The Chinatown International District is the center for Seattle’s ethnic and cultural diversity. It’s a pedestrian-friendly historic district dating largely to the early 1900s, filled with intriguing architecture and culture. Known as The I.D, it has the best dim sum in the city to pair with a diverse selection of shopping, and multicultural and multilingual festivities and experiences.
Immigrant Chinese laborers settled the neighborhood in the late 19th century, and Japanese and Filipino immigrants soon followed. Over the years, the district became even more diverse, adding significant Vietnamese, Korean Pacific Islander, Cambodian, Thai, Laotian and Hmong populations to the mix. Today, the I.D. is known as one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the continental U.S.
Key attractions include the Smithsonian-affiliated Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific Experience, founded in memory of the first Asian American to hold elected office in the Pacific Northwest. Hing Hay Park, established in 1975, which contains a red brick square with an ornate Chinese Pavilion designed and constructed in Taipei; and one of the great ethnic markets in the U.S., Uwajimaya.
Special festivals and events enliven the district throughout the year, including the Lunar New Year Festival in January or February, the International District Summer Festival in July, and the Chinatown SEAFAIR parade in July. Periodic summer night markets offer food, shopping, arts and movies. Find out more about special events at www.cidbia.org
Chinatown Discovery Tours can guide you on an exploration of the unique aspects of the International District’s history and culture, and of course food, including an active fortune cookie factory.
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