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Moon asked Allison Williams, author of Moon Seattle, to tell us all about her favorite city. Here’s what she had to say.

What is the biggest misconception people have about Seattle?

People think it rains all the time! But the city gets tons of sunny days, and it’s fun to explore even when it’s drizzling. Also, we’re not all tech nerds and outdoor fanatics—though we have plenty of both!

What is the first place you take visitors?

I love showing off our waterfront, either on a ferry ride in Elliott Bay or on Lake Union, where the funky Museum of History and Industry is a perfect place to watch float planes take off.

ferry boat on puget sound

See beautiful views of the Seattle area from a ferry ride on Elliott Bay. Photo © Michael Quirk/iStock.

What are the best local bites?

There’s amazing pho—a Vietnamese noodle soup—all around the city, and lots of great seafood joints like Rock Creek and Walrus and the Carpenter.

Where is the best place to take a selfie?

It takes some careful camerawork, but a selfie in the glasswork plants of Chihuly Garden and Glass can also include the Space Needle.

Where can you find the best view?

Head to the top of Smith Tower for amazing views and historic artifacts.

Which event is at the top of your list every year?

Bumbershoot is a music festival that also celebrates visual art and comedy, and it all takes place around Seattle Center.

How would you spend a normal day off?

I hike! Whether it’s a short walk through the old military homes of Discovery Park right in Seattle or a trip to the Cascades, I love being among the trees and with views of mountains.

If Seattle were an animal what would it be?

Probably a harbor seal, like the ones at Seattle Aquarium or spotted along Puget Sound. We love the water, but we’re always happy to bask on a rock when it’s sunny.

seal sitting on a buoy in Puget Sound with Seattle skyline in the background

A harbor seal basks in the sun on Puget Sound. Photo © Tummy_Rubb_Studio/iStock.

What is the best way to get around?

The Light Rail system is growing and becoming a better way to get around the city, and our bus system covers the entire area. But downtown, it’s always great to walk.

What is the best thing to pack for a trip?

A rain jacket naturally, but also comfortable shoes and casual clothes. Seattle style is relaxed and it holds up to the elements.

What do locals wish visitors knew?

Locals know that Pike Place Market is crowded, but there really is great produce for sale. Also, we know that parts of movies like Sleepless in Seattle and Twilight were filmed here, but we’re most excited by Twin Peaks.

What is the most useful word or phrase to know?

A Seattle Dog at our outdoor hot dog stands comes with cream cheese. “The mountain is out” means that the sky is clear enough to see Mount Rainier. And it’s common to hear someone say “It’s not really raining, just drizzling” to describe the weather.

Want to experience the Emerald City for yourself? Start with this 3-4 day itinerary.