Seattle is Washington state's main city (the state capital is Olympia), a great city break vacation destination, and also the perfect starting point for the Pacific Coast Highway drive. It's a good gateway to Washington Wine Country too.
Seattle has a spectacular natural location, tucked between Elliott Bay and Lake Washington, and with the imposing Mount Rainier visible in the distance.
Its major attractions include the Pike Place Market, which is one of the oldest, biggest and best markets on the Pacific Coast, and the space-age Space Needle.
There are several good museums, some great hotels, a lively restaurant scene, and a definite 'feel good' factor. In that respect it's a little like San Francisco – it's hard not to be in a good mood when you're in a beautiful city by the bay.
Unless it's raining, of course. The city of Frasier Crane doesn't really deserve its reputation for wetness, as there are many other American cities that are far worse, but there can be long periods of damp or just plain dull weather, especially in the fall and winter. When to go? Try to be there in the summer, the driest season, when the sunny days and blue skies help make the most of Seattle's lovely setting.
Pike Place Market in Seattle
Photo (c) Tim Thompson, Courtesy of Seattle CVB
See our Things to Do in Seattle page.
For advice on Where to Eat in Seattle, read our review of the latest
Zagat Restaurant Guide.
See the Seattle Hotels page.
Seattle is a popular start and end point for cruises to Alaska. If you want to combine the Pacific Coast Highway drive with an Alaska cruise, visit the website of our colleagues at Alaska Cruise Advisor.
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To help you in choosing your Pacific Coast Highway hotel, guesthouse, inn, bed-and-breakfast, resort, motel or other accommodations, we've prepared our Pacific Coast Highway Hotels Guide. In it we do mini-reviews of accommodations along the Highway, from Seattle to San Diego, through Washington, Oregon, and California.
In all there are over 200 hotels listed, complete with 8 pages of color maps showing the towns where our recommended hotels can be found. There are both alphabetical and geographical indexes, helping you plan your journey.
We also include color photos of all the hotels that are our Personal Favorites. Here's the link to read more about our ebook guide to Pacific Coast Highway hotels.
The 2016 edition of our Hotels Guide is available with maps and color photos (if you have a color reader) in the US Kindle Store for only $4.99 and in the UK Kindle Store and other Kindle stores worldwide at prices based on the US price.
If you want a paperback edition of the 2016 guide with only black and white photos and black-and-white maps, it costs $6.99 at the US Amazon Book Store and £4.99 in the UK Amazon Store.