Boeing has done loads to make it safer and easier to explore this big, beautiful world of ours, and this fascinating four-hour, small-group tour of its vast jet assembly plant reveals just how much expertise goes into the planes that take us on holiday. Your experience begins in the interactive, exhibit-filled Aviation Center Gallery, where you’ll learn about the past, present and future of commercial jet design before being taken on a 90-minute guided tour of the assembly plant itself – housed in the largest building in the world – where you can see 747s, 777s and 787 Dreamliners being built before your eyes.
Named by British Naval Officer, George Vancouver (yes, that Vancouver) after his mate Rear Admiral Peter Rainier, this 14,411 ft-high peak is the highest in Washington State and is actually an active volcano. And while, on a clear day, you can see its snow-capped peak from Seattle’s coffee houses, nothing beats an excursion to experience its awe-inspiring natural beauty up close. During this 10-hour tour you’ll walk paths among wildflowers, learn how fallen trees nourish those around them, witness cascading, crystal-clear waterfalls, and get magnificent views of the summit from the aptly named Paradise, located some 5,400 ft above sea level.
This three-hour, guided, sightseeing tour offers not only gives you ample excuse to fill your Instagram feed with picturesque shots of Seattle, but it also gives you a fascinating overview of the Emerald City from its humble beginnings as a lumber town to the hip metropolis it is today. Hopping aboard a mini coach you’ll visit a greatest hits of Seattle’s neighbourhoods and attractions, including Pike Place Market, historic Pioneer Square, Ballard Locks (where you may see salmon leaping), quirky Fremont, the Space Needle and picturesque Magnolia Bluff. Narrated by your knowledgeable local guide throughout, this is a great way to fall in love with Seattle.
For one great-value price CityPass lets you experience five of Seattle’s top attractions at your leisure (you have nine days to use it). Top of the pile (in more ways than one) is Day and Night entry to the Space Needle – giving you two visits in one. Then there’s Seattle Aquarium, with its 360-degree underwater dome, and an Argosy Cruises Harbour tour. After these essentials will you choose The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) or the Woodland Park Zoo? Finally, will you opt for the surprising beauty of Chihuly Garden and Glass or the hands-on Pacific Science Centre?
If there’s a better combination than outstanding scenery, wine and chocolates, we’ve yet to find it. From Seattle this six-hour tour takes you across Evergreen Point Bridge – the longest floating bridge in the world – into Washington State wine country. There are 700 or so wineries in the region and you’ll visit two including the world-class Chateau Ste. Michelle, where you’ll learn about (and taste) the wizardry worked with the humble grape. From here you’ll meander past horse ranches and flower farms en route to the incredibly photogenic Snoqualmie Falls. The tour ends on a sweet note with a tour and tasting at Boehm’s Swiss Chocolate Factory.
Established in 1907 by the city in response to some unscrupulous merchants jacking up the price of onions, Seattle’s legendary public market has thrived and fed happy residents of the Emerald City with seasonal produce ever since. On this two and half-hour food tour of its back alleys and narrow corridors, you’ll taste everything from authentic gelato and award-winning chowder to salmon burgers and Indian street food. All the while, you’ll learn about Pike Place’s history, its character and expansion – summer 2017 sees a new waterfront area opening – with behind-the-scenes glimpses and insights that’ll make you feel like a local.
For retail queens, Downtown Seattle is the mecca for shopping – an amazing hub of labels like Macys and Tiffany & Co.
For bargain hunters, Centralia Outlets, Seattle Premium Outlets and North Bend Outlets are all among the best places to bag cut-price labels.
There is no mistaking the work of Dale Chihuly, local world famous maker of colourful and creative glass installations that are found around the world. Now at the base of the Space Needle is Dale Chihuly’s Glass House and Garden which has become an attraction not to be missed.
The brain-child of co founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen to showcase his vast rock n’ roll music collection to the world. It is high-tech and interactive and has developed to play homage to American popular music(including several British bands and musicians).
By night, it’s time to find your inner culture vulture because Seattle Center is home to the arts. Choose from the highly esteemed Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet to name but a few.
This market is open daily year round and has become Seattle’s most iconic attraction filled with colourful displays, tasty treats and a bustling environment that attracts locals and visitors alike. From fish to floral bouquets to fabulous ingredients to arts and crafts.
A 173-mile drive out of Seattle will take you to the wonderful city of Portland where tax-free shopping and cultural exploration is world-class. Explore the red brick-lined Pioneer Courthouse Square or Oregon Zoo for some family fun.
A three-hour drive out of Seattle will take you to the impressive Mount Rainier National Park. With the mighty Mount Rainier volcano standing tall at 14,500ft, it is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous USA and is one of the most tricky peaks to traverse.