Seattle has an interesting mix of neighborhoods in its Downtown: from the historic, brick-and-stone Pioneer Square at the south end of Downtown and the adjacent Chinatown-International District with its distinct Asian flavor, to the vibrant Waterfront and West Edge districts, the happening Retail Core, the up-and-coming Denny Triangle, and, farther out, the residential-commercial Belltown and the Pike/Pine and somewhat older First Hill quarters. Each has something to offer the visitor. In fact, in an unhurried exploration of Seattle’s Downtown, one could easily spend a couple of days or more poking around.
Seattle’s Waterfront tumbles down from the Retail Core and West Edge sections to front on shimmering Elliot Bay. Here, against a backdrop of the Olympic Mountains, you can see state-run ferries bobbing back and forth across Puget Sound, catamarans catching the draft northward, and a steady stream of cruise ship and container ship traffic, coming into or going out of Seattle, especially as the city continues to blossom as the premier hub of the growing Pacific Rim trade.
Places of interest at the Waterfront include the Seattle Aquarium, where you can see giant octupi, wolf eels, and other marine life indigenous to the region; and the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center, which has the scoop on the vessels plying the waters in Puget Sound, as well as other informative clips on the waterway. There’s also a jumble of shops and seafood restaurants here, together with the usual creaking piers and seagulls, to add to the color.
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