General Information About Seattle

Seattle has many fun and exciting things to see and do. Most people know about Seattle for its beauty. Here are a few suggestions of things to see, do and experience in the Seattle area.

Pike Place Market

Whether you come early for the Encuentro, or stay after, the famous Pike Place Market originally started due to overpriced onions. The price of produce was soaring in 1906, so the city suggested a public market where farmers could directly sell their produce for a lower price. Opening in 1907, Pike Place Market is the oldest continuously operating farmer‘s market in the country.

Located behind Pike Place Market in Post Alley, the Gum Wall has thousands of pieces of gum stuck to it each year by tourists. The concept originally started in 1990 when people waiting to get into shows at Unexpected Productions stuck their gum and coins on the wall to pass the time. We plan to arrange a small tour of the market which is also a great way of meeting new people.

Klondike Gold Rush

Gold was discovered in the Canadian Klondike region in 1896, thus starting the largest boom period in Seattle called the Klondike Gold Rush. The city was the main point where people began their journey north. Walking around downtown Seattle in Pioneer Square there are many tours and shops that will give you the history of Seattle.

Seattle Makes History

Seattle is home to Bertha Knight Landes who became the first female mayor in America in 1926. During her term, she advocated municipal ownership of utilities such as Seattle City Light, and street railways. She also fought hard against bootleggers, reckless drivers, and strictly enforced regulations for dance halls and cabarets. Thus, Seattle still has some of the strangest laws concerning dancing in Seattle, such as: a tax shall be collected for each dance person who charges for a dance.

Space Needle

The Space Needle was first designed on a cocktail napkin by Edward E. Carlson in 1961 as an inspiration for the 1962 World’s Fair. While it may not seem like the best place to be during a natural disaster, the Space Needle has a foundation that goes 30 feet underground so the structure can withstand a 9.1 magnitude earthquake and up to 200 mph winds.

Other Fun Things About Seattle

For a fun hour or two boat ride, Seattle has the Washington State Ferry System which carries more than 25 million passengers every year. This is the most extensive ferry system in the country and the third-largest in the world. A ferry ride from downtown Seattle, to either Bremerton, or Mercer Island is a great way to just relax.

People in Seattle buy more sunglasses than any other city in the world despite the rain. One reason to account for this may be how active many locals are no matter the weather (hiking, kayaking, biking – the list goes on). There’s always a Seattle day trip to go on! Speaking of rain, Seattle gets less rainfall each year than places like Houston, New York, Atlanta, and Boston. We tend to have greyer and slightly drizzlier days than others, but unlike the popular rumor, it isn’t the rainiest city in the country. Our average accumulation of rain is only about 38 inches.

Smith Tower

Last is the Smith Tower. When it was built in 1914, the 42-story Smith Tower was the tallest building west of the Mississippi. The top of the Smith Tower is actually a residential penthouse where various people have lived over the years, including a family with small children. The 35th floor has a great bar with wonderful views of Seattle as you walk around the building’s observation deck.