Surrounded by majestic mountains, scenic Puget Sound, and a multitude of freshwater lakes, the greater Seattle area offers residents all the advantages of sophisticated city life along with easy access to outdoor recreational activities of all kinds.
Beautiful By Nature - Nestled between the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges along picturesque Puget Sound, King County is one of the best places to live in the world. Downtown Seattle is a thriving metropolis with famous landmarks that include the Space Needle and Mount Rainier, which stands at more than 14,000 feet.
The Eastside school districts of Mercer Island, Bellevue, Lake Washington, and Issaquah all rank in the Top 10 for the state of Washington. The Seattle School District, largest in the state, has a variety of schools and programs available, depending on the neighborhood. There are also a number of Private Schools, some of which are located in Seattle, others on the Eastside.
The University of Washington is the largest college in the area, with campuses not only in Seattle but also in Bothell and Tacoma. Other colleges include Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, Bellevue College,
Antioch University Seattle, City University, and four community colleges. Also on the Eastside is the Lake Washington Institute of Technology, a workforce college located in Kirkland.
ARTS & CULTURE
With a total population of over 3 million well-educated people, support for the arts is abundant in the Puget Sound region. Both the Seattle Art Museum and Bellevue Arts Museum regularly host traveling exhibitions of note, and performing arts groups include the Seattle Symphony and Opera, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Chamber Music Society. For theater buffs, the Seattle Repertory Theater is highly regarded, and other smaller theater groups such as ACT and On the Boards also enjoy strong support. In addition, the 5th Avenue and Paramount Theaters in Seattle feature many touring Broadway shows and a few premieres throughout the year.
The region also boasts a strong contemporary/alternative music scene, which was spawned by area grunge-bands in the 1980’s. Most recently, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who won the 2014 Grammy for Best New Artist, are the latest local group to receive international acclaim for their innovative music.
As the Northwest’s largest metropolitan area, greater Seattle serves as the hub for the best medical services in the region. Major hospitals and medical centers include the University of Washington’s UW Medicine/Harborview, Swedish, Virginia Mason, and the Eastside’s Overlake and Evergreen hospitals. Additionally, Seattle Children’s ranks among one of the best pediatric centers in the country.
Because of its concentration of high-quality medical providers, the area is also home to a wide variety of research facilities and biotech companies. This convergence of health care providers and researchers has given rise to some of the country’s most respected cancer treatment groups, including The Cancer Care Alliance (a collaboration between the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine, and Seattle Children’s) and the Swedish Cancer Institute.
With a mild marine climate, the Puget Sound area offers opportunities for year-round recreation. Walking, cycling, hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, boating, and swimming – as well as team sports for kids and adults – are easily accessed from any location. Just a short drive away are the Cascade mountains, which boast several well-known ski resorts; and both the Cascades and Olympic Mountains to the west offer many miles of scenic hiking trails.
Surrounded by water--fresh water lakes Washington, Sammamish, and other smaller ones, and the salt water Puget Sound—there are also ample options for boating, swimming, and other kinds of water sports.
For professional sports enthusiasts, the area is home to the World Champion Seattle Seahawks football team, as well as the Mariners (baseball), Sounders (soccer), Storm (women’s basketball), and Reign (women’s soccer).