle, click on the interactive Seattle map on the left-hand side of the page.