Seattle: A Most Livable City
So you're going to be busy during residency
and sleeping a lot when you're not seeing
patients or making rounds. But we know that it's important to take
time for yourself, your family, and friends. Seattle's the perfect
place to relax and replenish.
Ignore the reports about rain in Seattle. It
does rain, but the truth is that Seattle has an average of 36 inches
of rain a year—less than Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta, and
Boston. That leaves plenty of rain-free days to enjoy the extraordinary
For those who love the outdoors, Seattle is
heaven on earth. The city has lots of water that isn't rain
(both lakes and Puget Sound) and has numerous in-city public beaches
(12 of them)
and parks (50 in the city and 20 outside the city). If you're a bicyclist,
skater, or walker, the Burke Gilman trail offers more than 20 miles
of paved trail. Built on a former trolley line, much of it runs along
Lake Washington. You can spend an entire day biking to and from the
St. Michelle Winery in Woodinville to picnic or take in an outdoor
concert during the summer. Or visit the nearby Columbia Winery or the
Red Hook Brewery for a sandwich and microbrew.
For a slightly longer getaway from the city the Pacific Ocean is only a ferry ride and scenic drive away. Take your
pick of mountain ranges to explore: the Cascade Mountains to the east
of Seattle and the Olympic Mountains to the west. Hiking
in the summer and skiing in the winter are a short hour away. A visit
to Mount Rainier, visible from the University of Washington campus, makes
for a fine day of leisurely picnicking, hiking, or the challenge of a
guide-led climb to the summit.
Don't let all the talk about the out-of-doors
fool you into thinking that there's nothing else going on. Seattle
is known internationally for its superb cultural activities. The city's
musical diversity and talent are legendary—there's the Seattle
Symphony (led by Gerard Schwarz), Early Music Guild, Northwest Folklife
Festival each spring, three-day Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival
on Labor Day weekend (pick your type of music at this event that draws
the whole city and you won't be disappointed). For those who enjoy
going to clubs, there are dozens to choose from, as well as a growing
number of venues—including bona fide ballrooms—that feature
Then there's theater and dance, with
both resident companies and visiting troupes performing on a regular
Seattle Repertory Theater and Intiman Theater provide world-class plays
that range from Shakespeare to
productions by up-and-coming new playwrights.
There's also a wonderful alternative theater scene—On the Boards,
the annual Fringe Theater Festival, and others. For visual-arts lovers,
Seattle also has a fine art museum downtown as well as many galleries.
And let's not forget about professional and
amateur sports. For
baseball, there's the Mariners at Safeco
Field. The Seahawks play at Qwest Field, and the Thunderbirds provide exciting non-stop hockey action in Key Arena.
There's also a lot going on right in your backyard, with
the University of Washington Husky men's and women's basketball teams,
the nationally known Husky football team, and the national rowing favorites, the Husky crew. The crew races start in the Montlake Cut behind the Health Sciences Building for opening day of boating season, where the Husky
men and women rowers compete each year against national and international
If your style leans more toward people-watching,
there's no need to mention that Seattle has its share of coffee houses,and
they're located all over town—in cosmopolitan Pioneer Square, trendy
Capitol Hill, eclectic and eccentric Fremont District, hip waterside
locations, and casual Wallingford.You can sip espresso in a wood- and
brick-walled bookstore before going to a reading by a famous writer or
poet. Or walk down the street from your apartment or home for morning
coffee and croissants.
If you want more than coffee and rolls,
there are over 2,000
restaurants. Because of the ethnic diversity of
the city, you can choose your menu:
Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, American,
Cajun, Thai, Japanese—whatever you want, you'll find it available.
We're only scratching the surface here.
The best way to get to know Seattle and its surrounding area is to explore.
To begin with, try a virtual
tour, compliments of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, or peruse the
Seattle King County Visitor's Guide. But don't forget to return to
the hospital when you're done—you've got patients waiting!