By Simon Brandon
Lying in the verdant Pacific Northwest of the US, Seattle has a reputation as a cultural hub with just the right amount of edge.
Drink to it, hot or cold
Seattle, home of the first Starbucks coffee shop, has a longstanding love for the beverage, and last year was named the best city in the US for coffee drinkers. The city is a favourite with craft beer aficionados, too, who can choose from a raft of microbreweries and bars such as the Pike Brewing Company. The Yakima Valley, where many modern American hop varieties are grown, is only a few hours’ drive to the south-east.
Live music for all ears
They take their music seriously in Seattle. It is probably best known as the birthplace of grunge — Nirvana and Pearl Jam are the genre’s most famous homegrown bands — but its live music scene is by no means stuck in the 1990s. There are two big jazz festivals each year, Earshot and the Ballard Festival, while there is usually something a bit louder, from rock to indie and hip-hop, playing at venues such as The Crocodile and The Showbox.
A magnet for tech talent
A report last year rated Seattle the second-best city in the US for tech companies (after San Francisco). Good pay is a large part of its attraction; according to career platform Hired, the average tech salary in Seattle in 2017 was $132,000 which, when adjusted for the cost of living, would leave workers $40,000 better off than in San Francisco. Around 40 per cent of the population holds a bachelor’s degree, making Seattle one of the 10-best educated cities in the US.
Sitting on the west coast of Washington state, Seattle enjoys a temperate climate characterised by warm summers and mild winters. Although the city has a reputation for rain, this is perhaps a little unfair: Seattle has a lower annual rainfall total than Dallas, Texas.
The year-round mild climate and the surrounding landscape combine to make Seattle a haven for lovers of the outdoors, from sailing around the islands of Puget Sound to the west of the city to hiking the Cascade Range through Mount Rainier National Park, named after the range’s highest peak.
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