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Visiting the Amazon headquarters

Amazon Headquarters southern courtyard
Logan Bingle

Summers in Seattle are hot. If you are looking for a place to cool off consider visiting the Amazon headquarters on Terry Avenue. The urban campus' courtyards, natural ventilation off Lake Union and plethora of cafes make it a perfect place to relax on a hot summer day.

Founded in 1995, Amazon.com is one of Seattle's tech giants. Since 1995, Amazon has become the world's largest online retailer with $74.45 billion in revenue for 2013. The company moved to its current headquarters in 2011.

The easiest way to reach the Amazon Headquarters from downtown is by taking the South Lake Union Streetcar. The streetcar route ends at the Westlake Center on 5th avenue across the street from the Monorail station. A ten minute ride will bring you to the Harrison Street stop. Disembark and walk towards Lake Union. Turn right at Harrison, and you will come to the Amazon headquarters in one block.

The company's main campus covers three blocks along Terry avenue. Eleven buildings are arranged to create a series of courtyards and amphitheaters that provide cool and sunny spots to relax.

The courtyards feature a wonderful collection of abstract art. In the northern courtyard, silver orbs are stuck together into abstract mounds. The southern courtyard holds a series of geometric sculptures that twist their way from the floor to the ceiling.

In addition, a number of restaurants and cafes line the street. This ranges from hamburger joints to Indian restaurants. Be sure to take some time to explore beyond Terry avenue as a number of excellent restaurants exist throughout the neighborhood surrounding the Amazon headquarters.

Besides restaurants, the South Lake Union neighborhood around Amazon hosts a number of wonderful spots. The Lake Union Park provides access to Lake Union and features the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) and the Center for Wooden Boats. The neighborhood also features the REI flagship store and an Orthodox Cathedral.