Ask a Seattleite where to find a great cup of coffee, and they may respond with a general wave of the arm that takes in the entire city. While Café Encore, one of the oldest coffeehouses in town, dates to 1958, Seattle is also famously home base to the Starbucks chain. In case you’re curious, Starbucks got its start in the city’s celebrated Pike Place Market after businessman Howard Shultz invested in a La Marzocco espresso machine and began serving delicious hot drinks that transcended the more everyday, pedestrian brew laced with cream and sugar.
The city remains the address for Starbucks’ corporate headquarters, along with coffee chains Seattle’s Best Coffee and Tully’s Coffee. Positioned on an enviable stretch of terra firma between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Seattle ranks as one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. Beyond the coffee arena, it attracts a number of internet and technology companies, along with a host of major players that include Amazon.com, T-Mobile USA, Expedia Group, Microsoft and Nordstrom. The city’s waterside location, coupled with decades of smart development decisions, allowed the Port of Seattle to develop into a key trade gateway with Asia.
If you equate Seattle with puddles and cloudy skies, you may want to reconsider your assessment. Winters may be wet, but the climate is far more temperate than many visitors expect. It’s what keeps locals outdoors, whether walking, hiking, kayaking or cycling in the numerous green spaces sprinkled throughout the city. Discovery Park, Seattle’s largest, allows locals and visitors access to prime hiking areas along bluffs, on beaches and through forests. The meandering pathways around Green Lake and the wild land close by in the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges all provide a diversity of recreational options for wellness wandering. The city even boasts a reclaimed railway right of way, the Burke-Gilman Trail, that stretches for 27 miles and offers multi-use space for hikers, runners and bicyclists. When it’s time to slow down, a wide selection of options awaits. Yoga and movement studios including Sangha Seattle, Seattle Yoga Arts and 8 Limbs Yoga (with four separate locations) offer classes and destressing opportunities, while more trendy rejuvenation choices include cold cryogenic therapies for health enhancement and floatation isolation tanks for floating cares away. Respected addresses include Float Seattle, LifeFloat, Glacial Cryotherapy and Celsius Cryotherapy.
And remember — Seattle isn’t all about coffee. Tea lovers can find refuge and a menu of astonishingly tasty treats at the elegant tearoom within Queen Mary Tea in Northeast Seattle. You can’t miss the building, fronted by lush greenery and blooming flowers that tumble over the edge of the roof during warmer months, visible above a row of lace-curtained windows. Inside, sample tea from authentic English bone china with flavor choices that include Countess Grey Black Tea, Golden Monkey Black Tea, Rose Petal and Alice’s Wonderland Rooibos.
For a truly magical tea experience, head to the Shoseian Tea House in the Seattle Japanese Garden. Sipping tea is only part of the traditional experience, which includes authentic tatami mats for seating and a 40-minute presentation on the Way of Tea ceremony, known as Chanoyu. Offered on Saturdays and held in the roji garden space, the ceremony proves a great way to relax and enjoy a beverage millions believe is good for both the body and the soul.
Defining the horizon, Mount Rainier beckons from the city — and is happily accessible for daytrips. A number of circular drives around the mountain provide a sense of the area’s grandeur and natural beauty, showcasing the dramatic peaks and forest-clad terrain surround- ing the iconic, 14,411-foot active volcano. Loop 1, the Circle Mount Rainier Drive, follows State Highway 410 from (and back to) the town of Enumclaw on a five- hour circuit. It takes in Federation Forest State Park, dramatic Skookum Falls, Tipsoo Lake and the Chinook Pass Summit.
Loop 2, the Scenic Byways Loop, wends from Packwood on U.S. Highway 12 through the eastern border of Mount Rainier National Park along the Chinook Byway and the White Pass Scenic Byway. In general, it requires about three hours to navigate the 129-mile-long drive.
Along Loop 4, the West Side Loop, the scenery includes old-growth forests of ancient trees, Big Bottom Valley and assorted wildlife. This route also traces a section of U.S. Highway 12 and begins and ends in Morton. Without stops, the drive takes roughly three hours. Be prepared to take your time, though; many of the twisting roads have steep drop-offs and require slower speeds. Roads along each of these loops are generally free of snow by late May, but be sure to check weather conditions before setting off.
Deep Dive Dubai, home of the deepest swimming pool for diving in the world, opened in Dubai, in the Nad Al Sheba neighborhood. Guinness World Records verified the pool as the world’s deepest swimming pool for diving at a depth of 60.02 meters, or almost 197 feet, holding 14 million liters of water, equivalent to six Olympic-sized swimming pools.
You probably didn’t know you needed to visit the Dominican Republic until you learned about the new, beautiful, modern, all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
Family gatherings are extra special this year and we chose to celebrate a milestone birthday in New Orleans. The JW Marriott New Orleans, across the street from the historic French Quarter, is ideally situated for exploring the city. Streetcars roll in front of the property and are especially fun for first-time visitors. Within a ¾-mile radius, we could walk to the National WWII Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Sazerac House, Harrah’s Casino, the Shops of Canal Place and numerous restaurants.
For the third year in a row, Regent Seven Seas Cruises broke the company’s world cruise opening day booking record. The 2024 World Cruise sold out around 11 a.m. on July 14, after going on sale that morning at 8:30 a.m. Fares started at $73,499 per guest for a deluxe veranda suite, up to $199,999 per guest for a master suite.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Aqua-Aston Hospitality, with hotels in Hawai’i, Florida and Costa Rica, introduced an intelligent text messaging platform at its hotels and resorts, streamlining real-time communication with guests. Since the mobile technology has been implemented, the platform has been successfully used to answer guest questions, manage check-in, deliver amenities, quickly communicate updates on services, send alerts and enable contact-less check-out.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel picks up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Okinawa with us.
As more travelers return to the skies, American is here every step of the way to ensure an elevated and seamless journey. Experience flying freedom with AirPass, American’s all-inclusive, pre-paid travel membership program.
After more than a year of staying home and social distancing, Americans are ready to experience live entertainment again. According to Allianz Partners USA’s Vacation Confidence Index survey, 55 percent of Americans plan on attending at least one ticketed event before the end of 2021, with 16 percent planning to attend three or more events.