Of the stereotypical things that pop into mind when thinking of Seattle, a robust gay population isn’t necessarily one of them. Sure there’s the grunge music scene (which isn’t so prevalent anymore, actually), Starbucks Coffee was founded here, and it may not have the most precipitation in America, but over 200 cloudy days a year don’t help its weather reputation any. Coffee, rain and Kurt Cobain have nothing on Seattle’s gay residents though. In terms of percent of population, the only American city to be more densely concentrated in homos is San Francisco. That makes Seattle the second-gayest city in America! Dan Savage would be so proud.
Perhaps it’s just the damp mood that draws us creative types to this city. Seattle has a bustling arts scene unsurprisingly centered on its gayest neighborhood: Capitol Hill. There you’ll find thriving nightclubs featuring a diverse mix of musical tastes--Hip Hop artist and ally Macklemore happens to be from Seattle even. There are also a number of venues and fringe theaters showcasing performances of a more vaudevillian nature. It’s no wonder, given Seattle’s reputation as a bastion for liberalism and counterculture, that the people here are so accepting of their fellow gay citizens. So much so in fact, Washington voters recently approved gay marriage legislation, and official ceremonies have been performed there since late 2012.
‘The Emerald City’ receives its sobriquet from the lush, green foliage surrounding the area. Logging was Seattle’s primary industry in the 19th century, but today one can hike and explore the mossy woods without hearing chainsaws in Olympic National Park or on Mount Rainier. Seattle is an unparalleled base for nature lovers, and it has built a relaxed vibe that caters to a lifestyle facilitated by the natural environs. Outdoor activities including camping, hiking, kayaking, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, and climbing are popular seasonally. The fish market at Pikes Place Market is another favorite spot to explore in the city, and the view from the Space Needle shouldn’t be missed.