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Seattle, Washington, the largest port city in the Pacific Northwest, is a great destination for the gay traveler interested in art and music.  Seattle has the second highest percent of LGBT residents of large U.S. cities, with domestic partnerships made legal in 2007.

Seattle has a rainy reputation but actually only has an average of 36 inches of rainfall a year; less than New York, Chicago or Miami. If you're travelling in the summertime you'll find a sunny city with plenty to do.

People flock here to hike, trek, climb, ski, and explore.  The terrain includes beaches, rainforests, hot springs, and ice sheets.  On warm days, the gay crowds flock to Madison Beach on Lake Washington to tan and socialize. For those who want an all-over tan, there's a gay clothing-optional beach just north of Richmond Beach Park. You can avoid the notorious traffic by making use of the public transportation.  With lots of buses and cable cars, you can easily get around. However, if you plan on venturing outside the city, renting a car is a good idea.

Downtown, you can see the most beautiful panoramic view from the iconic Space Needle, and just below the Space Needle is the Frank Gehry-designed Experience Music Project museum and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. A must see is the famous Pike Place Market, originally a farmers market, full of produce, the freshest fish, street vendors and entertainers.  Check out Belltown north of downtown, full of antique shops, galleries, and live music venues. Just northeast of downtown is the gay epicenter of Capitol Hill, with myriad bars near Pine and Pike.

Seattle Pride happens at the end of June, and focuses heavily on live performances and political activism. In August, the Queen City Cruise, an "unforgivable naughtycal adventure on the high seas," is an outrageous party on Lake Washington. The 3 Dollar Bill Cinema hosts the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in mid-October. Seattle has a huge lesbian presence, with hundreds of women flocking to the slick Girl 4 Girl parties held monthly at venues around town. There's also the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in October, and the quirky, gay version of Syttende Mai, a celebration of the Norwegian constitution day and one of the biggest Norwegian parades outside of Oslo, held annually on May 17.

One of a few excellent vintage clothiers in Seattle's most gay-identified neighborhood, Capitol Hill, Atlas Clothing, Music & More is the place to find those retro-cool threads and old-school tunes you've been searching for. It's on Broadway, right near Neighbours gay dance club.

Nordstrom Downtown Seattle is one of the Northwest's great shopping meccas, part of the reason downtown is such a popular spot for gay and lesbian shoppers. It's right in the heart of a retail district along East Pine Street that includes Macy's, Pacific Place shopping center, and the immense Westlake Center Mall.

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