Seattle's location in the northwest United States gives it one of the most stunning natural settings in North America. It is the largest city in Washington state and is nestled between three national parks and two mountain ranges. Seattle is pristine and tourists and residents alike are drawn by its bounty of urban and outdoor attractions. The “Gateway to Alaska” is home to all branches of the performing arts and is well-known for its many festivals, concerts and fairs. Sports lovers will also find themselves at home - baseball, soccer and basketball are just a few of the sports represented at a professional level. Indeed, Seattle's mild climate lends itself to all sorts of outdoor pursuits, with hiking, swimming, cycling and skiing all popular pastimes.