About Seattle

by SmarterTravel Staff
Hint: Designed by a famous Dutch architect, this structure is a great way for this city's residents to escape the rain.

If you guessed the Seattle Public Library, you're right!

The 11-story glass and steel diamond-shaped exterior of the Seattle Public Library uses modern-day architecture to house the world's greatest literature. Designed by Rem Koolhaas, the library opened in 2004 as part of Seattle's "Libraries for All" bond measure. You may need to be a resident to check out books, but anyone is welcome to marvel at the building's design.

The nearest major airport is in Seattle.

(Photo: Carl Unger)

Seattle blends funky neighborhoods with eco-friendly attitudes and fine art with adventure. Whether you wear flannel shirts or not, this city hits the perfect note.

Seattle may be best known for grunge music, but the Experience Music Project is a museum dedicated to preserving the history of all types of song. Other famous destinations are the Space Needle, built for the 1962 World's Fair, and Pike Place Market, where fresh produce, crafts, and street performers combine to create a hip alternative spot.

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The city of Seattle has no shortage of the avant-garde, and the Fremont neighborhood, self-proclaimed as the "Center of the Universe," celebrates its eccentricity with a 53-feet-tall rocket, a troll statue beneath a bridge, and a statue of Lenin. Of course, more conventional art exhibits exist as well. The Seattle Art Museum holds African, Australian, and Northwest collections and sponsors Olympic Sculpture Park, an outdoor exhibition for larger-than-life compositions. The Seattle Public Library's central library building is a work of art itself, and a sure attention-getter.

Many Seattle attractions focus on nature, whether it's whitewater rafting on the Skykomish River or climbing nearby Mount Rainier. Those who want to get close to animals can tour Woodland Park Zoo, which is more than 100 years old, or check out Seattle Aquarium's coral reef and sixgill shark exhibits. If that's not near enough, adventurous types can scuba dive in Puget Sound with eight-foot octopi.

The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport serves more than 30 million passengers each year, so finding flights to Seattle should be an easy task.

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