From time to time, we hear from guests who stayed with us in our Seattle locations about how interesting the local culture of Seattle seems to them. Comments like “Coffee is like gold to these people” and “I thought flannel was out of style?” make us chuckle (namely because we’re quite familiar with the Emerald City to the west of our Spokane headquarters). These comments reflect subtly changing desires of travelers today.
We know from consumer research that more and more travelers today are seeking to “travel/live like a local”. The trend of “like a local” reflects a shift in mindset for a growing number of so-called tourists, who are replacing traditional tourist activities like guided tours with locally-recommended activities, restaurants, boutique theaters, among others. And why not? Celebrity tourism experts can’t keep up with local culture like the local people can themselves, whereas reviews are instantly published and (usually) updated frequently. Thus, people trust- and at times rely on- other user reviews. The good news for consumers is that highly-praised and reviewed local favorites are typically very dependable. The end result? Knowing which coffee stand nearest your Seattle Vacation Rental makes your favorite drink the best, before you make the walk.
We did some searching on this subject ourselves and found something that is relevant to this post.The following list is from an article from TripAdvisor that does a good job of giving you the bullet points on how to avoid appearing like a tourist when you stay in Seattle vacation rentals:
“Now that you’ve made the decision to visit the Great Northwest, you want to blend in with the locals right? Of course you do. You will be spotted as a tourist immediately if you make any of the following mistakes:
• First it’s the Pike Place Market, or simply “The Market”. Calling it Pikes Market, or some other corruption will label you as an out of towner immediately.
• Another pet peeve is what to call the freeway system. The freeway is I-5 or ‘the freeway’.
Its not THE FIVE or THE I-90 or THE 405. People will immediately ask what part of California you’re from.
• While not totally universal locals order pop not soda.
• Locals go to the beach not the shore.
• When watching weather reports listen to the forecast for a chance of ‘sunbreaks”. Also if ‘the mountain is out” refers to the few days when residents can actually see Mt. Rainier.
• Warm is defined as anything over 70 degrees and a heat wave would be 3 or 4 days of over 80. During winter look forward to constant special news boadcasts of “Our Winter
Stormwatch” which includes any snow forecast of over 2 inches. People from the midwest or east think locals are crazy but you don’t have to shovel rain.
• The license plates on cars has a tab that states the year of expiration. Not sure what the ‘tag’ number is but locals know the plate number.
• Yard sales are what some people in other areas call tag sales.
• The shoulder of the highway is just called the shoulder, vs the ‘breakdown’ lane.
• Learn how to say Puyallup. (pew AL up) Learn how to say Tukwila. (TUK wil a) Heck, learn how to say Seattle while you’re at it. (see AT ul)”
To that list, we would add:
• Coffee is sacred to Seattlites (don’t call them that). From Starbucks on every corner to the
hundreds of independent (and totally hipster) cafes, there’s the perfect cup of coffee out
there for anyone’s preferences. Unless you prefer tea. In which case, order some tea from
Amazon.com (Seattlites love shopping local… fortunately that includes Amazon.com)