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The weather in Seattle is similar to England, so in May it could really do almost anything, but don't expect great heat! Could be wet or fine.
Pike Place Market and the Space Needle - easily accessible using public transport.
You need to see the space needle and travel to the top for great views of Puget sound and the harbour. Pike place market is a great place for seeing all the local produce and there are craft stalls as well. If you are going to Skagway on your cruise the Pioneer place and the museum there will be of interest as Seattle is where the gold rush pioneers set off from. There is Tillicum village on an island in the harbour but haven't been.
36 hours would seem perfectly ample for Seattle which is a relatively compact city and very easy to get round by public transport. The local information bureaux are very helpful and will tell you all you need to know about the local attractions. The Space Needle is a must and best visited on the monorail.
As for clothing, Seattle is renowned for its high annual rainfall so I would suggest you take a light weaterproof jacket just in case.
One place very much worth a visit is the Boeing 747/777 assembly plant at Everett which is about 25 miles or half an hour up the freeway from Seattle. Although it is about 25 years since my last visit, I believe they still run regular public tours around the plant. The sheer size of the two assembly lines and the aircraft being assembled has to be seen to be believed.
Pike Market is a must not far from the waterfront and there is a small momument of a PIG on the kerbside where a Fish stall exports fresh Salmon all over the world. Stay awhile at this fish stall and be enthralled by the antics of the people that work there. When a customer buys Salmon, they throw the fish to one another from kerside to counter before it is wrapped and boxed with ice, I have'nt witnessed a fish being droped yet. If you have time also to go to Victoria via a fast boat - it's beautiful and the cleanest city I have yet encounted. Try the city tour at the waterfront in Nottingham City Transports old double-decked buses, it's a must.
We went to seattle in may last year ,we found it most enjoyable to go, very compact city ,not huge like most cities ,travel on the sea front trams (they came from melbourne aus)and just walk along the sea front ,bags to see and do ,i think the restraunts are among the best ive been to,we stayed in the westin hotel wonderful ,would g o for a holiday any time .j etheridge carlisle england.
We had a day in Seattle on our cruise in May and our first stop was the Museum of Flight which is out by the Boeing Factory that someone has already mentioned. The main reason for our visit there was to see Concorde, but the Museum was very interesting and had lots of fascinating exhibits. After spending a few hours there, we got a taxi back into the city to visit the Space Needle. Here we had wonderful views of the city and surrounding areas and afterwards we took the monorail from the Space Needle into the city centre. We did some shopping on the way to Pike Place Marketwhere there were amazing flowers on sale which were incredibly good value - many people purchased them to take on board to decorate their staterooms. A full and interesting day.