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Great Neighborhoods: Seattle

Photo courtesy of the San Diego
CVB and James Blank

Seattle is a city of many great attractions.  Nestled between Lake Washington and Puget Sound with a chain of picturesque islands off its western shore.  There’s the verdant landscape that has earned it the title “The Emerald City,” and there is the abundance of overcast and drizzly days, which have earned it another designation, “The Rainy City.”  Add in names like "Gateway to Alaska," "Queen City," "The City of Goodwill," and " Jet City " (the last due to the heavy influence of Boeing) and the many faces of this sprawling metropolitan region the largest in the Pacific Northwest with a population approaching 4 million become clear.

Seattle is the place Tom Hanks couldn’t get a good night’s sleep until Meg Ryan bumbled along and is known as the birthplace of alternative rock genre of music known as Grunge.

As the headquarters of Starbucks Coffee Co., Seattle is where great cup of coffee is never more than half a city block away, and where the internet revolution took hold and prospered.

Home of online bookstore Amazon.com and software giant Microsoft, the Seattle region blossomed under economic change.  Residents boast of nearby bountiful natural settings, recreational activities and a burgeoning performing arts scene.  Mount Rainier provides a majestic backdrop to Seattle’s sparkling downtown skyscrapers, expansive waterfront and thriving open-air market.

Along with the beauty comes as hefty cost of living.  King County’s median home price of $380,000 for a single-family house of 2,000 to 2,500 square feet with two or three bedrooms has become a challenge to many first-time homebuyers.  Fixer-uppers under $200,000 have become quite rare, while rents have also hit new highs in all neighborhoods.

Seattle has evolved from a sleepy backwater town to a lively and well-caffeinated city.  We’ve selected four neighborhoods to reflect this evolution the sophisticated enclave of Queen Anne; the increasingly trendy Ballard; Redmond, the home of powerhouse Microsoft; and Bainbridge Island, an artsy rural community across Puget Sound.

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