The US City Where Getting Around in a Wheelchair is a Breeze
Whether it's taking a train to another city, going shopping or simply leaving the house, it's easy to take for granted the fact everything is designed first and foremost for those without a disability. Travel by its very nature requires a lot of planning and preparation, especially when it includes air travel. Factor a disability into the equation and the complexity increases. If you fancy yourself as a wheelchair globetrotter , it's all within your grasp once you realize that planning is the key. Decisions such as what mode of transportation to choose, how long to stay, where to stay and what to do when traveling are just a few of the common questions that travelers need to face. These are questions which can have an impact on the level of enjoyment you derive from your trip.
Seattle, WA is consistently reported as being one of the wheelchair friendliest cities to get around without facing an endless number of hurdles in the way. The only thing that will keep you Sleepless in Seattle is the city's incredible beauty. In spite of the onscreen characterization of the local weather, rain won't ruin your trip to the Emerald City. It isn't as bad (or as frequent) as they say.
The Pacific Northwest is one of, if not the most picturesque, regions in the United States. The City of Seattle is located between Puget Sound and Lake Washington. Parts of downtown, particularly those closest to the Puget Sound waterfront, are difficult to navigate in a wheelchair due to the steep grade of sidewalks and streets. Public transportation can be used effectively to climb these hills, which rarely lasts for more than a few blocks. With the exception of one streetcar line, public transportation is completely accessible. Even the ferries are friendly to those with wheels. Hail a wheelchair accessible taxi cab to get you around- Seattle has one of the largest such fleets in the United States!
So, what is there to do ? Start with a sightseeing cruise on the Sound. Follow that with a visit to the historic Pike Place Market and the very first Starbucks Coffee location. Ascend to the top of the iconic Space Needle, built for the 1962 World's Fair. Visit the EMP Museum, one of the nation's most impressive tributes to rock music, science fiction and popular culture. If you're looking to show your appreciation for the natural world, check out the Seattle Aquarium and the Woodland Park Zoo. All of these attractions are fully wheelchair accessible.
Located about an hour outside the city in Everett, Washington, is the Boeing Aircraft Factory and Museum. Take a tour and watch the construction of the manufacturer's latest airplane, the 787 Dreamliner.
The Great Wheel is one of Seattle's most exciting tourist attractions located at the waterfront at Pier 57, and is the largest observation wheel on the west coast, standing 175 feet tall. It is the tallest ferris wheel on the west coast and is fully accessible with elevator and ramp.
The Seattle Underground Tour is a leisurely, guided tour beneath Seattle's sidewalks and streets. As you roam the subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle, the guides regale you with the stories our pioneers didn't want you to hear. It's history with a twist! The tour begins inside Doc Maynard's Public House, a restored 1890s saloon. Following a short intro, you will move through historic Pioneer Square to three different sections of Underground - about three blocks in all.