The “Emerald City,” named for its lush greenery and silvery waters, is nestled on a narrow strip of land between Puget Sound and Lake Washington. To the west are the majestic Olympic Mountains, while the volcanic peaks of the Cascade Mountain Range lie to the east—crowned by 14,000-foot Mount Rainier. The entire Central Puget Sound region is a study in diversity and scenic splendor that encompasses King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties.

Metropolitan Seattle has a reputation for a healthy lifestyle that incorporates abundant outdoor activity, from urban attractions to the Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park, San Juan Islands, or the Cascades. The area’s employment centers are some of the nation’s most successful and progressive, home to thriving aerospace and high-tech industries in the caliber of Boeing and Microsoft. Other Seattle hallmarks include fine cuisine, wonderful coffee, a vigorous arts scene, and a strong tourism industry based on world-class attractions like the Seattle Center.

Newcomers to metropolitan Seattle can look forward to state-of-the-art healthcare in some of the nation’s leading hospitals and medical centers. The University of Washington School of Medicine sets a high benchmark for excellence, operating two major hospitals and a wealth of special services and clinics. Other respected healthcare systems complete the network of family clinics, emergency care centers, long-term care facilities, rehab centers, and specialty institutes. Premier resources like the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance reflect the region’s spirit of cooperation, drawing together the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, Children’s Hospital, and Regional Medical Center.

The support for education is evident throughout metropolitan Seattle, where students can attend quality public schools or take advantage of private education in parochial or independent institutions. Programs for the gifted and challenged are complemented by a wide variety of extra-curricular activities to ensure that each student develops to his or her potential. Opportunities for higher education include vocational and technical schools, community colleges, and a fine selection of public and private four-year institutions close to home.

Students, commuters, and visitors alike enjoy superb transportation facilities and programs that encompass high-speed thoroughfares, link light rail, Sounder commuter train, extensive bus routes, car-pool programs, ferries, and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Interstates 4, 90, and 405 serve as the primary arteries, forming efficient links to major state and federal highways.

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