The city of Seattle is situated between Lake Washington and Puget Sound, an extensive arm of the Pacific Ocean. Both Lake Washington and Puget Sound are perfect for canoeing, sailing, and kayaking. Recent national surveys have listed Seattle as one of the most liveable cities in the country. Seattle has many cultural offerings, including myriad repertory theatres, the Seattle Opera, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, an extensive music scene with several annual marquee music festivals, the Seattle International Film Festival, a wide variety of museums, and a flourishing food scene. Seattle is also home to several professional sports teams, including the Mariners, the Seahawks, the Sounders, and the Storm, in addition to the University of Washington Husky teams.
The variety of outdoor activities convenient to the city is unsurpassed. Hiking, skiing, and mountain or rock climbing are popular, with miles of trails and hundreds of peaks found in the nearby Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. Temperatures are moderate, seldom falling below freezing or rising above 90°F. Snow is infrequent and light in the city but the nearby mountains receive heavy snowfall, providing for great skiing at any of the eight major ski areas within easy driving distance from Seattle.
For a virtual tour of Seattle, current events around the region, and sports and recreation, see these websites: http://www.cityofseattle.net/tour/index.htm and http://www.cityofseattle.net/html/visitor/sports.htm#cityrec
The strong Seattle-area economy provides excellent opportunities for partners of students who seek employment in most fields, especially in the rapidly expanding tech industry (biotech, computers, telecommunications, aerospace), and there are always many employment opportunities at the University of Washington.