Off-the-Wall Seattle Facts

There are the tidbits that strangers from other parts of the world recite when they meet a Seattleite (rainy, Kurt Cobain), and there are the morsels people in the know toss out to impress (home of Starbucks, Microsoft, and Amazon). Then, there are these facts—the off-the-wall markers of Seattle individuality that shape the city.

Ballet and Opera Attendance

via Flickr user Chris Blakeley

via Flickr user Chris Blakeley

Seattle is known for grunge, but the city’s love of music goes far beyond Nirvana. Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Opera each have achieved the highest per capita attendance in the country, making Seattle as classy as it is grungy. The Nutcracker is a holiday favorite pulling in spectators from all over the region featuring a world-class orchestra and dancers, and the opera plays to sold-out crowds drawn to both modern and classic interpretations. Reserve a seat to experience the revolution for yourself.

Antique Gas Station

Sure Seattle has a lot of class, but it also has a lot of gas. Flatulence quips aside, Seattle has the distinction of being the home to the first gas station in the world. John Mclean of Standard Oil opened his service station in 1907 at Holgate and Western, offering drive-up refueling from a 30-gallon tank. There is some dispute over the semantics of first gas station from the Shell company’s camp, saying they were behind the original in 1905, but Seattle doesn’t let that stop the pride in revolutionary advancement.

Dog, Seattle’s Best Friend

via Flickr user Wonderlane

via Flickr user Wonderlane

Man’s best friend is on the rise in the Emerald city, with more dogs than human children. The dog-to-kid ratio hovers around 153,000 fur babies to 107,178 kids, and climbing. With so much canine love going on, it’s no surprise that doggy tourism is in vogue, with 45 pet-friendly hotels, 38 fluff-friendly attractions, and 150 fur-welcoming restaurants in the city, some of which cater specifically to dogs and their owners. Better yet, melt the infamous “Seattle Freeze” and make new friends with a four-legged icebreaker at the dog park.

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