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The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, locally known as the Ballard Locks, is a unique and historic location in Seattle. Completed in 1917, this landmark connects the waters of Lake Washington, Lake Union and the Puget Sound. Watching the boats navigate the locks is interesting enough, but the location also hosts an unusual fish ladder that connects salt and fresh water for the local migrating Pacific Salmon. The grounds feature a visitors center as well as the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Gardens.
Visitors to Seattle are usually stunned by the abundance of water surrounding the city. Just north of downtown lies Lake Union. Surrounded by houseboat communities, marinas, shipbuilders and glitzy restaurants, the lake is a hub of activity. Seaplanes take off and land, sharing the 600-acre lake with kayaks, canoes, powerboats, sailboats and tugboats. While the lake can be explored any time of year, Fireworks Over Lake Union are an annual highlight, bringing thousands of people to the lake's shores. For a day out with children or friends, Lake Union never disappoints.
Seattle's most famous landmark, the Space Needle's futuristic design rises over 600 feet (182.88 meters) tall. The tower was originally built for the 1962 World Expo in Seattle, and was designed with cutting-edge know how by award-winning engineer John K. Minasian, known for his work at Cape Canaveral, home of the U.S. Space Program. From the top, the Space Needle provides 360-degree views of downtown Seattle, Mount Rainier, Elliott Bay, and the Cascade and Olympia mountains. Besides the Skydeck restaurant, the Space Needle also features a gift shop and observation deck.
There's not much grass at Waterfall Gardens, but that won't bother you for long. The dominant materials in this Pioneer Square park are wood, concrete and water. It's like stepping into a Zen water and rock garden. The splashing water drowns out traffic noise and soothes the soul, while the few plants stir gently in the breeze. Benches provide a welcome urban respite. There's a plaque on the outside wall commemorating, the birthplace of the United Parcel Service.
Bill Gates, known for Microsoft as well as their many philanthropic endeavors, hails from the Emerald City and in fact, Microsoft Headquarters is located in nearby Redmond. Founded in 2000, Bill and Melinda's foundation strives to enhance education, healthcare and alleviate poverty, in the United States as well as abroad. The visitors center located in the Queen Anne neighborhood, aims to educate guests on the many programs, activities and initiatives the foundation takes part in. Learn about the Gates family, employees and the many people who benefit from the foundation. The center features interactive exhibits that allow visitors to think critically on world issues and try to come up with their own solutions. Admission is free and tours are available upon request.
A small Sunday school band held prayer meetings in the members houses. Most of the members were familiar with the concept of African Methodist Episcopal churches and decided to set up one on 1522 Jones Street. The church then was known by the name of the street—Jones Street Church. After the second World War a lot of Africans came to settle down in this foreign land; who were either military personnel or lured by the opportunities to earn bread. The church served as an anchor to these new settlers. The FAME, as an institution prospered and is, till date actively providing support to all the sections of the society.
This 200-acre (80.93 hectare) park is a must-see for every Seattle visitor with even an hour of free time. With its lush green spaces, its breathtaking Japanese Garden (open 10a daily), and its abundance of rare trees, plants and flowers (more than 40,000 species), it is one of the brightest jewels in the Emerald City. Scenic and aptly named Azalea Way cuts a path through the park. The Graham Visitor's Center can be rented for social events, meetings and seminars for 45-75 guests. Rates include kitchen and audio-visual equipment. Call or visit the web site for detailed information and hours.
Set in an expansive space, Evergreen Speedway is an automobile racetrack popular for both championship races and competitions. It comprises of a paved outer oval, an inner oval, a dragstrip and even a figure-eight track. Evergreen Drift ProAm series and Professional Drift Series are held here on a regular basis. The stands can easily accommodate about 15,000 people and there are numerous stalls selling everything from souvenirs to refreshments.
If, after visiting the Pacific Planetarium, people are more knowledgeable about astronomy and science in general, then the management will heave a sigh of relief. To inspire people of the Puget Sound region, regardless of age, to take an interest in science and the world around them, is the ultimate goal. The planetarium, with its 28 seats, is a family-friendly venue where being inquisitive is encouraged. There are different categories of shows held here-public, school programs & even private events. Private shows need to be reserved at least two weeks in advance, and can only be held after 5p. This is a great place to discover a whole new world in the sky.
Located on the waterfront, next to the Omnidome, this aquarium features exotic fishes, sea mammals and other ocean life. See the sea lions, harbor seals, incredibly cute sea otters and even come face to face with a shark. New exhibits are added often along with, special events and outings.