Picture: Seattle has beautiful views and culture at every turnThere is nothing quite like a city break. Discovering vibrant new cultures, checking out new neighbourhoods and – of course – trying lots of exciting new food.
But an urban escape can be so much more than that – especially when you visit a place like Seattle. Situated on America’s Pacific coast, up near the border of Canada, this US gem has everything you need to up your getaway game – and it’s so easy to get to now thanks to daily direct flights with Virgin Atlantic.
Culture by the bucket load
Picture: Seattle Central Library is just one of the city’s cultural ‘must-sees’Obviously, it’s not a city break without a bit of cultural enlightenment – and Seattle has culture at every turn.
From October’s Refract, a four-day, citywide festival featuring glass exhibitions, festive art parties, fascinating talks, tours, open studios and exclusive collector events, to Broadway theatre productions and foodie events, there is quite literally something for everyone all year round.
And if you’re not trying your hand at a new skill or rocking out at a gig, there are plenty of museums, galleries and sites to check out too.
History buffs can’t leave Seattle without checking out The Museum of History and Industry, which shows Seattle’s journey in becoming a leader in business innovation. From the city’s Native American roots to the hype of the Gold Rush, Seattle’s enthralling past is brought to life through interactive displays and events.
Culture vultures, meanwhile, won’t want to miss the world-famous Chihuly Garden and Glass, displaying works by internationally renowned artist Dale Chihuly. His captivating artwork is displayed here in gardens and galleries, giving you the opportunity to slip into a colourful yet tranquil world away from the buzz of the city. It’s a truly breathtaking and inspiring experience.
A paradise for foodies
Picture: Get a taste of Seattle by joining a food tour or attending one of its many foodie festivals, like Taste WashingtonOne of the many things you can do is dive into Seattle’s eclectic foodie scene.
The area has long been a hub of international influences; from Asia to Scandinavia, many different cultures have made their imprint on the city, and one of the many brilliant outcomes is the diverse cuisine.
A good way to get a flavour for all this place has to offer is by visiting Taste Washington. Whether you’re a chocoholic, wine aficionado, lover of seafood or just plain adventurous with food, this single place offers samples from across 235 wineries and 65 restaurants, showcasing the talents of the region’s best chefs – it’s an absolute must.
If you’re not in town for long, there are a few key districts you should make a beeline for. For easy yet outstanding comfort food, Queen Anne in the northwest is the go-to place for low-budget, high quality eateries. Or, if you’re looking to splash the cash, South Lake Union is where the region’s top chefs have set up shop, offering some of the finest steak, exquisite Italian-American meals and superb Mexican classics.
The best of Seattle’s buzzing nightlife can be found concentrated in Capitol Hill, the city’s LGBT hub and home to a vast array of lively local bars hosting live music, clubs and fringe theatres. Alternatively, Pioneer Square has everything from art galleries to underground comedy clubs and a dizzying array of different pubs and saloons.
Nature on the doorstep
Picture: The stunning natural beauty of Mt. Rainier is only moments from the cityWhat defines Seattle from many other city break destinations is its proximity to lush natural landscapes and wildlife.
Parks, for example, are to be expected in most cities – but Seattle’s green spaces are on a whole other level.
Take Discovery Park, which is home to hundreds of acres of dense forest filled with bird song, dramatic sea cliffs and sandy tidal beaches – it’s basically a whole new land just moments away from the buzz of the city centre.
Of course, for truly breathtaking scenes, you need to journey a little further from Seattle’s urbanscape. The wild side of Seattle is defined by magnificent mountain chains and beautiful meadows of flowers. And, if you’re lucky, you may spy all kinds of incredible animals while you’re out hiking in the hills of Washington State, from bald eagles to gentle white-tailed deer.
The most spectacular wildlife-spotting opportunity in these parts has to be at Lime Kiln Point State Park, though. It’s earned the name ‘Whale Watch Park’ thanks to the orcas, minke whales and porpoises that make regular appearances. You can also spot cheeky sea otters and sea lions playing in the waters here too.
It’s never been easier to visit Seattle
Fly daily to Seattle with Virgin Atlantic from £356* return. For more information and to book visit virginatlantic.com/Seattle
*Terms & Conditions apply. Visit virginatlantic.com for full conditions. Fare quoted is based on a return to Seattle departing from London Heathrow only. Travel in Economy Light. Fares subject to availability and include all pre-paid taxes, fees and surcharges. Travel restrictions apply. Book before midnight on July 23, 2019.