Seattle vs. Vancouver
Each week, Yahoo Travel pits writers from rival cities against each other to determine once and for all which destination is the best.The Case for Seattle:
Seattle is a work-hard, play-hard, gold-rushing, ocean-spanning center of commerce and fun, a city with a spirit of creativity and individualism that radiates energy like the power chords of a grunge band. Its high tech companies attract some of the brightest minds in the world, and the outdoor activities in the nearby national parks provide recreation for the body. Visitors enjoy the ample output of this energy by dining, shopping, watching championship sports teams, accessing nearby nature, and exploring inside, outside and underneath this vibrant city.
Vancouver is merely a colder, rainier shadow to the north, a second-city aspiring to match the dynamic hub for business and culture that is Seattle. It’s as hollow at the center as a Tim Horton doughnut, blighted with unoccupied buildings and overpriced food and drink.
Population: About 650,000 (and the fastest growing big city in the U.S.)
Seattle’s own Jimi Hendrix (Photo: Getty Images)
Famous Faces: Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Macklemore, Carol Channing
Popular Way to Get Around Town: A good town for walking and biking, as well as for taking public transit on the Metro.
Nothing compares to Seattle’s Space Needle — especially what’s in that other city (Photo: Sergio Bonachela/Flickr)
Tall Place From Which to View City: The Space Needle, built for the 1962 World’s Fair is a symbol of the city, and unlike the wannabe viewing platform in Vancouver, is an architecturally stunning tower, not some tumor atop a cement block.
RELATED: An Ode to the Space Needle
Historic Downtown District: Seattle’s Pioneer Square is the historic center of town, with 20 square blocks of restored buildings dating back to the 1890’s. For a look into an even older era, take the entertaining Underground Tour beneath the streets and into a time capsule of the city from before the Great Fire. Then check out the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park to see how the craze of 1897 helped shape the town. In the face of all Seattle’s history, Vancouver seems like it was just built last week.
The Big Fish of fish markets at Pike Place (Photo: xetark/Flickr)
Iconic Waterfront Market with Fish: Established in 1907, Pike Place Market has the original Starbucks shop, farmers’ and crafts markets, and those guys tossing the fish around. The market area also boasts the Tasting Room, featuring wines exclusively from Washington vineyards. Sorry, Vancouver, your novelty ice wines just don’t compare.