Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to being a haven for craft beer and gourmet coffee, Seattle is also one of the greenest cities in the U.S. In recent decades, it’s become an economic powerhouse, drawing highly skilled workers from across the country and around the globe to work in tech, manufacturing, health care, maritime professionals, hospitality, and more. While fewer than one million people live in the city itself, nearly four million live in the ever-expanding greater metro area.
Many of Seattle's neighborhoods host one or more street fairs or parades. Seattle has been a regional center for the performing arts for many years. The century-old Seattle Symphony Orchestra has won many awards and performs primarily at Benaroya Hall. Seattle is considered the home of grunge music, having produced artists such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Mudhoney, all of whom reached international audiences in the early 1990s. The Seattle-based Sub Pop record company continues to be one of the world's best-known independent/alternative music labels.
The Seattle Great Wheel, one of the largest Ferris wheels in the US, opened in June 2012 as a new, permanent attraction on the city's waterfront, at Pier 57, next to Downtown Seattle. The city also has many community centers for recreation, including Rainier Beach, Van Asselt, Rainier, and Jefferson south of the Ship Canal and Green Lake, Laurelhurst, Loyal Heights north of the Canal, and Meadowbrook. Seattle's mild, temperate, marine climate allows year-round outdoor recreation, including walking, cycling, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, rock climbing, motor boating, sailing, team sports, and swimming.
Of the city's population over the age of 25, 53.8% hold a bachelor's degree or higher, and 91.9% have a high school diploma or equivalent. Seattle is home to the University of Washington, as well as the institution's professional and continuing education unit, the University of Washington Educational Outreach. The 2017 U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Washington at #11 in the world, tied with Johns Hopkins University. In 2001, Time magazine selected Seattle Central Community College as community college of the year, stating the school "pushes diverse students to work together in small teams".