Map of Seattle Area | What Is Seattle Known For?

Mountain landscape, lake and mountain Seattle
Mountain landscape, lake and mountain Seattle

Map of Seattle Area | What Is Seattle Known For?


When you think of Seattle, you might associate this US city with constant rainfall, hipsters, or the Seahawks, but it has so much more to offer. Where is Seattle, and is this city a good place to live? What all is Seattle known for?

Seattle is a port city in the northwest of the United States, and its rich environment, thriving job market, and a plethora of outdoor activities make Seattle a good place to live. The Emerald City is known for its natural beauties like lush forests, grunge music, and glassblowing. 

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Seattle before you choose to pack your bags and head for the Emerald City.

Where Is Seattle Located on the US Map?

Seattle has a unique location in the northwestern portion of the US. The Emerald City is the northernmost major city of the mainland, and it is located near the isthmus—a small strip of land that separates bodies of water—between Lake Washington and Puget Sound. Seattle is also nestled within the northwest portion of Washington state.

Due to its location, Seattle is a port city that serves much of the northwestern United States. Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada is only about 140 miles north of Seattle, and it is the closest major city to Seattle. Portland, Oregon comes close at a distance of 145 miles to the south of Seattle.

Alaska is much farther, over 1000 miles away, but Seattle has also been referred to by the nickname of the “Gateway to Alaska”.

How Big Is Seattle in Terms of Population and Size?

Seattle is definitely a big city. With a population of almost four million people in the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) as of 2019, it is the largest city in all of Washington state and the Pacific Northwest section of the US.

Overall, the Emerald City is the 15th largest city in the nation in terms of MSA. These numbers include smaller towns and suburbs adjacent to the city itself.

Excluding the adjacent areas, Seattle has a population of about 735, 675 hundred thousand. With the other metropolitan areas excluded, Seattle is the 18th largest US city.

When it comes to physical size, Seattle spans an area of approximately 142 square miles. About 84 of these square miles consist of land, while the other 58 are made up of water. Including the rest of the MSA inflates the total area to over 8000 square miles.

Is Seattle a Good Place to Live?

Seattle often ranks as one of the top ten cities to live in in the United States, which is not surprising. The Emerald City boasts of a rich and clean environment, a plethora of outdoor activities, and numerous universities and job opportunities that make it a good place to live.

Indeed, Seattle did not earn its nickname as the Emerald City from the architecture or a conspicuous amount of green buildings. The city is surrounded by beautiful forests that stay green all year round, and it is one of the most environmentally friendly places in the country.

Since Seattle has so many forests and natural beaches, it is an excellent location for active individuals. Popular sports to partake in include hiking, biking, kayaking, volleyball, swimming, and more. The rain may be constant, but it falls in small amounts, so it is not much of a deterrent for spending time outdoors.

If you are interested in getting a stellar education or a job with a prestigious company, Seattle has you covered. This city is one of the most educated in the US, and there are seven universities located in Seattle. Many large Fortune 500 companies are based in and around Seattle, as well, making it a particularly good location for anyone with technical expertise.

What Are the Best Areas to Live in in Seattle?

The Emerald City has something to offer for everyone, and its various districts appeal to different sorts of people depending on what amenities are nearby.

If you are interested in enrolling in one of Seattle’s universities, the University District is the most ideal area to live in, as these communities are academically centered and focused around the University of Washington. Popular spots include University Heights, Greek Row, and the Brooklyn Addition.

Meanwhile, young couples often prefer the neighborhood of Capitol Hill. Located in the middle of the city, this area is a hub of metropolitan activity, and it is always bustling with entertainment opportunities and staples of the counterculture scene, including numerous unique coffee shops.

If you are more interested in nature or simply settling down with your family, West Seattle is probably the best location for you. The Duwamish River keeps this area somewhat separate from the rest of the city, and there are many schools, parks, and beaches nearby.

Finally, if you are a retiree with comfort and luxury in mind, Queen Anne is probably the best area you could live in. This suburban district offers many gardens, historical sites, gorgeous views, theater shows, and markets to check out at your leisure.

What Is Seattle Known For?

Aside from the stereotypes about rain and sports, Seattle is best known for its true abundance of natural beauty, the significant contributions it has made to the grunge music scene, and the glassblowing industry.

In addition to the forests and beaches, Seattle has some lovely meadows and mountains to view or explore, with Mount Rainier probably being the most popular example of the latter. This city is, again, always green, making it a wonder to visit and behold.

Although the popularity of grunge music has waned in recent years, it has a nostalgic hold on Seattle, where many iconic grunge bands were formed or had connections. These bands include Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and more.

There are many glassblowing schools, programs, and centers in Seattle thanks to the influence of Dale Chihuly, founder of the Pilchuck Glass School and one of the best glassblowers in the world. Many impressive pieces are displayed all over both Seattle and the nearby Tacoma.

See Also


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Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!