x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Bustling Seattle, a city of good taste

Innovation is in the lifeblood of this Pacific Northwestern city where Bill Gates has his mansion.

Mount Rainier looms over Lake Washington in Seattle. Ted Warren / AP Photo
Mount Rainier looms over Lake Washington in Seattle. Ted Warren / AP Photo

Famed for its links with two Amercian behemoths – Boeing and Starbucks – Seattle is a city with innovation ingrained in its identity. But behind the corporate veil, there is also a pulsating cultural vibrancy found in abundance in the Pacific Northwest city’s markets, cafes, museums and street art.

Places to stay: The Fairmont Olympic, Crowne Plaza and Hilton hotels all offer impeccable service and comfort within walking distance of the main business and shopping area. If you’re keen to discard your suit and tie for a night or two, try Ace Hotel, a fun hotel in Seattle’s hip Belltown neighbourhood, festooned with vintage furniture and quirky interior designs.

Places to eat: As in most American cities, there is no shortage of restaurants serving tasty steaks. The Metropolitan Grill is one of the best. The Georgian in the Fairmont is also good, if only to get a pre-meal bread serving complete with four different servings of butter: balsamic, chive, garlic and plain. There is also a great selection of lower budget – but not necessarily lower taste – options dotted around the streets and in Pike Place Market.

Off hours: Taking a pleasure boat around Lake Washington to watch the sunset is one of the highlights of any trip to Seattle. Once out on the lake, you may get a chance to peer across the water at Bill Gates’s home, a mansion discreetly camouflaged behind trees and bushes. After the sun sets as you head back to the city you will get a prime view of the light-bathed city skyline made famous by the opening credits of the hit comedy show Frasier.

Getting there: Emirates Airline flies daily from Dubai to Seattle Tacoma International Airport, about 25 kilometres south of the city.

tarnold@thenational.ae