Photograph by Rich Frishman
Nestled between Puget Sound and Lake Washington and bordered by the snow-capped Olympic and volcanic Cascade Mountains, Seattle offers a wealth of outdoor adventures, from kayaking to rock climbing. But this fleece-loving city that launched the grunge music movement and a national espresso craze is no backwater. Home to innovative companies including Amazon.com and Microsoft, Seattle supports world-class cultural institutions—the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet—and award-winning theater troupes. And with distinctive neighborhoods on seven hills, the Emerald City boasts diverse attractions, from Old West saloons and high-tech hotels to trendy boutiques and a 100-year-old public farmer’s market.
See our gallery of the best hikes within an hour of U.S. cities where the only prerequisite for exploring is a pair of sneakers.
Visit the lush "Emerald City" of Washington, where plenty of outdoor attractions can entertain the whole family.
At once grungy and gourmet, lush and mod, the Emerald City's newest boom is revitalizing its best attractions while offering plenty for penny-pinchers.
The Olympics and their peninsula of 3,600 square miles are still surprisingly, romantically wild.
Get Mount Rainier information, facts, photos, and more in this Mount Rainier National Park guide from National Geographic.
Travel Photos From Your Shot
View scenes of Canada's city life and countryside—all taken by our Nat Geo photo community.