Seattle, also known as the Emerald City, is a dynamic, energetic city with a thriving food-and-drink scene, eclectic neighbourhoods and a stunning coastal setting; its position on the edge of the Pacific Ocean gives it a glorious mix of town and country. The city is bounded by Lake Washington in the east and Puget Sound to the west, making it an ideal location for water recreation and sight-seeing cruises, as well as giving easy access to the freshest of ingredients from the ocean, and beyond, for a foodie’s paradise.

Seattle is home to Starbucks, so coffee culture is a way of life; there are 2.5 coffee shops per every 1,000 citizens, making it the greatest concentration of coffee houses of any U.S. city. Indeed you can still see the first Starbucks as well roam the rambling alleys for artisan and local produce in Pike Place Market, Seattle’s original,  and the oldest continuously operating farmer’s market in the U.S. Wander past colourful flower stands, beautifully displayed fruit and veg stands as well as bakeries, clothing, local potters and glass makers.

The iconic Space Needle can be seen from all over Seattle and the view from the observation deck is spectacular; this 608-foot structure is a legacy of the 1962 World’s Fair and will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2022.

Microsoft and Boeing are other household names that have their origins in Seattle; a tour of the Boeing factory is a fascinating insight in to this aviation giant. Make sure you visit Chihuly Garden and Glass to see locally-born artist Dale Chihuly’s remarkable studio glass artistry; his ability in making glass into everything from vast outdoor statues to intricate flowers in an array of vibrant colours and shapes is quite remarkable.

Seattle’s waterfront area is currently undergoing a transformation, linking Pioneer Square, the historic piers, Pike Place Market and the aquarium as part of one parks system. A new Overlook Walk will connect downtown to the water with the Alaskan Way Viaduct being replaced to move route 99 underground, making the waterfront a single, unified downtown district.

The central waterfront, just below the new walkway, will see an expansion of the Seattle Aquarium, complete with a 350,000-gallon shark tank that will be visible to people walking through the plaza below, while to the south will be an actual beach, where people can walk right up to the water. The 26-block project will also feature a protected bike lane, a landscaped pedestrian promenade and public spaces hosting year-round events at a reconstructed Pier 62.


New York to Toronto – 2015 (Smith)

I have just returned from a tailor made holiday made possible by Jeannette Dembrey. This was the first time I had ever organised such a major holiday and as it was a gift for my children after my retirement it was really important to get things right. I went to quite a few agencies but Jeannette was way better than any of the people who I spoke to. She was so professional and wanted me to get the best from the money I could afford. The holiday was absolutely amazing and everything went like clockwork. Jeannette had thought of everything even the connections between places and the things we would do in each town. We stayed in 6 hotels altogether starting in New York and ending in Toronto. I am amazed at how smoothly it went. Even my son who has travelled all over the world was impressed with the way things had been organised. I cannot praise Jeannette enough for her professionalism. Thank you Jeannette. I would recommend you to anyone with the satisfaction of knowing that you did an amazing job. Thank you.

J Smith - Travelled New York to Toronto