A seaport city situated on the west coast, right in the northwestern tip of the United States, Seattle is one of the nation's largest and best-known cities. Nicknamed 'Rain City' and 'The Emerald City', Seattle is the biggest city in Washington and the surrounding Pacific Northwest area and is just 100 miles away from the United States-Canada border. Seattle covers an area of just over 142 square miles and has an estimated population of around 725,000 people, with approximately 3.87 million in its surrounding metropolitan area.
The area that was set to become Seattle was inhabited by Native American tribes for many years before European colonists and settlers arrived. The city was partly founded by Arthur A. Denny, who led the 'Denny Party' to the area in 1851. The city was given the name of Seattle to honor a local Native American leader called Chief Si'ahl. At first, Seattle was a simple logging town, but with the development of ships and trade routes, it became a key commercial hub and the perfect link between the United States and Alaska during the famous Klondike Gold Rush.
Nowadays, Seattle is well-known as a cultural and business hub for the Pacific Northwest. Boeing, the world-famous manufacturer of airplanes and rockets, was set up in the city, and other major global companies also made their headquarters in Seattle like Microsoft and Amazon. The Seattle has also played a key role in music over the years, being the birthplace of bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, as well as the legendary Jimi Hendrix.
Elevation of Seattle
The elevation of a town, city, monument, mountain, or other key location around the world tells us how high it is in relation to sea level and can be a very important geographical statistic for a variety of reasons. Measuring elevation in Seattle is challenging as the city has some places that are much higher up than others. The highest point in the city of Seattle has an elevation of 520 feet (158 m), while the lowest point is out on the water, which has the same elevation as sea level. The average elevation of Seattle is generally calculated to be around 170 feet (52 m).
Many major cities around the United States, especially those that are situated in coastal locations like Seattle, tend to have quite low elevations as they're so near the sea. This is true of places like New York City and Los Angeles for example. Back in the state of Washington, the highest town is Waterville, located in Douglas County and sitting at an elevation of 2,622 feet (799 m), and the state itself has a mean elevation of 1,700 feet (520 m), so Seattle's elevation is much lower than the state average.
The highest point in all of Washington State is Mount Rainier, which is the highest mountain in the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest and has an elevation of 14,417 feet (4,394 m). The lowest point in the state of Washington is technically the Pacific Ocean, which is at sea level. Other major cities in the state include Spokane, which has an elevation of 1,843 feet (562 m), Tacoma, which has an elevation of 243 feet (74 m), and Vancouver, which has an elevation of 171 feet (52 m). Compared to all of these cities Seattle has a lower elevation on average.
Climate and Things to Do in Seattle
The city of Seattle has a temperate marine climate, also known as an oceanic climate, due to its low elevation and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. It has relatively cool winters with a lot of precipitation, and dry, warm summers. The city earned its nickname of 'Rain City' due to the large amount of rain that falls through the colder months of the year like November, December, and January, with an average total of around 37.5 inches of rainfall seen in Seattle per year. Some snow can also fall in Seattle if the temperatures drop low enough. The warmest month of the year is July, with average highs of 91°F (33°C), while the coldest is December, when the average lows drop down to 41°F (5°C).
Seattle is the largest city in its home state and the surrounding Pacific Northwest area, so it's a major cultural and touristic hub. The iconic Space Needle is a great place to visit for incredible panoramic views of the city skyline, and other landmarks and must-visit locations include the waterfront, Lake Union, and Pike Place Market. Both urban activities like clubs and shows and more nature-based recreation like hiking and kayaking can be enjoyed in the Seattle area.