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Seattle Virtual Tour and Travel Guide by Ed Prifogle

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Virtual Tour



seattle map
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Walk  Seattle virtually using this Interactive Map to familiarize yourself with the city.

Watch these Travelocity -Boeing Factory Tour, Trip to San Juan Island, The Best of the Northwest, and Bargain City videos

Look at these Travelago-Six Videos about Seattle including the bridges, art and nightlife, sports and outdoor fun.

See these Downtown Seattle WebCams

See the Space Needle Webcam

Look at these panoramic views of Seattle and London England

View these wonderful Seattle photos from Art Schindler

Listen to this Savvy Travel audio about taking your bumblewatch when traveling to Seattle.

To get a historical perspective of Seattle, view the PBS program, The West.

Watch Seattle's KOMO internet tv Station

Read the Seattle Times to find out what's happening in Seattle.

Check
current weather report

City Description


ranSeattle is called the Emerald city a fascinating metropolis. Bill Gates, Starbucks Coffee, Puget Sound, Boeing, and the view of Mount Ranier combine to make Seattle one of the most interesting cites in the the country to visit. Read an excellent
description of Seattle . Space A travelers will find great lodging and discount information at MILITARY LODGINGS

bgBill Gates has made Microsoft the leading computer software provider int he world. The Microsoft Windows tecnology dominates the world computer market and has made Bill probably the wealthiest man in the world.




Because it is surrounded on three sides by water, built on six hills, and divided into numerous neighborhoods, Seattle can be a very confusing city. While most of its top attractions are located downtown, there are places of interest in other areas, too, including eclectic neighborhoods and attractive parks. In other words, the city's charms aren't all right in your face. This section, which includes information on the city's layout, its neighborhoods, and the basics of how to get around, should help you get out and explore so you can get to know the real Seattle.


starDespite Seattle's affinity for its nearby natural environment, this city is best known as the coffee capital of America. To understand Seattle's coffee addiction, it is necessary to study the city's geography and climate. Seattle lies at almost 50° north latitude, which means that winter days are short. The sun comes up around 7:30am, goes down as early as 4:30pm, and is frequently hidden behind leaden skies. A strong stimulant is almost a necessity to get people out of bed through the gray days of winter. Seattleites love to argue over which espresso bar or cafe in town serves the best coffee (and the answer isn't always Starbucks, despite its massive expansion across the country from its humble beginnings in Pike Place Market).


ddSeattle's popularity and rapid growth, however, have not been entirely smooth.  Boeing is still the world's leader in supplying commercial aircraft yet is facing stiff competetion from Air Bus in the world market.The streets and highways have been unable to handle the increased traffic load, and commuting has become almost as nightmarish as it is in California, from whence so many of the city's recent transplants fled (ironically, partly due to the traffic congestion). With roads growing ever more crowded and the cost of living continuing to rise, Seattle may not be the Emerald City it once was, but it remains a metropolis in a singularly spectacular setting and a superb summertime vacation destination
.

City Description (continued)


FAST FACTS
AAA--The American Automobile Association (tel. 800/222-4357; www.aaa.com) has a local Seattle office at 330 Sixth Ave. N. (tel. 206/448-5353).

American Express--In Seattle, the Amex office is in the Plaza 600 building at 600 Stewart St. (tel. 206/441-8622). The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm. For card member services, phone tel. 800/528-4800. Call tel. 800/AXP-TRIP or go to www.americanexpress.com for other locations or general information.

Area Code--The area code in Seattle is 206; it's 425 for the Eastside (including Kirkland and Bellevue), and 253 for south King County (near the airport).

Business Hours--The following are general hours; specific establishments may vary. Banks are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm (some also on Sat 9am-noon). Stores are open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from noon to 5pm (malls usually stay open until 9pm Mon-Sat). Bars generally open around 11am, but are legally allowed to be open Monday through Saturday from 6am to 1am and Sunday from 10am to 1am.

Dentist--Contact the Dental Referral Service (tel. 800/577-7322).

Doctor--To find a physician, check at your hotel for a referral, or contact Swedish Medical Center (tel. 206/386-6000; www.swedish.org).

Emergencies--For police, fire, or medical emergencies, phone tel. 911.

Hospitals--Hospitals convenient to downtown include Swedish Medical Center, 747 Broadway (tel. 206/386-6000); and Virginia Mason Hospital and Clinic, 925 Seneca St. (tel. 206/583-6433 for emergencies, or 206/624-1144 for information).

Internet Access--First, ask at your hotel to see if it provides Internet access. If not, Kinko's, 1335 Second Ave. (tel. 206/292-9255) and other locations, is an alternative.

Liquor Laws--The legal minimum drinking age in Washington state is 21. Aside from on-premise sales of cocktails in bars and restaurants, hard liquor can only be purchased in liquor stores. Beer and wine are available in convenience stores and grocery stores. Brewpubs tend to sell only beer and wine, but some also have licenses to sell hard liquor.

Newspapers & Magazines--The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Times are Seattle's two daily newspapers. Seattle Weekly is the city's free arts-and-entertainment weekly.

Pharmacies--Conveniently located downtown pharmacies include Rite Aid, 319 Pike St. (tel. 206/223-0512), and also at 1300 Madison St. (tel. 206/322-9316). Alternatively, call Rite Aid (tel. 800/748-3243) for the location nearest you. For 24-hour service, try Bartell Drug Store, 600 First Ave. N. (tel. 206/284-1353).

Photographic Needs--Cameras West, 1908 Fourth Ave. (tel. 206/622-0066), is the largest-volume camera and video dealer in the Northwest. Best of all, it's right downtown and also offers 1-hour film processing. It's open Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 6pm, and on Saturday from 10am to 5pm.

Police--For police emergencies, phone tel. 911.

Restrooms--There are public restrooms in Pike Place Market, Westlake Center, Pacific Place, Seattle Center, and the Washington State Convention & Trade Center. You'll also find restrooms in most hotel lobbies and coffee bars in downtown Seattle.

Safety--Although Seattle is a relatively safe city, it has its share of crime. The most questionable neighborhood you're likely to visit is the Pioneer Square area, which is home to more than a dozen bars and nightclubs. By day, this area is quite safe (though it has a large contingent of street people), but late at night, when the bars are closing, stay aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for suspicious characters and activities. Also take extra precautions with your wallet or purse when you're in the crush of people at Pike Place Market. Whenever possible, try to park your car in a garage, instead of on the street, at night. If you must park on the street, make sure there are no valuables in view and nothing that even looks like it might contain something of worth. We once had our car broken into because we left a shopping bag full of trash on the back seat.

Smoking--Although many of the restaurants listed in this book are smoke-free establishments, there are also many Seattle restaurants that do allow smoking. At most high-end restaurants, the smoking area is usually in the bar/lounge, and although many restaurants have separate bar menus, most will serve you off the regular menu even if you are eating in the bar. There are very few smoke-free bars in Seattle.

Taxes--In Seattle you'll pay an 8.8% sales tax, and in restaurants, you'll also pay an additional 0.5% food-and-beverage tax on top of the sales tax. The hotel-room tax in the Seattle metro area ranges from around 10% to 16%. On rental cars, you'll pay not only an 18.5% car-rental tax, but also, if you rent at the airport, an additional 10% to 11.11% airport concession fee, for a whopping total of 28.5% to 29.61%!

Time--Seattle is on Pacific Standard Time (PST), making it 3 hours behind the East Coast.

Transit Info--For 24-hour information on Seattle's Metro bus system, call tel. 206/553-3000. For information on the Washington State Ferries, call tel. 800/84-FERRY or 888/808-7977 in Washington, or 206/464-6400.

Weather--Currently, Seattle has no phone number for weather information. Check the Seattle Times or Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspapers for forecasts. If you want to know how to pack before you arrive, go to www.wrh.noaa.gov/seattle, www.cnn.com/weather, or www.weather.co
m.
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