Perhaps against its salty old wishes, Seattle is morphing into a true cosmopolis. Luxury hotels, high-end restaurants, and art galleries are proliferating, and the city's vaunted music scene never went away (even though grunge did). But beneath the new gloss, Seattle is rather charmingly faithful to its former self, and even to its celebrated stereotypes: this is still a place where outdoor nuts fashion whole wardrobes out of Gore-Tex and fleece; where unreconstructed hippies on Broadway rail on about The Man, man; where the whirr and hiss of espresso machines is a near-constant backdrop to conversation. It's this enduring familiarity, along with the shock of the new, that makes Seattle so compelling.
Grabbing a latte and browsing the pretty boutiques of Ballard Avenue during the boisterous Sunday farmers’ market.
Getting a different view of the skyline from the hills of Gas Works Park in Wallingford or from the shores of Alki Beach in West Seattle.
Hiking somewhere, anywhere: Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens’ National Parks are both day trips, and trails in the Cascade or Olympic Mountains are also easy to plan.