Seattle and surroundings

Seattle, known as the Emerald City, is surrounded by lakes, the Puget Sound, and two mountain chains, the Cascades and the Olympics. With evergreen vegetation and a beautiful spring season, Seattle’s unique charm makes visitors and residents enjoy one of the Pacific Northwest’s most beautiful places to live in.

UW students enjoy the cherry blossoms one spring afternoon on campus.

What to do in Seattle?

Seattle is a very diverse and cosmopolitan city. About 40% of Seattle’s population comprises people of color. It is a city rich in Native American cultural history and heritage, and with the full spectrum of ethnicities. People in Seattle love coffee; you can find little coffee shops around every corner.

Hispanic heritage
Totem Pole at Pioneer Square. Credit: Spike Mafford Photography
Decorations on lattes

Seattle offers a variety of places where to spend time and enjoy different cultures, cuisines, music (an annual Jazz festival, the Northwest Folklife and Bumbershoot fests), art, cinema with an annual international film festival and several independent movie theaters, weekly free cultural festivals, a yearly Pride fest, lots of parks, and a variety of sports.

Northwest Folklife festival
Arboretum park
Pacific Dungeness crabcakes

The Pacific Northwest produces over 98% of all US hops, which makes Seattle a paradise for beer lovers. Just in the city, there are over 60 breweries. Seattle has a tulip festival that is world-famous, and is surrounded by beautiful mountains where hiking and camping are the mainstream activities all year round.

The Tulip Festival
Hiking Mount Saint Helens
Redhook brewery

The city offers many attractions. From the famous Pike Place Market, one of the icons of the city that has been shown in several movies, the Space Needle, to street fairs, concerts, and carnivals such as the famous summer solstice. You will not get bored in Seattle.

Summer Solstice in the Fremont neighborhood
Pike Place Market
Space Needle

Seattle is one of the most walkable cities in the country and the second most bike-friendly city in the US. You don’t need a car to move around, since the city bus and public transportation are well-developed. You will need a raincoat as Seattle has a definite “Rainy” season.

Bike lanes in downtown
Streets in Capitol Hill neighborhood
Bikes can be loaded on city buses and trains

What to do in the surroundings?

Washington has many outdoor attractions to offer. The Puget Sound comprises more than 170 islands, many of which can be visited using the ferry boat system, which is the largest ferry system in the country. The islands offer many attractions such as kayaking, whale watching, biking, and camping.

The ferries and the kayakers cohabit in the Puget Sound
The San Juan Islands
Resident orcas in the Puget Sound can be seen from the ferry boats

Washington is home to three national parks: Mount Rainier, Olympic, and the North Cascades National Parks. The parks are open year-round and offer activities such as rock climbing, skiing, wildlife watching, waterfalls, hiking, camping, and just enjoying mother nature at its best.

Snoqualmie Falls
Hiking in Mount Ranier NP