Seattle is thought of as the home of Microsoft and Starbucks, but the city conducts business in several areas including aerospace, biotechnology, and international trade.
“Being on the coast is a big attraction, and Seattle’s location has a lot more diversity with regard to activities, likewise for career opportunities,” says San Diego native Wayne Stephens, 47, of why he was drawn to Seattle in 1984.
Stephens, a business systems manager, spends his free time golfing at West Seattle Golf Club (www.seattlegolf.com/west.asp), an 18-hole championship course that “has challenging hills and features,” says Stephens. He also visits Maplewood and North Shore golf clubs, which are 40 minutes apart.
Stephens volunteers at the Seattle International Film Festival (www.seattle film.com), which attracts trailblazing directors and screened 348 films this past spring. Stephens’ other pastimes include skiing the slopes of Snoqualmie (www.summit-at-snoqualmie.com) and driving to British Columbia. “It’s only a two-hour drive,” he says. “I’m up to Vancouver five times a year for long weekends with my boys.” Stephens chauffeurs us through other highlights of the city:
AROUND TOWN : Seattle
If old-world charm and impeccable standards are your fancy The Fairmount Olympic (411 University St.; 206-621-1700) is the crÃ¨me of Seattle’s crop. “This is where presidents and celebrities stay and locals go when they get married for that one night of honeymoon bliss.”
“The best perfume shop in the city,” says Stephens, is at the Alexis Hotel (1007 First Ave.; 206-624-4844). This AAA four-diamond boutique hotel offers pampering at a full-service Aveda Spa and is four blocks from famous Pike Place Market. “It’s convenient because you’re downtown without being in the center of town.”
On his last visit to Daniel’s Broiler (809 Fairview Place N.; 425-621-8262), which has a popular piano bar, Stephens savored the roasted garlic chicken. Here, tables have “a view of Lake Union and offer romantic candlelight dining.”
Metropolitan Grill (820 Second Ave.; 206-624-3287) serves up classic cuts of USDA prime beef. There are also several private dining options and a broad selection of premium West Coast red wines.
El Gaucho (2505 First Ave.; 206-728-1337) is a 1950s-style supper club with two levels. It is popular with sports figures, Stephens says. “Downstairs has a cigar bar and a quaint dance floor,” while the upper level is reserved for dining on prime cuts and the catch of the day.
Flirty and fabulous urbanites make Bada Lounge (2230 First Ave.; 206-374-8717) a trendy, mod downtown destination for the see-and-be-seen crowd. Light Pan-Asian and pricey cocktails are the fare here.
To tap the pulse of Seattle, visit three landmark attractions that stir this city’s heartbeat: The Space Needle at Seattle Center (www.space needle.com) hosts a breathtaking observation deck located 520 feet above city streets and the revolving SkyCity restaurant, where every seat has a spectacular view. Pike Place Market is a festive and fragrant farmers market overlooking Elliott Bay, and Pioneer Squareâ€”site of city’s first settlementâ€”offers a cordoned-off section of First Avenue, where one admission fee grants access for barhopping. Visit www.experiencewashing ton.com, the official Website of Washington State tourism, for more ideas.