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You could be forgiven for forgetting you are in Seattle while walking through the Seattle Chinatown-International District. Brimming over with Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese and Laotian Americans, this district feels like South East Asia. This area boasts a diverse range of eating options and nightlife. Chinese New Year is the biggest event in this area and is awaited by everyone!
Nestled amidst numerous attractions and landmarks like Space Needle, Seattle Center, IMAX Theater and Chihuly Gardens, the International Fountain never fails to capture the attention of the visitors. Join in the fun with kids and beat the summer heat by playing in the water. Else, you can sit on the rim and watch as the spacecraft-like art installation at the center throws out water at jet speed. The fountain is bound to bring out the kid in you.
The Olympic Sculpture Park began as a commitment between the Seattle Art Museum and the Trust for Public Land, and quickly grew into a green mecca of architectural art and beautifully crafted landscapes. The park contains mathematical sculptures, new-wave basket weaving and the artistic greenhouse designed by the likes of artists Tony Smith, Pedro Reyes and Mark Dion. The Olympic Sculpture Park is nestled besides the Puget Sound and is managed by the Seattle Art Museum. The views include both the Seattle port and the Olympic mountain range. Admission is free all year long.
Located on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill, Kerry Park is a popular park in Seattle that is renowned for providing the beautiful panoramic views of the city. With Mount Rainier as a picturesque backdrop, this park is popular with locals and tourists alike. At night, the view of the city from the park is breathtaking and dream-like which makes it perfect for pictures.
Like the state in which it resides, Lake Washington is named after our first president, George Washington. The second largest lake in Washington, it attracts numerous visitors daily. While the lakeside is a perfect spot to idle away time, active people can indulge in boating, kayaking, sailing and other sporting activities offered at the lakefront. Pack a lunch, bring the family and let the sun envelop you as you enjoy one of Seattle's most famous spots.
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.
This two-and-a-half-mile strip of sandy beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area, and it was also where Seattle's first non-Native American settlers spent their first winter. In warm weather, Alki Beach is crowded with sunbathers, swimmers and families. For athletic types, there are volleyball games. The beach is also lined with a path, great for walking, jogging, biking and skating. Across the street there are several cafes and restaurants where you can stop in for a bite after a day in the sea air.
Crouched under the Aurora Bridge is an 18-foot tall, two-ton sculpture of a troll clutching a VW Bus, and glaring at passersby. Created in 1990 by four Seattle-based sculptors, this quirky public art piece exemplifies the free spirit of the people living in the Fremont district. These funky natives dress their beloved troll up every Halloween to thank him for protecting them from the 1996 mudslide. On an average day, tourists and locals alike hang from his shaggy hair, and make a seat out of his hands and head. Only a three to four block walk from Fremont's business district, it is perhaps the best souvenir photo one can take.
Fremont, which up until 1891 used to be a city in itself, is now a neighborhood of Seattle bordered by others like Queen Anne and Ballard. The statue of Lenin and the Fremont Troll are two of the main attractions of this area, and there is lots more to see and do as well. If you're in the mood to shop, you would definitely like to check out the many, varied stores in the area. The Sunday street market is another highlight of the area.
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 freshwater for the local migrating Pacific Salmon. The grounds feature a visitors centre as well as the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Gardens.
If one were to speculate the least likely thing to appear at the corner of South 55th and Renton avenues, Japanese gardens may be one thing that comes to mind. Nevertheless, these splendid acres of lush greenery, feeding ponds and footbridges painted bright red with gold accents provide a beautiful escape. Fujito Kubota, a master gardener and landscaper, gave the park to the city of Seattle in 1987. Admission is free.