Almost every city has a nickname as well as an interesting backstory for each. Some names are well known, while others don’t even seem to realize they have nicknames. Sometimes the nicknames are pretty straightforward and easy to understand, while others are tough to figure out. Seattle, also known as the Emerald City, is an example of the latter. Hours/availability may have changed.


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Some people don’t even know that Seattle is called that. It seems a bit strange to some, while others will think it doesn’t sound right. Most people remember the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz, but that actually has nothing to do with it. And no, Seattle isn’t into emeralds, or any other gemstone for that matter.

The truth is that Seattle’s nickname has much to do with the city’s greenery, as the city’s pretty much filled with green all year round, meaning that the name Emerald City refers to the color of its environment. The name also sounds like Washington’s nickname, the “Evergreen State,” in spite of the fact that the state has a significant amount of desert.

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2.Why is Seattle so Green

Why is Seattle so Green
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You don’t need to do anything more than take a drive into Seattle and observe your surroundings. From the south, you see lots of evergreens and other kinds of plants lining the I-5. Come in from the north and you’ll see the same thing. As you come to the center, you’ll find even more plants nestled beautifully into public places like Discovery Park and the Washington Park Arboretum. Seattle is simply riddled with all kinds of greenery throughout the year. It comes in all shapes and sizes, too, such as ferns, shrubs, moss, trees, and even wildflowers. Green thrives here in all the seasons.

Of course, some seasons are greener than others. But you’d be surprised to learn that summer is the season when Seattle is the least green, and this has something to do with the rainy season, which usually gives life to more greenery and starts in September, continuing through fall and winter. But in summer, there’s not so much rain, and some lawns even end up drying out then. Still green, though.

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3.Seattle’s Nicknames

Seattle’s Nicknames
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Has Seattle always had this nickname?

No, as nicknames don’t just pop up. History records indicate that the name originated from a competition held to choose the nickname that was hosted by the Convention and Visitors Bureau back in 1981. In 1982, they chose Emerald City as the winning entry and used it as the nickname for Seattle.

Seattle’s Other Nicknames

Interestingly enough, Seattle used a couple of other nicknames before this one. It used to be called the Pacific Northwest as well as the Gateway to Alaska. Unfortunately, these nicknames couldn’t hold a candle to “Emerald City” when it comes to marketing.

Seattle’s nickname history doesn’t end there. It’s also called the Rain City, for very obvious reasons. It’s also called the Coffee Capital of the World and, as Boeing is from Seattle, it also has the nickname Jet City. You’ll see these names here and there when you’re visiting and talking to the locals.

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4.Nicknames of other cities in the Northwest

Nicknames of other cities in the Northwest
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As mentioned before, cities tend to have their own nicknames. You might be interested in knowing what other cities in the northwest are called as well.

- Bellevue – because of its park-like nature, Bellevue has been dubbed the City in a Park. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the city is literally a huge park, especially if you’re in the downtown area, although Downtown Park is right smack in the center of it all.

- Tacoma – known as the City of Destiny, Tacoma has been the Northern Pacific Railroad’s western terminus since the 1800s. Tacoma is also called T-Town for short. Its rich industrial history has also given rise to the name Grit City.

- Gig Harbor – it doesn’t take much imagination to understand why this place is called Maritime City. After all, the city does have “Harbor” in its real name. The harbor and all the marinas within the city are dead giveaways, too.

- Olympia – if you think Gig Harbor’s nickname was easy, then you didn’t know that Olympia is called “Oly” for short.

- Portland, Oregon – this one is aptly called the City of Roses, but with a twist. Before Portland got its name, there was only a beautiful rose garden by Washington Park, which is where it got the name. That, and the fact that they celebrated the Rose Festival annually. But after the nickname came out, the city saw a boom in rose gardens everywhere. Nicknames do make a difference!

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5.Things to see in Seattle

Things to see in Seattle
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Seattle is more than just its greenery. If you happen to be in the city, here are a couple of places you’ll want to visit:

- Seward Park: This 300-acre beauty is a place where families and couples go for walks and get a taste of Lake Washington from its best angle. There’s also a beach as well as a lot of picnic spots. Of course, you can’t miss the views of Mount Rainer as well as the beautiful skyline of the city.

- Chihuly Garden and Glass: Not much greenery here, but prepare to be mesmerized by the gallery’s glass collection, all made by Dale Chihuly. There are a number of pieces in the collection that will intrigue you, so take the time to look around. If you’re interested, there are also videos that show how the artist creates his work.

- Museum of Flight: Remember the name Jet City? Seattle is home to a museum filled with over 150 spacecraft, artifacts, and pretty much anything an aircraft fan would be excited to see in the flesh. There’s also a children’s flight zone for kids who want to test their piloting skills.

Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list. There’s much to see and do in Seattle, and pretty soon you’ll be convinced that the Emerald City is quite the gem of a city.

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Why is Seattle Called the Emerald City?

Attraction Spotlight: Wing Luke Museum

The Wing Luke Museum in Seattle is dedicated to the Pan-Asian Pacific Americans. There are over 26 ethnic minorities presented, and 18,000 items on display, such as photographs, books, artefacts, documents and oral histories.

Wing Luke made the history books by being the first Asian-American to get elected into the Pacific Northwest public office. The naming of the museum is in honor of Wing Luke, who died in a fatal plane crash in 1965. Luke was adamant to keep records and perseverations of the ever – changing neighborhood alive, which is what forced Luke’s friends and close associates to donate money to the opening of his dream after his death. It’s an impressive 60,000 square feet in size and has three floors to explore. More Things to Do in Seattle

Wing Luke, whose full name is Wing Chong Luke played a very vital role in the history of the Pan – Asians and should be remembered accordingly for his contribution to gaining equality for his people. He saw the segregation and isolation of his people, not only his people but others who fell under a demographic that was controlled by the ruling powers who sought to keep them down and out. Most Pan – Asian Americans and African Americans were forced to live in the Central District and Beacon Hill. Luke took to rallying forward changes that could be implemented with the position he held on the Seattle City Council. What he stood for was simple: the abolishment of racial discrimination against immigrants in the renting and selling of real estate, historic preservation, Indian fishing rights and urban renewal.


The Wing Luke Museum is known for its permanent and short exhibitions. ‘The Bruce Lee Exhibit’ is a spectacle that takes you through a day in the life of Bruce. The philosophical martial artist lived and breathed for his intense training regime, and dedicated his life to a healthy mind, body and soul. The museum opens a door on the intrinsic nature of Bruce Lee who was often wise and conversant with those who would listen. The idea is to measure your approach against Lee’s, and see if you can learn anything from his doctrine of living. There are also neighboring restaurants that offer ‘Bruce Lee Fortune Cookies.’ Nick Licata and Bruce Harrell (city council members) declared ‘Bruce Lee Day’ back in 2014, and took to the wearing ‘The Yellow Jumpsuit’ that Bruce fashioned in the movie ‘The Game of Death.’

There are other exhibitions like the ‘Year of Remembrance’ that tackles racism and recognizes the 75th anniversary of the executive order 9066. ‘We Are the Ocean ’looks at poetry, artwork and oral histories. The ‘New Year’s All Round’ applies a shared approach to the culture and special festivities of the Asian Pacific Islander Americans. The Wing Luke Museum has featured the new years from the Polynesian American Communities, Laotian and the Chinese. The American Festival of Lights has also been present at the exhibition. ‘Our Roots Run Deep and Broad,’ ‘Wing Luke and the Museum’ and ‘Chinatown – International District’ are some of the more permanent shows that go on. The Community Portrait Galleries showcases ‘I Am Filipino, ‘Hometown Desi’ and ‘Vietnam In the Rearview Mirror.’

Wing Luke’s teen programs come in many different flavors. ‘Teensway,’ and ‘Youthcan’ are self-development opportunities for the young teens who work on projects with artists who wish for them to learn about their heritage and culture. There is even a summer camp for the littler ones who manifest themselves in a world of games and toys. The ‘Playtime: Toys and Games from Around the World!’ is educational as it glorifies toys from around the world: personalized game boards, sungka, spinning tops and campers are there to be tampered with ideally to have a significant impact on the child’s realization of the other toys that are out there globally.

‘The Tateuchi Story Theatre’ brings the contemporary arts together, while the ‘Jamfest is the live music equivalent to Wing Luke’s Museum.

719 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98104, Phone: 206-623-5124

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Attraction Spotlight: Burke Museum

The Burke Museum in Seattle, Washington is the oldest of its kind West of the Mississippi River. It is Washington’s official State museum. The Museum has a collection of artefacts totaling 16 million, with a large collection of bird’s wings that are spread for all to see. The Burke acts as a research facility in subjects like Anthropology, Mammalogy, Herpetology, Botany, Ornithology, Geology and Paleontology. Burke relies highly on its finds and research and asks all who visit to respect what it is on display.

In fact, the 16 million artifacts that are on display serve a variety of purposes: like the education of 70,000 students and Pre-k-12 school kids who look to the programs that travel all over the state. Researchers around the globe look to the artifacts as resources for their studies; like the health of the Puget Sound, and boat making techniques that have become undervalued or no longer in use. The Burke’s collection is preserved to aid them in the past and future of biodiversity and the museum’s cultural heritage is just as important for research. More Things to Do in Seattle

The Young Naturalists Society started off as an idea by a group of naturalists in the 19th century and was led by Orson ‘Bug’ Johnson. The Burke museum that know stands in the place of the history club was once a meeting ground that embraced the bylaws and constitutions, and formed the official name, ‘’Young Naturalists Society’ in 1880. In 1882 Orson, a biology instructor at the University of Washington had a love for bugs and retained 20,000 in his grasp; bringing them back, and developing the largest natural history collection in the Northwest (Pacific.) The artefacts were stored in a backroom, and Johnson pushed forward more and more specimens for further dissection and understanding.

The Burke museum is now storing a huge catalogue of specimens/assortments that have left its past in the shadows. ‘The Herpetology section’ stores amphibians and reptile samplings, while the ‘Ichthyology’ section preserves 11 million fish sampling, that is one of the largest in North America. The ‘Genetic Resources’ anchors many animal tissues that are used for future and current research, and has revealed copious details to their notes. ‘Malacology’ has 250,000 mollusk specimens taken from clams, snails, and chiton and nautilus snails and ‘Ornithology’ is the Science behind the history of the environment and past populations. The other biological sections remain under heavy examination and protection as the past, present and future remain sealed in the museum's haven.

The exhibits that happen at the Burke Museum vary accordingly with contexts and descriptions of the life that once was in our environment and eco – system. Looking at the ‘Wild Nearby’ dips into the biological diversity that the North Cascades offer. The exhibition communicates how wildflowers, frogs and woodpeckers detail how the region is changing. ‘Washington’s First Dinosaur’ unearths the fossils of an 80 million year old ancestor that once walked the earth before humankind. The therapod dinosaur left behind a left femur bone and was discovered by wondering paleontologists by the shores of Sucia Island State Park. ‘Treasures of The Burke’ is a colorful display of more than 100 objects, with colorful gems, glittering works of art, and a multitude of colorful birds to be seen and not heard. ‘Pacific Voices’ gives a voice to the many cultures that lived around the Pacific Rim. The exhibition works as a cultural inclusion – including 17 ethnic communities and tribes. The categories of this exhibition are teachers and elders, language and stories and ceremonies. The Burke shows the Inupiaq’s whaling culture, the sounds of the Hulu, and the Korean’s traditional wedding ceremony. It brings together the Pacific, and unifies residents to their past neighbors.

The Burke Museum asks visitors the question of ‘Why Study Evolution?’ The Burke curators have been conducting research on ‘the great family tree’ and are presently looking to find the answers that glue all living things as one. Other exhibitions include: ‘Life and Times of Washington,’ ‘Erna Gunther Ethnobotanical Garden’ and ‘Kanu Kaho’olawe: Replanting, Rebirth.

The Burke offers educational programs that aid the development of all who wish to join. The Grades start from Pre –K, all the way to college and adults, and offer programs like ‘Rock and minerals,’ ‘Fossils,’ ‘Rock, Paper, Feathers,’ and ‘Middle School Museum Experience’ and are aimed at the younger generation. In 2019 a new building will be opening; turning the museum into an inside-out experience.

Burke Memorial Wash. St. Museum (BMM), Seattle, WA 98105, Phone: 206-543-7907

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Attraction Spotlight: Pike Place Market

Located in Seattle, Washington, the Pike Place Market is one of Seattle’s most beloved neighborhood markets. It features a wide variety of vibrant street vendors comprised of artists, craftspeople, farmers, local businesses, and resident artisans. Visitors are sure to experience a diverse and dynamic community of historical buildings and a market that is sure to have something for everyone.


The Pike Place Market was built in 1907 for a few various reasons, namely to preserve nine acres of the historic downtown district of Seattle, to support local artisans and farmers, as well as to provide a safety net and a variety of services to low-income and disabled individuals in the community.

Besides contributing a fabulous place to showcase the works of local artisans, the Pike Place Market also serves the local senior center, food bank, clinic, and child care facilities. The Market Foundation, founded in 1982, also provides housing and other various services to the low-income and homeless members of the Seattle community.

Visitors to the Pike Place Market are sure to find something delicious to eat or drink and maybe even an item that they can’t leave home without. But while there, they can feel amazing about their purchases knowing the proceeds will benefit a resident of the area, the Market Foundation and the surrounding Seattle community.

Explore the Market

Farmers Market: The farmers market was founded in the fall of 1907 and its purpose was to provide the citizens of Seattle with access to the local farmers and producers in the area. The market was successful and therefore a tradition was born. Local Washington farmers are always at the Pike Place Market selling their fresh goods all year round. This market also aims to promote local farming efforts and sustainable business models.

Crafts Market: The crafts market at the Pike Place Market was started in the 1960s and is proud to currently house more than 200 craftspeople from Seattle and its surrounding region. Visitors are sure to discover fresh, new, local crafts at one of the most diverse craft markets in the United States. This portion of the market is located on the Western side on Main and North Arcade.

Highstalls: This portion of the market presents a wide variety of fresh and local produce including fruits, herbs, vegetables, and many seasonal favorites. Local farmers are sure to delight visitors with their colorful and intricate highstalls filled with high quality, local food.

Fish Markets: This portion of the market features a wide variety of fresh, local fish, meat, and dairy. Knowledgeable, local farmers, fisherman, and butchers are there to tell visitors anything and everything they care to know about their products, including cooking tips. Everything from fresh milk, eggs, crabs, beef, and fish can be found in this portion of the market.

Specialty Foods: This portion of the market is sure to delight visitors who are interested in finding rare or international food and goods. A world of flavor awaits! Spices, grains, teas, curies, pastas, and much more awaits hungry visitors with a taste for the international. Countries like Bavaria, Spain, France, Mexico, India, Africa and many others are proudly represented in this market.

Collectibles: This part of the market is for those visitors who want to spend the day shopping for local specialty items. There are all kinds of unique gifts and products including records, trinkets, furniture, décor, and much more.

Dining: There is no shortage of places to eat at the market. There are plenty of bakeries, cafes, restaurants, bars, theaters, delis, international cuisine, and much more. From casual dining to award-winning fine dining, there is something for everyone. All the restaurants also boast loal produce!

Rachel the Piggybank: This iconic 550-pound bronze piggybank statue has been a foundational element of the Pike Place Market since 1986. Visitors are welcome to donate any spare money they might have to Rachel; all proceeds go to supporting local social services.

Buskers: A wide variety of local street performers make frequent appearances at the Pike Place Market year-round. Visitors should keep their eyes and ears peeled for these talented market residents.

Upcoming Events

There is always something exciting happening at the Pike Place Market. Visitors are invited to check out the Market calendar to see what fun, tasty, or entertaining events are coming up during their visit to Seattle’s favorite market.

Additional Information:

Pike Place Market, 1st Ave and Pike St., Seattle, WA 98101, Phone: 206-682-7453

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