EVERYTHING'S cool in Seattle – the shops, the nightlife, the people and even its history.

Some huge bands, from Nirvana to Pearl Jam and Fleet Foxes, found their sound here.

And if that isn’t enough to wake you up to the charms of this brew-tiful US city, it’s also the birthplace of Starbucks.


Capitol Hill is one of Seattle’s liveliest areas, full of independent bars, restaurants, stores and coffee shops, which is no surprise considering the city’s java history.

Head to Standard Goods, an eye-catching store guaranteed to make you smile, with candles dedicated to everyone from Snoop Dogg to Gordon Ramsay and meme-emblazoned mugs and socks (Thestandardgoods.com).

Downtown, super-hip Alexandra’s is packed with well-priced vintage clothing, including second-hand Prada and Chanel.


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If you have an eye for fashion, you could nab yourself a brill bargain (Alexandrasonline.com).

This seaport city is surrounded by water, and there’s no better spot to relax with your morning coffee than downtown by the scenic Lake Union.

Take a stroll across the harbour and watch the sailing boats out on the waves, or for a view of Washington state from the sky, opt for a 30-minute tour in one of Kenmore Air’s seaplanes.

You’ll glide across the lake before heading up for a bird’s-eye view of Lake Union and Elliot Bay, with a cheeky look at the swanky district where local billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos have homes.

Flights cost from £121 per person (Kenmoreair.com).

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The Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition next door features exquisite glass structures by artist Dale Chihuly

No visit to Seattle is complete without an afternoon at the Seattle Centre.

From here, head straight to the city’s most famous landmark, the Space Needle, for 360-degree panoramic views of the Seattle skyline, the Olympic and Cascade mountains and Mount Rainier.

The Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition next door features exquisite glass structures by artist Dale Chihuly and is one of the most adored attractions in the city.

A combined ticket for the two costs £55 per adult.

The cool kids head straight to the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP).

Highlights are the hip-hop photography exhibition and a guitar room displaying instruments belonging to famous strummers from Buddy Holly to Dave Grohl.

If you fancy yourself a budding rock star, learn how to play one at the Sound Lab.

Whatever you do, don’t miss the Nirvana exhibition, filled with memorabilia, including personal photos of the band and Kurt Cobain’s cardigan from his famous MTV Unplugged performance.

Entry costs from £22 (Mopop.org).

Want to hit all the major hotspots? A Seattle CityPass will save you money by including all the main attractions for £104 per adult (Citypass.com/seattle).


In recent years, Seattle has become a foodie wonderland.

Get a taste at Pike Place Market.

This buzzy open-air spot opened in 1907 and is heaving with local food and drink producers, artists and handmade items – and is as popular with locals as tourists.

The impressive fish-throwers draw a crowd, sending huge king salmon and Alaskan halibut flying through the air.

Enjoy lunch from a huge choice of street-food vendors across the city or spice things up by bagging a table at Poquitos.

This Mexican taverna is a bustling hotbed of music and gorgeous art-deco touches.

Feast on shrimp ceviche, £12, and Baja fish tacos, £14, with margaritas, £11.

If you go on a Tuesday, tequila is half price – but you have to drink it neat (Vivapoquitos.com).

A short walk away is Tavern Law, a former speakeasy and one of the first to flout prohibition laws (Tavernlaw.com).

For a nightcap into the early hours, Bathtub Gin & Co in Belltown is great fun – ask for a “dealer’s choice”, £12, and see what delicious surprise they come up with (Bathtubginseattle.com).  


If you want to get out of the city, Mount Rainier National Park is the most beautiful place to explore.

Join a tour with Evergreen Escapes and a knowledgeable guide will tell you all there is to know about the area.

Opt to head up to 5,000ft, and you’ll be given snowshoes to discover gorgeous powder-capped trees and icy waterfalls.

You’ll also be treated to stunning views of Paradise Valley, or have the option to take a 20-minute hike to Myrtle Falls, which is highly recommended.

A full-day tour costs £217 per adult, including all gear and food and drink (Evergreenescapes.com). 

For a less high-octane adventure, take the ferry from Pier 50 out to West Seattle, £5 per person.

This part of town is super-chilled. Get around by hiring a bike from Wheel Fun Rentals, £28 for a full day, (Wheelfunrentals.com).

Make a stop at Easy Street Records, a place formerly frequented by Eddie Veder and co, and seek out the coolest artists in vinyl, CD and even cassette if you’re feeling really nostalgic! 

It has its own bar, too, if you can’t prise yourself away from the music (Easystreetonline.com).

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The Tardis-like Antique Mall of West Seattle is also a great place to explore, with vintage clothing, jewellery and homeware piled high.

Ride past the eclectic street art, with a stop at Alki beach for a final coffee, before heading back to the bright lights of the city. 


Pan Pacific Seattle is one of the few hotels where you can still spy the Space Needle unobscured, plus its sleek rooms have baths big enough to fit a whole family. Rooms cost from £224 per night (Panpacific.com). 

Plan your trip at Visitseattle.org.

Direct flights from London Heathrow to Seattle cost from £395 return (Virginatlantic.com).

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