The worst thing you'll hear said about Seattle is that it rains a lot. Otherwise, you won't find many complaints about the city's location. Situated a short distance from the Pacific Ocean on Puget Sound, the Seattle area offers an abundance of rivers and lakes and mountains. It's also something of a high-tech center, thanks in large part to the Microsoft headquarters in the suburb of Redmond. The main campus of the University of Washington is on the north side of town.

Despite the rain, there are many places to explore near Seattle. To the west just across Puget Sound are the spectacular Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest. The east side of the region is covered with parks and forests. Drive a short distance to the southeast and you'll come to Mt. Rainier National Park, Snoqualmie National Forest and Mt. St. Helens. To the northeast are Mt. Baker National Forest and the North Cascades National Park. The cruise ports in Seattle are the busiest on the west coast, featuring lots of voyages to Alaska.

Seattle is definitely a major league town when it comes to sports. The Seattle Mariners play at Safeco Field, while the Seahawks (NFL) and Sounders (MLS soccer) play at Qwest Field.

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