Photo: Downtown Seattle

As seen from Queen Anne, Seattle scores points as a postcard-perfect metropolis.

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 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.

Related Features

  • Photo: Hiker on a trail at Little Mt Si in Washington state

    Best Hikes Around Seattle

    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.

  • Photo: City market at dusk

    Family Trip: Seattle

    Visit the lush "Emerald City" of Washington, where plenty of outdoor attractions can entertain the whole family.

  • Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, WA; Eagle sculpture, Alexander Calder, 1971, painted steel, a gift to the park by Jon and Mary Shirley; Seattle Space Needle in the background.

    Free Things to Do in Seattle

    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.

  • Photo: Olympics mountain range, Washington

    Olympic Peninsula Road Trip

    The Olympics and their peninsula of 3,600 square miles are still surprisingly, romantically wild.

  • Photo: Climber on mountain

    Mount Rainier National Park

    Get Mount Rainier information, facts, photos, and more in this Mount Rainier National Park guide from National Geographic.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Join Nat Geo Travel's Communities

Travel Photos From Your Shot

See More Your Shot Galleries »