[This message brought to you by the Greater Seattle Tourist Information Bureau.] 

Seattle rain - pike place marketGreetings, visitor. Welcome to Seattle. If this is your first time to the Emerald City, we’d like to share some fun facts about our great city to help you plan your trip.

Hey, did you ever wonder why they call it the Emerald City? It’s because everything here is always green. And that’s because it rains in Seattle 342 days a year. Isn’t that fascinating? So bring your bumbershoot and get ready for some fun out of the sun!

When packing for a trip to Seattle, don’t bother about your sunglasses – because you won’t need ‘em!

FUN FACT: Many Seattle residents live their entire lives without ever seeing the sun. 

Some Seattleites believe the existence of the sun is a myth, sort of like Mount Olympus of ancient Greek legend. (Ironically, there actually is a Mount Olympus in Washington State – but thanks to the clouds no one from Seattle has ever seen it.)

There is so much to do in Seattle, or should we say so much to dew? If you’re coming in April, don’t miss the Moss Festival, and be sure to catch the always-popular slug races. By all means, set aside five minutes to visit the Seattle Sun Museum, where you can see the amazing mural of photos taken during the legendary SUN-ageddon of August 1935, when thousands of Seattleites feared the world was coming to an end because the sun shone brightly for seven consecutive days.

FUN FACT: Baseball caps weren’t always worn backwards. That fashion trend originated right here in Seattle, when fans watching a baseball game finally realized there was no need for a visor to block the sun from their eyes.  

Seattle rain - Halleys Comet

If you’re here in June, check out the popular Sleepless in Seattle tradition of the Summer Solstice – a day when thousands gather to celebrate the longest period of daylight without sunshine each year.

Did you say you’re coming in July? Well then, keep your ears open for the breathtaking sounds of our popular Fourth of July fireworks. You’ve never heard fireworks like these! But don’t forget: If you’re coming in summer, bring plenty of sunscreen (sun protection factor #1 should suffice).

FUN FACT: People from Seattle have never learned how to squint.   

Seattle is only 60 miles from Mt. Rainier. At 14,410 feet, Rainier is one of the tallest mountains in the world. Its slopes are snow-covered 12 months of the year and it’s considered one of the most beautiful mountains in America – or at least so we’ve been told. Here in Seattle, we’ve never actually seen it.

If you’re coming during baseball season, be sure to catch a Mariners game at the beautiful Safeco Field, where fans always come to the park in breathless anticipation that this might be the game when the park’s roof is opened. They’ve never not been disappointed.

Energy-conscious visitors won’t want to miss Seattle’s world-famous 100% solar-powered energy plant. Over the course of just one year, the plant’s massive array of solar panels can generate enough energy to power an electric tea kettle in West Seattle for almost 30 minutes.


  • Seattle rain - Fog sceneTake a fact-filled DUCKS tour of downtown Seattle. Enjoy the heart-pounding thrill of water splashing in your face without ever leaving dry land.
  • Enjoy an exhilarating elevator ride to the top of the Space Needle and imagine what the city below you might look like.
  • Try our world-famous gourmet coffee. Just look 20 yards in any direction. Despite the curtain of rain, you should be able spot at least five Starbucks.


  • Seattle is beautiful, so bring your camera. When you arrive, be sure to permanently set your camera to “FLASH ON.”
  • On second thought, bring your sunglasses after all. The constant glare from car headlights (necessary 24-hours-a-day) can be blinding.
  • Seattle in the summer can get blazing hot – sometimes up to 71 degrees. So bring shorts.
  • Consider visiting during our less busy rainy season (which starts in early January and continues until the following January). Bring a good book to read. On second thought, bring a library card. 


FUN FACT: Did you know that more sunglasses are sold in Seattle than any other city in the USA? That’s because people go months without needing to use them and then forget where they put them.

FUN FACT: More books are sold in Seattle than any other city in the USA – which, when you think about it, is a great way to spend your time visiting Seattle, because you certainly won’t be spending it outdoors.

So come visit Seattle. If you’ve had your fill of sun-soaked vacations with palm trees and toasty warm beaches in exotic tropical destinations, why not cool off in the great Pacific Northwest? You’re guaranteed not to get a painful sunburn like that time you visited Mexico.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.  Hey, anybody seen my sunglasses?

Tim Jones - Profile at Safeco - TinyPS:  If you enjoyed this week’s post, please let me know by sharing it on Facebook, posting a comment or giving it a Like. 

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2013

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