Known as the “Emerald City”, Seattle is enveloped by natural beauty from sea to sky. Centered between two mountains, Seattleites enjoy panoramic vistas as an everyday occurrence; notably Mount Rainier, the awe-inspiring peak situated 14,410 feet above sea level. Landlocked, the city is surrounded by large bodies of water including Elliott Bay, the Puget Sound and Lake Washington, which is the 2nd largest lake in Washington State with some of the most prized waterfront in the world. It’s this diversity of landscapes and natural splendor that defines Seattle’s true beauty.
Seattle is among the top international centers for commerce, development and culture. In 2009 alone Seattle was honored with numerous accolades including being named as the “Fast City of the Year” by Fast Company and “Most Wired City in America” by Forbes. And anchored by global health, philanthropy and entrepreneurialism, international businesses such as Microsoft, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Amazon are all headquartered downtown - placing Seattle on a global stage.
Seattle’s economic prosperity and love for the arts has fostered more cultural offerings per capita than any other US city. It’s home to The Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Seattle Symphony, The Seattle Art Museum, numerous performance halls and two new professional sports stadiums drawing dedicated fans for the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders and of course the Seattle Mariners. Additionally, popular attractions like Seattle Center and The Pike Place Market, one of the nation’s largest and longest running public markets drawing more than ten million visitors a year. And most notable are the celebrity chefs of renowned restaurants, scores of music lounges (the home to Nirvana) and of course, more coffee shops on any corner than any other city its size.
Many people would be surprised to learn that the Seattle area has the highest number of boats per capita in the US. The stunningly beautiful Puget Sound offers protected waterways and countless nearby islands, coves and seaside destinations to visit - known for some of the most scenic coastline in the world and a yachtsman’s dream for cruising.
And some of the world’s most famous names in business have made their home on the shores of Lake Washington, including the founders of Microsoft, Starbucks and Costco just to name a few. A short cruise along Media’s waterfront on the Eastside, in front of Denny Blaine’s lakefront or pretty much anywhere around Mercer Island will reveal numerous family compounds of global scale – some so private they were designed to not reveal anything at all.
Some say Seattle will become the “Manhattan of the West Coast.” It has all the right attributes including a landlocked existence, an established economic base, vibrant cultural scene and natural surroundings that make people want to “be a part of it.” Certainly the diverse economy is drawing in the brightest minds from around the world already. Seattle’s anatomy is what makes it special - the heart of a small town but the mind of a global city destined for greatness. But ultimately, it’s Seattle’s unmistakable spirit of place that makes this Emerald City truly golden.