About Our Area

When people think of the Pacific Northwest, the first image that often comes to mind is that of the Space Needle set against the Seattle skyline. This iconic status is one of the things that draws many to the area, but it is the quality of life and the warmth of our people that convinces them to stay.

Individual Neighborhoods, Unique Communities

Part of what makes the city so vibrant is its diversity; the broad range of cultures, lifestyles and ideals that you will find in the local area. Inside the city of Seattle itself you will find that each neighborhood has its own identity. It is almost as if there are dozens of smaller cities within Seattle-dozens of main streets and local newspapers. The joy of discovering Seattle is in exploring these little pockets and what they have to offer. The communities outside of the city likewise have individual identities, from northern suburbs to island farming towns to the cities of the eastside.

From Saw Mills to Microsoft

Seattle has always had a pioneering spirit and it is that energy that has driven our city throughout its history. Economically the city has evolved from a timber and shipping town to one of the centers for aircraft production and on to its current incarnation as a key hub of the high-tech industry. Despite our relatively remote location, we remain an important nexus of culture, industry and technology.

Natural Beauty

The natural splendor that surrounds us also cannot be ignored. While many joke about the amount of rain Seattle gets each year, those who have been here cannot complain about the lush plant life that our climate supports. Visitors to the city are often amazed at the towering greenery of the area's firs, cedars, and hemlocks. And the city is surrounded by blue: there are almost as many bodies of water in Seattle as there are neighborhoods. Aside from Elliot Bay and Lake Washington (which serve as the western and eastern borders of the city's core) many other lakes, bays and waterways mark the city. To the west lay the deep waters of Puget Sound and further out the vast Pacific Ocean. Many who commute use either a ferry or one of the area's long bridges.

A History of Growth and Improvement

Our city is still relatively young, and it is perhaps this youth that helps keep us in touch with our history. The first inhabitants of the area were the Duwamish, a peaceful tribe of fisherman and hunters whose villages could be found throughout the area. In 1851 a party led by Arthur Denny landed on Alki Point in present-day West Seattle. Less than a year later this group of Midwestern settlers would move locations to the western shore of Elliot Bay, and they later named the city after Chief Seattle of the Duwamish in recognition of the significant aid they had received from the tribe. Seattle rapidly expanded in the following years and solidified its existence when it became the transportation and banking centre of the Alaska Gold Rush at the end of the century.

Life Around Puget Sound

Seattle and the surrounding area continue to attract people from around the country and all over the world, and it is this influx that helps maintain our vital diversity. And even as our community continues to grow it manages to maintain the qualities and charms that have made it such an appealing place to live.