Seattle, Washington & the Islands of NW Washington
Monday: Slide 1 & 2 (MAP) (1) Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. With an estimated 730,000 residents as of 2018, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. According to U.S. Census data released in 2018, the Seattle metropolitan area’s population stands at 3.87 million, and ranks as the 15th largest in the United States. It is also consistently one of America's fastest growing cities. (2) The city is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington, about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canada–United States border. (3) A major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the fourth-largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2015.
Slide 4 Logging was Seattle's first major industry, but by the late 19th century, the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding center as a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. Growth after World War II was partially due to the local Boeing company, which established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing. The Seattle area developed into a technology center from the 1980s onwards with companies like Microsoft becoming established in the region; Microsoft founder Bill Gates is a Seattleite by birth. Internet retailer Amazon was founded in Seattle in 1994, and major airline Alaska Airlines was founded in SeaTac, Washington, serving Seattle's international airport, Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. The stream of new software, biotechnology, and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city's population by almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000.
Slide 5 Seattle is also the home of Starbucks Coffee with the first Starbucks opened at Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle in 1971.
The Space Needle (Tuesday)
The Space Needle is an observation tower in Seattle, Washington, a landmark of the Pacific Northwest and an icon of Seattle. It was built in the Seattle Center for the 1962 World's Fair, which drew over 2.3 million visitors. Nearly 20,000 people a day used its elevators. Once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River, it is 605 ft (184 m) high, 138 ft (42 m) wide, and weighs 9,550 short tons (8,660 tonnes). It is built to withstand winds of up to 200 mph (320 km/h) and earthquakes of up to 9.0 magnitude. It also has 25 lightning rods.
The Space Needle has an observation deck at 520 ft (160 m) and the rotating SkyCity restaurant at 500 ft although the restaurant is now closed. The downtown Seattle skyline, as well as the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands can be viewed from the top of the Needle. Photographs of the Seattle skyline often show the Space Needle prominently, above skyscrapers and Mount Rainier.
Visitors can reach the top of the Space Needle by elevators that travel at 10 mph (16 km/h). The trip takes 41 seconds. On windy days, the elevators slow to 5 mph (8.0 km/h). On April 19, 1999, the city's Landmarks Preservation Board designated it a historic landmark.
In September 2017, the restaurant was temporarily closed as part of a US$100 million renovation. The renovation included the installation of a new rotation motor and see-through glass floors in the restaurant, as well as the replacement of the observation deck's wire enclosure with glass panels. As of November 2018, the restaurant is still closed with an announcement on its reopening date expected before January 2019.
In August 2018, it unveiled its latest addition: the world's first and only revolving glass floor, known as "The Loupe." Standing 500 feet -- or 50 stories -- above street level, the observation deck's new see-through floor offers 360-degree views of the large city. The floor is powered by 12 motors and is constructed of 10 layers of tightly bonded glass to ensure safety.
Pike's Place Market & the Chihuly Museum
Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers' markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople and merchants. With more than 10 million visitors annually, Pike Place Market is Seattle's most popular tourist destination and is the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world.
The Market is built on the edge of a steep hill, and consists of several lower levels located below the main level. Each features a variety of unique shops such as antique dealers, comic book and collectible shops, and small family-owned restaurants.
The upper street level contains fishmongers, fresh produce stands and craft stalls operating in the covered arcades. Local farmers and craftspeople sell year-round in the arcades from tables they rent from the Market on a daily basis, in accordance with the Market's mission and founding goal: allowing consumers to "Meet the Producer".
Chihuly Garden and Glass is an exhibit in the Seattle Center showcasing the studio glass of Dale Chihuly. It opened in May 2012. The project features three primary components: the Garden, the Glasshouse, and the Interior Exhibits, with significant secondary spaces including a 90-seat café with additional outdoor dining, a 50-seat multi-use theater and lecture space, retail and lobby spaces, and extensive public site enhancements beyond the Garden.
The 100-foot-long installation inside of the Glasshouse is one of Chihuly's largest suspended sculptures.
Anacortes is a city on Fidalgo Island in Northwest Washington. Anacortes' population is almost 17,000. It is one of two principal cities of, and included in, the Mount Vernon-Anacortes Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Anacortes is known for the Washington State Ferries dock and terminal serving Lopez Island, Shaw Island, Orcas Island, and San Juan Island, as well as Victoria, British Columbia (via Sidney, British Columbia) on Vancouver Island. There is also a Skagit County-operated ferry that serves Guemes Island, a residential island located across Guemes Channel, north of Anacortes.
Anacortes is a beautiful island where the major attraction is outdoor sports. Washington State Park is located in Anacortes and is a popular spot for hiking, water sports, and simply enjoying the scenery.
The major industry is oil refineries. There are three on Fidalgo Island. These cause great concern to many in the area who are afraid of the environmental impact of the refineries.
Other industry in the area include fishing and boat refurbishing. In the spring and summer, whale watching tours are a major business for the island and the surrounding islands.