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International Travelers Welcome to Washington! 

November 3, 2021

International service options are taking off at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).  

Starting on November 8, the federal government will lift COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international visitors, ending restrictions that barred much of the world from entering the United States for as long as 21 months. 

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is ready to welcome more vaccinated visitors from overseas.   

When WestJet made its inaugural flight to SEA this week, we now have a total of 30 international services in operation, compared to 42 international services operating before the pandemic.  

Interest in SEA as a global destination increased even throughout the pandemic. Three new airlines added services in 2021 – Qatar Airways to Doha, American Airlines to London, and WestJet Airlines to Calgary. Over three-quarters of SEA’s pre-pandemic international services are expected to have resumed by the end of 2021, including several services that continued throughout the pandemic.  

If you’re planning ahead, there will be more international travel opportunities in the future.  

Flights planned to begin later in November include: Alaska to Victoria and Alaska to Belize (new service), both on Nov. 19.  

Scheduled to resume in December: Air France to Paris, Alaska to Kelowna, ANA to Tokyo Haneda, and Singapore Airlines to Singapore.  

Two women wearing masks at SEA Airport

Travel Healthy 

Stay healthy with this overview of the current COVID-19 regulations in Washington State.  COVID-19 precautions and requirements differ in the United States by state and county level. Please check the requirements at all your destinations in the United States, and be prepared to wear a mask at SEA Airport.

Anyone over the age of 12 in King County requires proof of COVID-19 vaccine or a negative test at restaurants, bars, indoor recreational venues, and outdoor events with 500 people and more, places marked with * are within King County and have this guideline.

Explore Washington 

Alpine meadows and big mountains, temperate rainforest, rugged beaches, miles of flowers, and fertile fields growing delicious food that feeds the world. Don’t miss the freshest seafood, local cuisine, artisanal distilleries and craft breweries, and hundreds of chances to taste the (very) goods from a world famous wine region.   

Here are a few travel tips for your upcoming visit from people who love and live in Washington State.  

Kerry Park with Mt. Rainier and Seattle skyline
Credit: "Day 120 of 366 (Around The PNW Edition)" by James_Seattle is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In Town — Seattle and North Sound 

Pike Place Market*

Downtown Seattle near the Pike Place Market is the center of the hustle and bustle of this fast-paced city and a great way to experience the most popular attraction in a short time. It’s the soul of Seattle and just celebrated its 110th birthday in 2017 — the oldest continuously operating farmer’s market in the country! 

Perhaps one of the most recognizable tourist attractions in Seattle, Pike Place Market lives up to the hype. Graze and grab a locally produced snack at the many food stalls in the arcade, pick up some beautiful fresh and local flowers, take a selfie by the bronze piggy bank sculpture, and stop for a few minutes to watch the famous fish flying through the air. 

Top 25 Seattle attractions

Go ahead. We dare you to visit all of these iconic Seattle locations including museums, historic buildings and neighborhoods, wineries, and parks with views you’ll never forget.  

Experience art 

For an arts and culture break, head over to the Seattle Art Museum*. The museum is home to global art collections, temporary installations, and special exhibitions from around the world that bridge culture and centuries. And, SAM also has an outdoor sculpture park with epic views of the waterfront and mountains where you can watch Seattle’s working waterfront in action with cruise and container ships coming and going. 

Kerry Park panorama 

One of local resident LaTonja Brown’s favorite activities is photographing the Seattle skyline. Her favorite spot is Kerry Park* (think of Frasier’s view) because the view also captures the Space Needle. Seattle is walkable, but it’s also hilly. So, you can walk part way up Queen Anne, or you can catch King County Metro bus 2 or 13 (get off at Ward Street) from downtown. From the park, you can see the Northwest Seaport Alliance container terminals in the distance as well as Mount Rainier. From there, it’s an easy walk down the hill to visit The Museum of Pop Culture, which is a great way for music lovers to pass time, and the Seattle Center.  

    Local’s guide to five neighborhoods  

    Get the distinctive flavor of just a few of Seattle’s neighborhoods including downtown, West Seattle, Columbia City, the Chinatown-International District, and Ballard. Includes restaurant, shopping, and entertainment recommendations.  

    Recommended Seattle itineraries 

    Get recommendations from Visit Seattle for two-day, four-day, and longer-personalized itineraries.  

    Commencement Bay with an eagle
    Photo credit: "American Bald Eagle over Commencment Bay, Tacoma, Washington with Mount Rainier in the distance." by TomCollins is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

    In Town — Tacoma and South Sound 

    Tacoma and South Sound 

    With your feet in the salt water of Tacoma’s Commencement Bay, the 14,410-foot peak of Mount Rainier is just 42 miles away. In between, cities filled with glass art, classic Americana, stunning waterfronts, hiking trails and award-winning restaurants and breweries are waiting for you. 

    City of Tacoma destinations 

    Tacoma is known for its world-renowned glass art, and Tacoma’s vibrant urban core is alive with culture. Find yourself surrounded by creativity and city sophistication when you eat, shop, and stroll Tacoma’s downtown. Celebrate the melding of old and new with historic architecture amidst innovative urban design.  

    Twenty-five free things to do in Tacoma 

    Here’s your one stop no-shopping (and free!) list of things to do to enjoy the city of Tacoma! 

    LeMay Car Museum 

    This international destination for families and auto enthusiasts celebrates America’s love affair with the automobile. Based in Tacoma, Wash., the stunning 165,000-square foot facility was chartered to preserve and interpret the history and technology of the automobile and its influence on American culture. 

    Museum of Glass 

    The Museum of Glass is a premier contemporary art museum dedicated to glass and glassmaking in the West Coast’s largest and most active museum glass studio. With a permanent collection of modern and contemporary glass, the Museum of Glass is housed in an iconic building in a thriving arts and culture center, including six museums all within walking distance.  

    Road to Paradise

    Out of Town 

    Woodinville* Wine Tasting 

    With over 130 wineries from across the state, Woodinville is the beating heart of Washington wine. It’s where legendary producers and new upstarts trade tips while lending each other a hand in the cellar. It’s where wine staff and visitors from around the globe gather to eat and laugh and drink together. And it boasts more 90+ rated vintages than any wine region in the world. 

    Romantic Road trip to Paradise at Mt. Rainier 

    Check out these 1, 2, and 3 day itineraries for a roadtrip that take you from a peaceful walk at sea level to the alpine wildflower meadows of the Paradise area of Mount Rainier. 

    Walla Walla Wine Tasting  

    Walla Walla has been named America’s best wine region by USA Today readers. Walla Walla is home to more than 120 wineries, a nationally recognized culinary scene, access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, and an arts and entertainment scene that rivals cities many times its size. An easy and scenic four-hour drive from the Seattle-Tacoma area, Walla Walla can also be accessed via Alaska Airlines flights from SEA Airport. 

    Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 

    You will never forget a visit to the Skagit Valley Tulip in April, celebrating millions of tulips bursting into bloom.  A driving tour of this agricultural region will also introduce you to festivals, local cuisine, photo opps, museums, wineries, and shopping destinations.  

    Whidbey and Camano Islands 

    There’s beauty in every turn on Whidbey and Camano Islands. From beautiful beaches and scenic mountains to the rural ambiance and forest drives, the views are perfect for chasing away big city stress. Watch whales in the summer season, drive across the Deception Pass Bridge, and hike along the bluff at Ebey’s Landing.  

    Follow the pros 

    Follow these Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) local influencers for their fave spots in the Pacific Northwest. 

    Charles Koh

    @eatseattle |  Instagram  

    Local Instagram influencer Charles is the guy to follow for exploring food and dining in Seattle. Founder of Eat Seattle and a dad of two, Charles shares mouthwatering photography of bites and dining experiences. He regularly publishes eating guides from the best burgers in town, to vegan noms and must try donut shops.

    Andrew Hoge 

     #AhThatsGood | Instagram | Blog  

    Andrew is a great source for what to eat and where to go in Seattle. As director of celebrations for the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, he adores travel and creating experiences. Pre-pandemic Andrew was often exploring British Columbia or Maui. These days, his Instagram stories look delicious as he experiments with the dishes of his Guyanese-American heritage.  

    Berty Mandagie 

    The Mandagies | Instagram | Blog   

    Berty is an adventurous commercial photographer that prioritizes the road less traveled around the PNW. His Instagram is a gorgeous image library of the coastline of Oregon and mountains of Washington to hot springs in Idaho. His blog is co-authored with his wife, and filled with outdoor and travel guides for the Pacific Northwest, Montana, and British Columbia. The blog includes epic inspiration for destinations and activities.  

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