Tucked between Lake Washington and the Puget Sound, Seattle was named after the Duwamish Indian leader Sealth and settled in 1851. Built on the logging and shipbuilding industries, Seattle soon became known for influential musicians like Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix, its coffee culture that spread worldwide through companies like Starbucks and Seattle’s Best, and a stream of technology and Internet companies. Permeated with a vibrant art scene, colorful cafes and a long list of entrepreneurs, Seattle’s has plenty for visitors to do and see.

What to Do

There’s much more to Seattle than coffee and grunge music, although caffeine and music are still very much a part of the city. Start with a walking tour of Pike Place Market. Stop in at the original Starbucks location and be sure to dodge the flying fish as seafood stalls fill their orders. Seafood lovers will enjoy fresh salmon fillets on the Seattle Waterfront. Get a view from the sky with a visit to the Space Needle. Music and science fiction lovers alike won’t want to miss the nearby EMP Museum founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Do some serious shopping at Pacific Place and Westlake Center, then head to Pioneer Square. Once the heart of downtown Seattle, this district has plenty of art galleries and bookstores to enjoy during the day, and energetic bars and nightclubs to spend the evening.

Where to Stay

Hotels in Seattle range from the hip and chic postmodern hotels to the historic. As a convention destination, Seattle also has many no-frills hotels catering to the convention crowd. Staying near the airport will put you about 45 minutes outside of downtown, while staying downtown will might put a strain on your wallet. The Lower Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle and the outlying University Village district are the best bets for budget-friendly accommodations.

Getting There

Seattle is located on the Puget Sound in Western Washington. The city is accessible via train for travelers coming from California, Oregon and Vancouver, BC. Seattle-Tacoma International, or Sea-Tac, is the area’s main airport and is located south of the city.