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Seattle: The Pearl of the Pacific Northwest
by CL Hendricks

Seattle is a tourist destination perfect for all seasons and any type of weather. No matter what your interests, it's a guarantee that Seattle attractions will grab your attention. A bustling, cosmopolitan city with profession sports teams, natural and man-made wonders, cultural and historical sites, and a wide variety of flavors and entertainments, Seattle will enchant every member of the family. While you are there make sure you check out:

Space Needle: The world-famous Space Needle was built in anticipating of the 1962 World's Fair. From the world-class cuisine served in the rotating restaurant at the top of the tower, to the Seattle Center at its base, the Seattle Space Needle is a must for every visit.

Seattle Center: This is the fairgrounds upon which the Space Needle was erected. Today it is still a hive of activity with rides, concession stands, art displays and a fascinating water fountain. It is also where visitors go for Paul Allen's Experience Music Project.

Pike Place: Pike Place Market is a charming collection of fresh produce stands, fish vendors, antique sellers and small-time entrepreneurs all nestled next to quaint restaurants. All this provides a background for innovative street entertainers and the gawking visitors that flock to this Seattle landmark.

Ballard locks: Ships pass between Puget Sound and Lake Washington via the Hiram Chittenden Locks, affectionately known as "Ballard Locks" by locals. During the season of the salmon run, kids and adults will be fascinated by the sight of colorful salmon climbing the fish ladder as they swim upstream. Take a picnic and relax on the beautifully landscape surroundings while you watch the squirrels scampering around.

Seattle Pacific Science Center: This museum is anything but the typical collection of old artifacts and historical displays. Instead there's an IMAX Theater, a planetarium, and a fascinating butterfly house. Frequently the Center hosts different traveling exhibits.

Safeco Field / Quest Field: Years ago the Seattle Mariners, Seattle's professional baseball team, and the city's football team, the Seattle Seahawks both received new stadiums on the site of the old Kingdome. Baseball games are played in Safeco Field, while football fans flock to Quest Field to watch the Seahawks. Both stadiums are state-of-the-art, built both for view and functionality; but don't expect a limit menu of hotdogs. Fans find a wide variety of foods designed to satisfy their hunger between cheers and beers.

Pioneer Square: Pioneer Square is a cosmopolitan neighborhood that has seen over 100 years. Its newest reincarnation is as a prime destination for downtown activities, with nightclubs, bookstores, internet cafes, bookstores and numerous galleries. Don your walking shoes and set out to explore and enjoy all the attractions of this lively neighborhood.

Boeing Tours: Visit Boeing's Everett plant, just north of Seattle about 30 miles. There are daily tours of the aircraft-manufacturing facilities, where you can look down on the entire process from the catwalks high above all the activity below. There are height and age requirements, so check before leaving if you plan on taking the little ones.

Seattle Aquarium: Seattle's Pier 59 is home to more than just some fantastic seafood restaurants. It's also home to the Seattle Aquarium where visitors will be fascinated by all the amazing and captivating creatures on display.

Washington Ferries: Anyone who knows anything about the Pacific Northwest knows that ferries are a typical mode of transportation in this area of the West Coast. Whether you drive on with your vehicle or just walk on, you can relax and watch seagulls, sea lions and even occasionally a distant whale, and leave the driving to the ferry.

About the Author

C.L. Hendricks has been a Jill-of-all-trades and become an expert in some. She has also traveled extensively and now writes about travel destinations around the world for Family Vacation Spots and Best Vacation Getaways

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