16 interesting facts about Seattle

  1. Although on average Seattle is cloudy 227 days a year, it only receives 39 inches of rain per year, compared to New York City (42 inches) and Miami (60 inches)
  2. Seattle is ranked the most literate city by Central Conn. State Univ. Everybody reads here. The Seattle Public Library system has the highest percentage of library card-holders per capita in the country.
  3. The Seattle area has been inhabited for at least 4,000 years, but European settlement began only in the mid-19th century.
  4. Seattle has the highest percentage of residents with a college degree or higher.
  5. Early settlements in the area were called "New York-Alki" ("Alki" meaning "by and by" in the local Chinook Jargon) and "Duwamps". In 1853, Doc Maynard suggested that the main settlement be renamed "Seattle", an anglicized rendition of the name of Sealth, the chief of the two local tribes.
  6. Seattle is the northernmost U.S city with a population of over half a million.
  7. Seattle is also referred to informally as the "Gateway to Alaska", "Rain City", and "Jet City", the last from the local influence of Boeing. Seattle residents are known as Seattleites.
  8. Seattleites buy more sunglasses per capita than any other city in the nation.
  9. Seattle is the birthplace of rock legend Jimi Hendrix and the music style known as "grunge," which was made famous by local groups Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden.
  10. Seattle was the first city in the US to play a Beatles song on the radio.
  11. Seattle has a reputation for heavy coffee consumption; coffee companies founded or based in Seattle include Starbucks, Seattle's Best Coffee, and Tully's.
  12. Seattle's Harbor Island is the largest man made island in the nation.
  13. Seattle was the first American city to put police on bicycles.
  14. The Washington State Ferry System is the largest in the country and the third largest in the world, carrying over 25 million passengers annually. Seattle's Pier 52 is the busiest ferry terminal in the U.S.
  15. Kim Basinger, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Julia Roberts all turned down the role of Annie in Sleepless in Seattle. Meg Ryan got the part instead.
  16. Seattle has the highest percentage of people riding bikes to work compared to other US cities its size.