FAQ about Seattle
Seattle, Washington, is at the heart of the Pacific Northwest. Geographic beauty, mountains, lakes and the Puget Sound make it an environmentally stunning place to call home. But while known for its attraction to lovers of the outdoors, metropolitan offerings hold equal appeal. Arts, theatre, restaurants and music are alive in this city of over 600,000 and metropolitan area of well over 1 million. While large in size, diverse neighborhoods and enclaves of activity everywhere give Seattle a sense that almost anything and everything is accessible.
Here are 10 great reasons to call Seattle home:
- Education—Seattle has a committed education community. Many different groups, including the Alliance for Education, are working diligently to improve the state of Seattle Public Schools and the overall excellence of students in our city. Home to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, there are many active community organizations and foundations testing unique, entrepreneurial efforts to make Seattle a model for education.
- Arts/Theatre—While Seattle continues to be a major hub for the music industry, it also has a comprehensive arts and theatre scene. Seattle has two major performing arts centers: one was recently constructed and the other was fully renovated in the past 10 years. The Seattle Center, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, is enjoying a revival of attractions and dining. The Seattle Art Museum, which includes two museums and a Waterfront Sculpture Garden, attracts outstanding exhibits from across the globe. Our Seattle International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the United States, lasting 25 days. The Pacific NW Ballet and many smaller playhouses round out the rich cultural opportunities of Seattle.
- Nature—Seattle has Mt. Rainier to the South and is surrounded by the Puget Sound and Lake Washington, with hiking trails and ski resorts within a short drive. Seattleites can experience gorgeous nature outside their front door or deeper experience a short car ride away. Close to Vashon, Bainbridge and the San Juan islands, Seattle provides many rich, outdoor adventures for any time of year.
- Vibrant Neighborhoods—Seattle’s many neighborhoods each have their own distinct feel and character, each with a strong sense of neighborhood pride from their inhabitants. From the thriving music, LGBT, and nightlife scene of Capitol Hill to the multi-ethnic eateries and shops in Columbia City, there is something for everyone.
- Strong International Community—Seattle’s Chinatown/International District (ID) is located just south of downtown and features mostly East Asian restaurants, bars and shops. It is home to the Wing Luke Asian Art Museum. But the “ID” isn’t the only place where international pride thrives. Neighborhoods all over the city, like Beacon Hill and the Rainier Valley are host to rich and diverse communities and languages of all backgrounds—and their own unique culture and traditions too.
- Public Transportation—Moving about Seattle is a breeze, with the full gamut of transportation options. Regional and local buses and trains make commuting a breeze. A newly-constructed light rail connects the downtown core with SeaTac airport as well as Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley neighborhoods. Hyper-local streetcars and the historic Seattle Monorail provide even more options while enjoying Downtown Seattle. And Seattle has many more large scale public transportation projects underway.
- Weather—Known for rain, rain, and more rain, Seattle actually receives less precipitation each year than New York City and Chicago (shh, don’t tell anyone). While the city sees its share of rain during November through March, rainy days here are often just overcast with light sprinkles (and even occasional “sunbreaks” in the afternoon). But those who love snow know that rain in the city means lots of snow in the mountains just an hour away. The good news is you don’t get frostbite and snow-shoveling duty here in the city very often. Most Seattleites love the moderate climate, the lush green environs and fully appreciate the rich summer months of sunshine.
- Sports—The Seattle Seahawks Football (NFL), Seattle Mariners Baseball (MLB), Seattle Sounders FC Soccer (MLS) as well as women’s basketball favorite, the Seattle Storm (WNBA) will satisfy any need for professional sporting events. While we lost the Seattle Supersonics (NBA) a few years back, the city is currently planning construction of a new arena to house another NBA team as well as a hockey team. Don’t forget collegiate sports: the University of Washington Huskies and Seattle University’s Redhawks sports events feature the up-and-coming generation of new sports talent. And youth recreation teams are strong throughout the city.
- Entrepreneurial Spirit—Seattle has come a long way since its days of being known just as a port city. Today, Starbucks, Boeing, Microsoft, Costco and Amazon.com are synonymous with the Seattle business climate. The success of these companies has sparked an entrepreneurial spirit that continues to spread throughout the area with successful small and mid-sized startups and tech firms that continue to sprout and flourish.
- Walkability. Less Commuting—Seattle is touted as a highly walkable downtown, with a “walkability” score of 98 out of 100 on walkscore.com, compared to 77 percent citywide. The city continues to take steps to improve the pedestrian and cycling environment.
For additional information about living in Seattle visit:
- Sperling’s Best Places: http://www.bestplaces.net/city/washington/seattle
- Seattle Neighborhood information: http://www.seattle.gov/living/
- Downtown Seattle Association: http://www.downtownseattle.com/Resources/LivingDowntown
- Historic Seattle: http://www.historicseattle.org/