Mount Rainier. The Space Needle. Pike Place Market. Apples. The Mariners, Seahawks and Sounders. Salmon. Coffee. Rain. These Washington icons are probably well known to those outside our state, but there are many other delights awaiting visitors and transplants to the Puget Sound region.
Divided down the middle by the Cascade mountain range, Washington has lush greenery and cool, moderate weather on the west side, and extremes of heat and cold, with both desert and fertile farmland, in the east. It has the second-highest population of any Western state, yet our cities are never very far from peaceful countryside.
Seattle, the state's largest city, is a hilly town on the Puget Sound, ringed by islands, mountain ranges, forests, and the jaw-dropping beauty of our slumbering volcano, Mt. Rainier. The Sound itself is composed of ocean water that reaches inland 50 miles from the Pacific Coast, extending its long, curving fingers deep into Western Washington.
Rain? Yes, we do get quite a bit but you might be surprised to learn that we don't even rank in the top 10 of "America's Rainiest Cities." In fact, New York, Miami, and New Orleans receive more rain than Seattle, which comes in 24th, rain-wise. To be honest, we Northwesterners are used to more than our fair share of overcast days, but we learn not to let a few clouds or raindrops spoil our good time.
Blessed by geography, our state is famous for its wealth of recreational opportunities: skiing, hiking, rock-climbing, kayaking, sailing and more. For those who prefer more urban pursuits, there's a thriving arts culture here, too, with a renowned independent music scene, the nation's largest film festival, and world-class museums, theatre and dance companies, We're proud to say that Seattle was voted "Most Literate Town in America" recently, and our wealth of bookstores, libraries, readers and authors attest to that.
Boasting an entrepreneurial business climate and talented labor pool, the Puget Sound region has among the strongest economies in the United States. In fact, in 2007, Forbes magazine voted Seattle fifth on their list of the best places to do business.
So if you're not already here—what are you waiting for?