Seattle provides a colorful palette of choices, whether it's places to eat, bars to frequent, neighborhoods to visit, or just something to do on a Saturday evening. Seattleites and tourists alike soak up the rich culture of institutions like the symphony, opera, theater, art museum, and zoo, and Seattle's surroundings make many outdoor sports and activities a way of life. Whether in the backyard or a car ride away, it's easy to get away and ski, snowboard, boat, sail, hike, fish, or just stroll. Downtown Seattle, Pike Place Market, and the Space Needle attract many people, and local events like the Bumbershoot Festival and neighborhood parades and fairs make weekends unique. A Seattle columnist once compared living in Seattle to having a really hot girlfriend who's always sick. You can bet the analogy resonated well with locals. Seattle's natural surroundings rival the most magnificent in the country, with Lake Washington sparkling under the Montlake cut, lush Evergreens in every direction, and majestic snow-capped Mt. Rainier looming in the distance. But the semi-constant drizzle of rain often drowns out the beauty all around campus. In fact, during winter months, the view of Mt. Rainier disappears for weeks at a time, and come springtime, Seattleites announce, "the mountain's out!"
Seattle culture is as inspired as the natural atmosphere surrounding it. A city of many neighborhoods, Seattle offers everything from the colorful Ave. to lush Capitol Hill, to cozy Queen Anne, to ritzy University Village, to bustling downtown Seattle, to zany Broadway. The vibrant-yet-chill Seattle scene threads the diverse group of neighborhoods together, and virtually everyone finds a niche.