Seattle is a major coastal seaport and the seat of King County, in the U.S. state of Washington. Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of North America and the largest city on the West Coast north of San Francisco.
The Seattle metropolitan area of around 4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the United States. The city is situated on a narrow isthmus between Puget Sound (an arm of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington, about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canada–United States border, but further north than Toronto.
Seattle's wet climate may affect the winter months, but summers bring plenty of sunshine. The most popular time to visit is May through October because of dry weather, cruise season, conventions, summer festivals, school breaks, and outdoor activities.
September can be an ideal time to visit, with warm afternoons, cooler evenings, fewer crowds than earlier in the summer, and lower prices. Prices can also be less expensive during late fall and winter, but heavy rain and cooler temperatures should be expected. The spring brings less rain and warmer weather.
HISTORY OF SEATTLE:
The Seattle area had been inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent white settlers. Arthur A. Denny and his group of travelers, subsequently known as the Denny Party, arrived at Alki Point on November 13, 1851. The settlement was moved to its current site and named "Seattle" in 1853, after Chief Si'ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.
Logging was Seattle's first major industry, but by the late 19th century the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding center as a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. By 1910, Seattle was one of the 25 largest cities in the country. However, the Great Depression severely damaged the city's economy. Growth returned during and after World War II, due partially to the local Boeing company, which established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing. The city developed as a technology center in the 1980s. The stream of new software, biotechnology, and internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city's population by almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000. More recently, Seattle has become a hub for "green" industry and a model for sustainable development.
From 1869 until 1982, Seattle was known as the "Queen City". Seattle's current official nickname is the "Emerald City", the result of a contest held in 1981; the reference is to the lush evergreen forests of the area. Seattle is also referred to informally as the "Gateway to Alaska", "Rain City", and "Jet City", the last from the local influence of Boeing. The Seattle area has also been called "The 206" in reference to the telephone area code. The city has two official slogans or mottos: "The City of Flowers", meant to encourage the planting of flowers to beautify the city, and "The City of Goodwill", adopted prior to the 1990 Goodwill Games. Seattle residents are known as Seattleites.
MUSICAL HISTORY OF SEATTLE:
Seattle has a noteworthy musical history. From 1918 to 1951, there were nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs along Jackson Street in the current Chinatown/International District. The jazz scene developed the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson and others. Seattle is also the birthplace of rock legend Jimi Hendrix and the rock music style known as "grunge", which was made famous by local groups Melvins, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam. In more recent years, Seattle has been known for indie rock and indie dance music.