No need to go international
When people say they're going on vacation, the first thing that comes to mind to most are tropical swaying palm trees or extended stays on cruise ships. Little do they know (or want to believe), that Seattle, Washington is a popular travel destination for a lot of people. The city itself has over 608,000 inhabitants with plenty of things to do. It has numerous landmarks, hot events, museums, festivals and dozens of other things to see throughout the year. It's home to many major businesses like Microsoft, Amazon and of course widely-known Starbucks. There's the famous Space Needle that's featured on every postcard and the many parks within the city make a great way to escape the concrete jungle (Seattle is nicknamed "The Emerald City" because of the amount of evergreens there). So if it's winter and someone says they're going to Seattle (which can get pretty cold), or summer when instead they could be going to Cancun (a popular spring break locale), don't look down on them. There's a lot of fun to be had in the city grunge rock was birthed.
Grab an eye-patch
If you're headed to Seattle during the summer months, be sure to check out Seafair which occurs from July through August. This is a community oriented party that invites any newcomers to watch or be apart of the festivities. Some activities include marathons that benefit important causes like cancer research and fun annual events like when the Seafair pirates land on Alki beach. They kickstart the whole month-long celebration with concerts, barbecue and parades. Volunteers dress-up as pirates and go swashbuckling around the city entertaining tourists, residents and I'm sure themselves. And if you need a bit more culture on your travels, be sure to check out the Bumbershoot Music & Arts festival during Labor day weekend. You'll be able to enjoy visual arts, dance, music and comedy all at the Seattle center. They feature local artists as well as international artists to showcase their best work. They also have indoor and outdoor venues to make room for the numerous people that come from around the world.
If you're interested in athletic activities, there are plenty of bike trails and kayaking rentals available for the adventurous traveler. The waterfront activities center allows canoe rentals to those who want to visit the arboretum and watch nature uninhibited by man. The arboretum is a vast wetland that features the sounds of migratory birds (along with highway noise nearby) and beautiful greenery. It's a good way to get a little exercise by canoeing while viewing the sights. And once you're done with your nature trek, you can catch a Seattle Mariners game at Safeco field during the summer or watch the Seattle Seahawks journey to the Super Bowl at Qwest field during the winter. Other sporting events include soccer, men and women's basketball and Jr. hockey.
Eat in the sky
Their are plenty of places to dine and entertain yourself over in Seattle. Just be sure you have an entertainment book for Seattle to get the best deals on food and entertainment. Whether you're downtown visiting Pikes Place Market or at Pioneer Square with its vast selection of restaurants, an entertainment book will have you saving enough money for next years vacation. And if you're headed down to the Queen Anne district, visit Sky City located in the Space Needle for a nice view while you chow on signature dishes like King Salmon or Slow-Braised Beef Shortribs.
Seattle has tons more festivals and activties that go beyond the scope of this article, so be sure to do some research and find when's the best time to visit. If you're passionate about the marijuana issue being debated in political settings, then Hempfest is a good event to catch. And if you want more music, Capital Hill Block Party features tons of local bands that come to showcase their sounds. Whatever your tastes, there's something for you in Seattle Washington. Additionally, if you need help finding what's going on while over there, there are tons of travel guides that will aid you on your vacation as well. As always, be safe and have fun!
image by Robert Linder/stock.xchng