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Three Perfect Days: Seattle

With its seamless blend of shrewd commerce, uncompromising luxury and countercultural abandon, all set against a dramatic mountain backdrop, Washington's capital of cool is a study in complementary contrasts

Author Michael Kaplan Photography Nick Hall

The Seattle skyline at dusk, with Mount Rainier looming behind, viewed from Kerry Park in the Queen Anne neighborhood

Picture 1 of 12

WHEN YOU THINK about Seattle, you tend to think Microsoft, or Starbucks, or grunge, with a little Boeing thrown in. While these associations aren’t necessarily wrong, they don’t do the city justice. What makes Seattle so appealing is the way in which its disparate influences come together. It’s a place where dot-com barons sport elaborate tattoos and tattoo artists look like history professors, where you’ll encounter dealmakers in the punk clubs and bike messengers in the cocktail bars.

There’s a very specific air about Seattle, a sense of inclusiveness, optimism and energy. And while the people here often seem obsessively casual, the focus on quality is intense. You see this in the city’s baristas tending to the sheen of golden crema, in its chefs devising new ways to enhance oysters, in its software engineers coding with elegant economy.

When visiting Seattle, leave your pretensions behind, raise your expectations and let loose your pioneering spirit. You’ll fit right in.

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4 Responses to “Three Perfect Days: Seattle”

  1. Herbert L.Axelrod Says:
    September 2nd, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    What a wonderful article! Well written and captures the true essence of the Emerald City. Last month we embarked on a one-day “down to earth” tour of Seattle that included the famous Farmers Market, the flagship Starbucks on Pike Street, the Seattle Monorail, the nostalgic Space Needle, and the scenic Bainbridge Island Ferry. I highly recommend the Boeing Factory tour, a short drive from Seattle in Everett. On this tour you will experience the excitement of watching the 787 production assembly line, certainly a thrill. Maybe you will catch a glimpse of United’s new 787 fleet.

  2. Sk Says:
    December 20th, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    You are a very good writer and capture the mood of this city so well :-)
    I already live here but you made me want to want to visit for a holiday ;-)

  3. Rachel Says:
    April 6th, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Having lived in the Seattle area for a few years now, I agree with what a lot of this little article has to say. Great photograph too. There’s one small problem and it’s in the blurp underneath the title. As wonderful as Seattle is, it’s just like Anchorage – while being the largest city, it’s not the capital of the state. Washington state’s capital is Olympia. :)

  4. Kiki Says:
    March 25th, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    @Rachel – It says “capital of cool” not the actual capital. Easy mistake. Gave me a laugh.

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