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Founded in 1869, the ‘Emerald City’ is a youthful metropolis in every respect, experiencing its first boom in the late 1890s, as the last US departure point for those chasing the Klondike Gold Rush. Now, Seattle is the primary international and domestic gateway to Washington State and the lush Pacific Northwest, as well as Canada and Alaska.

In the last few decades, the city has also become decidedly fashionable, with the unmistakable 1960s tower, the Space Needle, popping up in Hollywood films. Seattle also has been at the forefront of a number of international trends, including the influences of Microsoft and the e-commerce boom, Starbucks coffee, the grunge music scene and the new Frank Gehry designed Experience Music Project Museum. The city’s weird and wired image is clearly illustrated by the fact that more than 75% of Seattle residents have Internet access at home.

Seattle also continues to be voted one of America’s most liveable cities and thus unsurprisingly is home to three of the world’s 10 richest men. Its attractions are due in a large part to its beautiful natural setting, surrounded by the waters of Lake Washington and Puget Sound. It is also safe, with one of the lowest violent-crime rates among the top US cities.

The climate is moderate, with bright summer days outlining the mountains against blue skies, even the mist and rain of winter give an ethereal touch to the city’s atmosphere. Numerous ports, waterways and small islands off the coast also lend Nordic comparisons, while spectacular views of the Cascades and the Olympic Mountains, including its highest peak, Mount Rainier, delight the visitors, who come for the scenery and outdoor activities that suit city residents so well.

The mountains afford both spectacular views and skiing, while the city’s waterways make boating and relaxing at waterside cafes a draw. Of the 236sq km (91sq miles) of the city limits, 80% is surrounded by water, connected by 112 bridges. Seattle has more pleasure boats per capita than anywhere else in the USA.

More Info

City of Seattle

Seattle city guide

Seattle Economy

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