Seattle, Washington, USA

The Emerald City

Iyna Bort Caruso

Seattle is the gem of the Pacific Northwest, but it’s called the Emerald City for its green lushness. It is a region of waterways, islands, hills and mountains that locals take advantage of by engaging in year-round activities. Hiking, biking, skiing, boating and fishing are favorites. Between Puget Sound, Lake Washington, the Olympic Mountain range and Mount Rainier in the Cascades, Mother Nature has deeded Greater Seattle an embarrassment of riches.

Leisurely pursuits are not limited to the great outdoors. A thriving cultural scene boasts more than two dozen museums as well as opera, ballet, theater and symphony.

Residents are highly educated. The surprising number of bookstores is a good indicator. They’re also highly entrepreneurial. Some joke it’s from all the caffeination. Per capita, Seattleites are the biggest coffee consumers in the country.

The economy is a resilient one with an emphasis on high tech sectors and strong global connections. Aerospace, education, information technology and clean technology are among the city’s key industries.

In the real estate market, new condominiums and town homes are being built to take advantage of city’s stunning views, often with rooftop decks as a key amenity. The incorporation of green building materials and designs is also becoming a priority, and foreign investors are buoying the market. 

There is no shortage of desirable and diverse zip codes throughout the Greater Seattle region. The stately homes of Ravenna, the grand estates of Laurelhurst and the mansions of Madison Park and Capital Hill bordering Volunteer Park are but a few. C-level executives and pro athletes can be found in private family compounds in waterfront enclaves on Lake Washington such as Medina and on Mercer Island. Some areas feel utterly removed from the city’s urban core such as Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound. An outpost of wineries, artist studios and low-key attractions, this slice of Americana is only a 35-minute ferry ride from Seattle.