Emerald City sparkles

We can now fly from Perth to Singapore and on, direct, to Seattle. A new doorway into the US is open, and a new option for joining Inside Passage cruises which start in Seattle. And SIMON COLLINS, fresh from the new Singapore Airlines flight, finds there’s plenty in Seattle to occupy travellers.

Having stepped off the inaugural direct flight to Seattle in early September, the last days of summer were picture perfect — maybe we got lucky with (mostly) blue skies and stunning vistas.

The locals are affable, often lovely, even if they’re down on their town.

And, the traffic? No worse than Perth, really.

Grunge Central

The city’s underground music scene spawned grunge, most notably Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and other bands that made cameos in another classic 90s film, Singles.

The Museum of Popular Culture, known as MoPOP, has exhibitions on those acts and many more (including another local legend, Jimi Hendrix) in a psychedelic fun-house designed by Frank Gehry.

The Best View in Town

You don’t have to be a sci-fi buff to get a buzz out of the nearby Space Needle, which looks either like a weird intergalactic cruiser about to blast off to a distant nebula or an oversized cocktail onion.

Standing 184 metres tall, this was the tallest building west of the Mississippi when it was built for the 1962 World’s Fair.

Open to the public from 10am to 8pm year-round and till midnight in summer, the Space Needle offers stunning views of Lake Union, Elliot Bay, Lake Washington and other parts of Puget Sound.

Foodie Favourite

The No.1 attraction in Seattle is undoubtedly Pike Place Market. Pike Place is fundamentally a small business incubator, where everyone from fishmongers to buskers pay virtual peppercorn rents.

Hop Heaven

Seattle is full of microbreweries and craft-beer bars. In fact, the stuff is sold so widely in pubs, cafes and restaurants that the word “craft” is practically redundant.

Manny’s Pale Ale from Georgetown Brewing and Seapine IPA are two local favourites while real hop-heads should wander further east from Pike Place to uber-cool microbrewery Cloudburst to have their tastebuds smacked around a little.

Majestic Mt Rainier

It’s safe to hike around Mt Rainier, whether you’re struggling with the thin air of the alpine altitude (while keeping an eye out for the family of black bears that live halfway up the mountain) or admiring the majesty of 1000-year-old Douglas firs and cedars in the Valley of the Patriarchs.

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Fact File

From this month, Singapore Airlines has four direct flights from Singapore to Seattle operating in each direction, on Airbus A350-900 aircraft, fitted with 42 business class, 24 premium economy and 187 economy seats.

Disclaimer

Simon Collins was a guest of Singapore Airlines, Visit Seattle and Port of Seattle. They have not seen or approved this story.