Despite its reputation for nearly year-round drizzle, Seattle is a beautiful, energetic city that pulses with cultural life. Known as the "coffee capital of the world," Seattle claims the original Starbucks shop. The city is also home to fine opera, symphony, ballet and several sports teams.
Bordered by Alaskan Way South, Columbia Street, Fourth Avenue South and South King Street, Pioneer Square is Seattle's oldest neighborhood. But despite its age, the area is always abuzz with activity, due its many restaurants, shops and art galleries. Popular attractions include the 42-story Smith Tower, Elliott Bay Bookstore and Pioneer Park.
Rising between hip Belltown and the Lake Washington Ship Canal, Queen Anne Hill has two distinct sections. Upper Queen Anne is best known for upscale houses and cozy restaurants. The more-urban Lower Queen Anne -- also known as Uptown -- is dotted with condos surrounding Seattle Center, home of the Space Needle, Experience Music Project and Pacific Science Center.
Northeast of Downtown and east of I-5, Capitol Hill is a hub for Seattle's young hipsters. Yet it's also an elegant neighborhood of tree-lined streets and 19th-century mansions. Some of the area's more scenic spots are Lakeview Cemetery, where many of the city's notables are buried, and Frederick Law Olmsted's Volunteer Park, home of the Asian Art Museum.
Most of Seattle's rain falls between October and April, when travel rates dip. Take advantage of the savings! Cultural activity thrives in Seattle through all weather. Even in the heaviest of rains, people flock to the numerous and diverse theaters and live-music venues.