The city of Seattle is set to become one of the hottest and fastest growing US destinations in 2017, but what does it have to offer its visitors?
When thinking of your dream holiday, I’m sure a trip to the Caribbean or a relaxing South Pacific cruise comes to mind, yet studies have shown that Washington’s city of Seattle is expected to be one of the most popular travel destinations for British holidaymakers in 2017. Seattle, nicknamed the Emerald City due to all of the vibrant greenery, is a city where art and nature meet and a foodie’s fantasies come true.
Recent statistics show that 2015 saw a record number of visitors in Seattle – a figure that has been increasing through the course of this current year and is set to soar during 2017. A total of 38.1 million people visited Seattle during 2015, equating to an increase of 2.6% from the previous year. Overnight visits also increased by 2.3% to 19.7 million, helping toward an overall expenditure of 6.8 billion in the city over the course of a year – a very impressive 5.8% increase from 2015, proving that Seattle makes just as great a holiday destination as the next city.
Obviously, tourism is a large part of Seattle’s recent success rates, helping the economy by causing a 3.4% increase in travel related jobs – there were over 73,000 jobs of this kind back in 2015; a figure that is still on the up and these jobs represent almost 6% of all employment in the country (1 in 17 jobs). Although this may not sound like a striking figure and despite the fact that Seattle is the largest city in Washington, these statistics really are quite remarkable when considering the size of the US as a whole and how many states are within it.
So what is it that’s pushing Seattle further and further up the ‘hot-spot’ ladder?
Well first of all, beautiful scenery is always a bonus and although Seattle is situated in a partly built-up environment, its close proximity to the North Pacific Ocean means there are plenty of beautiful sights to see. Don’t get me wrong; urban environments can be scenic too – especially at sunset with the modernised skyscrapers sat just in front of the horizon, or just the general hustle and bustle of happiness on the streets. However, the beauty of historic landmarks such as Mount Rainier or the relaxation of ferry trips across the calm waters for a day trip to Bainbridge Island are the type of elements most enjoy.
The San Juan Islands offer a day trip and are full of opportunities for all kinds of visitors. With guided tours available, wildlife spotting, whale watching and sea kayaking are just some of the possibilities these islands have to offer. Also, the views from the top and bottom of the 270 foot Snoqualmie Falls are striking and the nearby Salish Lodge and Spa, which overlooks the falls, is the perfect place to get a pampering or grab a gourmet bite.
Seattle really does have something for everyone, whether you’re going it alone or with your family. Vertical World allows the kids to show off their wall-climbing skills on a low-elevation see-through wall, so why not leave the kids to get on with it while you enjoy one of their relaxing yoga classes? Or if wildlife is more your thing you can get up close and personal with the inhabitants of the Tropical Rain Forest at Woodland Park Zoo, allowing you to reconnect with nature and visit beautiful Malayan tigers, colourful tropical birds and cuddly-looking sloth bears – whether they are actually cuddly or not, we can’t be too sure!