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Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is roughly between the cities of Seattle and Tacoma, though closer to Seattle, and it serves as the gateway for traveling throughout western Washington. Pick up your rental car at the SEA rental car facility, and then head out to catch I-5 into Seattle.
Getting into the city is easy, unless it's during rush hour traffic, then the Seattle streets are typically jammed. Head down to the waterfront of Elliot Bay and make Pike Place Market the start of your Seattle tour. Several other shops and restaurants like The Pink Door are within easy walking distance of this Seattle landmark.
Take your rental car further into town to see the Space Needle and then explore the nearby Seattle Center. Visit the Pacific Science Center for an interactive science experience, and then enjoy the EMP Museum, featuring an exhibit dedicated to Seattle native and rock legend Jimi Hendrix. If you tire of downtown exploring, you can drive to one of Seattle's many parks, such as Discovery Park, and spend some time outdoors.
The in-air flight time between San Diego International Airport (SAN) and Seattle is just under two and a half hours, with gate to gate time closer to three hours. SEA is being used increasingly as an international gateway for adventures further afield.