Seattle is a city that never ceases to amaze and delight its visitors and residents. From its stunning natural beauty and vibrant culture to its quirky attractions and rich history, there is always something new to discover and learn about the Emerald City. In this article, we will explore some of the most interesting and fun facts about Seattle that you may not know, but need to!
Seattle’s Underground City
Did you know that the original city of Seattle is buried underground? That’s right, the Seattle that you see today was built on top of the old one, after a devastating fire in 1889 destroyed most of the downtown area. The city decided to regrade the streets several stories higher, leaving behind a network of tunnels, basements, and storefronts that became known as the Underground Seattle. You can take a guided tour of this fascinating subterranean world and see the remnants of the past, such as old signs, furniture, and artifacts.
Seattle’s Gum Wall
One of the most bizarre and gross attractions in Seattle is the Gum Wall, located in Post Alley near the Pike Place Market. As the name suggests, this is a brick wall that is covered with thousands of pieces of chewed gum, creating a colorful and sticky spectacle. The tradition of sticking gum on the wall started in the 1990s, when people waiting in line for a theater would leave their gum behind. Over the years, the wall grew to several inches thick and was voted the second-germiest attraction in the world. The wall was cleaned several times, but the gum always came back. If you are brave enough, you can add your own gum to the wall, or just take a selfie with this unique landmark.
Seattle’s Gold Rush
Seattle played a significant role in the Klondike Gold Rush, which started in 1896 when gold was discovered in the Canadian Yukon region. Seattle became the main gateway for thousands of prospectors who flocked to the north in search of fortune. The city benefited from the influx of money and people, as it provided supplies, transportation, and services to the gold seekers. You can learn more about this exciting period of Seattle’s history at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, located in Pioneer Square. The park features exhibits, films, and interactive displays that tell the stories of the gold rush and its impact on the city.
Seattle’s Music Scene
Seattle is famous for its music scene, which has produced some of the most influential and popular artists and genres in the world. Seattle is the birthplace of grunge, a style of rock music that emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s, characterized by distorted guitars, heavy drums, and angst-filled lyrics. Some of the most iconic grunge bands, such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains, originated from Seattle and achieved worldwide fame. Seattle is also home to other musical legends, such as Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, and Macklemore. You can experience the rich musical heritage of Seattle at the Museum of Pop Culture, which features exhibits, memorabilia, and interactive activities related to music, film, and culture.
Seattle’s Coffee Culture
Seattle is known for its love of coffee, and for good reason. The city has more coffee shops per capita than any other major city in the US, and is the headquarters of Starbucks, the largest coffee chain in the world. Seattleites consume more coffee than the national average, and have a refined taste for quality and variety. You can find all kinds of coffee shops in Seattle, from cozy and independent to trendy and hip. You can also visit the original Starbucks store, which opened in 1971 at the Pike Place Market, and see how the coffee giant started. Whether you prefer a latte, a cappuccino, or a drip, you will never run out of options in Seattle.
Seattle’s Fun Facts
There are many more interesting and fun facts about Seattle that we could not fit in this article, but here are some of the highlights:
- Seattle is nicknamed the Emerald City because of its lush greenery and abundant trees.
- Seattle is the northernmost major city in the US, and is closer to Vancouver, Canada than to Portland, Oregon.
- Seattle has the largest houseboat population in the US, with over 500 floating homes on Lake Union and Portage Bay.
- Seattle is home to the Space Needle, a 605-foot tall observation tower that was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. The tower offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
- Seattle has an entire wall filled with used gum
Seattle is a city that has something for everyone, from history and culture to nature and adventure. The next time you visit Seattle, or if you live here, try to explore some of the hidden gems and facts that make this city so special. You will be surprised by what you find!