Seattle, WA

City Population: 620,778 | City Area: 142.5 sq mi (369.2 km2) | Population Density: 7,361/sq mi (2,842/km2) | Elevation: 0–520 ft (0–158 m)
Dates Visited: 12.28.12 – 1.02.13 | Total Inter-City Miles Traveled: 9,918 miles | Total Hours Traveled: 200 hours (8.3 days)

Inter-City Transportation: Boltbus #2 | Origin: Vancouver, BC

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Seattle is a city of great picturesque beauty. A major coastal seaport nestled on the isthmus between Puget Sound—an inlet of the Pacific Ocean—and Lake Washington, the “Emerald City” is surrounded by swaths of lush evergreen forests, clear blue lakes, and spectacular views of the Cascade mountain range to the east and the Olympic mountains to the west.

Seattle is also a powerhouse of talent, success and wealth, and is famously the home base to some of the wealthiest and most successful companies in the world such as Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon.com, and Nordstrom. In addition to its wealth of software, biotechnology and Internet companies, Seattle is also increasingly making a name for itself as a “hub” for green technology and model city for sustainable development.

Like Portland, OR, I’ve visited Seattle once before, in the summer of 2008. I’ve seen Seattle at its height of great summer weather and was ready to brace myself for the cold, rainy and grey wintry weather the city is notorious for. I was lucky—the rain stopped and I enjoyed bright and clear blue skies for the last few days of my stay.

Seattle is a fantastic city, a mix of great food, friendly people and an abundance of outdoor activities. I could imagine myself living here and I’ll sorely miss seeing the snow-capped mountains as I travel back east. Along with reconnecting with a friend I met in a trip to Japan in 2007, the highlights are as follows: hiking to the top of Rattlesnake Ledge, exploring the parks and downtown urban fabric, touring the sustainable Theo’s Chocolate Factory, moving in the hustle and bustle of Pike’s Place Market, eating my fair share of fresh seafood (from a dozen oysters to a bowl of salmon sashimi), photographing the beautiful, snow-capped Cascade mountains, snowboarding for the first time, making new friends, and finally, welcoming in 2013.

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