Bellvue, WA, looking across Lake Washington toward Seattle, in this arial view, reveals the crucial role played by the natural setting–especially water and mountains (see below)–in so many cities of the Pacific Northwest. (Wikimedia)

Seattle, WA, is one of the premiere urban spots in the northernmost corner of the lower 48 continental states. Separated from the Pacific Ocean by the Puget Sound and a complex geographic combination of islands, peninsulas, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Salish Sea, Seattle is nevertheless one of the premiere seaports north of San Francisco and an important point of embarkation for vessels traveling to sites ranging from Japan to the Philippines.

[This classic image of Seattle, with the distinctive Space Needle (605 ft.) from the 1962 World’s Fair, and Mt. Ranier (14,411 ft.) in the distance: an urbanatural image if there ever was one!]

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