1.You Can’t Miss The Pike Place Market
The Market is home to more than 200 vendors, farmers, and specialty shops. It’s Seattle’s No. 1 tourist destination. And as a resident you learn to navigate the crowds, because it is the place for produce and cheap bouquets of farm fresh flowers.
2. Just Jump On a Ferry
The Northwest has the largest passenger and automobile ferry system in the country, servicing the Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. More than 75,000 Puget Sound residents start their day by boarding a boat. That’s more than a packed game at CenturyLink Field.
3. We Like Sports
In Seattle, you can’t be a fair weather fan; you ride out the ups and downs with the Mariners, Sounders, and the Seahawks and enjoy the state-of-the-art stadiums. If the games getting you down, delight in the retractable roof and tons of craft beers on tap at Safeco Field. After a failed attempt to bring back the SuperSonics though, we’re still lacking in the b-ball arena, for now.
4. You’ll Never Get Over The Stunning Mountain Views
Seriously, I’ve grown up here and I still point out Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and the Cascades if it’s a clear day. It’s a sight hard to ignore.
5. If You Aren’t Caffeinated Here, Good Luck
With the most coffee shops per capita in the U.S., you won’t be deficient in the buzz department. Of course there are Starbucks aplenty, but Capitol Hill’s Analog Coffee, Pioneer Square’s Zeitgeist Coffee, or the Fremont Coffee Company (home to the Darth Vader latte art) are great for a pull.
6. The Waterways Affect Traffic
You’re surrounded by water: The Sound, Lake Washington, Lake Union, and many smaller passageways. You will love it and learn to curse it at the same time. Yes, it adds to the beauty of the landscape, but it’s pain to get across town quickly.
7. That’s One Big Boat
Avoid the waterfront if a cruise ship is in port on Alaskan Way, at all costs—unless you like wading through a sea of Hawaiian shirts and fanny packs. The season runs May through September, so residents prefer the shores of the lakes for a water view in the summer.
8. Chef Tom Douglas Becomes a Household Name
The master chef behind the Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen, Serious Pie, and many more, Tom Douglas is a celebrity around these parts. He experiments with different cuisines, but always strives to use seasonal Northwest ingredients.
9. Hipsters Are Everywhere
You’ll see twentysomethings doing things like blowing bubbles or hula hooping for fun. But you’ll usually find them chilling at hip coffee shops and bars, rocking flannel, skinny jeans, neon, scarves, and anything from a thrift shop.
10. It’s Definitely Not Just About Grunge Anymore
Seattle has a diverse music scene, many indie, pop, and rock bands call this city home. And speaking of “Thrift Shop,” Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, the hip-hop duo, is from here.
11. We Like Rain and Miss It When It’s Gone
You really just get used to it. And we Seattleites tend to reach for a hooded jacket or sweatshirt before an umbrella. The city averages about 37 inches of rain per year, which is less than quite a few other US cities, but it tends to be a constant drizzle over heavy down pours.
12. All That Rain Leads to Amazing Summers
When the warm months finally arrive in Seattle, it’s amazing. It’s hot and sunny, but rarely humid or muggy. The people hum with happiness fighting off the months of S.A.D. running through their blood. Temperatures tend to stay around an average of 75 degrees.
13. Seattle Art Museum
We just call it SAM. Right downtown is a major art museum with big name shows. Recent past shows included Rembrandt and Gauguin. Also, there aren’t too many museums that have a working Hammerman standing guard.
14. We Are Full of Pride
This past November the state of Washington legalized gay marriage, which made for a particularly crazy Pride Parade and celebration this year. But it also shows that the majority of people here are accepting and support equal rights.
15. It’s Totally Normal to Have a City Chicken Coop
Turning your backyard into a farm is no big deal. Urban chicken coops with up to eight birds are allowed in residential neighborhoods, as long as they are 10 feet away from the house. But there is something nice about picking your own fresh eggs for breakfast.
16. The Viaduct is Soon to Be History, and In Rolls Bertha
Bertha is the nickname for the largest tunnel boring machine in the world, and it’s currently burrowing under Alaskan Way. The viaduct has been an eyesore and earthquake hazard for years, causing many a debate with city leaders and residents.
17. Marijuana is Legal, Sort of
Washington State, along with Colorado, voted to legalize pot this past November. The rules are still in the finalization period, and as far as Seattleites know you can’t sell it or smoke it in public, but that doesn’t mean you can’t partake. Seattle is also home to the largest political rally and marijuana festival, Hempfest, which takes place each August.
18. We Are High On Tech
Seattle is home to major corporations like Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing. This defines us as a highly technological town and it shows in our addiction to our iPhones, laptops, and gadgets. Often times coffee shops have more of a computer lab vibe than that of a cafe.
19. The Radio Station 90.3 KEXP
This is the alternative station in Seattle. It covers a wide variety of genres—hip-hop, indie, global, and reggae—and it’s a huge supporter of local music and the arts. Every time you tune in you’ll hear something new.
20. Nerds and Geeks Are Cool
In Seattle, it seems that the bigger nerd you are, the better. And we make it possible here from the Penny Arcade Expo, Sakura-Con, gamer bars and lounges, and the Science Fiction Museum at EMP. Seattle didn’t get ranked as the Number Three Nerdiest City in America for nothin’.
21. Sneaky, Hidden Parks That You Think Only You Know About
Just like this green space under the I-5 Bridge, Seattle has so many little pocket parks and gardens. It’s a nice feeling to be in a city but still be able to find a secluded spot.
22. The Seattle Dog
We do hot dogs a certain way here: all-beef dog or brat, cream cheese, grilled onions, and usually after last call. Hot dog cart vendors know just the right corners for the best 2 a.m. rush.
23. Dick’s Drive-In Burgers
The classic spot for a retro late night burger, Dick’s started in 1954 and it hasn’t changed one iota. The Deluxe is the way to go: two beef patties, American cheese, lettuce, mayo, and pickle relish. Pro tip: There are no modifications made, so what’s on the menu is what you get.
24. Great Seafood
Pacific oysters, salmon, geoduck, clams, and mussels… we can’t get enough of it. The place to get ‘em: Taylor Shellfish Farms in Melrose Market. It’s a perfect spot to pop in for a dozen fresh-shucked oysters and glass of sparkling wine.
25. Dogs and Cats Are People
Seattle is big on being animal friendly. There are dozens of dog parks, dog-friendly cafés, and of course the Icanhascheezburger company is based here, where the cat meme was practically invented.
26. The City Shuts Down at the Sight of a Snowflake
Take note, Seattle is not made for snow. The hills and inexperienced cold weather drivers make it a dangerous place out there in the winter. But it’s the perfect season to bundle up and stay in for a Netflix marathon.
27. Hardcore Cyclists
This city teems with cyclists. I lack the coordination to be one of them, but I’m enamored at their dedication, even on the rainiest of days they are out there pedaling away.
28. You Hear This A LOT: Order Another Round!
Maybe it’s the gray, wet weather, but this city likes to imbibe. We love our craft beer, our big, juicy Washington wines, and locally distilled spirits. Also, the Woodinville area is a 30 minute drive from downtown Seattle, and it’s home to over 100 wineries.
29. Cupcakes and Milkshakes
In Seattle, we prefer desserts that you can hold or drink from a straw. Check out Cupcake Royal and Trophy for cupcakes. And Molly Moon’s or Hot Cakes for an amazing array of milkshakes, the latter has the boozy varietals as well, like a “Drunken Sailor” with peanut butter, caramel, and whiskey.
30. You Can Drive About 30-Minutes and Be Somewhere Like This
There are beautiful hikes, waterfalls, and rivers all relatively close to the city. Day trips to the Snoqualmie Falls or swimming at the Green River take you away from the urban scenery and the vicinity makes getting away an awfully easy feat.