The Space Needle towers in front of the downtown Seattle skyline at dusk. (Credit: Sean Pavone, Shutterstock / Sean Pavone)

If you like rainy weather, coffee, and rock music, Seattle's your kind of town. The city that sees rain nearly half the year is also the birthplace of three major coffee chains: Starbucks Coffee, Tully's, and Seattle's Best and the place where rock artists like Jimi Hendrix, Heart, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Band of Horses, Brandi Carlile, and The Head and the Heart got their starts.

It's also home to the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Chihuly Garden and Glass, The Museum of Flight, the Museum of Pop Culture, and a growing number of tech companies in and around Seattle, including Nintendo of America, Microsoft, Amazon, Expedia, Napster, Redfin, and Zillow.

So whether you're vacationing in Seattle or moving there to embark on a tech career at Microsoft or Amazon, these smartphone apps will help you navigate and make the most of the Emerald City.

SEE: Don't Travel to San Francisco Without These Apps

Where to stay

HotelTonight (Android, iOS)


Need a last-minute hotel deal in Seattle or one 100 days from now? Then search no further than Hotel Tonight for iPhone and Android. The Hotel Tonight iOS app and Android app offer the best deals for your upcoming Seattle area bookings, whether you're looking for basic, hip, or luxurious accommodations. When hotels can't fill their rooms, they drop their prices and pass these discounted rates along to Hotel Tonight, which then passes the savings onto you. Get the bonus location-based Geo Rate discount (marked in green) for added savings. 24/7 customer support can handle any questions or issues.

Zillow (Android, iOS)


The popular real estate app for iOS and Android shows you myriad apartments for rent in and around Seattle. Using the app's targeted search options, you can see photo- and video-filled listings of rentals that meet your location, size, amenities, and price requirements. Search by GPS, type an address, or draw a custom region on a map. Once you find a listing you like, Zillow can help you contact the property manager.

How to get around

Waze (Android, iOS)


Purgatory is the West Seattle Bridge at rush hour. Thankfully, Waze, one of the best trip planner apps around, delivers real-time voice-directed navigation and hazard alerts -- and suggests alternate routes to get you out of traffic jams before you even enter them. Seattle area Waze users know that the trip planner app is a must in busy areas.

PayByPhone Parking (Android, iOS)


If you're looking for parking in overcrowded Seattle, then PayByPhone is a must, helping you easily find parking, pay for it, and extend it straight from the app.

Uber (Android, iOS)


But why brave driving in bad traffic and hunting for parking in Capitol Hill, at the Sea-Tac airport or anywhere in King County when you can just take an Uber? Uber is a ridesharing app that enables you to quickly hire Uber drivers in your area, 24 hours a day, to take you to destinations near and far.

OneBusAway (Android, iOS)


Or leave a smaller footprint with a bus trip. The OneBusAway app offers up-to-the-minute departure and arrival transit information for the Seattle/Tacoma/Puget Sound areas. Search for stops by route, location, or stop number or just find the stop nearest you.

WSDOT (Android, iOS)


The Washington State Department of Transportation's WSDOT app not only offers ferry schedules and Amtrak Cascades train schedules but also shows a traffic map with traffic cameras and travel alerts, which alert you to slowdowns due to accidents, constructions closures, and special events.

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Where to eat and drink

Yelp (Android, iOS)


Yelp can help you find the best restaurants and cafes in Seattle using the GPS on your phone. You can also filter a search for the best places to eat by location, price, type of cuisine, star rating, number of positive reviews, and more. If you'd rather eat in, the Yelp Eat24 (iOS, Android) delivery service can deliver items from your favorite restaurants to you.

Starbucks (Android, iOS)


The Starbucks app enables you to easily pay for your daily triple-shot almond milk latte or other beverage of choice at your nearest Starbucks location with a tap or save time by ordering in advance for pickup -- all while earning Stars points toward free drinks and food.

To do this, you'll first need to join the Starbucks rewards program and create a virtual Starbucks card in the app that you can then load money onto using your Apple Pay, debit card, credit card, or PayPal account.

Cocktail Compass (iOS)


If you need a stiff drink on a limp budget, look no further than the free app Cocktail Compass, which lists the most happening happy hours in the city of Seattle, along with location info and happy hour durations. You can also search by amenities, such as Wi-Fi, patio, and so on.

Where to go

Stranger Things to Do Seattle (Android, iOS)


Seattle's Pulitzer-prize-winning newspaper The Stranger provides critic-curated picks for the hottest local concert, theater, art, film, and culinary events, along with descriptions, location info, directions, and cost.

Space Needle 360 (Android, iOS)


Bring Seattle's Space Needle to life in Seattle or elsewhere with the Space Needle 360º app, which lets you experience the iconic space-age symbol immersively from various vantage points -- in glorious VR.

Woodland Park Zoo (Android, iOS)


Bring the Woodland Park Zoo app with you to the same-named wildlife park and get in-depth information on over 1,000 animals across 92 acres. Discover what's near you with the Near Me feature, create a schedule of programs to explore, and more.

Who to go with

krü (iOS)


Want to meet more people? Create a krü (crew) on krü with your existing friends, including a group photo and video, and select your destination on the in-app map. Then browse other crews going to the same places you are. Swipe up and match and then coordinate meeting up over chat.

Where to shop

Amazon (Android, iOS)


The Amazon - Shopping made easy app for iPhone enables you to browse, search, and order millions of affordable products directly from your phone or tablet. Best of all, since Amazon is headquartered in Seattle, you can still feel like you're supporting a local business.

What to smoke

Leafly (Android, iOS)


With 779 (and growing!) marijuana strains out there to smoke or enjoy via tinctures, topicals, concentrates, or edibles, it'd take months of research to find a suitable one. Once you do, it'll take even more time to hunt it down.

Leafly, based in Seattle and therefore the Emerald City's best "homegrown" marijuana app, helps trim your options by sorting strains by mood or medical need. It also lists them by Newest, Popular, and A-Z and provides comprehensive reviews of flavor, strength, and effects. Once you discover the THC for thee, you can easily search Leafly's Finder and its integrated map for local prescribing doctors and dispensaries, clinics, and delivery services that carry it. You'll also get the dopest deals in the app.

Where to get your news

Seattle Times Mobile (Android, iOS)


Seattle Times Mobile brings you up-to-the-minute breaking news, sports coverage, and investigative reporting from the award-winning Seattle Times newspaper. You can read 15 articles per month in the app at no expense or pay $9.99 per month for unlimited access.

KING 5 (Android, iOS)


If you prefer to watch your local news, weather, sports, and traffic, then you'll want to download the KING 5 app. In the app, you can view live stream newscasts, get notifications when news breaks, and follow your favorite Seattle sports teams for news, stats, schedules, and so on.

What to listen to

KEXP (Android, iOS)


If you want to uncover the next big artist or listen to the indie rock and alternative musicians and bands you already love, then listen no further than Seattle's public radio station KEXP. KEXP's companion app enables you to hear it all, including its popular live in-studio performances, easily on your phone or tablet.

Where to complain

Find It, Fix It (Android, iOS)


You're really not a Seattleite till you've lived there long enough to start complaining about the city. Once the bloom is off the rose, use the Find It, Fix It app to report abandoned cars, graffiti, blocked sidewalks, the need for tree maintenance, dirty sidewalks, noise complaints, and much more. Download the app today.

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Joshua Rotter is an Editor for