Seattle, Washington lies between Puget Sound and Lake Washington in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Seattle’s wet climate causes the hilly terrain to remain a deep green, earning the city its nickname, “Emerald City”. In summer, the temperatures average 75 degrees, and they rarely drop below freezing in the winter. As the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle reported a population of 563,374 in the 2000 Census.
Seattle provides the finest in urban entertainment and recreation, such as hiking, fishing, clamming, kayaking and golfing. A variety of family friendly attractions include the Seattle Aquarium, the Freemont Troll, Woodland Park Zoo, Discovery Park, Seattle Art Museum, Museum of Flight, Burke Museum, Seattle Children’s Museum, Alki Beach and Seattle’s most famous attraction, the Space Needle. Throughout the year, Seattle’s neighborhoods host street fairs, festivals and larger celebrations, such as Bumbershoot, Seafair and the Seattle International Film Festival. Just outside the city limits, you can find opportunities for river rafting, skiing, snowboarding and hiking through breathtaking parks. Olympic National Park and Rainforest, Mt. Rainier National Park, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and North Cascades National Park are among the numerous scenic areas.
Seattle, Washington is rich in cultural history – from its founder, Chief Seattle of the local Suquamish tribe, to its contributions to the music and performing arts industries. Renowned as the birthplace of grunge music, Seattle is where musicians such as Kurt Cobain of Nirvana got their start. Seattle has inspired a variety of other talented musicians such as Bill Frisell, Kenny G., Queensryche and Jimi Hendrix. Seattle is a vital center of the performing arts. There are twenty-nine professional theatres, fifty-six fringe theatre companies, and seven schools of theatre. The Seattle Symphony Orchestra, The Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet are among the distinguished performing arts options.
Major bodies of water such as Lake Washington and Lake Union make up over forty percent of Seattle’s area. With one hundred fifty bridges in operation, Seattle provides support for a significant marine industry and has easily accessible connections to the rest of the continental United States. The Lake Washington Ship Canal geologically divides Seattle into north and south, while Interstate 5 divides it into east and west. The Interstate is the primary north-south highway on the West Coast, and it links the major cities in California, Oregon and Washington. Its strategic location, equidistant to Asia or Europe, and its situation just over one hundred miles south of the Canadian border, make this port city of Seattle an ideal site for a successful business.
As the seat of King County, Seattle serves as the regional hub of commerce. The 2004 Fortune 500 list included five local businesses. Those companies currently headquartered in Seattle include Amazon.com, Safeco, Nordstrom and Starbucks. Seattleites, known for consuming mass quantities of coffee, also have Tully’s Coffee and Seattle’s Best Coffee in addition to Starbucks. Boeing’s headquarters was originally located in Seattle. Today, Boeing’s commercial airplanes division and several Boeing plants are still in Seattle. The world-renowned Eddie Bauer Company, founded in Seattle, currently operates its headquarters in nearby Redmond, WA. Other thriving companies include Speakeasy Inc., Cranium Inc., Getty Images and Sub Pop, the record label that was first to sign Nirvana. Companies looking to expand or relocate to Seattle are encouraged to utilize the resources provided by Enterprise Seattle, the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County.
Seattle provides residents with quality educational options. An array of public schools, private and parochial schools pave the way to a number of excellent higher education institutes in the area. These include Seattle University, University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University and Washington State University. The Falcons, Redhawks, Huskies and Cougars are sports teams affiliated with the local colleges. Sports enthusiasts also have several professional teams to choose from, including the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Storm Basketball, the Thunderbirds and the Seattle Seahawks NFL team.