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Something different in Seattle

Oregon may have the reputation for being one of the country’s quirkiest cities (“Keep Portland Weird” is one of its slogans, after all), but unconventional Seattle gives it a run for its money. From its thriving music scene (which has produced legends like Nirvana and Pearl Jam) to its many art museums and galleries, the Emerald City has no shortage of creative cred. Discover counter-cultural Seattle - and some of its other unexpected delights - when you veer off the typical tourist trail.

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Live music in Seattle

Seattle is one of the most musical cities in the United States. For evidence, just look at the legends the Emerald City has produced: from grunge rockers like Nirvana and Pearl Jam to riot grrrl acts like Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill to indie icons like Fleet Foxes and Death Cab for Cutie. Hit up Seattle’s live music venues - which span from underground clubs to grungy dives — and you may just discover the city’s next generation of hometown heroes.

Where to see live music in Seattle

The Gates Foundation Visitor Center

Musical icons aside, Seattle is also known as a hub of tech world creativity — and few other people exemplify that better than Seattleite Bill Gates. At The Gates Foundation Visitor Center, you’ll learn about Bill and Melinda Gates’s phenomenal foundation, the world’s largest philanthropic organisation. This museum and visitor centre entertains with interactive exhibitions and film screenings, all while educating visitors about the positive impacts they can have on the world.

The Gates Foundation Visitor Centre, Seattle

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Cheer on the Seahawks

Looking to experience American football for the first time? You’ve come to the right town. Not only are the Seattle Seahawks one of the most thrilling teams in the NFL to watch (they recently played in two consecutive Superbowls, and took home the trophy in 2014), but their devoted fans (whose cheers have broken two world records for the loudest crowd at a sporting event) promise an atmosphere unlike any other. 

The Seahawks and The Sounders

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Seattle artist Dale Chihuly’s works have to be seen in person to be believed. His colossal, colourful sculptures push the blown-glass medium to the limit; inspired by naturalistic, botanical forms, they’re instantly recognisable. Venture to Chihuly Garden and Glass to see his ground-breaking works in a fitting greenhouse and garden setting.

The Seattle Art Museum

“Seattle Art Museum” may sound singular, but it actually comprises three of the city’s most inspiring artistic institutions: the Asian Art Museum, the Olympic Sculpture Park, and the eponymous Seattle Art Museum. You’ll need more than a day to give all three museums your full attention. Pro-tip: be sure to visit the open-air Olympic Sculpture Park when the sun is peeking out from behind the clouds.

Image credits: Neumos © Neumos, Gates Foundation Visitor Center © Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle Art Museum © Benjamin Benschneider, Chihuly Garden and Glass © Caroline Corfieldrose