City Bowl 49: Seattle v Boston

It’s Super Bowl 49 weekend and for travelers that means City Bowl 49: an in depth look at the cities that these two surviving teams call home: Seattle and Boston. Which one is better?

Both are great cities to travel to. They offer visitors plenty of sights and culture to soak up and experience. However, just like the big game itself, there can only be one winner, so here’s the head-to-head comparison in five categories.

Super Bowl 49 Weekend

Let Super Bowl 49 commence…

Round One: History

Boston is often referred to as the birthplace of the American Revolution. The Boston Tea Party and Battle of Bunker Hill are staple events when learning about American history. After all, the beginnings of the United States of America started there.

City Super Bowl 49: USS Constitution
USS Constitution

The Seattle we know today had its origins in the mid-19th century when settlers expanded the lumber trade to the San Francisco. Early in the 20th century, Seattle experienced its first labor crisis when the city held a general strike that lasted for several days. This event brought national attention to the city and it was then coined a “hotbed of political radicalism (Brief History of Seattle, n.d.).”

Winner: Boston clearly takes the reign in this category.

Round Two: Culture

City Super Bowl 49: Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Fine Arts (Image by Massachusetts Office of Tourism / CC BY)

Boston, and by extension Cambridge, is a well-known intellectual hub. Schools like Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) rank among the world’s best. Boston was also home to some of the country’s most prominent literary artists: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Louisa May Alcott, just to name a few. Then there’s the city theater scene, symphonic music, and fine arts collection.

Seattle doesn’t have a Harvard or MIT equivalent but over the past century, it has proven itself as a city that embraces innovation. Companies like Boeing, Microsoft, and Amazon all have their headquarters in Seattle. It also has a proud musical heritage, with numerous clubs in the city hosting live music featuring emerging musicians.

Winner: Tricky category but edge to Boston

Round Three: Sights and Attractions

City Super Bowl 49: Fenway Park, Boston
Fenway Park, Boston Image by Ron Kikuchi / CC BY-ND 2.0

The majority of Boston’s attractions have ties to the formation of the United States. The Old South Meeting House, Faneuil Hall, Boston Common, and the USS Constitution are all part of the 2.5-mile route commonly referred to as The Freedom Trail. Then there’s Boston Harbor, the site of the infamous tea party, and Fenway Park, America’s oldest baseball field.

City Super Bowl 49: Guitar Tower, Seattle
Guitar Tower, Seattle (Image by Roland Tanglao / CC BY 2.0)

The Space Needle is Seattle’s most recognized attraction followed by Pikes Place Market. Music lovers will find the exhibit halls at Experience Music Project a delight, while aviation enthusiasts will enjoy the planes on display at The Museum of Flight. Finally, who can resist Seattle’s seaside charm? A ferry crossing the Puget Sound provides guests with great views of the Cascade and Olympic mountain rages.

Winner: Seattle by a very close margin

Round Four: Food and Drink

When you think about Boston and food, certain things and places come to mind. All the staples of New England cuisine like lobster, oysters, clams and whatever else makes up an authentic bowl of New England clam chowder are usually the first ones you’ll imagine. Try one at Union Oyster House, the oldest continuing restaurant in the United States, or at Legal Seafood’s Harbor Side location. Then the appetizing aromas of Irish stew from one of the pubs inside Quincy Market or Faneuil Hall follows, ending with a slice of Boston cream pie.

City Super Bowl 49: Salmon Variety
Salmon Variety (Image by Alan Teo / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Since one of Seattle’s main attractions is the Pike Place Market, a fish market, there’s no doubt that seafood rule the dining scene. Salmon is the city’s signature fish, followed by halibut and cod. Restaurants like Etta’s and Ray’s Boathouse are household names. Craving anything but seafood? Head over to the International District where you can indulge on the flavors of Asian cuisine. Lastly, let’s not forget Seattle’s most famous contribution: coffee. The original Starbucks still stands at 1st and Pike.

City Super Bowl 49: Pikes Place Market
Pikes Place Market Image by Corey Thompson / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Winner: Seattle takes this one by a hair.

Round Five: The “It” Factor

What makes you want to pack your bags to visit a particular location? Some say that association and intrigue fuels their desire to go and drive. Both cities have invaded our households thanks to television series like Cheers and Frasier. Others would say food. The desire to eat good food has inspired travelers to travel hundreds, even thousands of miles. Ultimately however, it all comes down to location. With the Cascade and Olympic ranges circling the city, Puget Sound, and the shadow of Mt. Rainier in the background, Seattle’s picturesque location triumphs over Boston.

City Super Bowl 49: Seattle Skyline (Image by Andrew E. Larsen / CC BY)
Seattle Skyline (Image by Andrew E. Larsen / CC BY-ND 2.0)

Final Tally: A combination of world-class cuisine, a blend of cultural attractions, and scenic beauty makes Seattle the winner of Super Bowl 49 by a score of 3-2.

Do you agree with the results of City Super Bowl 49? Let us know your thoughts!

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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