Known for its coffee, its Grunge, its rain and its forests, Seattle is nicknamed the Emerald City. The year-round sprinkles do tend to keep everything a nice lush green. Sitting on the edge of Puget Sound, nestled between there and Lake Washington, Seattle can boast serious city amenities while at the same time offering fantastic wilderness getaways close-by. High-tech companies in the area create jobs, provide funding for arts and bring hundreds of world travelers to the area on business.
World class art and culture can be found downtown in Seattle. Historic Pioneer Square or Pike Place Market meld the regional story and lifestyle with modern shopping and features.
Depending on the season, sports fans can follow the games of the Mariners (baseball) or Seahawks (football). Seattle Center, which hosted the World’s Fair in 1962, is still a center for arts, entertainment and activities. Catch the world-renowned Bumbershoot Festival there over Labor Day weekend.
The city is just a three hour drive or train ride north of Portland, and those going by car might consider traveling along the Columbia Gorge. That same distance north from Seattle is Vancouver BC and both automobile or rail take about the same time to Canada. Drivers might want to explore the Straight of Juan de Fuca.
As much as people joke about rain, Seattle has a world-class summer which makes all the lakes and mountains nearby that much more enjoyable. Two different mountain passes are just a few hours away, offering hiking, camping, rock climbing, mountain biking and more. In winter, these same areas are rich in terrain for snow-shoeing, cross-country and downhill skiing.